Monday, June 30, 2008

"what do you mean by that?"

i hesitate to post the following because this blog has never been about pushing a political agenda.
that is not what this post is about either. it is about the mis-use of the label "christian".

jesus was not a "white middle class republican", so i do not think that "good christians" can only vote republican, or even that a candidate's religious beliefs should be the litmus test for their ability to lead. while i would hope that all politicians would accept the gospel and live lives of obedience to christ, i do not withhold my vote for them solely on the basis of their faith (or lack of).

because much is being made about senator barack obama's faith, and with his current campaign openly seeking to reach the "evangelical vote", information about his beliefs and his commentary on them is easily available... one could almost say it is constantly presenting itself.

i can honestly say that if (when?) similar contradictions between professed faith and actual beliefs present themselves about john mccain, i will address it with the same scrutiny. again, this post is *not* about why someone should or should not vote for obama, but rather it is about why we must be clear that christianity has specific beliefs that cannot be compromised and maintain the name "christian".

that being said.... consider the following from a 2004 chicago -sun times interview with senator barack obama.
i will present them without commentary. simply read his own words (the whole interview is linked for context) and see if his description of being a christian leaves wondering what he means by "christian".

"I am a Christian..."So, I have a deep faith," Obama continues.
"I'm rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are
many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there
is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.
...[t]hat there are values that transcend race or
culture, that move us forward, and there's an obligation for
all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility
to make those values lived."

"The difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity,
is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize.
There's the belief, certainly in some quarters, that if people
haven't embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior,
they're going to hell."

Obama doesn't believe he, or anyone else, will go to hell.
But he's not sure if he'll be going to heaven, either.

"I don't presume to have knowledge of
what happens after I die," he says. "When I tuck in my
daughters at night, and I feel like I've been a good father
to them, and I see in them that I am transferring values
that I got from my mother and that they're kind people
and that they're honest people, and they're curious people,
that's a little piece of heaven."

1 comment:

Brian Megilligan said...

From First John 5:

Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

It is a shame that things that seem so clear remain hidden to some.