Welcome to the new feature for “Salt and Light.” I have asked my pastor, Dr. Dennis Brunet to help shed some light on very contemporary and somewhat controversial issues. We will be exploring why evangelicals take the stands they do. Stay tuned!
Also, if you haven’t got yours yet, you’re going to want to get a copy of my book, “Understanding Evangelicals: A Guide to Jesusland.” Just hit the link on the lower righthand column and it will take you to Amazon.
Here is Part 2 of Bro Dennis’ stance on a Mormon President. Some readers may find these comments disturbing, especially if you are of the Mormon faith. If you would like to send comments to Bro Dennis, please email Salt and Light. Please keep you comments polite and constructive; any vulgarity or disrespectful language will result in your email being immediately deleted.
S&L: And I don’t know that that was even possible of JFK when he said that because you have to…I had a conversation with a co-worker and wondered, what does that say if he’s telling you that… “My record of 14 years of supporting public education, supporting complete separation of church and state, and resisting pressure from any source on any issue should be clear by now to everyone.” What he’s saying is then is his personal religious beliefs are compartmentalized and don’t affect his everyday decision making in the public sector. And that to me as a biblical Christian…I’m going to call myself an evangelical in the old…with the definition I used in my book…but…
Brother Dennis: (leans forward towards recorder) yeah…and his book was very good by the way…
S&L: (laughs)…that makes me wonder about his beliefs then? How do you…one thing we teach here (at Midway Baptist Church) as a Sunday school teacher…one thing I try is to get people to adapt a biblical worldview, to not compartmentalize their beliefs, without us trying to beat people over the head and say its my way or the highway. We’re trying to change hearts.
Brother Dennis: But take JFK’s statement within the context of the 50’s, okay, although he said in 1960, you can’t take it as a 60’s concept…
S&L: Right, because it was early 1960…
Brother Dennis: That’s right. The 50’s…well there’s just some things we just, hey, the man said it; the man said it. There was an amazing naiveness…it’s also part of the problems of the 60’s came out of the naiveness of the 50’s, where there were certain pressures and trends. The “happy days” of going to make out on the…
S&L: …Lookout Hill.
Brother Dennis: Yeah, okay, now that might make funny television, but it lead to the hellishness of the 60’s. You understand? So when he’s coming through, I can see the naiveness and the propriety and the climate at that day of saying, it’s not relevant that I want this stress. It’s not relevant what pressures, if any, might conceivably be brought on me. People wanted to see things in a very sweet way coming out of World War II, you know, yes, Korea’s gone. Here we are, let’s be…maybe it’s time…hey doesn’t he look good…isn’t this Camelot or whatever?
But now days, now that we’ve come through and our society is far more cynical and far less believing and trusting. For him to say, I want you to believe me… (reads from JFK statement) “And you have at the same time placed your confidence in me and my ability to render a free and fair judgment.”
We don’t do that anymore…so he couldn’t get away…I’m not saying he wouldn’t get elected, because he was very charismatic…especially against his opponent (Nixon). But today, the avenues of discussion, the intensity of scrutiny, and the lack of respect…they will cut you no slack…they will get you! And he couldn’t have had the womanizing going on without these things coming to light, big time!
And so if he (Romney) wants to pull the JFK approach, I believe he is absolutely foolish because this country is far down the river from this (points at JFK statement). And what’s going to matter to people across the board, and even among like the evangelical of you just spoke, and not whether he believes in Jesus. That’s not going to…many of them have abandoned the biblical Jesus…but on two fronts. One is he’s holding onto a religion that claims to be the only true Christian religion; whereby he has to accept…they have no personal interpretation rights in Mormonism. He can’t say I accept this and I’ll say that and be genuine.
And then, the polygamy argument that is going to cross religious line, because even those who are not biblically based are going to say, this is crazy, this country is losing it’s mind. What? One man, seven wives? How can one man support seven wives? How many of those women are on welfare? What’s happening over there? Since when have we thrown the light of scrutiny on Utah, and really went into the sacred temple of Mormonism, which demands no audits? There’s a lot more I can say, but that’s just some warming the pot.
S&L: No, that’s some good stuff there, because…I guess for a specific answer what would one teaching of the Mormon Church that would cause a concern for a Mormon president? Where it would bring that conflict, possibly, I mean you brought up the polygamy, that’s probably the biggest one.
Brother Dennis: I think that’s the easiest one for people to see; to grab onto. I still believe that there is the problem of Mormonism’s exclusiveness that controls its members; they are highly controlled. But I don’t know how much people across the land are going to be able to get ahold of that.
Although to me their view of salvation, their rejection of Scriptures as written, their view of God as a man from another planet, Jesus being the first child from God and Mother God, denying the Trinity, baptizing the dead, many of those things are of great concern to me. And if you’re asking me specifically for the biblical Christian group, those are the areas that touch, but across the board the biggest part is the polygamy; he’s not going to be able to get away from that.
S&L: So pretty much, the more light, the more scrutiny on the Mormon faith, the more he’s going to have to explain for, is what you’re is what you’re basically saying…
Brother Dennis: Yeah…
S&L: …and it’s going to be hard for him to separate the two.
Brother Dennis: Well he’s going to have to explain why Mormonism isn’t the only Christian, quote Christian, religion, okay. A great question to him is, “Hey, y’all say the Mormons, you gotta be a Mormon to go to heaven, the Catholics say you gotta be a part of the Catholic Church to go to heaven; who’s right?
S&L Note: It is expected that many readers will take issue with Bro Dennis’ statement, “the polygamy argument that is going to cross religious line.” Many will say that polygamy is no longer officially practiced in the Mormon Church and is cause for ex-communication. This is true and Gov. Romney will be addressing the polygamy issue in the May 13 episode of “60 Minutes.” Nevertheless, polygamy is still practiced today by self-proclaimed Fundamentalist Mormons. Please read Bill McKeever’s excellent article titled, “The Polygamy Dilemma – Is Plural Marriage a Dead Issue in Mormonism?” This will explain Bro Dennis’ assertion that polygamy is not dead among Mormons and that the government is indeed supporting polygamist families in the form of food stamps.