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Is It OK to Vote for a Mormon?

For the first time in U.S. history, a major party candidate for the presidency is a Mormon, an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A pastor recently posed the question whether Christians can or should vote for a presidential candidate if he comes from a group we have long considered to be a cult.

As president of a 501(c)3 organization, I am not allowed to publicly endorse a political candidate, and will not do so. However, there is a fundamental issue raised by the question that transcends specific candidates and their religious underpinnings.

American History

In the long view of American history, this is not the first time Christians have been confronted with a presidential election challenge, although this is the first Mormon in play. I recently read a biography about George Washington that was quite fascinating and enlightening. There is little doubt that God used Washington as His instrument to guide America at a critically important time. However, the more you learn about Washington, the more you realize that Free Masonry constituted his primary belief system. He was, however, vigilant in protecting the rights of Christians and churches, even those out of the mainstream Anglican of his day, such as Methodists, who were the Evangelicals of that time. I do not believe Washington was a Christian. I believe Free Masonry is cult-like as a secret order with vows and ceremonies that conflict with Christianity. But God nevertheless used Washington at a critical juncture in our history that enabled us to grow, prosper, and flourish as a largely Christian nation. I do not need to revise history in order to make George Washington into a professing Christian so that God could use him. Throughout history, God has used the unlikely, the unqualified, and even the irreverent to do His will. Remember, for a time He even directed Pharaoh, who was holding the people of Israel in slavery, in order to accomplish His purpose.

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Not a Theocracy

We must remember that although we have long referred, at least until recently, to the United States as a Christian nation, we are not a theocracy. That is what Islamic governments attempt to institute through the implementation of Sharia law. Author James S. Stewart (The Life and Teaching of Jesus Christ, Abington) states that the zealots in Jesus’ time attempted to nationalize religion. We dare not fall into that trap in America. Perhaps today a Christian nationalized religion. What about tomorrow? The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States declares, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” and Article VI specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Those are important protections that we must defend and not undermine by public efforts to impose our own Christian test as a qualification for service.

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Randall Bach serves as president of Open Bible Churches after over 40 years of diverse leadership experience with Open Bible. He has served as vice president, executive director of church ministries, executive director of communications, and director of Christian education and youth for Open Bible Churches, president of Open Bible College, and executive director of Eastern Region Open Bible Churches. Randall earned a Master’s in Organizational Leadership (MOL) degree from Regent University and was recipient of the Outstanding Project Award from Regent’s School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Randall and Barbara, his wife, are partners in ministry with hearts to “build up the body