There has been much controversy over the faith and religion of President Obama. I was interested in a quick comment where Obama mentioned he was a Christian that came on the news this afternoon. After I Googled the comment I found a full article on NPR. A woman from New Mexico asked Obama, “Why are you a Christian?” Many have questioned the fact that He even is a Christian. But, here is his answer from http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2010/09/28/130194136/president-obama-talks-christianity-and-more-in-nm-backyard.
THE PRESIDENT: You know, I’m a Christian by choice. My family didn’t — frankly, they weren’t folks who went to church every week. And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn’t raise me in the church.
So I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead — being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, treating others as they would treat me.
And I think also 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 and we make mistakes, and that we achieve salvation through the grace of God. But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace.
And so that’s what I strive to do. That’s what I pray to do every day. I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith. And it’s — but the one thing I want to emphasize, having spoken about something that obviously relates to me very personally, as President of the United States, I’m also somebody who deeply believes that the — part of the bedrock strength of this company is that it embraces people of many faiths and of no faith — that this is a country that is still predominantly Christian. But we have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and that their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own. And that’s part of what makes this country what it is.
Here is my opinion of his quote:
I liked that he said Christianity was his choice, because we believe that faith in Jesus Christ is a personal choice (Romans 10:9-10). It isn’t a faith that you are born into or a religion that you’re parents decide for you. Choosing to follow Christ is a choice each individual has to make for themselves.
He understands (or at least speaks of) the basics of Christianity that Christ died for our sins. We are all sinners in need of a Savior and that salvation comes through Christ by the grace of God (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23).
I don’t believe that it is necessarily a public service to express our Christian beliefs; it’s more of a Biblical command that we should follow in obedience to God (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
So far, the President seems to have an excellent grasp of what it means to be a Christian and I am very thankful that he shared a clear and Biblical perspective with the world today during his interview. Many times the world doesn’t get an accurate or completely true understanding of what it means to be a Christian. He could have answered the question many different ways, but up to this point, I was very excited.
THEN the last highlighted section said, “that their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own.” My interpretation is that he takes every other religion (or as he calls it ‘path to grace’) and makes them equal. Though the Bible tells us as Christians we are to love all people, we cannot accept their religion as truth or respect it as much as our own. This is NOT Biblical and is NOT a truth taught in Christianity.
This very thing is what made me dislike the movie The Book of Eli so much. The main character was fighting to preserve the Bible, the true Word of God, which was great. Up until the end when the Bible was placed right next to the Koran and other holy books. At the end of the movie the Bible was given equal status to other religious works and that is NOT what the Bible is. It’s not just another religious or historic document. It is the inspired word of God and nothing else can compare.
In the same way, Jesus Christ is THE WAY and THE TRUTH (John 14:6). There is NO other way to God except through Him. No other means of salvation except through Him. Nothing else that can satisfy our deepest longings except our Creator and God of the universe Jesus Christ.
I know that our culture is very ‘open-minded’ and as Obama said, that’s what makes our country what it is. But wasn’t our country supposed to be founded upon Biblical principles? In chapel last week the speaker said,
“Our culture is open to all types of ideas and religions, but they do not accept or like to be told that Jesus is the only way and truth to have eternal life in heaven and true life on earth.”
We have to stand up for what we believe as Christians. We have to proclaim the majesty of our God as the only God. We can’t allow others to believe that their religions and their gods are just another means of attaining salvation.