I’m trying to understand. I’m trying to discern if what the president describes as his faith is consistent with how I understand the Christian faith. It is in this vein I write this post. These are the words quoted as coming from Mr. Obama in the L.A. Times about being a Christian (Click here)…
“It was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead,” Obama said. “Being my brother’s and sister’s keeper. Treating others as they would treat me.” “Understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we’re sinful and we’re flawed, we make mistakes,” Obama said Tuesday. “And that we achieve salvation through the grace of God.” Although flawed, individuals can “still see God in other people” and help others to find “their own grace.”
Consider several things worthy of noting…
The “precepts of Jesus Christ” are not what determines a person is a Christian. The demons believe and they tremble. Then when he states that the precepts “spoke to me in terms of the kind of life I would want to lead,” he seems to stop short of confessing that he surrendered to Jesus Christ as savior.
Jesus said nothing about “being my brother’s and sister’s keeper.” That is what Cain said to God when asked where his brother was that he had killed… and nothing is said about a sister. Surely those who’ve studied the Scriptures would know that… but maybe I’m being too harsh.
“Treating others as they would treat me” is a subtle misquoting of the Golden Rule. It actually is, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” It is hard for me to see how someone who has sat under Gospel preaching for decades can miss this one.
Mr. Obama may have mentioned Jesus dying for his sin, but why not talk about repenting and asking for forgiveness since those are important tenets of the Christian faith? There is just enough truth in what he said to sound good, but fall short of a full confession of faith as a Christian.
A genuine Christian will confess that Jesus is the only way of salvation. They will not help others “find their own grace.” While Christians respect a person’s right to believe whatever they want, they will not concede that there are means of grace (salvation) other than in Jesus Christ.
I couldn’t help but wonder if Mr. Obama holds a form of faith that is incomplete because his pastor preached an incomplete gospel (Jeremiah Wright: Click, click, click). I wonder if Mr. Obama’s faith is mostly a product of a pastor who preaches a social gospel rather than The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Anyway, a person who is a genuine Christian will explain their faith in Biblical terms.
What is so hard about simply saying: I believe Jesus Christ is God’s only son. He lived a perfect, sinless life. He was crucified on a cross, died, was buried, and resurrected on the third day. I have confessed my sin to God and asked Him to forgive me. And all who do the same will be saved as I am. As it is written, “Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Then it is written, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Of course this is a very simple statement, but what President Obama says is the basis for his faith as a Christian simply does not measure up the most simple definition of what a Christian is according to the Scripture. He seems to dance around the issue in terms that are ambiguous at best. Bottom line, whether or not Obama is a genuine Christian is between him and God. But I must say that what he says leaves room for many a doubt…
Question: If someone asked you to describe your faith in Christ how would you respond? How would you explain how you know you are eternally saved?
Note: This is why it is important to know not only what you believe… but why you believe it… AND that what you believe is found as true in the Scripture. Thus the previous two days posts… Click and Click.