While Mitt Romney is well on his way to becoming the GOP candidate to face President Barack Obama in the general election this November, one Christian minister, Bill Keller of LivePrayer.com, has suggested that by voting for Romney, people are "supporting" Mormonism, which he calls a cult.
The former Massachusetts governor has remained reluctant to make faith and religion the focus of his campaign, but he has faced criticism from some Christians about his belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which many insist falls outside of orthodox Christianity.
Keller, an Internet evangelist, has spoken out against the rise of the Mormon "cult" in the past, and has gone so far as to claim that voting for Romney will "lead millions of souls into hell."
"The Bible clearly teaches Mormon doctrine is 100% inconsistent with Biblical Christianity and those who buy into what Paul calls 'another Gospel,' will die and their soul be lost for all eternity," said Keller in a statement. The Christian minister claims to reach 2.4 million visitors worldwide on his website.
Commenting on the upcoming presidential election, he added: "Christians have a real dilemma this November. It is like Satan flipping a two-headed coin with his head on both sides. How can anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ vote for our current president who in every word and deed has proven to be a true enemy of God on every major spiritual issue of the day.
"The Republican choice will be a member of the satanic Mormon cult who will never have to say a word for his cult to take advantage of their ultimate goal since they were founded 200 years ago, and that is to gain mainstream acceptance, giving them all the ammunition they need to aggressively seek converts to their cult's beliefs."
He suggested, without sharing the source of his estimate, "Conservative estimates are that they will gain at least 1 million new converts, meaning a Romney election will help insure at least 1 million souls will burn in hell for all eternity! Any 'Christian leader' who supports Romney obviously cares more about politics than souls!!!"
Most conservative Christian political and spiritual leaders, however, have expressed support for Romney and the Republican Party's efforts to unite in their campaign against President Obama.
Joel Osteen, the popular megachurch pastor from Lakewood Church in Houston, recently appeared on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" and said, "Mormonism is a little different, but I still see them as brothers in Christ."
The Texas minister expressed his belief that Romney is indeed a true and faithful Christian.
"When I hear Mitt Romney say that he believes that Jesus is the Son of God – that he's the Christ, raised from the dead, that he's his Savior – that's good enough for me," said Osteen.
Romney's former campaign rivals and conservative Christians Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry also announced this week that they will be backing the former Massachusetts governor in his campaign against Obama. The only holdout remains former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, although a planned meeting with Romney in May could lead to the devout Roman Cathlic's official endorsement of the presumptive GOP nominee as well.
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