LAKE ELMO, Minn. (ABP) – Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, who earlier this year withdrew her membership from a Lutheran church that received media attention for anti-Catholic teachings, now is reportedly a former Baptist.
A New York Times article in July about the Minnesota Republican and champion of Tea Party values mentioned that Bachmann and her family were attending Eagle Brook Church, a multi-campus mega-church affiliated with Converge, formerly named the Baptist General Conference.
In a new Christianity Today interview, however, Bachmann said they attend Rockpoint Church in Lake Elmo, Minn. Rockpoint is affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America, a Minneapolis-based association of 1,500 churches formed in 1950 by the merger of the Evangelical Free Church of America (Swedish) and Norwegian Danish Evangelical Free Church Association.
In a Q-and-A-format interview discussing her new book, Core of Conviction, Bachmann said she moved to Rockpoint Church because it was closer to her new home.
Some speculated that Bachmann’s decision shortly before announcing her candidacy to leave Salem Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn., had to do with its affiliation with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a denomination that teaches the “antichrist” prophesied in Scripture refers to the Roman Catholic papacy.
She told Christianity Today, however, that she had no concerns about stances of her former church.
“It was a wonderful, conservative Lutheran church,” she said. “The pastors were marvelous there. We really enjoyed being a part of it. We were very active. My husband was involved in the school board, our children attended school there. We were grateful for the years of fellowship there. Very giving, loving people attended that church. We gained a lot and we hope we contributed.”
Bachmann also said she wasn’t following discussions linking her to “Dominionism,” the idea that Christians are biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns, since a New Yorker magazine article in August quoted her expressing admiration for authors associated with a movement aimed at turning America into a theocracy.
“No, I haven't followed that,” she said. “I am not ashamed of my faith at all, and it guides me in what I do. But as president of the United States, I also stand and answer to the people based on the Constitution of the United States. That's what would guide me as president.”
Bob Allen is managing editor of Associated Baptist Press.
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