I watched, prayed for and financially supported Dr Jerry Falwell's ministry. I did not always agree with everything he did, but I liked the way he presented the Gospel each week on his 'Old Time Gospel Hour' broadcast and gave his audience a better choice than the 'seed faith' money grabbers or the 'health and wealth' charlatans. I also liked that he gave people that could not travel to his school a chance to get a quality Christian education at home. However, now that he is gone I have to wonder what is going on in Lynchburg, Virginia?
When I heard that Mitt Romney gave the 2012 commencement address at Liberty University I was floored. I could not believe it! I watched a recording of his address online to make sure he was really there and hear what he had to say before I sat down to write this article. I wanted to be fair, however, I am certain that a lot of people will not like what I have to say about it.
I am familiar with Liberty University. I graduated from the Liberty Home Bible Institute and later went on to take classes from Liberty University at home in the 1980s. If you visit the L.U. web site, you will find that they describe their school in this manner: "Liberty University is the largest private non-profit university in the nation, the largest university in Virginia, and the largest Christian university in the world."
Not all of the classes at Liberty are for pastors, evangelists, missionaries or teachers. They offer many academic choices, but I like to think that they consider themselves distinctly 'Christian' given my experiences with them and what it says on their web site. That used to mean something. Today, it seems to indicate that inviting important and influential people without any Christian credentials to speak at an event like a commencement ceremony at a 'Christian' university is more important than providing a good example to the thousands of young people lined up to receive their diplomas.
This is nothing new. Many unsaved people are invited to speak at commencement exercises and special events at various 'Christian' universities including on other occasions that I know of at Liberty. I am not opposed to a 'Christian' university that offers many academic choices having people who have not been born again to speak at their school for the purpose of hearing about that person's experiences or expertise in certain areas of study. I am opposed to inviting someone who I believe is unsaved and a member of a cult to speak at a commencement exercise for a 'Christian' university.
Now I am not a heart inspector and have no clue whether or not Mitt Romney is or is not a born-again Christian. I have to assume that he is not since he is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. That is because I and many other conservative and evangelical Christians do not accept the LDS, or what is generally referred to as the 'Mormon' religion, as Christian. To me and most other born-again Believers it is a cult that was born less than two hundred years ago.
There are many important doctrinal differences between the teachings of the LDS and what the majority of born again Christians believe, and these are not insignificant ones. They may use much the same language as Christians when referring to God, Jesus Christ, Salvation, the Trinity, The Holy Spirit and The Bible, but their views on and beliefs about these subjects are completely different from ours and do not conform in any way, shape or manner to what the Bible teaches. It is for that reason and others that most born-again Christians consider anyone who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints to be involved with a cult.
I will not attempt to discuss or evaluate the political parts of Mitt Romney's speech at Liberty because that is not my area of expertise and I am not a political pundit. I will mention that I took great offense to these comments made by him: "Culture makes all the difference. Not natural resources, not geography, but what people believe and value. Central to America's rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life."
Although I agree with a part of his statement, I am profoundly offended by the idea that what our nation gets from its "Judeo-Christian tradition" is "goodness and possibilities of every life." In reality, what the "Judeo-Christian tradition" brought to this nation was the ability of the founders of this country to admit that God is on the throne and raises or destroys nations at his good pleasure. That tradition also brings us an important warning from the Word of God:
"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." Psalms 9:17 (KJV)
Thanks to cults like the LDS and groups such as Freedom From Religion, our nation is on the fast track to becoming anything but a nation based on Judeo-Christian beliefs. Each and every day there are legal challenges to remove the outer signs of our "Judeo-Christian tradition" from government buildings and public areas. Christian and Jewish symbols and displays are being taken down and carted away to the trash heap because those who display them cannot afford to legally challenge the people and organizations seeking their removal.
Although America is certainly a place accepting of all (or most) religions and as a citizen I am thankful for that, as a Christian I am more than well aware that God will judge a nation that turns away from Him and embraces paganism. The rise of cults and religions that teach doctrines contrary to the truths found in the Word of God is not a spiritual plus for our nation and is, in fact, moving us away from the real faith to the worship of idols, false gods and even the devil.
I am not blaming Mitt Romney for accepting the invitation to speak at the 2012 Liberty University Commencement ceremony, I am blaming the school for inviting him. Why? Because they should know better. I am saddened by the fact that in what appears to be a desire to provide an atmosphere which includes a diversity of views and the pursuit of academic excellence, the powers that be at Liberty have forgotten that God comes first and Biblical standards must outweigh anything else on their agenda.
I have heard people say that if Christian colleges and universities strictly followed the teachings of the Bible, they would not be able to educate anyone but preachers, evangelists, teachers and missionaries. Well, maybe that is all they are supposed to do? Higher education should never be about fitting the Bible into a curriculum, it should be about making a curriculum or school meet Bible standards. If Christians do not set the standard, the world will be glad to step in and do it for us.
The Bible offers a sobering warning in the Book of Ezekiel. Although it is meant for Israel, it can easily offer us a great example of what happens when the messengers (preachers) of God fail to obey him, do his will and replace truth with a lie:
"And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken. The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD." Ezekiel 22:23-31 (KJV)
God is looking for preachers, evangelists, teachers, missionaries, leaders and anyone who will obey him. I think it is sad and tragic that in the verses I just provided to you it is revealed that God could not find even one man to do his work. I am sorry to say that our nation seems to be moving in the same direction. We live in a society which has little tolerance for the things of God. It doesn't help when Christians continually embrace Apostasy by trying to imitate the World for the sake of prestige or a few headlines in the news.
Whether we like it or not, Liberty University placed their stamp of approval on Mormon-ism by allowing such a prominent member of the LDS to speak at their commencement ceremony. Already the newspapers and broadcasts are filled with stories claiming that conservative and evangelical Christians accept Mitt Romney and are impressed by the fact that he spoke at Liberty. Here is just one headline from a major publication: "How did Romney do at Liberty University? Just fine, evangelicals say."
Well I beg to differ. He did not do 'just fine' and Liberty University did not do 'just fine' by inviting him to speak at their 2012 Commencement ceremony. When the World tells you that you are doing something right with them, it is probably wrong with God:
"There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them."
Read more about the doctrinal differences between Bible Believing Christianity and The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints at the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry web site.
Read more articles and ebooks by Missionary Bill at You can Trust God Article and Ebook Directory