Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why A Principled-Conservative, Bible-Believing Protestant, and Counter-cult Expert Will Vote for Mitt Romney--corrected and updated a bit

1. Politics is not the church. It is the art of the possible. Often we choose the lesser of two evils, which is also the evil of two lessers. It is a fallen world. Get over it. Be romantic and optimistic in the primaries (as I was with Michele Bachmann); then get realistic when things narrow down. You are not appointing a pastor, but voting for a President.

2. Protest votes are pointless. They send no message, except that you have robbed the better of the two candidates of a vote. Like it or not, we are stuck with a two-party system for the long haul. See Michael Medved's chapter on the failure of third parties in "Ten Lies About America."

3. The essential principles between the two parties are sharply divided, however each candidate may vary from them.

A. Democrats support: big government, heavy taxation and regulation, viewing the Constitution as a wax nose they twist any way they want (progressivism), pitting corporations and "the wealthy" against "the common man," a weakened national defnese (the only thing Obama is trying to cut), they do not support religious liberty, and they are pro-abortion with a vengeance. Under ObamaCare, every American would be subsidizing the killing of innocent human beings with their very own tax dollars. Ponder that, for God's sake.

B. Republicans support: smaller government, lighter taxation and regulation, a higher view of The Constitution as a body of objective truths to be applied rightly today, and the opportunities allowed by a basically free market, a strong national defense ("Peace through strengh,"--Ronald Wilson Reagan), and are much more pro-life. This means a Republican President is far more likely to:

(1) Appoint Supreme Court justices who honor the Constitution and see it as opposing Roe- v. Wade.

(2) Appoint dozens of federal judges with great power, all of whom are likely to have a high and proper view of the Constitution.

(3) Use Executive Orders (whether they are constitutional or not is another issues; they probably are not) in the pro-life cause, such as not giving foreign aid to support abortions and not funding abortions in the military.

C. Yes, Mitt Romney is:

(1) Not a principled conservative. Look at his very mixed track record.
(2) Not particularly charismatic.
(3) A Mormon.

I have been involved in counter-cult apologetics and evangelism for 35 years. Mormonism is a deviation from Christian orthodoxy on titantic issues: the nature of God (or gods), the identity of Christ, and salvation, to name a few crucial items. Yes, there has been some movement back to the Bible among some Mormons in the last twenty years. However, Mormonism as Mormonism is heretical. No one should be a Mormon. It is "another gospel."

If Romney is elected President, it would give Mormonism a platform as it has never had before. That is bad, very bad. However, the President is not Theologian-in-Chief And the alternative to Romney is, truly, the end of America as it was founded and as we know it.

Obama has no credible Christian testimony. Consider his membership in Rev. Wright's racist, ultra-liberal church for twenty years. Consider this stance on abortion. He was one of the few politician to not oppose partial-birth abortions, which are cases of infanticide: a form of murder. Obama is far more sympathetic to Islam than he is too Christianity. Notice, I did not say he was a Muslim. Under another four-years of Obama, we would experience more "historic" changes:

--The federal takeover of health care, leading to rationing, inefficiency, and a loss of personal freedom. You will be paying for abortions. Some would rather go to jail than do this.

--A growing and perhaps insurmountable debt, mortgaging our future, and making us like Greece.

--Further evisceration of our military and cut backs in military benefits.

--The further deconstruction of the Constitution, thus removing us from the Rule of Law and putting us under the Rule of Man: One man, the man who would be King: Barack Obama.

For these reasons and many more, I, Douglas Richard Groothuis, will vote for, support, and pray that Mitt Romney become the next President of these United States.

35 comments:

JD Longmire said...

Thanks for articulating my thoughts - editorial comment:

"Obama is far more sympathetic to Islam than he is too Christianity.:

change *too* to *to* :) - and feel free to delete or not post this comment - blessings to you!

Matthew Rushing said...

Thanks for putting this out there. I think that this is a great reminder of why it is important to know the candidates

Matthew Rushing said...

Thanks for posting this. It is so important to think through who the candidates are and what the believe about government and the Constitution. It's all about the judges and the size of government they believe in, especially in this economy.

Chuck Thomas said...

Nice articulation of the polarity of the upcoming choices we will have for President.

millssnell said...

Dr. Groothuis,

I by no means have the background, expertise, or political familiarity that you possess- so please take this question fully aware of my bias.

I understand your position that the role of president is not "Theologian-in-Chief"- and I like the distinction- however, do you not think that the message sent out by electing a Mormon president is below par with electing a president who is at best vague about his belief system? I also wonder what your thoughts are on the response to Kennedy being elected as the first Catholic president.

Second, does it seem naive to think that such insurmountable and immutable changes will be made under the supposed leadership of President Obama between 2012-2016?

Thanks for any response you can offer. I am eager to look into some of your work.

Millssnell@gmail.com

absolutetruth said...

Well put. Luther said 500 years ago "I would rather be ruled by a competant Turk than a incompetant Christian".

absolutetruth said...

Well put. Luther said 500 years ago "I would rather be ruled by a competant Turk than a incompetant Christian".

David Dougherty said...

It would be interesting to hear a conversation on Momonism between you and your Denver Seminary colleague Craig Bloomberg. He seems to view them as much more in harmony with the evangelical mainstream in his book, How Wide the Divide.

Patrick Layhee said...

"However, the President is not Theologian-in-Chief And the alternative to Romney is, truly, the end of America as it was founded and as we know it."

Well said. The White House is not the church. I am a born-again, conservative Christian who will be voting for Mitt Romney.

AStark said...

Dr Groothuis,

I sympathize in many ways with your position, but one thing I get stuck on is hearing from ex-mormon friends about how once they "got to a certain level" in the church and the "curtain was pulled back" they saw clearly that the whole church was fraudulent and that the leadership was complicit in knowledgeably misleading their people. I have to believe that Romney is at that level in the church. I'm not sure that I can vote in good conscience for a many who knowingly and willing deceives millions of people in his church/faith. I don't agree with Obama, but at least he is forthright and honest about his positions. What are your thoughts?

AStark said...

Dr. Groothuis,

I sympathize with your position in many ways, but one thing I still struggle with is this: I have a few ex-mormon friends who have told me about how once they got to a certain level within the church and the curtain was pulled back, they saw how the whole church is essentially a con and that the leadership of the church actively misrepresents itself and deceives the members of their "faith." I have to believe that Romney has gotten to this level of leadership and so I have to question the wisdom in vote for a man who is complicit in lying to millions of people for his own gain. I don't agree with any of Obama's positions, but at least he is honest about his motivations and believes. (This is actually one of the reason I liked Santorum so much--I agreed with much of what he said, and he was refreshingly honest and forthright.)
What are your thoughts?

Unknown said...

I absolutely agree with everything you have stated and for the same reasons. Obama, I believe, is NOT a naturaly born citizen as has been stated by forensic experts who examined his BC thoroughly. His Social Security number is a fraud. We know nothing of his past. It has been conveniently expunged for our examination. I think he was placed there by athiest, George Soros, and was prepared for the office by Wm Ayers, whom many have said, actually wrote "Dreams of my Father. Were Obama to win, America will not survive. He has a vendetta against America, formed by his communist upbringing and strengthend by his "black liberation" pastor, Rev Jeremiah Wright. For all these and other reasons, I will vote for ANYONE but Obama.

Unknown said...

I absolutely agree with everything you have stated and for those same reasons. To protest by not voting is to vote for Obama. This I will not do. There will be enough dead people and illegals voting to give this sham of a president a second term that I must exercise my right to vote.
Not only is he a disaster, he is illegal. No valid BC, SS#, no college records, no history, and yet the MSM is not the least bit curious about how this man got here. I find that incredulous. My suspicions are George Soros has funded his campaign and Wm Ayers is closely tied to his election. As evil as Hilary Clinton is, she was astounded at what the Obama Chicago machine did to her. Bill Clinton has stated in oblique terms he knows Obama is not a natural born citizen but no one is listening. The MSM is so in the tank for him, they won't publish anything negative or threatening to Obama's re-election.
Though I don't like Romney, he gets my vote because America will not survive four more years of Obama.

Mike said...

Would you agree that federal power is NOT about using the office as a pulpit to promote personal values?

If that is true, then the 'lesser' evil is still a death warrant.
It could be likened to Hitler saying; "Saving the Jews is not an option, so choose run the ovens, or drive a bulldozer to bury them." One might try to use their position to 'save' lives by performing their responsibilities poorly, but maybe to join the slaughtered might be prefered. After all, our citizenship is not of this world.

United States political survival is to defend the Constitution, first, only, and always. Then we will be free to promote morality in our states, counties, cities, schools, all area's closer to home, and the feds should of not opinion UNLESS the founding document gives them that power. To be removed from that platform will be to forfeit our our innumerable rights and to appoint a man who will choose for us.

The Constitution is not about the legislation of morality, it is about enumerated delegated powers; to use it to delegate morality is at this time is an abuse of political power. Morality is the right of the people and the state. If we use the federal platform to promote morality, we have become dictitorial, like a king.

I could never in a clear conscience walk the path of Israel to reject God to seek to be like the nations.

Caddiechaplain said...

Great piece and much needed right now in our almost-becoming-pathetic-society-if-not-already!

Phil said...

Also being a Fundamentalist, principled, conservative, literal Bible-believing Protestant, I will also hold my nose and vote for Mitt Romney.

Alexandre said...

I agree with what you're saying, but I fear the long-term implications of a Romney presidency. Not necessarily that Romney will be destructive as a president, but that his presidency will sway public opinion against Republicans again and then will be faced with the very real possibility of 8 years of... wait for it...

Hillary Clinton!

Personally when I look at the next twelve years, the idea of having four more years of Obama followed by eight years of Chris Christie or Rand Paul far more appealing than four years of Romney followed by 8 years of Hillary. Perhaps I'm thinking too much into the future, but I could see those things happening.

notgonnadoit said...

So, you are all fine with Romney's pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage, anti-second amendment, pro-socialized healthcare positions? Not me. Will leave top line of ballot blank and vote for real conservatives down ballot.

Caleb Gates said...

I agree with you politics is not the church. In many ways I feel like picking a presidential candidate this election cycle is like picking the lesser of two evils. I disagree with both candidates on a host of issues. But in this case, I see Obama as the lesser of two evils.

Your understanding of the essential principles of the two parties overly simplifies and mis-characterizes both.

You said Democrats support "big government, heavy taxation and regulation, viewing the Constitution as a wax nose they twist any way they want (progressivism), pitting corporatation and "the wealthy" against "the common man," a weakened national defnese (sic) (the only thing Obama is trying to cut) and they are pro-abortion with a vengeance."
I understand this is only a blog post, but as a philosopher, you know you should not make claims without offering evidence. I fail to see for example, how insisting we return to tax rates of the 90s is heavy taxation. I fail to see how streamlining and shifting military strategies equals weakening national defense. Rising income inequality is a problem. See Richard Wilkinson work in The Spirit Level and the Impact of Inequality.

You also state Republicans support: "smaller government, lighter taxation and regulation, a higher view of The Constitution as a body of objective truths to be applied rightly today, and the opportunities allowed by a basically free market, a strong national defense ("Peace through strengh,"--Ronald Wilson Reagan), and are much more pro-life."
Lighter regulation is not necessarily a good thing. Neither is excessive regulation. I'm thankful for the work of the FDA, USDA, EPA, and now the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). This does not mean these agencies are always right in their policies, but our society is better off with them than without them. I get very uneasy when you equate a higher view of the Constitution with strict Constructionalism. The Constitution originally only gave voting rights to men and counted African-Americans as 3/5s of a person. You say the GOP is more pro-life, but their record does not match this claim. It seems to me that the GOP candidates mostly use the abortion issue to drum up support rather than enacting legislation. Furthermore, I'll believe the GOP to be more pro-life when they support the abolition of the death penalty and the end of the Afghanistan War, the War on Terror, and calls for war with Iran.

Lobbyists are infiltrating our political system and skewing our democracy through money and special interests. Both Democrats and Republicans are culpable. See Jack Abrahoff's book Capitol Punishment.

I disagree with President Obama on numerous issues. But he has made clear that his policies stem flow from his Christian faith. See his address at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast. You may disagree with that interpretation, but I advise against defining Christian as "conforming to my theological and political views". President Obama said it well in his address at the National Prayer Breakfast:

"Our goal should not be to declare our policies as biblical. It is God who is infallible, not us. Michelle reminds me of this often. (Laughter.) So instead, it is our hope that people of goodwill can pursue their values and common ground and the common good as best they know how, with respect for each other."

To be continued...

Caleb Gates said...

The Healthcare Reform is not a federal takeover of health care. Numerous studies indicate that many people are dying each year because they lack health insurance. (See for example: http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/september/harvard_study_finds_.php) Even if these numbers are high, it still shows a serious problem. A strong case can be made that opposing Health Care Reform is morally equivalent to supporting abortion.

I agree that mounting debt is a problem, but I do not see either Romney or Obama doing what is necessary to solve this problem. Yes we must reign in public spending, but not at the expense of the most vulnerable members of our society. We must end tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans and broaden the tax base. We must close loopholes and end government subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

Enacting new laws is not the same as ending the rule of law. The Rule of Man? The man who would be King? Really! If this is true of Obama, it is also true of Romney and anyone who would aspire to be President. I do disagree with Obama's policies of giving the executive branch the right to detain American citizens without trial on charges of terrorism and his waging of unmanned drone warfare. But even here I would not go so far as to say that Obama is trying to Rule as King. He is trying to protect America. I disagree with how he is going about it, but I will not resort to impugning his motives.

On the other hand, Romney advocates expanding the military so that no country would ever think of attacking us. Romney advocates relaxing EPA regulations that protect people's health. Romney advocates the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking, and more dependence on fossil fuels. Romney wants to repeal the healthcare bill based on his healthcare bill as governor of Massachusetts. Romey's tax policies favor the wealthy like himself, rather than providing equal opportunity for all Americans.

I am not an Obama, devotee. But given the choice between Obama and Romney, I think Obama is the lesser of two evils.

Concerned said...

One of the better examples of putting politics ahead of faith.

Chris said...

I don't have access to Medved's book. Please summarize the reasons, or point to a good link, why a third party won't work.

Steve said...

The problem with Obama for 4 more years, there might not be an America as we know it left. I am a protestant pastor and yes it concerns me that I will vote for a Mormon, but I assure you he is far better than the alternative. Also, people think we would have been a lot better with Hillary. Hillary would have forced healthcare on America as well, she might not be as anti church as Obama, but she is pro choice and would have nominated liberal judges as well. God help us if we get Obama back, America will be fundamentally transformed in a way that there may be no recovery from it.

Alienrighteousness said...

I don't buy the "we have to vote for lesser of two evils" idea. We live in a free country, we can vote for anyone we want to. We live in a country where we can vote for the third party (even if we know he's not going to win) because perhaps a third party would be the choice that God would want us to make. Even if the third party is not a righteous candidate, we can still vote for a righteous candidate(one that God would want us to vote for) by writing in a cadidate.

The problem is that the pragmatic lens throught which Americans look through, causes the pragmatist to object by saying, "If I write in the name of a godly man, I'll be handing the election over to Obama". Do you see the problem with that objection? The objector is not concerned with casting a vote that pleases God, but instead is interested in casting a vote that defeats the greater of the two evils. This is not how Christians are supposed to make decisions.

As believers, we're not supposed to make a decision based on the most desirable outcome, but we're supposed to make decisions based on what God has spoken. And if I'm not mistaken, God has expressed his desire that nations be ruled by godly men, not the lesser of two evils.
But again, for the pragmatist, voting according to God's will takes second place to voting according to the voter's "desired outcome".

The man who votes for Romney speaks in clear language and says, "I'm not interested in a righteous leader, I'm interest in avoiding the greater of two evils." And this is why a righteous man cannot and will not ever be elected to any office in this nation, because Christian voters will never vote for him, and they will never vote for him because they vote based on pragmatism not righteousness.

The pragmatism that causes good men to vote for "the lesser of two evils" is the very CAUSE of the disappearance of godly candidates. How can a godly candidate win an election if all the conservative Christians refuse to vote for him and will only vote for the lesser of two evils? Who else is going to vote for a godly candidate if not for Christians, and Christians won't even do that because they know he's not gonnas win, and they would rather do what seems right in their own eyes instead of doing what's right in God's eyes.

Because pragmatic voting trumps righteous voting, our nation will never see a godly leader. So the next time you complain about there not being any good candidates to vote for, consider the fact that you've always refused to vote for the godly man because "I would be throwing away my vote if I did voted for him"

absolutetruth said...

I disagree with President Obama on numerous issues. But he has made clear that his policies stem flow from his Christian faith. (you believe the LIE?? No one can be that stupid or willfully ignorant)

Jim Upchurch said...

I will not be voting for Mitt Romney. Mainly because I disagree with your point 3 above. That there is a huge difference between the two parties is an illusion. Voting for the lesser of two evils leads to a gradual descent from conservatism to liberalism. 20 years down the road the Republican nominee will probably be a lot like Obama.

Riley said...

I have a hard time backing a GOP candidate who has an interventionist foreign policy which includes support to the terrorist persecutors of Christians (aka. Syrian rebels), and the continuance of a policy which has wreaked havoc on the churches of the Middle East by creating foment and instability in the region: Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Lybia and the list goes on. Also it's hard to get behind someone who gives blind support to the racist "holier than the gentiles" policies of the Israeli Zionist state. I support Paul in the primaries. I won't be voting for Mitt Romney.

Riley said...

Romney supports the Syrian rebels who are murdering Christians in urban neighborhoods, or raping or kidnapping them for ransom. He supports the interventionist foreign policies that have destabilized the Middle East and led to the disappearance of its Christian population and put the churches in grave danger in Iraq, Lybia, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria etc. He is an avid supporter of the Zionist state of Israel, whose policies relegate non-Jews to second class status. No thanks. He doesn't get my vote.

DavidShedlock said...

Where to begin?
1. May we do evil that good may come? God forbid. Neither can we vote for evil. When you suggest we aren't voting for a pastor, you are dividing the world up into pieces God never intended. Magistrates are commanded to Fear God and Kiss the Son.

2. The parties are not as different as you proclaim. When it comes down to it, most Republicans in power vote just like the Democrats. For example, most pro-abortion judges have been appointed by GOP presidents.

3. Apparently -- to you -- the end of America as we know it is a greater concern than giving a platform to a doctrine that sends people to hell.

You wrote: "Some would rather go to jail than do this."

Nah! Ain't gonna happen. Most of these folks sat on the sidelines when actual babies were being saved by Operation Rescue and condemned the rescuers.

DavidShedlock said...

"Well put. Luther said 500 years ago "I would rather be ruled by a competant Turk than a incompetant Christian".

That quote is highly dubious and did not appear for hundreds of years after Luther died. However, here are actual quotes from Luther that present the opposite view:
I say this not because I would teach that worldly rulers ought not to be Christians, or that a Christian cannot bear the sword and serve God in temporal government. Would God they were all Christians, or that no one could be a prince unless he were a Christian! Things would be better than they now are and the Turk would not be so powerful."

And another...

For although some praise his [the Turk’s] government because he allows everyone to believe what he will so long as he remains the temporal lord, yet this praise is not true, for he does not allow Christians to come together in public, and no one can openly confess Christ or preach or teach against Mohammed. For it is misery enough to be compelled to suffer the Turk as overlord and to endure his government; but willingly to put oneself under it, or to desire it, when one need not and is not compelled – the man who does that ought to be shown the sin he is committing and how terribly he is going on.

DavidShedlock said...

Alienrighteousness:

You are right, our vote ought to please God more than anything.

Lane Bryant said...

I have much to say in response to this regrettable post, but I am going to narrow my critique down to one point.

QUOTE: "Protest votes are pointless. They send no message, except that you have robbed the better of the two candidates of a vote. Like it or not, we are stuck with a two-party system for the long haul."

You, sir, are part of the problem and part of the reason why we will continue to be stuck with the two-party system. I have not "robbed" the supposed "better of the two candidates" of a vote by exercising my right to vote third party, independent, or not vote at all. In order to call it "robbing" someone of something, it has to be rightfully theirs already. A Christian of your stature who believes in the eighth Commandment ought to have a thorough enough understanding of said Commandment not to throw around words like "robbery" so loosely. My vote belongs to me, sir. Not to Mitt Romney or anyone else! I will not give consent with my vote to any candidate with whom I disagree on so many important political and economic issues. If Obama wins another term because of people like me then so be it. Unlike Romney, at least he's somewhat honest about being a socialist.

coltakashi said...

When presidents who were affiliated with Evangelical Christian denominations were elected, was there a great surge in people joining evangelical churches? Carter, Clinton, George W. Bush? Heck no! And electing a Mormon as president is not going to cause a surge in people joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As one commenter noted, some people will dislike Romney's decisions as president and get a negative view of Mormonism. Romney like all Mormons strongly believes in religious liberty (see Doctrine and Covenants Section 134.) And will not use his office to restrict anyone's religious freedom. You have nothing to fear from him.

The gentleman who claims he was told that Mormons become disillusioned when they reach a certain level on the "inside" of the Mormon Church is being misled. That is a rationale for why they stayed with a particular faith for a long time. But there is no "secret Mormonism". That is a fiction. I am a 62 year ild Mormon high priest who served in the presidency of a congregation and on two different high councils overseeing multiple congregations in Japan and California. There are NO secrets of that kind. Over my life of living as a Latter-day Saint, I have grown year by year in my understanding of and commitment to the truth of the Gospel. Those lurid stories are made up by people who are trying to explain how intelligent and good people like Mormons could believe things so apparently outrageous. It is not out of ignorance or evil, but because we have actually examined Mormon teachings in detail and found them consistent with reality, and with a growing body of modern knowledge about the world that gave us the Bible. We have lived Mormon teachings and find they bring us closer to Jesus Christ, our Savior, who sustains us daily through his grace, and offers us the only path to the fulness of joy.

Mitt Romney us a man of intelligence and integrity and faith. He has followed the path marked by Christ, a path of personal sacrifice on behalf of others. He served as an unpaid pastor for 20 hours a week for ten years. He gave food and rent money to the unemployed. He counseled those going through crises in their marriages and their personal lives.

C. Andiron said...

Alien Righteousness, your post is extremely confused.
"As believers, we're not supposed to make a decision based on the
most desirable outcome, but we're supposed to make decisions based on what God has spoken."

When it comes to sound doctrine and preaching the Gospel, you are correct. When it comes to questions like a secular one, not directly addressed in the Bible, of choosing the lesser of two evils, you have no Biblical foundation, and

"And if I'm not mistaken, God has expressed his desire that nations be ruled by godly men, not the lesser of two evils."

But of course forms of government such as Republics do not exist in the Bible, nor is the proper way of voting in one addressed. You are making things up and trying to attribute them to what the Bible teaches, yet you don't and cannot bring a single verse to bear on the subject.

God wants Godly men to rule. And when they don't, like Saul or Zedekiah or Ahab, He removes them himself. He doesn't give instructions on how to vote.


"But again, for the pragmatist, voting according to God's will takes second place to voting according to the voter's "desired outcome"."

Please show what God's Will is in this case.

Actually you could argue it is God's will to vote for the lesser of two evils. We are to love our neighbors, our fellow citizens. Therefore we should not throw our votes away, but use them effectively in a way that will benefit our neighbor. "Love thy neighbor" is in fact in the Bible, unlike all the assertions you give without any support.

truth4u said...

I pray also that Mitt Romney is our nations next leader. I don't care if he were black, red, yellow, blue, green...etc... the one that keeps the Pledge of Allegiance, freedom of prayer in schools and all public places, and the traditional American values gets my vote!