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What Pastor Robert Jeffries Should Have Said

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

At last week’s Values Voters Summit, a Texas pastor stirred up a hornet’s next by the introduction he gave Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry as well as the comments he made to the news media afterwards. The pastor was rightly attempting to make the case that a candidate’s theology matters, but he might have actually hurt his cause more than he helped it in the way flawed way he delivered the message. Were I in his shoes, I would have said this instead.

I want to welcome you, my brothers and sisters in the faith and my fellow Americans, to this tipping point moment in our nation’s history.

This is a time for choosing. Will we, as a people, once and for all abandon the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God that made this nation a light that inspired millions in an otherwise dark world -- or will we experience another great awakening that revives the soul of this nation in a way those historic Great Awakenings made the founding of this constitutional republic possible in the first place?

This is a time for choosing. I believe that in order to preserve our God-given rights and freedoms for ourselves and the following generations we must resist the temptation to seek a seat at the table of a political party or popular culture more than we seek the approval of the God who sent His son to save us.

Now, more than ever, this nation needs values voters to assert those values, and to put principles ahead of the political process.

This is a time for choosing. You will see several candidates on this stage today. One of these candidates will attempt to smooth-talk you in order to divert your attention from his record. It’s not a candidate’s religion that is of preeminence as much as it is their record.

That’s not to say that what someone believes about the nature of God and the nature of man isn’t important, because it is. More than likely, a candidate’s answer to those questions will give you a preview of what their record will be while in office.

However, what you’re really looking for isn’t a statement of faith. What you’re looking for is integrity, which is a consistency of belief and behavior.

Right now there is a candidate that is considered to be the frontrunner who lacks that integrity, and some people claiming to be Christian leaders are aiding and abetting his deception.

That candidate is Mitt Romney.

Romney by his own admission is a Mormon. Therefore, Romney’s religion is not Christian orthodoxy. Make no mistake. Mormonism and Christian orthodoxy are not reconcilable.

As Dr. Albert Mohler recently pointed out, from a Christian perspective Mormonism is a new religion, complete with its own cannon, its own clergy, its own rituals, and its own teachings. Most importantly, those teachings are a repudiation of historic Christian orthodoxy — and were claimed to be so from the moment of Mormonism’s founding. Mormonism rejects orthodox Christianity as the very argument for its own existence, and it clearly identifies historic Christianity as a false faith.

Mormonism starts with an understanding of God that rejects the Trinity. The Mormon concept of God includes many gods, not one. Furthermore, Mormonism teaches that we are now what God once was and are becoming what He now is. This is in direct conflict with historic Christianity, which says God is holy and immutable.

Mormonism rejects the Bible as the sole and sufficient authority for the faith, and insists that The Book of Mormon and other writings constitute God’s final revelation. Nothing makes the distinction between Mormonism and historic Christianity more clear than the experience of reading The Book of Mormon. The very subtitle of The Book of MormonAnother Testament of Jesus Christ — makes one of Mormonism’s central claims directly and candidly: That we need another authority to provide what is lacking in the New Testament.

The Mormon doctrine of sin is not that of Biblical Christianity, nor is its teaching concerning salvation. Rather than teaching that the death of Christ is alone sufficient for the forgiveness of sins, Mormonism says sinners are not justified by faith alone, but also by works of righteousness and obedience. Mormonism’s teachings concerning Jesus Christ start with a radically different understanding of the Virgin Birth and proceed to a fundamentally different understanding of Christ’s work of salvation.

By its very nature, Mormonism borrows Christian themes, personalities, and narratives. Nevertheless, it rejects what orthodox Christianity affirms and it affirms what orthodox Christianity rejects. It is not orthodox Christianity in a new form or another branch of the Christian tradition. By its own teachings and claims, it rejects any claim of continuity with orthodox Christianity. There are, no doubt, many Mormons who are not fully aware of the teachings of their church. Nevertheless, the doctrines and teachings of the LDS church are there for all to see.

Thus, it is not religious bigotry to state clearly that Mormonism is not Christianity. Taking Mormonism on its own terms, one finds a comprehensive set of teachings and doctrines that are self-consciously set against historic Christianity. The larger world may be confused about this, but as Christians we cannot make this error, for we are certain that the consequences are eternal.

However, there is a such thing as common grace, where God makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust. For example, we lack any certifiable proof that several of our most beloved Founding Fathers were born-again Christians, yet we can see in the principles they stood for that they understood the general revelation of the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, and that our rights come from God and not from the government.

Even though the specific historical claims of Mormonism are contrary to Christian orthodoxy, the reality is that Mormons have also stood for righteousness in the public square with more boldness in recent years than have many Christians. We should applaud them and encourage them in that fight, even while we also pray for them to follow the only true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, it is not Mr. Romney’s religion that disqualifies him from the presidency. It is Mr. Romney’s record.

It is Romney’s record of promoting a socialist takeover of healthcare in his state, signing into law tax-payer funded baby-murder for only $50 per abortion, his decades-long and ongoing promotion of homosexuality, the scores of leftist and unconstitutional judges he appointed as governor, the marriage licenses to homosexuals that he personally signed, and his being exposed numerous times for lying about who he is and his record that disqualifies him from the presidency, and certainly from getting the votes of Christians.

The truth is, this record should also disqualify Romney from getting the vote of his fellow Mormons, for his record repudiates much of the moral teaching of his own church.

This is a time for choosing. Will we choose integrity, and thus return to the civic virtue that once prompted God to shed His grace on thee, or will we spend another generation wandering in the desert aimlessly chasing after the golden calf of a seat at Caesar’s table.

Jesus is Lord of all, or he is Lord not at all. As for me and my house, we will choose the Lord.

God bless you, and may we bless God by our obedience to Him. For if we will not be ruled by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants or the untrustworthy.

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