As many of you are aware, Mitt Romney recently traveled to North Carolina where he met with Billy Graham. Following that meeting, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed references from its website that classified the Mormon religion as a cult. Franklin Graham has issued a statement suggesting that America is at a crossroads and that we should all vote for a candidate who supports Biblical principles and the worship of God. His message implies not so subtlety that our support should go to Mitt Romney. This statement from the Grahams is deplorable.
Since the founding of our nation, America has been a place where truth is valued, liberty prized, and justice (however imperfectly) has prevailed. We have been a nation of that character because Christianity has been the bedrock of American culture and the core of that Christianity has been the Church of Bible-believing Christians, primarily evangelicals. But for the past thirty years, the evangelical wing of the Church has defined Christianity solely and only in terms of personal piety, and has woefully disregarded and discarded what Jesus said about the poor, the imprisoned, and the foreign among us. In place of that truth, we have adopted conservative Republican economic and political philosophy – which vilifies the poor, castigates the imprisoned, and excoriates the immigrants among us. Now, we see the result of that choice as America has become a primarily secularized society with no collective consciousness of the Christian values that made us great. But instead of repenting of our error and turning to the truth we have only redoubled our flight to politics and political action, competing for votes, legislation, and government initiatives rather than the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens.
Franklin is correct. America is at a crossroads, and so is the Church. The question before the Church is whether it will hold to the truth of the Gospel and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish God’s will in the world, or cast aside the truth and run in fear to the arms of politicians who promise one thing and do quite another. That the Mormon religion is a non-Christian religion is beyond denial. That the Grahams would forsake the truth and suggest otherwise, merely so they can feel comfortable about supporting Romney, is a travesty. We, and they, shall live to rue this day.
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