Dwight McKissic Rebukes Franklin & Billy Graham for Compromising Biblical Principles to Win an Election; Says Robert Jeffress’ Endorsement of Romney is ‘Inconsistent’

by Dwight McKissic

While touring the Dead Sea Scroll Exhibit recently, at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with President Paige Patterson, Governor Rick Perry, and twenty other Dallas-Ft. Worth pastors and Christian leaders, I was privileged to meet for the first time the pastor of the First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX, Pastor Robert Jeffress. Recognizing who he was from television appearances and public photos—upon seeing Dr. Jeffress, I immediately extended my hand and said to him, without introducing myself, “I appreciate your voice of righteousness to our nation.” He also recognized me upon sight and almost simultaneously said to me, “Pastor McKissic, I’ve quoted you across this country, ‘Don’t equate my skin with your sin.’” I then told Pastor Jeffress, I’d heard he was using my quote, and I was thankful that he confirmed that. That’s basically the sum total of our brief chance meeting.

Dr. Jeffress was indeed a voice for righteousness when he described Governor Romney’s Mormon faith as a “cult.” In October 2011, while endorsing Governor Perry for President, Jeffress told reporters, “Every true, born again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian.” Jeffress referred to Romney then as a “conservative out of convenience” who “does not have a consistent track record on the subject of marriage, on the sanctity of life.” He further stated, “I just do not believe that we as conservative Christians can expect him to stand strong for the issues that are important to us.”

Fast forward to today and Dr. Jeffress is still a voice of righteousness believing that Mormonism is still a cult, and that civil rights and gay rights are not proper parallels.

However, Jeffress has made a major switch regarding his initial theology/politics, inasmuch as he now embraces Romney for President-even as a “non-Christian” member of a “cult” over President Barack Obama who is a Christian, but does not hold a biblical worldview with regard to same-sex marriage and abortion. Perhaps, therein lays Jeffress dilemma—an ultimate decision to support Romney.

I can appreciate Pastor Jeffress not compromising his conviction—and one that I share—that Mormonism is a cult. However, my conscience and conviction will not allow me to vote for an individual who on more than one occasion has expressed a certain antipathy toward the poor and who, when given an opportunity to distance himself from the racist history and teaching in Mormon documents in a 2008 Tim Russert interview, Governor Romney refused to do so. Mormon “sacred text” refers to “dark skinned” people as “cursed,” “unattractive,” “filthy,” “despised” and “loathsome.” Voting for Mitt Romney given these viewpoints, expressed in his “Bible,” is a switch and compromise that I simply cannot make. I would rather fight than switch.

I applaud and appreciate Dr. Jeffress being a voice of righteousness on pro-life issues, gay-marriage issues and the civil rights vs. gay rights issue. However, I would be less than honest if I didn’t acknowledge that Pastor Jeffress’ switch is seen by many in the Black Community as inconsistent at best.

Evangelist Billy Graham historically has been a highly respected figure in the Black Community. Long before it was popular, he insisted on his meetings being racially inclusive, befriended Black preachers (including Dr. King) and singers and publically disagreed with Dr. W.A. Criswell’s segregation views, prior to his “open door” conversion. Billy Graham was highly regarded in the home I grew up in and viewed as a man whose heart was in the right place regarding issues of race.

However, Billy Graham’s recent departure from his lifelong practice of not engaging in partisan politics, and his removing the Mormon Religion from his website as a cult has generated a lot of discussion among Black pastors. The impression Graham’s decision leaves is that for the sake of electing Mitt Romney as President, he is willing to declassify Mormonism as a cult and engage in partisan politics for the first time in 94 years of living.

The question many are asking is, “why”? And, why now? If nominal Southern Baptists as Bill Clinton and Al Gore occupied the White House at the current moment, the question is would Billy Graham have made the same decision? Even Ed Stetzer andRichard Land have taken a softer view on labeling Mormonism as a cult. Why? Stetzer and Land want to label Mormonism a fourth great world religion. Why? Unbelievable! Are Southern Baptists that desperate to elect Mitt Romney?

The Southern Baptist Convention unanimously approved a resolution condemning President Obama’s position on gay marriage and his view of equating gay rights with civil rights—but refused to even bring to the floor for a vote a resolution condemning racism in Mormon documents. The question is why would Southern Baptists approve of one, while rejecting the other? Could it be that on both sides of the racial divide, that our theology is driven more by race, culture and economics than it is by theology, righteousness and the common good? The SBC’s refusal to condemn Mormon racist text aligns itself with the BGEA declassification of Mormonism being a cult. Both decisions were driven by placing partisan politics above theological integrity and accuracy.

This election will leave the country and Christians racially polarized and divided even more so than the 2008 Election. The tacit evangelical endorsement of Mormonism will pay long term negative consequences on evangelicalism and politics. The Graham announcements affirm Black Christians, who vote for President Obama because it demonstrates that political, cultural and economic expediency, sometimes trumps theological and moral considerations in voting decisions. We see this on both sides of the racial divide.

I’ve been asked the question several times, why is it that Black Christians vote for Democratic candidates overwhelmingly in light of the Democrats position on gay rights and abortion? Black Christians tend to prioritize social and economic justice issues (which are also life issues) and they consider those moral issues as well. Black Christians tend to compromise their faith on pro-life and gay rights issues in order to vote for the party that they perceive will best deliver social and economic justice. The White evangelical church in this election is willing to compromise their beliefs on Mormonism and racial and gender accountability in order to support Mitt Romney. Black and White Christians vote for the party and the president that they perceive will best empower them. They simply view empowerment and priorities differently.

For those who ask, how can President Obama be a Christian and hold non-Christian views on abortion and gay marriage?: The answer is the same way Anglo Baptists/Evangelical slaveholders were Christians but wrong about slavery and denying women the right to vote. Make no mistake about it:  President Obama and the Democrats are wrong on the issues of gay marriage and abortion. But just as Billy Graham is willing to declassify Mormonism as a cult in order to promote Romney, Blacks have prioritized economic and justice issues in order to elevate poor and historically oppressed people. I have burdens in my bosom concerning both parties. Therefore, I will be content to cast a write-in vote for Jesus Christ, and live with the results of who God sovereignly allows to become the next President.

If President Obama wins, I will take solace in the fact that Republicans will not be rewarded for their blatant disrespect of President Obama. Such as shouting “you lie” to him from the hall of Congress; the Governor of Arizona shaking her finger in his face; Laura Ingram referring to the President as, “you fool”; and I could cite many more disrespectful and racial attitudes and actions displayed toward President Obama, including declassifying Mormonism as a cult.

If Mitt Romney wins, I would hope that he would honor his commitment (though his history does not give me full hope) to stop same-sex marriage in its tracks and actually lead the Congress to adopt a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage. If that happens, I will be eternally grateful and give God praise that my grandchildren will not grow up in a world where same-sex marriage is considered legal, sane and normal.

Although I’m not a Calvinist, I am perfectly content to trust the sovereignty of God in this election and praise His Name regardless to the outcome. I simply pray as a nation and as a church that we can come together in unity when the election is over.

Bart BarberDave Miller and Howell Scott need to be taken seriously regarding this matter of sounding a clarion call concerning the declassification of Mormonism as a cult sooner, rather than later. Is a cult only a cult until one of its members wins a major party presidential nomination and their opponent is a Black Christian who believes in gay marriage and abortion?

Pastor Jeffress and Evangelist Graham have a right to endorse and vote for Mitt Romney for President, just as Pastor Otis Moss and Pastor Frederick Haynes have a right to support President Obama for reelection.

What Billy Graham does not have the right to do is to declassify Mormonism as a cult without the larger evangelical community throwing the “red flag.” If evangelicalism does not throw the “red flag” before the election, that is even a greater sign of our political and racial divide. We ought to be able to come together in unity and make it clear that Mormonism is a cult even if Black Christians and White Christians vote for different candidates. The unity of the faith is at stake here (John 17:21)!

6 thoughts on “Dwight McKissic Rebukes Franklin & Billy Graham for Compromising Biblical Principles to Win an Election; Says Robert Jeffress’ Endorsement of Romney is ‘Inconsistent’

  1. This was a well thought out analysis of the current situation we face in this Nation. Many will continue to support the position that they hold and I for one can say that my Vote is for Jesus as well. Once we as disciples stand for His values, then we will move back toward the sovereignty that He had before a King was sought to rule the people of God.

  2. Hello,
    I appreciate the integrity of this article very much and I definitely agree with your conclusion. I myself fall into various categories touched on here: Christian, Black, Female, however politically, I identify myself as an Independent voter. I have claimed Christ as my Lord for 22 years, and as much as I believe that gives him his rightful authority in my life, I realize that Christ shunned becoming a political figure and invited people to come to him on a personal level because salvation comes through faith apart from the law. For me, it’s imperative that Christianity avoid leveraging politics and politics avoid exploiting Evangelical faith because we know where this ends. Throughout history, every time government attempted to impose Christianity on its citizens, the message of Christ and the Cross were inevitably compromised and exploited, leaving people with a bad taste towards Christ or a misplaced belief that they were secure in Christ because their country was “Christian.” I used to argue that “separation of church and state” were not in the constitution, and it is not. However, this nation was founded by those seeking freedom from the Church of England or who were banished to the Americas by the Roman Catholic church. Invariably, the Christianization of Native Americans also led to the extermination of many people groups as well as histories, due to the demand that Natives convert or else. This is not unlike modern Islamic or Communist nations where Christians suffer persecution or execution. I would not want to be a Christian in an Islamic run nation, and I would hate for any non Christian to fear living in a Christian nation – especially since Protestants rarely agree on much. (As a woman in a Christian nation, can I wear my hair braided? Can I wear makeup? Can I wear pants? Must I marry the guy who raped me when I was 13? Am I able to go to work while on my period? Can I teach in schools and universities? Do I have kill someone who is gay or rebellious towards their parents? While your Evangelical beliefs may find these questions ridiculous, the Evangelical beliefs of so many others don’t, such as my old Southern Baptist Pastor, who believed it was a sin for me to wear pants or listen to Urban Contemporary Gospel music because its rhythmic roots were in African occultic ceremonies. My Bible doesn’t teach me that. Yet that was the law in that church. Likewise, how do I reconcile God’s first and timeless order to take care of the earth and yet support the depleting of natural resources from the earth? Shouldn’t my Christianity make me an environmentalist?) This is why I believe in separation of Church and State.

    I wanted to contribute another perspective on 2 things you mentioned in this article.
    You stated: “Black Christians tend to compromise their faith on pro-life and gay rights issues in order to vote for the party that they perceive will best deliver social and economic justice.”

    For me, I don’t feel that I compromise my pro-life views or my views on homosexuality to vote for a particular party. For me, these are issues in which the Bible has a huge say… however, our country isn’t run by the Bible. I find that African American women (or couples) who find themselves contemplating abortion rarely agonize over the legality of it. Rather, it is their faith and own moral views that even make it a “decision” rather than a no-brainer. I don’t believe in abortion, however, as women were having dangerous abortions before it was legal, we know that legality is not the reason why they have abortions. I think the real pro-life fight is in education and creating option. Also, I find it ponderous that people advocate for a pro-life agenda touting that adoption is an option, but they don’t actually adopt any children. I also find it strange that the majority of abortions are had by white women rather than Black women since Black women typically find abortion morally wrong or at least conflicting and usually opt to raise their children without fathers while receiving help from the government, yet the cause of Pro-Life is promoted by the same party who uses welfare like a scarlet letter, and at the same time rallied behind the Catholic position of not covering birth control. Well, that’s an interesting situation that gets created. I certainly don’t think prenatal genocide is the answer to poverty, yet I’m left to wonder what the plan is – sterilization? The same mothers who don’t want their babies, don’t have health coverage to see doctors for pre-natal care, which endangers the baby (though that would be covered under Obamacare). They don’t have money to raise special needs children and some of them are practically children themselves. Ultimately, some of these unwanted children grow up abused or neglected by 1 or both of their parents, some grow up as wards of the state, others grow up in their grand parents homes, and a good portion of these children are raised in part or in whole on federal dollars that Republicans want to reduce or eliminate. Basically, abortion is not the problem, it’s just a horrible option that not everyone chooses, and so many women chose before it was legal. We can’t afford to pretend that the issue of unwanted pregnancies will go away if we just outlaw it. That is the real issue and it is a moral, economic, and health issues that affect communities and needs to actually be addressed. I’m quite surprised that the Evangelical community hasn’t taken up abstinence as it’s banner cause – since unwanted babies come from sex. My point here is that Blacks Christians don’t opt to compromise our pro-life beliefs, that’s a message we preach from the pulpits and in our homes, which is why minorities don’t have as many abortions as white women. But it’s also why we have high numbers of single parent homes and teen pregnancies. We preach abstinence so hard in our Black churches (as we should) that we often don’t create a place of grace when our girls get pregnant. Mind you, if they don’t get pregnant, then they can be second virgins and we’ll celebrate them, but if they do get pregnant there is just judgement for them. We really live with this reality and we haven’t figured out what Jesus would do yet. Mind you, at the Baptist church I belonged to before my current church, I was the only single woman who did not have a child. So as no one gets eager to judge that church, keep in mind that a lot of these children came into the world before their mothers came to Christ and the church was just a microcosm of that geographic community. Not voting for a Pro-Life candidate, who by the way doesn’t have the constitutional power to actually undo Roe v Wade, isn’t a matter of compromise, but a matter of focusing on the root problem.

    My last point on abortion, is a personal one. I recall fearfully wondering if I, a preacher’s kid, would have to have an abortion so my parents could keep their ministry jobs and my sister and I could stay in Christian school after I became sick following being raped by my pastor’s teenage son at age 13. I fortunately was not pregnant. However, I was able to understand the agony a person goes through when they start trying to figure out what they can do when they find themselves in a horrible situation. Abortion was not the answer to my problem, but I can understand how the fear can push one to consider it. Legal or not, fear drives that decision. Also, I would add, that the possibility of being pregnant at 13 was not the problem either. And focusing on abortion rights would have done nothing at all to fix the problem of my sexual abuse.

    Moving on, you stated: “For those who ask, how can President Obama be a Christian and hold non-Christian views on abortion and gay marriage?: The answer is the same way Anglo Baptists/Evangelical slaveholders were Christians but wrong about slavery and denying women the right to vote.”

    There are a few problems with this. Note that I don’t use the phrase “gay rights.” When it comes to homosexuality, I believe that the Bible is very clear. I also believe that the Constitution, the Bill of Right, and the Declaration are very clear, as is the oath that the President took in January nearly 4 years ago. Our country was founded on this statement: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It’s had to be argued that “all men” applied to women and to non-whites, I don’t think sexual orientation should be the exception. I DO NOT believe that “gay rights” is that same thing as “black rights,” however I do believe rights for gays is a matter of human rights. Homosexuals are humans and therefore entitled to human rights. They are US citizens and there fore entitled to their constitutional rights. It is not appropriate for a President of the United States to say that US citizens should be denied human or constitutional rights. NOW, I know the fear is that churches will be forced to marry gay couples. Personally, as one who has had to help battered friends escape and hide from their husbands, I wish the church used more discretion in the heterosexual couples that they married, never the less the church has always had the right to refuse to marry someone… which the church used horrendously in deny to marry interracial couples. Perhaps the fight should be to preemptively ensure that the constitutional rights of a Christian institutions to uphold their beliefs will not be trounced by Federal government… so long as we’re not talking about the KKK who feel that they are Christian.

    Now, what I find ironic is that despite the fact this issue won’t be decided by the President, but has been decided by the voters, the courts and the state legislative bodies, all of these Evangelical Christians actually believe that a Mormon who was the product of his grandfather’s polygamous relationship and a missionary and preacher in the Mormon church would actually defend the wording of “ONE man and ONE woman.”

    Basically, as I tell everyone, if you want laws that reflect your beliefs, then you need to put more attention on who you put in congress since they actually make the laws and can stay in power a lot longer than a President. Senators serve for 6 years and they have no term limits and while they are supposed to represent the interests of their home state, they often vote along party lines OR in favor of corporate doners and special interests. THAT’S where the real concern needs to be.

    Also, for the record, let’s look at Romney’s Record.

    ROMNEY IS PRO-CHOICE. Or at least that was his platform when he ran for Governor. In his words, “I will always defend a woman’s right to choose.” Now it’d be easier to believe that he had a change of conviction if it wasn’t for the fact that he was Pro-Life before he was Pro-Choice. So, really I guess he’s just pro-getting elected.

    Likewise Romney is Pro Gay Rights or at least he was when he was governor of MA. Again though, it was probably just a matter of convenience.

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9IJUkYUbvI&feature=share)

    According to Romney himself during the second Presidential debate, Romney refused to hire qualified white men in favor of searching for qualified women. (Pro Affirmative Action?) Of course, he never argued that women should be paid the same as man, just that they should be able to get off work in time to start dinner. (Anti Affirmative Action?? That’s not very clear.)

    Also, Paul Ryan is not small government – he voted for the bank bail out.

    As for Obama, actions speak louder than words. “In the first three days after his inauguration, President Obama announced… a ban on foreign aid to groups that provide abortions or related care” – Washington Post. That meshes with my beliefs.

    But back to Mitt Romney, according to ProLife Profiles, Mitt Romney:
    - created RomneyCare which is terribly similar to ObamaCare BUT EVEN WORSE for it OPENLY FUNDS ALL ABORTIONS, ON DEMAND
    - put Planned Parenthood on the so-called “independent” board he created that offers $50 co-pay abortions
    - thereby instituted tax-funded abortion on demand two years after his orchestrated “pro-life” conversion
    - as late as 2012 says he would nominate judges in the mold of Chief Justice John Roberts (who upheld Obamacare)
    - pro-choice in ’94; pro-life in ’01; choice ’02; pro-life ’04; choice ’05; life in ’06; then funded abortion in ’06; and now in 2012 he has a “health exception,” the loophole opened by the Supreme Court’s Doe v. Bolton opinion that allows all abortions, as in Colorado for example, throughout all nine months.

    You can read more on his actual record here: http://prolifeprofiles.com/mitt-romney-abortion

    The point is, if Christians are looking for a candidate who will uphold the Christian agenda, Mitt Romney has proven the only agenda he will uphold is his personal agenda to get elected.

  3. Being President of the United States is a complex job. Anyone who is elected is supposed to President of all of the people, the Christians, non-Christians, atheists, agnostics, heathens, hedonists, etc. The job is no joke. I am certain that every person who was ever elected had to swallow hard on some issue that he personally detested but had to espouse it nonetheless. Lincoln signed the law giving former slaves citizenship and the right to vote while still holding the firm conviction that Black folks were inferior, so designated by God. Buried within this awesome job is the “swallowing hard.” You call it compromise. It is so simplistic to self righteously point the finger. The Word points out numerous conflicts like this. When Jesus met the woman at the well, He could have denounced her, but He didn’t. He blessed her and sent her on her way. When the Jews dragged the adultery-committing woman before him and said, “Stone her.” Jesus didn’t pick up a rock. He said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” No one elected to the high office of President is going to be perfect, but before we toss out the person who is there, I think we should ponder carefully as to what we are trading him in for! It is not a secret that Mitch McConnell & company have done nothing save throw sand in the gears of our ship of state to “Make Barack Obama a 1-term president.” I ask all of you…If Romney wins, will it be a Pyrrhic victory? How much are we as a nation prepared to pay for racism & paranoia? 47% is too high a number of citizens to simply dismiss as freeloaders, victims, dishonorable folk who deserve no sympathy, no right to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. I would ask every person of faith to join me in praying for those who need prayer, whether they agree with our politics or not and leave their “fixing” to God.

  4. may i ask why you hold such favor with barrack obama? your talking about a man who is okay with the crisifiction of christ to be incased in urine and displayed as art in a museum. or how he covered up the cross when speaking at a catholic university, or how about all the innocent children he is content with murdering. do you think jesus christ would take the life of a child even for rape? would jesus christ compromise? all those who call themselves christians and support barrack obama will be judged as enemies of the cross. all christians have no excuse when they do evil. you know a good tree by its fruit. and any tree that doesnt bear good fruit will be burned. lets not forget obama said jesus is not the only way to heaven. god forgive him

  5. read the bible please. barrack obama is no more a christian than king harod was who cut the head off john the baptizer. as for mitt romney you know his religion but you dont know him. you know barrack obama. he is a supporter of child killing. and jesus christ himself said it would be better for a man to put a millstone around his neck and jumo in a lake. barrack obama has done many evils including saying jesus isnt the truth the light and the way. you know a good tree by its fruit, and all trees that wont bear good fruit will be chpped down and put in the fire. the people who support them are no better than the people they support. every dead childs life on obamas hands are on the voters who voted him in. may god forgive you and change you from your wicked ways

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