Mitt Romney, the Mormonchurian candidate

I'm a Christian. Mitt Romney is a Mormon. He could possibly be the next President of the United States of America and that doesn't bother me. Over the weekend, Mary Van Steenis asked Romney whether or not the Bible would be "above the Book of Mormon or beneath it" when make consulting scriptures for important executive decisions. I don't understand the point of that question. Currently, we have a president in office who claims to be consulting the bible (or at least alludes us to that conclusion) and look at the current state of affairs we find our nation in. I think that, ultimately, a president will make decisions based on political motivations, not Godly ones. Romney however, predictably evaded the question and likened to the Christian view toward Mormons to the Jewish view toward Christians.

Jews vs. Christians ≈ Christians vs. Mormons

When the early Christians compiled the New Testament I can imagine that there were Jews in that time that were deeply offended. Even before reading this "New Testament" they probably got the impression that these Christians were trying to replace what they believed to be the written word of God with their "new" stuff. Similarly, modern day Christians generally feel as though Mormons attempted to "improve upon" or "modify" the tenets of their faith with the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price. So I understand that the feelings are similar but I don't think they are exactly the same.

The first Christians (who were actually just Jews) did not have a "New Testament." They had the Torah, the Talmud, and the oral traditions of a long line of Rabbis and then suddenly the teachings of Jesus and the story of his life, death, and resurrection. All of these things were crucial to them and they hung on to these with all of their life. At some point, as more Gentiles (non-Jews) became followers of Jesus, the eroding of the enriched Jewish teachings and way of life began (most unfortunately.) It is important to keep in mind that Jesus never contradicted or tried to replace those Old Testament scriptures. On the contrary, he taught from them and lived by them exclusively. Also, the New Testament has several affirmations of Old Testament predictions and prophesy. It also makes continuous reference to the ancient scriptures as well, just to show how integral they were to those early Christian (Jews).

The Angel Moroni (long story) told Joseph Smith that the Gospels and teachings from both the Old and New Testaments are incorrect and incomplete. In one foul swoop, Mormonism says, "Hey, we read those two older texts as well, but we don't believe they're accurate so here's the real one." Theologically, the Angel Moroni is claiming that when God said he was all knowing and without error, he was lying - which he also doesn't do. . .you get the idea of where that argument is going. The point is

Mormons ≠ Christians.

So why don't I mind if a Mormon becomes the president? Because I don't see why a President has to be any particular faith to fill that position. I respect anyone who says, "I'm a Mormon. I believe this and it contradicts what the Jews/Catholics/Protestant Christians believe. We generally say we are Christians, but in fact we are not. We're Mormons." It's ok to be Mormon. However, I lose a certain amount of respect when a person shares their faith, but starts apologizing or watering down certain things so that the over-all impression is received better. Hey, I believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God and died and then came back to life and ascended to heaven. You read and hear that a lot but the resurrection of the dead can (and should) strike a person as "out of the ordinary." However, I stand buy it.

Romney may or may not win the Republican nomination, but I congratulate his bravery anyway and wish him the best of luck.

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