The real issue for many evangelicals is Mormonism’s remarkable success and rapid expansion. It is estimated to have missionaries in 162 countries and a global membership of some 14 million; it is also, from its base in the American West, making inroads into Hispanic communities. Put simply, the Baptists and Methodists, while still ahead of the Mormons numerically, are feeling the heat of competition from Joseph Smith’s tireless progeny.Mr. Reynolds repeats this oft quoted notion that we are just jealous of mormonism. The sheer size of mormonism is a factor but not as a matter of jealousy but concern. With millions of adherents and millions more who have turned away from mormonism and are disenchanted with faith in general, coupled with an aggressive effort to lure away church going people, makes mormonism a religious movement that cannot be ignored. There are plenty of lone wolf crackpots like Victor Hafichuk and his sad band of cult followers but other than random emails and blog posts, they are somewhat self-contained. Hopefully Christians who live near them are making an effort to witness to him or at least his deluded followers but he has little impact outside of his internet rantings. Mormonism on the other hand has spread like a cancer around the world. Every town in America has a mormon presence and the combination of their all-American virtues and carefully disguised language allows them to worm their way into the homes of many unsuspecting families. Far from jealousy or competition, evangelical Christians see mormonism as the home of one of the most dangerous pseudo-Christian cults around. If I witness to someone and they end up going to a different local church than the one I am associated with after professing Christ, that is not a win for that church and a loss for mine. It is a win-win! On the other hand someone converting to mormonism has taken a path that leads to an eternal hell and as followers of Christ that trumps any of our denomination differences or personal preferences. Souls are quite literally at stake. I can't speak for every evangelical but for myself and everyone I personally know, jealousy of mormonism is the last thing on our minds.
I think this is largely overblown. Many evangelicals, far too many, seem to care more about political victory than Gospel fidelity. Pauls admonition to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14) is not speaking specifically of marriage at all but that is how it is interpreted. It certainly should include political issues as well as business dealings and marriage but that doesn't seem to concern many evangelical voters and leaders. Regardless, if Mitt Romney is not the GOP nominee it will be because of his shaky conservative credentials, his past flip-flopping, his nonchalance about the race and the ugly pseudo-populist attacks on his wealth and success, not because he is a mormon.