(Photo: REUTERS/Jim Young)
Pastor Steven Andrew, president of USA Christian Ministries, is calling out Franklin Graham and telling him to repent after Graham said that it is acceptable for a Christian to vote for a Mormon.
“Graham is misleading Christians to vote against Scripture for Mormon Mitt Romney,” Andrew said in a statement. “God cannot bless us for betraying Jesus and voting for a non-Christian. No one comes to God except through Jesus – this includes the USA.”
In a recent interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Graham said that Mitt Romney's Mormon faith “doesn't bother me at all,” and said voters should elect a president based on the candidates' qualifications for the job, first and foremost.
In the interview, Graham called the 2012 election “the most critical election of my lifetime” and said, “You can have the nicest guy and he can be a Christian and just wonderful but have absolutely no clue as to how to run a country, you don’t want that.”
He also said that Christians need to pray for leaders in the U.S., and that we need people “who will put God's standards above everything else and who will take us back to the God of our fathers.”
But Andrew says Mormonism, the common name for the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a cult, and as such a Mormon cannot lead the nation in a godly way.
"Mormonism is secretive, recognizes none others and adds to the Bible. We can't have a president missing a true relationship with God. Do we want God to bless America?" Andrew asked. Andrew is also calling on church leaders like Pat Robertson and Joel Osteen to repent for similar statements.
"We don't want Franklin to stop standing for righteousness. We respect Franklin and others and will respect them more when they repent," said Andrew, who hopes to set up a meeting with all three church leaders.
Andrew told The Christian Post on Wednesday that he would share Bible verses with those leaders if a meeting is granted. Among those he would share with them, he says, is 2 Chronicles 19:2, in which Jehu says to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Therefore the wrath of the LORD is upon you."
USA Christian Ministries' mission, according to its website, exists to lead the U.S. to repentance, seek God in government and unite the U.S. under Christ.
According to the website's “Christian Voting Guide,” there are four keys to biblical voting. The main principles in the guide are derived from Exodus 18:21 and 2 Samuel 23:3, and it says that Christians need to vote for someone who fears God, is “able” to do the job, is truthful and hates covetousness and unjust gain.
Andrew said he believes Romney is “able” to lead but lacks the other important characteristics. He also said that Romney is the second worst candidate next to President Barack Obama, stating that both are against the church and are the least God-fearing of all the candidates.
“People like Michele Bachman, Rick Santorum have taken a bold stand for Christ, and I'm hopeful that when people start dropping out, all those votes will go to the most righteous person ... I just want the most God-fearing Christian to be in office," he said.
Franklin Graham was not available for comment on this issue by the time of publication.
According to the 2011 American Values Survey from the Public Religion Research Institute, 53 percent of voters said they would be either somewhat or very comfortable with having a Mormon president, while 42 percent said they would feel somewhat or very uncomfortable.
Just under half of white evangelical Protestant voters surveyed said they do not believe Mormonism is a Christian religion, although half of all registered voters surveyed said they think that it is.