Now that we know who the Republican candidates will be, Mitt Romney, a Mormon, and Paul Ryan, a Roman Catholic, I’m often posed the question, “Should I, as a Christian, vote for a Mormon and a Catholic?”
First of all, the question presumes neither one is a Christian. Roman Catholic doctrine subscribes to the Apostle’s Creed, the unifying creed for all expressions of Christianity. Whether or not one is, in fact, a Christian comes down to their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If they claim Him to be their personal Lord and Savior, and live to please Him, they are in the family. Many Roman Catholics do have a personal relationship with Christ, and are Christians. Mormonism is another issue.
But let’s look to the word of God as our authority for faith and practice to see how we should decide whether or not to vote for a Mormon and a Catholic. Does the Bible say we must vote for a Christian? If not, how should we vote? The first evidence we have concerning choosing godly leaders is in the book of Exodus. Moses was trying to rule the nation of Israel all by himself. Jethro, his father-in-law, told him to delegate to others, stipulating these requirements:
“But select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” –Exodus 18:20-21 (NIV)
And later God speaks through King David telling us,“The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, Ruling in the fear of God.’“–2 Samuel 23:3 (NKJV)
So, we see here that the fundamental requirement is to rule “in the fear of God.” The New Testament, particularly in Paul’s Epistles, further develops and adds detail to this requirement, but suffice it to say that God’s requirements for civic leaders calls for men (or women) who submit to God and His laws, whether they call themselves Christian or not.
Jesus tells of a father who had two sons. He asked one to go to the field to work. He said he would go but never went. The other son said he wouldn’t go, but then changed his mind and went. Jesus poses the question, “Which one did the father approve of?” (Matthew 12:28) Of course, the father approved of the one whose actions—not words—were worthy.
President Obama claims to be a Christian, but his actions illustrate otherwise. Romney and Ryan have a history of standing up for Biblical standards like the sanctity of life and traditional marriage. Their actions have demonstrated that they are men who are more likely to rule “in the fear of the Lord.” Therefore, regardless of religious labels—remember, we’re choosing civic leaders, not pastors—we should vote for the man or women who is more likely to rule, “in the fear of the Lord.” In this case, that would be Romney and Ryan.
“…it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God,” –Abraham Lincoln