Romney & Driscoll at Liberty U: Blurry Vision

What a week for Liberty University, “the largest private non-profit university in the nation, the largest university in Virginia, and the largest Christian university in the world . . . with a vision to train Champions for Christ as a world class university.” (About LU) With the April 19th announcement that Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, will speak at this year’s commencement ceremony and, the giddy welcome of Mark Driscoll to the Lynchburg, VA campus on April 20th, this has been a “stellar” week for the school that Jerry Falwell built. But, with both those announcements, LU continues to blur the lines between a sound (fundamental, if you prefer) Biblical theology and a watered-down (downgraded, if you will) cultural Christianity far too enamored with the world of politics and society.

First, Governor Romney. I should be clear at the outset that, if Romney is the Republican candidate opposing President Obama in the fall, I will have no choice but to vote for Mr. Romney. I will not like it. It will be painful. But, he is nevertheless 1000x preferrable to the current occupant of the Oval Office, a man who has gone out of his way to preserve the killing of innocent human life in this country (even right up until the moment of birth). For that reason alone (and there are a host of other reasons I could list), I could never vote for President Obama.

But, I am not particularly thrilled at the prospect of having to vote for a Mormon candidate. Of course, Mr. Romney has every right to run for President and religion (or lack thereof) should never disqualify someone from running for office, including the highest office in the land. However, I am not prevented from taking into consideration a candidate’s moral/religious views when deciding whom to cast my vote for. That happens all the time in this country. I’m quite certain that there are folks who would never vote for a conservative Christian because of various views that he/she holds. I do not have a problem with that at all. That is the freedom that we enjoy courtesy of the First Amendment.

However, when it comes to speakers on self-proclaimed Christian campuses, I think that the bar needs to be set higher. In fact, Liberty University claims that they have set higher standards:

“Liberty hosts some of the world’s best-known Christian speakers from all walks of life every semester and our vibrant spiritual life programs are based on a solid doctrinal statement that truly sets us apart from other schools.” (About LU)

Of course, what LU fails to say in that statement is that they also willingly host some of the world’s best-known non-Christian speakers. For most Southern Baptists and conservative Evangelicals, Mormons would simply not fall into the category of Christian speakers. Neither Glenn Beck nor Mitt Romney would qualify as orthodox Christians, at least not by the Biblical standards that have been used at Liberty and elsewhere for the last two thousand years. I’m aware that both Beck and Romney consider themselves Christians, but I highly doubt that Liberty University would, ala Joel Osteen, proclaim Romney (and Beck) a “believer in Christ like me.” If the leadership of Liberty agrees with Joel Osteen’s opinion on this matter, then the university has far greater (and graver) problems than the Mark Driscoll visit.

I guess that Liberty sees Romney’s commencement address, much like Mark Driscoll’s convocation address and Real Marriage Conference, as great opportunities for their students and, perhaps they are. But, by their invitation to both Gov. Romney and Pastor Driscoll, Liberty University has further blurred the lines between Biblical Christianity and Cultural Christianity. They may not see it. The students at LU may not see it. The ardent defenders of Mark Driscoll may not see it. For, when you only look through one blurry lens and one clear lens, things may not appear as blurry as they really are, especially if you close the eye with the blurry vision. But, if you open both eyes and look through two blurry lens — Romney and Driscoll — at the same time, you might just get a clear picture of how blurry the vision really is at the “world’s largest Christian University.” With vision like that, “training Champions for Christ” will be a lot harder.

7 comments for “Romney & Driscoll at Liberty U: Blurry Vision

  1. Delores Humphrey
    April 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Beck is a Mormon as well. I don’t like him one bit, but at least he & Romney DO believe in Jesus though I’m not sure they know what salvation really means. ONLY God knows their heart, & He doesn’t just look on the religion, beit we consider it a cult.

    • April 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM


      Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts today. I have no doubt that both Beck and Romney “believe in Jesus,” although I’m not quite sure what that means. It is true that only God knows their hearts (or anyone’s heart for that matter). However, if we apply Scripture (which, I believe, is the foundational authority for our faith and practice), it would be clear that someone who espouses the view of Jesus that Mormons do would not be considered an orthodox, Biblical Christian. That’s why Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims — who all “believe in Jesus” — would be considered either cults or false religions. From a cultural standpoint, there are views that Mormons and Biblical Christians would agree on. But, that does not negate the fact the Mormons have a different view of who Jesus is that what we find in the Bible. Thanks again for stopping by. God bless,


  2. Lydia
    April 20, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Yes, the lines are so blurred it is hard to seperate the world from the Body. And it is frustrating that so many claim it is because some of us are uncomfortable talking about sex. I guess it is true when it is the way Driscoll laser focuses on it with detail and porn visions. Why would any pastor promote something sexual that is physically unhealthy and doctors warn against?

    But that is a false dictonomy. Driscoll style sex teaching or no teaching on sex at all.

    • April 20, 2012 at 6:32 PM


      I just read an in-depth review by a Professor at Boyce Bible College at Southern which took issue with much of Driscoll’s book, “Real Marriage.” One of the things that stood out in the review was Driscoll’s complete failure interact in any meaningful way with Ephesians 5:21f (as well as other Scripture outside of the Song of Solomon), which is perhaps the clearest Biblical passage about marriage in the Bible (and certainly the N.T.). For a Christian book on marriage not to at least mention how marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for His bride, the Church, is perplexing to say the least. Maybe the Driscolls should have titled their book, “Real Sex,” because that seems to be about how they view marriage. There is definitely a time and place to talk about sex, but the obsession that Driscoll, Ed Young, Jr. and others seem to have with talking/preaching about sex seems to be more hedonistic and less Biblical. It’s not an either/or, but it is certainly not the Driscoll version. Thanks and God bless,


  3. April 20, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    I’m getting a bit bored with agreeing with you all the time, Howell. 🙂 I’ve enjoyed a lot of what ol’ Glenn has had to say over the years–especially the calling out of a few folks to forewarn us.

    I don’t know why it is so hard for folks to heed warnings, sometimes. LU was forewarned, wasn’t it? John MacArthur forewarned about Driscoll, but it went unheeded, too. Oh well, we are a stiff-necked lot, aren’t we? selahV

    • April 21, 2012 at 7:42 AM

      One sure way to receive less sympathy in this house is to get hurt doing what you were told would hurt you.

      Probably applies on the grander scale, too—be it church, convention, university, or nation.

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