Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Obama’s Theology

There was an interesting article by Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist/FOX News contributor, on June 2, in which Thomas takes the position that Obama is not a Christian. Thomas referred to a book written by Cathleen Falsani, called “The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People”.

The book refers to an interview by Falsani in 2004, where Obama responds with Universalist ideas. He said “I believe 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.” This reminds me of Ma, from Ma’s, where I used to eat Sunday lunch as a starving member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Band. She told me she believed we were all on different buses, but going up the same highway that ended in heaven.

Although Obama has professed elsewhere to be a Christian, he puts that profession in issue with his beliefs in Universalism. Falsani says “Obama doesn’t believe he, or anyone else, will go to hell.” Thomas rightly points out, “If that is so, Jesus wasted his time coming to Earth and he certainly did not have to suffer the pain of rejection and crucifixion if there are ways to God other than through Himself.”

We also get a hint of Postmodernism here. Obama believes in Jesus as his truth, but not as THE TRUTH. He said “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.” He presents the belief in hell and the exclusive claims of Christ as difficult things.

The sad thing is, Obama is not sure his brand of Christianity gets him into heaven, either. He said “I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I’ve been a good father to them, and I see 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.” Heaven on earth is what he means, and he is not sure what comes next.

Certainly, there are many who claim Christ who also do not claim that salvation is secure. (I’m not one of them). And, I am not prepared to say Obama is not a Christian, since he made the statement that he had been converted and given his life to Christ.

But, the Bible presents an absolute, a Son of God who said he is the only way to God, and that way is through him (John 14:6). So, is Obama’s profession of faith a matter of expedience, knowing it will help his campaign in certain areas? You certainly have to think his leaving his church was such, as he did not leave until there was great ground swell of controversy over his pastor’s remarks.

It is hard to look into the heart of man, and never more so when the heart belongs to a politician. Words, though, are a window to the heart.
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