Top Southern Baptist official Richard Land breaks pledge, endorses Romney

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RNS photo courtesy Fred Thompson/FLickr (

RNS photo courtesy Fred Thompson/FLickr (

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(RNS) Breaking a longstanding personal pledge, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land has endorsed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, saying next week's election is the most important since Abraham Lincoln's win in 1860 and he can no longer stay silent. By David Gibson

  • Thomas Mitchell

    I am not going to vote in this year’s presidential election. I will vote in the other races on the ballot, but cannot in good conscience cast a ballot for any of the candidates for President. Why? Both major party candidates, Romney and Obama, meet the Biblical definition of false teacher and we are instructed not to give our support to such men. I have concluded that they are not simply flawed men like those among whom we have had to choose in the past, but manifest a spirit of evil that should not have the support of a Christ follower. In Georgia, the only other choice we have is Libertarian Gary Johnson – pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage, and holding many of the other questionable views that Libertarians often have. For what I think should be obvious reasons, that is an unacceptable choice as well.

    Romney is not only Mormon, but was a high ranking leader in that group – a teacher. Among other heretical teachings, Mormon doctrine rejects the doctrine of the Trinity, but does so by teaching that Father, Son and Holy Ghost are not of the same substance, and that Jesus was a created being that has become a god. This teaching contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture found in John 1 and as a result meets the definition of false teacher found in 1 John 4:1-3, a definition explained throughout 1 John. 2 John 10-11 teaches that if we even give such men a greeting we participate in their deeds. I feel that voting for such a man, giving him my imprimatur, would make me a participant in his false teaching. I understand that some can distinguish 2 John by noting that he is running to be President, not coming to us as a teacher. Is that a distinction that really makes a difference under these circumstances? I do not believe so.

    Furthermore, I do not trust his “evolution” on abortion and gay marriage/civil unions. Here is a perfect example of why discerning believers should not be fooled by Romney and should be very careful about expressing support for him from a basis of biblical values. On October 11 he met with Billy Graham. In the days that follow the Grahams’ website is scrubbed of references to Mormonism as a cult and the plans are laid for running those “biblical values” ads, apparently with the help of David Jeremiah. The ads begin running on October 17 – the same day that Romney (himself apparently) and senior advisors met with, cut a deal with and obtain the endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans, part of which is NOT to advocate for a constitutional amendment on marriage and perhaps NOT to oppose challenges to DOMA – things he has been promising since the primaries and at least as of last week was still featured on his website. This is according to an article on Land’s website entitled “Why a Romney White House May Not be Unfriendly to Gays. Within a period of six days Romney sat face to face with Billy Graham and the gay sub-group of the Republican party and obtained the endorsement of both. How does that happen? Also there was his slip in Iowa where he acknowledged that his legislative agenda would not include pro-life legislation.

    Obama speaks about Christian faith. He lectures and instructs those that listen, but then articulates beliefs that are not Biblical. Further, he articulates those unbiblical beliefs as arising out of his Christian faith, contrary to Jude 4. His “evolution” on homosexual marriage is the most egregious example of this conduct. He idolizes human institutions, especially government. Moreover, his stance on the legalized killing of children is simply reprehensible. Finally, and this has become more obvious in the last year, Obama is clearly more interested in supporting Islamic concerns than Christian ones. I am not saying he is Muslim. I am not contending that an American president should be a Christian theocrat. An American president should not, however, claim a Christian faith and then pander to Muslims, especially to the detriment of Christians as well as national security (which is one of his primary responsibilities). I will say he provides no evidence that he walks in the light, and the evidence suggests that he walks in darkness. He holds himself out as a teacher, and thus also runs afoul of 1 John 4:1-3.

    Luther reportedly said he would rather be lead by a wise Turk than a dumb Christian. Fortunately we do not yet have to make such a choice. We, however, have two professing Christians that meet the Biblical definition of false teacher. Obama proclaims faith, but then professes unbiblical, abominable positions as resulting from that faith. Romney was a bishop and stake president in a cult, and his ascendency cannot but result in more souls being led astray. I cannot in good conscience vote for either. Abstention is the best approach this year.

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    Mr. Mitchell, it is not at all clear that most of the men who held the office of presidency in the early decades of the United States could meet your criteria for being dedicated and sincere Trinitarians. Certainly Jefferson did not, and Washington’s religious beliefs were not apparently concerned with subtle distinctions about theology. Nor is there evidence that Lincoln was concerned about Trinitarian orthodoxy.

    On the other hand, being affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention did not make Jimmy Carter competent, nor did it make Bill Clinton less of an adulterer and blatant liar. In what way did that pro-forma trinitarian orthodoxy do anything for the citizens of the United States?

    Mitt Romney DOES believe in the reality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. He has taken his faith seriously enough to devote many hours of his time, unpaid, to serve his neighbors, including providing food and financial aid to the unemployed and disabled. For the last 13 years he could have stayed on course as CEO of one of the most profitable companies in the US, and become a billionaire, but instead he has been devoting himself and his resources to public service, from the Olympics to service as governor in Massachusetts, to now being a candidate for the presidency. His lack of Trinitarian orthodoxy has not stopped him from being a man who has put the needs of other human beings before his own, and from being the kind of person whom most people call “Christian” in his behavior and character.

    I hope you will decide to join the rest of us out here in the real world, where you can take responsibility for doing your small part as a voter to protect American constitutional government from Barack Obama and his blatant disregard of the legal and constitutional limits on his power.