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Obama and Romney: A Peculiar Decision

Over the past few weeks several Evangelical leaders, as well as some prominent Southern Baptist Convention pastors, have publicly endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for president in the 2008 election. Mitt Romney is Mormon. Mormons tend to have many of the same ‘values’ as Southern Baptists in that they are strong on family values, anti-homosexual marriage, prolife, etc, and is aligned with the Republican party, which so many Evangelicals and Southern Baptists are aligned with.

However, there is something about our leaders publicly endorsing a non-Christian that leaves me feeling queasy. I understand that we are electing a president and not a pastor but I do not feel comfortable publicly endorsing a candidate who, despite what he says, cannot have my morals because he does not have the true Christ…but he is Republican, which if one does not realize, is not the official political party of Christianity. 

Now let me turn for a minute to the other side of the coin. Last month at my church, the First Baptist Church of Columbia, SC, Illinois Senator Barack Obama dropped by for a worship service. Our pastor publicly acknowledged him and he received an ovation. All the pastors on staff thought it was rather strange that he would ask to come to the service since we are a traditional, conservative, BFM 2000 Southern Baptist Church. Nevertheless, he was welcome in our church…but Obama is a Democrat. 

However, Obama claims to be have a salvation experience. You can find the article here. (Oops, I lost the link….trust me, it exists) He was asked if he was an Evangelical. By asking this question, he was being asked also, if he were somewhat of a Republican, because all Republicans are Evangelicals and all Evangelicals are Republicans, right? Here was his answer:

“Gosh, I'm not sure if labels are helpful here because the definition of an evangelical is so loose and subject to so many different interpretations. I came to Christianity through the black church tradition where the line between evangelical and non-evangelical is completely blurred. Nobody knows exactly what it means. "Does it mean that you feel you've got a personal relationship with Christ the savior? Then that's directly part of the black church experience. Does it mean you're born-again in a classic sense, with all the accoutrements that go along with that, as it's understood by some other tradition? I'm not sure."  

Now, I will admit that is a confusing answer. Has he accepted Christ via the “black church experience?” He seems to be very postmodern in his answer. He continues,

 “My faith is complicated by the fact that I didn't grow up in a particular religious tradition. And so what that means is when you come at it as an adult, your brain mediates a lot, and you ask a lot of questions. "There are aspects of Christian tradition that I'm comfortable with and aspects that I'm not. There are passages of the Bible that make perfect sense to me and others that I go, 'Ya know, I'm not sure about that,'" he said, shrugging and stammering slightly.”

There is Obama in a nutshell. A man who grew up with a pluralist background but a man who claims to have found Jesus. If Obama is indeed regenerate, which only he and God knows, then it would make sense that he would be struggling with moral and biblical issues being that some of his stances are against God’s plan. However, it seems he is a work in progress, which all Christians are.

What am I saying? If somehow Obama and Romney both won their primaries would it be wise/smart/sstupid to vote for a nunbelieving Republican over a Democrat believer who seems more honest and candid and less dogmatic then Jimmy Carter, a Southern Baptist? 

Should we vote for a person who has our morals but not our faith? Is it possible to truly have Christian morals if one is unregenerate? (Romney) 

Should we vote for a person who is more liberal on moral issues yet seems to have a clear born-again experience and is someone who admittedly struggles with knowing right from wrong? (Obama)

Should pastors publicly endorse anyone? Isn't that illegal?

I don’t know the answer to these questions but maybe you all can shed some light on it for me.