Monday, February 20, 2006
More on Romney and Mormonism

I recently posted "A Mormon President?", which has proven to be a popular entry. Because of the interest surrounding this issue, I thought I would post a follow up for those wanting more information in thinking through Governor Mitt Romney's potential candidacy for President. The most thorough article I have found so far is "Mitt Romney's Evangelical Problem" by Amy Sullivan in the Washington Monthly. She concludes with the following:

All of this leaves Romney in a real pickle. Thus far, he's tried to follow in the tradition of other Massachusetts politicians and "pull a John Kennedy," declaring personal faith irrelevant to his qualifications for office. This is a nonstarter. We live in a political era in which, thanks largely to Republicans, candidates are virtually required to talk openly about their religious views. There is no way a Republican, especially in a GOP primary, can avoid the issue—if for no other reason than the press won't let them.

. . . .

Conservatives are beginning to worry about Romney's viability with evangelicals, even if they're not saying so publicly just yet. One LDS politician has been quietly making the rounds to Washington wise men to get their sense of what evangelical opposition would mean for Romney in the primaries. Meanwhile, Robert Novak, who is as closely connected to conservative sources as anyone in the nation's capitol, wrote in June that Romney's Mormonism is "his one great liability as a presidential candidate."

The tragedy—or, depending on your point of view, the irony—is that Mitt Romney may just be the most appealing candidate Republicans can field in 2008, the one most likely to win the White House by shoring up social conservatives and rallying business interests without frightening swing voters. Yet the modern GOP's reliance on evangelical voters and its elevation of personal religiosity—strategies which have served the party so well in recent years—may doom the chances of this most promising candidate. Or, to put it in evangelical terms, it might be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for Mitt Romney to win the Republican nomination.
 
posted at 10:00 AM  
Comments (13)


13 Comments:
At 10:53 PM, Blogger Carlos Williamson said...

This will be really something to see the Christians come out against Romney because of his religious belief. And what is the belief that bothers the Christian theologians? Romney believes Jesus was right when He said He is the Son of God. This is something that the professional Christians just cannot stomach.

Carl at carlloeber@hotmail.com
www.takepity.com

 
At 8:53 AM, Blogger John said...

Carlos,

Christian theologians are not bothered by Romney believing Jesus was right when He said He is the Son of God. They disagree with what Mormons mean when LDS use the phrase "Son of God." It is certainly not the historic Christian meaning.

To learn more, check out "Who is the 'Living Christ' of Mormonism?"

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Carlos Williamson said...

You stated it well. The Christian theologians care more about what men like themselves have said than they do about of what Christ himself said. They simply do not believe He is the Son of God. The humble Witnesses know the truth about that, and believe Jesus at his word. They know that Son of God, means Son of God. Not some mystical philosophical confusion. Sure, be mystical if you want, but these professional Christians want to persecute those, for their belief, who actually do believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Think about that.

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger John said...

Carlos,

I appreciate your willingness to discuss this issue. But the question is: What did Jesus mean when he called Himself the "Son of God"? Was it that he was the literal firstborn offspring of a physical Heavenly Father and Mother?

The historic Christian view is that he did not. But our belief is not based upon philosophical speculation or mysticism; it is based upon what God has revealed about Himself through Scripture--the Bible.

If you disagree with this, then I would be more than happy to discuss with you the biblical case for the Trinity.

Nevertheless, my main point is to show you that evangelical Christians firmly believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. At the same time, we do not believe that this title means what the LDS church claims it means.

 
At 2:08 AM, Blogger Carlos Williamson said...

The LDS and the Witnesses believe He is the Son of God. It is just that simple. It is not gnostic.

You believe Jesus is God his own Father.

You are stuck on this historical belief whatever that should matter, I guess one who gets his authority at college instead of by the apostles.

You said it yourself, that "Son of God" is a title. You think you know better than the Son himself. Someday you will know Him as He is.

Bless you dear Brother. And forgive my energy. Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

Best to you now. Let us not seek a biblical case but the truth. In that Bible ye THINK ye have eternal life, but it is the Bible that testifies of Him. But you do not know Him, because you do not believe He exists in Himself, you believe He is the Father himself.

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger John said...

Carlos,

"You believe Jesus is God his own Father" is not an accurate summary of the doctrine of the Trinity. God is one in essence and three in person. Therefore, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three distinct persons, yet they are also one God. The Son (Jesus) is not the Father. That would be confusing essence with personhood.

Again, if you'd like, we can look at what God has revealed about Himself in His Word (the Bible). It is through His revelation that we understand who He is.

Finally, I am not sure why you brought up Psalm 82:6 and John 10:6, "Ye are gods." But, when interpreting the text properly, one does not wind up with the LDS understanding of it. Check out "As God Is, Man May Become?"

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger Carlos Williamson said...

OK so you do believe Jesus is the Son of God. Do you also believe God (the Father in Heaven) is Jesus's father, and Mary is His mother. (as Bach put it, Jesu, Son of God and Mary?)

It seems, wouldn't it, that there are enough issues and problems of being Christian that the professional Christians like yourself, should not attack the non-professional ones like Mitt Romney because of his personal opinion and belief because he thinks that Jesus was in fact the Son of God and Mary instead of what you call the common historical opinion, which you have not fully stated.

Why are you so unable to allow such a belief, what is so wrong with believing that Jesus is the Son of God and Mary? (if you think that sex is unbecoming of divinity, you could still allow for artificial insemination couldn't you).

If you think this discussion is improper, it was Christ who stated who was is and it was the professional Jews of his day who generally opposed and failed to believe him when He said he was the Son of God.

The exchange recorded in John 10:33-38 is fairly on point don't you agree.

If you do believe Jesus is the Son of God and Mary how do you see yourself so far apart of Romney's belief that God and Christ are one in purpose and all else as Christ said He and His Apostles should be?

 
At 11:40 AM, Blogger Carlos Williamson said...

I you believe the text in the prayer of Christ recorded in John 17:21 then it is clear what Jesus meant when He said He and His Father are one. Or is the essence you talk about more metaphysical than what Christ explained here.

 
At 6:19 PM, Blogger John said...

Carlos,

Until you try to understand the historical (and biblical) doctrine of the Trinity, you will not understand how the LDS view of God is incompatibly different from our view of God.

Since God the Father does not have a physical body, he did not literally sire Jesus in Mary's womb. Thus, he is not Jesus' father in this sense. However, this is never how God intended us to understand the relationship between the Father and the Son. They are both God in essence.

If you'd like to learn more, I suggest reading an article I wrote on the Trinity in response to a LDS piece, "The Trinity." Additionally, if you would like to discuss things further, I suggest e-mailing me. This comments section makes it difficult to have a substantive discussion on this essential topic.

 
At 6:23 PM, Blogger John said...

Carlos,

I apologize for the bad links in my previous comment. Click here for "The Trinity."

And here is my e-mail address.

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Carlos Williamson said...

Jn. 1: 3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

There are about one hundred references such as this in the New Testament stating clearly that Jesus is the Son of God the Father.

There are also in addition to those quoted in previous posts, many statements in scripture that express the relationship of God and Jesus as to being "in" or "of" the other.

1 Cor. 8: 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

1 Jn. 4: 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God welleth in him, and he in God.

There are no statements in scripture that I know of, that express the idea that Jesus is not the Son of God.

Paul says in the first chapter of Hebrews that Jesus looks like His Father in Heaven.

1 GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

6 And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;

12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

You do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God in the sense of being the Son of God. Mitt Romney does believe Christ is the Son of God in the sense of being the Son of God.

Should Mitt Romney be castigated or disqualified for that belief?

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger John said...

Carlos,

Nowhere in my comments have I stated that Romney must be castigated or disqualified for his beliefs. I have brought his beliefs up to begin a discussion among evangelicals.

In my responses to you, I have tried to maintain three things:

1) Historic Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God

2) Mormonism teaches something completely different about Jesus as the Son of God

3) These beliefs regarding Jesus are incompatible and need to be examined in light of God's revelation in the Bible

Since you cannot seem to admit my first point, we seem to be at an impasse. All of your support assumes evangelical Christians deny that Jesus is the Son of God. We do not. What we deny is that Jesus is the literal offspring of a physical Heavenly Father and Mother.

If you'd like to continue discussing these things, then please seek to understand the historic Christian view and e-mail me at: jdivito409@sbtsstudents.net .

 
At 1:03 AM, Blogger Carlos Williamson said...

Yes Enough.

What remains for us followers of Christ is to follow Him, and do as He did.

To clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.

While there are thousands of Father's children dying daily of poverty we should not spend are time doing much else.

 

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