I met The Reverend Myke Crowder last Spring when his hometown of Springfield, Missoui was devestated by a tornado. His congregation was gathering donations for people who had lost everything.
For a quarter century, Pastor Crowder has been with the Christian Life Center in Layton, Utah. (You know, Utah... as in Mormon HQ.) He is the senior pastor. He is also on the executive committee of The National Clergy Council which represents church leaders from all Christian traditions including fundamentalist and evangelical.
I found this statement from him on the Christian Newswire. Pastor Crowder is responding to the flap over Pastor Jeffress' assault on Mormons in general Mitt Romney specifically:
"As an evangelical, born again, Bible believing Christian, and a pastor with more than 25 years' experience living with and ministering among a majority Mormon population, I find the comments by Pastor Jeffress unhelpful, impolite, and out of place. I've been around long enough to remember when independent Baptists wouldn't pray with Southern Baptists, when fundamentalists called Southern Baptists compromisers and liberals, when Southern Baptists wouldn't keep company with Pentecostals, and when Pentecostals wouldn't keep company with Catholics. That wasn't helpful to anyone. Insulting Mitt Romney adds nothing to the conversation about who should be president. We're picking the country's chief executive, not its senior pastor.
"Back in 1976, I voted for Jimmy Carter because he was the born again candidate. He was also a Southern Baptist. I got burned and the country got burned by that and it made me a life-long Republican. If Southern Baptists want to score points they better watch out -- they can lay claim to both Carter and Bill Clinton. I don't think that says much about the religious labels candidate may or may not carry.
"My experience in Utah among Mormons has been overwhelmingly positive. Evangelicals and Mormons have big differences when it comes to theology, but if you believe in and support the Constitution, there's no religious test for office, nor should there be. We're looking for the best president and commander in chief. Let's let the political process make that selection, and the churches make the selection on the best theologians.
"In my opinion, Pastor Jeffress owes an apology to Mitt Romney and all other Americans he's offended through his unkind and irresponsible remarks."
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Pastor Myke.