By Ron Wood / guest columnist
On one side, we have President Barack Obama, a Democrat with a Muslim childhood. One the other side, we have Mitt Romney, a Republican steeped in the Mormon faith. Both profess to be Christians. Both were shaped by a religion that seems strange to many of us. Let’s examine the beliefs that still shape the thinking of these two men.
Mr. Obama said he was raised and attended school where the Muslim religion was practiced. This life experience gives him an ability to communicate with Muslims. We saw this when he addressed a huge crowd in Egypt in 2009.
With rioting and Embassy attacks in the Middle East, it remains to be seen if Mr. Obama’s perspective will better serve American interests and the cause of liberty more effectively in that region.
That won’t be easy. The Muslim religion wields great power. It controls the culture of any nation where it takes root. Islam holds a billion people in its grip. In sharia-law areas like Nigeria, Islam exhibits violent intolerance of Christians or of freedom of speech. In Iran, a Christian pastor was recently spared execution thanks to global pressure.
The Koran – Islam’s holy book – is often the only book Muslim’s read. It is learned by chanting verses aloud which indoctrinates the mind. Girls are not given any education. Overseas, Muslims will kill for disrespecting Mohammed or the Koran. On the other hand, we Christians have endured centuries of scholarly examination. Our Holy Bible’s history has been thoroughly verified… by its critics!
Mr. Romney was raised in a Mormon home. In his youth he was a Mormon missionary. Later he served as an overseer. The Mormon faith is deeply ingrained in him. His family values, his role as a father, and his love for God are genuine.
The Mormon religion is now the fourth largest denomination in the USA. Mormon origins are distinctly “pioneer American.”
In their development, they had a prophet who gave them extra instructions, words unfamiliar to us traditional Christians. Do they have error? In my opinion they do. Are they Christians? They seem to be and they claim to be. Their favorite song is “Amazing Grace!” I truly appreciate them as a people.
But being a lover of the Bible, I prefer my orthodox sola-scriptura biblical doctrine.
But at election time I will be voting for a president not a pastor. I want an honest leader who has American values, who will defend the Constitution, who will keep us safe from our enemies, and who will help get our country out of its economic crisis.
When Barak Obama was elected, I was proud that America could choose a black man. Four years later, I am sad that his values seem to be shaped by socialism, not the individual freedoms and responsibilities that made us the greatest nation on earth.
Ron Wood is pastor of Trinity Assembly of God, located on Chandler Road and State Boulevard in Meridian. Church website: www.trinitymeridian.com.