The same questions asked in the early church are being asked again in the 21st century. The Nicene Creed, a standard summary of Christianity, is threatened on a regular basis.
With the political scene heating up, and the Romney ticket becoming certain, the national debate is beginning to focus on the religious affiliation of candidates. This being the case, Romney’s Mormonism will take central stage again much like Kennedy’s Roman Catholicism in the 60’s.
Many evangelicals will taste the Republican pie certain of its bitter taste. However, they will claim its bitterness is tolerable. The more sophisticated evangelicals will argue that this is a necessary step, an incremental move that will bear fruit in the long term. The bottom line is Obama must go, and Romney is the likely candidate to assure this desired exit.
At the same time, there are a growing number of Christians who not only argue on the basis of Romney’s unconvincing credentials as a conservative, but also that his Mormon faith is unhealthy, and undesirable in the quest for a Christian republic.
Though many politicians play their religious syncretism with skill, Romney’s faith is unquestionably headed towards Utah. So, does this mean evangelicals need to back up in their creedal dogmatism? Or should they insist that a line is a line? Or did Athanasius die in vain?
Kennedy was quick to throw the pope under the bus. Will Romney do the same with Thomas S. Monson? Further, how will evangelicals undertake this theological analysis? Will they be able to distinguish properly between a non-Trinitarian and a worshiper of the One who is Three and One? These types of discussions will undoubtedly continue in the days ahead. Christians–many of whom I respect–have taken the “anything but” argument, and will push for a Romney presidency. If these evangelicals pursue this route–and there are many noble ones who will– may they be sure that they not confuse their Christ for an unknown god.
Mormonism–for all its moral qualities–is not Christian. Joel Osteen’s version of Jesus Christ is not Christian. His appeal to a broader view of Jesus–though politically savvy–is precisely the type of affirmation Jesus rejected. The Christian cannot afford to lose precision at this point. Our confession cannot be compromised:
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.