Facebook is one of those places where I occasionally learn very surprising things about people I thought I knew.
A number of my Friends, for example, “Like” Mitt Romney and have declared their intention to support his candidacy for President of the United States in the November election.
This is a rather curious revelation, given that these people are quite fundamental in their Christianity. Romney, you may recall, is a Mormon. And there is some controversy about whether Mormons are Christians at all.
Generally speaking, I like Mitt Romney, too. He seems like a clean-cut, family guy, John Q. Citizen. He’d probably make a great neighbor.
Yet, it strikes me as incongruous that Bible-believers “Like” a guy whose religion may not even line up with the Bible. Mind you, these are people who have made religious positions a litmus test for determining a candidate’s suitability for office.
That said, let me make a couple of things clear.
- I don’t hate Mormons. I’ve had Mormon family members. My children’s Mormon school friends have slept-over at my house and vice versa.
- I don’t fault Mitt for being a Mormon. We have religious freedom in this country. We are free to practice any religion we choose or no religion at all. That’s the American way.
The real issue is this: For Christians, Christianity is supposed to inform our politics, not the other way around. My Facebook friends seem to have put their “Like” of Romney’s politics ahead of their love of traditional Christian belief, which contradicts core Mormon tenets.
Consider three points of disparity, corroborated by the official site of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints:
- Baptism: What’s it all about? Mormons believe baptism cleanses them of sin. In contrast, The Bible teaches that it is “Jesus Christ… who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”
Baptism in the Bible is said to depict our identification with Christ’s atoning sacrifice, signifying our death to sin and resurrection to new life in Christ.
- Salvation: Can we choose to follow Christ after death? Mormonism teaches that after death and judgment “those who never learned about Christ’s teachings or received his ordinances will have an opportunity to do so.” (see Postmortal life (Afterlife) topic).
The Bible teaches the decision to accept Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for sin must be made on this side of the grave. “Now is the day of salvation, now is the accepted time.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) After death, our fate is sealed. “It’s appointed to man once to die and then the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
- Marriage: Mormons believe that temple marriage “seals” families for eternity. In contrast, Jesus considered marriage temporal. Confronted with a woman who had married seven husbands, Jesus was asked whose wife she’d be in the resurrection. He said the question revealed error and ignorance of Scripture and God’s power.
We Americans are free to support the political candidates of our choice. Christians, however, have dual citizenship and a higher allegiance. Our responsibility, as Christ’s ambassadors, is not to represent ourselves but to “Like” what Jesus likes — even on Facebook.