In case you didn’t know Mitt Romney was a Mormon… um… Mitt Romney is a Mormon.  A lot of my friends think that’s kind of a big (bad) deal.  People have asked me what I think.  I tell them I love it when Mormons come knocking on my front door.  We have some great conversations, I give them whatever refreshments they feel comfortable accepting, and we discuss Jesus.
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“No,” my friends say.  “What do you think about Mitt Romney being a mormon?”  See, what they’re really asking is do I plan to vote for someone who (if he believes what the LDS church teaches) thinks that Satan is Jesus’ half-brother.  Can I, in good conscience vote for a man who thinks that one day he could have his own planet and be “God” for that planet?

Or they ask me, “How could you or any Christian vote for a man that would allow abortion and same-sex marriages?” (or whatever the hot topic is for them)

And yet more of my friends ask, “You still believe in God and Jesus and all that stuff.” (Some of my friends have selective memory loss about me.)

Before you start freaking out, I’m not using this post to endorse or not endorse a candidate.  I don’t do that (at least publicly), and I have very real reasons for that.  But that isn’t the point of this post.  The point here is how to answer these questions, and then address a far more disturbing practice I see rising in prominence in the Church. Specifically, the decision to not vote at all.  This is simply BAD citizenship.

You see, I’m not voting for Romney to be the pastor of my church. I’m not voting for President Obama to be a deacon. I have to vote for who I think can do the job they are claiming to be able to do. What I have to do, as an American citizen, is vote for the person (WHOEVER that person may be) that can do the job of president. If our values align, so much the better. While Romney might have theology that’s… a little… askew, our social values might align. That might make him, according to the dictates of my conscience, the best candidate. President Obama may have a remarkably unconventional view of Scripture, the person of Jesus, etc., but, if his plan to guide America is, according to the dictates of my conscience, the better plan, then he might be the best candidate.

As for whether or not to vote, I will simply say this: One MUST follow their conscience. If you feel like God is convicting you to NOT vote, then you had better not vote. However, I find too many people, especially in the Church, who default to the state of “I’m just not going to vote” (IMPLIED TEXT: “They’re all corrupt anyhow.”), because they don’t like either of the TWO primary candidates offered by the TWO largest parties in America. But that is not citizenship. Citizenship is marching into the voting booth because you have been granted the freedom to voice your opinion – not by the government, but by God – and VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE. Come November, if you think Romney is the best candidate available, then you vote for Romney. If you feel like Obama has his hand on the pulse of the nation, then you vote Obama. But if you think both of them are pathetic, and your neighbor Fred Jenkins (That is your neighbor’s name, right?) would be the best person for the job, then you have a DUTY (yes, I said “duty”) under God – not government – to write Fred Jenkins’ name on that ballot.

That’s what the vote is all about. It isn’t about selecting the lesser of two evils. It isn’t about selecting the person you believe is the lesser idiot. It’s about saying, “My freedoms have been granted by God. I can not, in good conscience, simply ignore the responsibilities tied into the temporal acquisition, sustenance and application of those rights while enjoying the privileges that those rights afford. Remember, too, that a vote for “the lesser of two evils” is still a vote for evil.
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I will vote. And it doesn’t even matter if my candidate wins. What matters is that I spoke. If no one else listened, God did.”

And, finally, as we go into the last few weeks before the election, let’s remember two things:

  1. The INCREDIBLE benediction given by Jena Lee Nardella, Executive Director of Blood: Water Mission in Nashville, TN.  God, help us to show the grace, mercy and love she showed that night.
  2. I Timothy 2:1-4, which says:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

We will never get anywhere, we will never accomplish anything by bashing Romney or Obama (or Fred Jenkins.  Poor Fred… everybody picks on him.)  But, as Christians, we are admonished to pray for them (elected or not) constantly, not so they will do what we want (or, God forbid – as I have seen from people who CLAIM to be Christians – that something awful happens to them) but that God will make Himself known in their lives, and bring His mind, His way, and His vision to bear in the administrations and citizenry of our country.

In the interest of education, you can read about Mitt Romney’s platform here, and President Obama’s platform here.  (Sadly, I could not find a link for Fred Jenkins’ campaign.)

I’d love to hear your thoughts?  Post comments, share this on FB or Twitter.

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