Saturday, March 08, 2008

LISTEN AND PRAY
...Hillary Clinton talks openly about her faith in Christ



I discovered this at the The Brody File (CBN), where correspondent David Brody featured an interview between Senator Hillary Clinton and NYT's reporter Michael Luo from last July about faith and politics. It was the headline of Brody's, however, that really caught my eye: "I Have Felt the Presence of the Holy Spirit.”

Though I don't share or identify with her political convictions, I found the interview very enlightening. To my surprise, Senator Clinton affirmed some important elements of the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4) but to no surprise, left the door open on some others.  Putting political ideology aside and a guilt by association label due her husbands lascivious choices, I wondered if she knew the Lord or was this affirmation of the Christian faith more cultural - the byproduct of being raised in the church? In either case, that is not for me to ultimately judge. But, it did serve to give helpful background on how we may pray for her. As you listen to it, I hope it will encourage you to that end as well. You may also read the transcript here.

David Brody highlights some notable quotes from this interview. A few of those are:

Reporter: Can I ask you theologically, do you believe that the resurrection of Jesus actually happened, that it actually historically did happen?

Senator Clinton: Yes, I do.

Reporter: And, do you believe on the salvation issue -- and this is controversial too -- that belief in Christ is needed for going to heaven?

Senator Clinton: That one I'm a little more open to. I think that it is, as we understand our relationship to God as Christians, it is how we see our way forward, and it is the way. But, ever since I was a little girl, I've asked every Sunday school teacher I've ever had, I asked every theologian I've ever talked with, whether that meant that there was no salvation, there was no heaven for people who did not accept Christ. And, you're well aware that there are a lot of answers to that. There are people who are totally rooted in the fact that, no, that's why there are missionaries, that's why you have to try to convert. And, then there are a lot of other people who are deeply faithful and deeply Christ-centered who say, that's how we understand it and who are we to read God's mind about such a weighty decision as that.

Reporter: And your attitude toward the Bible about how literally people should take it.

Senator Clinton: I think the whole Bible is real. The whole Bible gives you a glimpse of God and God's desire for a personal relationship, but we can't possibly understand every way God is communicating with us. I've always felt that people who try to shoehorn in their cultural and social understandings of the time into the Bible might be actually missing the larger point that we're supposed to take from the Bible.
"Faith come by hearing; hearing by the Word of Christ."  If she knows not the Lord, pray for her that by God's Sovereign electing love, He may grant to her godly sorrow leading to repentance; the saving faith necessary to believe; regeneration by the Holy Spirit to confess Jesus Christ as Lord; and that being justified freely by His grace and given by imputation the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, she may flee the wrath to come and know peace with God forever.

By grace alone; through faith alone; in Christ alone.
Steve
Titus 3:4-7

PS - Here is an excellent website that will inform you in great detail where each of the Presidential candidates stand on the issues including their voting records as well.

34 comments:

musicmike said...

While I disagree with Hilary Clinton on many issues, the world won't come to an end if she wins the presidency. God is still in control.

Thanks, Steve, for the heads up on this. We do need to pray for Mrs. Clinton. May God open her heart and mind and regenerate her heart so that she would turn to Christ as her Lord and Savior.

SJ Camp said...

MusicMike:
I do agree.

I have friends that have met her and they all affirm that she is exceptionally smart and highly gifted as a politician. Though she doesn't represent my convictions politically (I am a conservative) God is Sovereign whom He will raise up in governmental authority within the political realm isn't He... (Roms 13:1-5).

As to her being a sister in the Lord or not, we must leave that with the Lord. When someone confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, we must take them at their confession.

I can say this though, we all know there are plenty of unbelievers within the local church that affirm Christ and still do not know Him. Being raised in the church myself and having lived in Nashville these past 25 years I can speak to that reality.

If Senator Clinton truly knows the Lord Jesus Christ, we should pray that He would bring into her life genuinely saved women and men of God that can disciple her biblically in the Lord. And by the same token, if she has never had what we would call "a critical encounter in the Lord Jesus Christ", then may we pray that God would grant to her saving faith, regenerate her by His Holy Spirit, and cause her to believe the gospel of sola fide of the Bible unto salvation.

Thank you again Mike for your comment.

In His matchless grace,
Steve
Roms. 10:9-10

greuber said...

Reporter: And, do you believe on the salvation issue -- and this is controversial too -- that belief in Christ is needed for going to heaven?

Senator Clinton: That one I'm a little more open to

will probably help with votes, strong enough for christians and open ended enough for muslim etc..
alway's encouraging to hear ANY proclamation of faith from a public figure (leader) and sounds like a seed to be watered with prayer !
Our PrimeMinister is a Christian as well and agree with them or not we are told to pray so here i go (list is long but the Lord is pleased with our obedience!!)

May the Lords will be done and that these people will come to the knowledge of their need of His Salvation as he reveals Himself to us all!!

Praise God
greg

Jerry said...

"...the whole Bible is real."

What a relief. I thought that it might just be a figment of my imagination.

SJ Camp said...

Jerry:
In that one statement though, she affirmed what many in evangelicalism will not affirm -that the entirety of the Scriptures are the Scriptures!

Give encouragement where encouragement is due-

donsands said...

Hillary is very firm on partial birth abortion.
Her, I think, husband Bill vetoed a bill from Congress to ban this procedure twice.

Hillary is a nominal Christian. She makes up her own faith, according to her heart.

We are all susceptible to our own evil heart, however the clear, and logical, truth is to kill a baby in this manner is vividly inhumane. And Miss Clinton denies this undeniable truth.

May the Lord Jesus, truly open her heart, and bring her to the deep conviction she needs, so that she sees her sin, and then sees the Cross, as the goodness of God which leads us to repentance.

PDS said...

My concern would be her statement allowing salvation outside of Christ. Does she get it? Or, is that said from her political mouth?

Question: Do you think one can rightly place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their only means of salvation...yet, also believe that others can come to God in another way?

I'm sure heaven will be absent folks we thought would be there...and some may show up we never expected.

kschaub said...

How about that? I won't subjectively praise or badger her pros and cons in that statement, but regardless, to hear another confess that the Bible is what it is, to suggest that Christ is the way (though she is open to other suggestions) still honors our sovereign, glorious God.

Christian or not, remember Cyrus . . . there are occasions when even pagans are subject to declare something true about God as instruments in God's hands.

If she truly is a believer, there are some serious ideological and practical issues I pray she is convicted to align better with Scripture (i.e. abortion, history of ideas and truth).

I guess that all goes to say, I don't know what to think about this. She is still Hilary Clinton, and I think we all have a pretty good idea of how she would handle the office of the president. However, we should still pray for her and the other leaders in our country, including Obama and McCain.

SJ Camp said...

PDS
"Question: Do you think one can rightly place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their only means of salvation...yet, also believe that others can come to God in another way?"

Excellent question!

Personally... no. But it is a growing a popular notion today among very well respected evangelical leaders that you can. And I believe this is part of Senator Clinton's liberal roots through Methodism that has gone unanswered in her theological inquiry.

It is called Inclusivism. I have written about it before on the blog. In short, if people die without ever hearing the gospel and therefore never have the chance to the reject the gospel, then they really have been guilt of unbelief. In those scenarios, God extends to such "ignorance" a special grace whereby they still will be saved.

This is obviously heresy. There is an exclusivity to Christ and His gospel that is offensive to even regenerate people today let alone the postmodern pagan mind.

I can only hope that if Senator Clinton doesn't know the Lord, that she can meet strong biblical orthodox believers that will open up the Bible and explain to her the narrow way of the gospel of grace and the sovereignty of God in salvation--even beyond the "ignorance" of other religions.

John 14:6
Steve

PS - I won't mention which evangelical leaders today hold to inclusivism; for I don't want to draw attention to them here and have others exposed to their heretical beliefs on this key issue on an essential of the faith.

SJ Camp said...

A brief segment from the article on Inclusivism that I hope will be helpful in peppering your thoughts on this issue...
_________

There are three general categories that I would briefly like to address with you. One note of clarification before we begin. The first two items listed below would not be considered "inclusivistic" by any in the evangelical camp in the classical sense. The concern is, that if they are taken to their logical conclusions, one is moving dangerously close to affirming an inclusivistic view of the gospel due to an inflexible dogmaticism associated with their convictions. However, item three is purely inclusivistic and cannot be affirmed under any scenario. It violates the gospel and the clear teaching of Scripture. Again, caution should be adhered to by those who affirm the first two areas with an "absolute dogmaticism" that includes everyone--all--in those categories, without exception, absent of God's sovereign freedom to elect.

The three areas are:

1. All babies and children who haven't reached the "age of accountability" upon their death are granted special grace and receive instant heaven;

2. All those who are mentally incapacitated, mentally retarded, or incapable of cognitive reasoning, all that have not reached a "condition of accountability" will upon their death be granted special grace and receive instant heaven; and,

3. Those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, and therefore, could not reject in unbelief what they never had a chance to believe in the first place, are not condemned, but are also granted special grace and receive instant heaven.

glip said...

Thanks for the article Steve. Mrs. Clinton seems to be one of those "churcher" types..which on many fronts is a good thing. "Churchers" will talk alot about their denomination and their church and the Bible, and such, but cant seem to come out and unabashedly proclaim Christ. I've always found that peculiar. What does that say about the Church in America I guess (?) But reading this is refreshing in a way; in contrast to Obama who really scares me (more so than HC). Thank you.

SJ Camp said...

Don
Hillary is very firm on partial birth abortion.

Unfortunately, she is. Her pro-choice famous line on this from 1999 is: "keeping abortion safe, legal and rare." To which she includes the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion.

We can only hope that her nominal beliefs will turn into biblical convictions through regeneration which in turn can correct convictions on these important life issues.

glip
Thank you for your comment too.

I agree, compared to Obama, this was encouraging. And there is another one we need to be praying for don't we? Barack Obama. Oh to see him respond to the gospel of grace... amen?

Debbie said...

This past Thanksgiving, my husband and I were having this same conversation with my sister-in-law about John 14:6. In the course of it all, she made the comment that she’s just so thankful for the church they are now attending and that the Sunday past, their pastor had preached on this verse and how “uncontroversial” it really was when one understands the original language. She went on to say that the meaning that Christ was conveying was this: He didn’t mean to say that He was the only way to the Father in the sense of salvation, but that He was the example that, if followed, would lead us who are already believers into the deepest possible relationship and communion with the Father. IOW, for believers, to follow Christ’s example was the way to know the Father intimately as He knew the Father. She went on to say how thankful she was that verses like this didn’t have to be, nor were they ever intended to convey, any kind of controversy through exclusivity, as they had historically been understood. She and her husband are seasoned Christians who, like so many others we know, are finding this “softening” of absolute truth very attractive. It then led us to ask the question: do you believe that Christ is the only way to the Father for salvation? They stuttered and stammered through an answer that became so convoluted, we’re not certain if it was a yes or no. I must say that we were stunned to hear it.

With regard to the Hillary Clinton interview, yes, we must absolutely pray that God will bring those into her life who will help to grow and nurture her in the faith and the Word. Just one more reason we must never be afraid to “rub shoulders” with those whose persuasions are completely different than our own! Our sphere of influence for the sake of Christ can only be as wide as the circle of those we embrace each day as we live out Matthew 5:14.

PDS said...

SJ,

Thanks for the response. I can't say that I would agree with "no", but it is a major red flag. If you think someone can get to heaven, other than through Christ, please explain your gospel! For her to hold to such belief (if she truly believes that and is not just giving political spin), then it does raise alot of questions.

I'll read the article. I see it is quite lengthy, but I am interested in going through it.

For your 3 items, I believe 1&2 do go to heaven, but obviously 3 do not. MacArthur has done some excellent material on this as I'm sure you are well aware.

Of course special revelation (the gospel -- that Jesus is the only way) need not be sent if the general revelation (creation - Romans 1) is rejected. I also believe that if someone responds to general revelation, God will be faithful and provide special revelation so that person can respond in faith to the gospel.

Belief that one can come to God apart from the specific and finished work of Christ on the cross has missed the entire theme of Scripture starting with Genesis 3:15

SJ Camp said...

PDS
I can't say that I would agree with "no", but it is a major red flag. If you think someone can get to heaven, other than through Christ, please explain your gospel!

There must be some misunderstanding here, for I don't believe that anyone can get to heaven other than through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Help me understand your response.


Belief that one can come to God apart from the specific and finished work of Christ on the cross has missed the entire theme of Scripture starting with Genesis 3:15.

That I fully agree with.

Steve

donsands said...

"They stuttered and stammered through an answer that became so convoluted, we’re not certain if it was a yes or no. I must say that we were stunned to hear it."

This is McLarenism methinks. It's a popular spirit in the Church right now, and it brings division and confusion.

Thanks for sharing this.

"I go to prepare a place for you." John 14:2b

Jesus was saying very clearly that His Father was in heaven, and He was the way to His Father in heaven, where He was preparing Himself to go.
"I go to My Father." John 14:12

My pastor preached on Luke 9:51 " .. when the time had come for Him to be received up, and He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem".
Jesus was preparing to suffer and die, and then depart to His Father in heaven.
There must always be suffering before glory. Nobody wants to suffer. i sure don't, but it's a good thing to suffer just the same. And no one ever, never, suffered as our Lord and Savior did.
What a wonderful God and Friend we have in Jesus!

PDS said...

SJ,

You wrote, "There must be some misunderstanding here, for I don't believe that anyone can get to heaven other than through the Lord Jesus Christ."

Sorry, I was having a conversation with Hillary! I see how that was misunderstood.

PDS said...

Way off topic here -- but are any of the Shepherd's Conference sermons available in video format?

SJ Camp said...

PDS
Thanks for the clarification.

As to the SC's messages; I don't know if DVD will be available, but they always have the audio available within a week or so in am MP3 format. If you belong to the Shepherds' Fellowship, the cost per MP3 drops from $3 to about a $1.

Campi

SJ Camp said...

Don
Good word brother.

There must always be suffering before glory. The cross before a crown. Yes.

McLaren is yesterday's news I think. But the postmodern spirit of the age we all need to guard against. It is one thing to use terms that are understandable to the listener in communicating the gospel; it's quite another thing to change the truth behind those terms away from Scripture to a pragmatic/anthropocentric view of God and His gospel.

Isn't it interesting that 491 years after the Reformation, we are back to the basics: understanding, defending, defining, and explaining the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Satan never attacks in trivial areas; always at the crucial. May we all hold fast the faith today.

Steve

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

I can without reservation confirm that Sen. Clinton is a politician. God is in charge of the other.

I would love to hear a politician come out and say "I do not belive any of the Bible, and I reject Jesus Christ". That may be refreshingly honest.

Terry Rayburn said...

The inclusivity/exclusivity question is decided too often on human reasoning instead of Scripture.

Can any human reasoning wipe out Romans 10:14,15?:

"How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!'"

Conclusion: if the aboriginal forest-dweller doesn't hear the gospel, he can't be saved.

People (even believers, unfortunately) rebel against that simple truth which illustrates Rom. 9:18:

"...He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires."

We who have only a "natural" compassion can't fully comprehend Him who's ways are higher than ours, so we trust Him to run the Universe, and stop singing, "If I ruled the world..."

The point of Romans Chapter 1-3 isn't that some will be saved if they "respond" to general (natural) revelation -- the point is that NO ONE responds to general (natural) revelation, because "there is none good, there are none that seeks God". And so they "suppress the truth in unrighteousness".

There still are fields "white unto harvest". Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers into His harvest.

Or be one of those laborers.

SJ Camp said...

Terry:
Amen my brother! Excellent.

Paul's words in Romans should silence the inclusive debate once for all. But as with all controversial issues surrounding the sovereignty of God in whom He chooses for His own, well meaning men of God try to make exceptions to what Scripture clearly teaches.

Thank you for your spot on words here.
Steve

PDS said...

Terry -- do you believe that (1) and (2) above from SJ's earlier post may not be part of the elect? Or do you believe that God will save those individuals?

donsands said...

"Isn't it interesting that 491 years after the Reformation, we are back to the basics: understanding, defending, defining, and explaining the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."

The Reformation is not revered today as it should be.
I truly believe if the Church would teach Church history along with the Holy Scriptures, then the Church may recapture the gospel foundation, and a greater zeal for Christ, which Luther, and Calvin discovered and LIVED.

SJ Camp said...

Don
The Reformation is not revered today as it should be.
I truly believe if the Church would teach Church history along with the Holy Scriptures, then the Church may recapture the gospel foundation, and a greater zeal for Christ, which Luther, and Calvin discovered and LIVED.


I believe that greatly. We do not begin at ground zero with every new generation; we stand on the backs of those who have gone before us - "a great cloud of witnesses" as Heb. 12:1 would call them.

When someone comes along with something "brand new" today (as so many within the emerging/emergent movements are doing) it should be held suspect and examined very carefully. There is nothing new about the faith; we have it fully contained in the 66 books of the Bible.

The only thing we can say is "new" is our experience in our day of living out those great biblical, historical, infallible truths.

Great word brother... Thank you!

SJ Camp said...

Rick
I can without reservation confirm that Sen. Clinton is a politician.

You are a brilliant, discerning and insightful man :-). Thank you for sharing.

Terry Rayburn said...

pds,

You asked, "do you believe that
(1) and (2) above from SJ's earlier post may not be part of the elect? Or do you believe that God will save those individuals?"

I can humanly reason several ways in which God may save "all" babies and mentally incompetents; "some" babies and mentally incompetents; the "elect" babies and mentally incompetents; or "no" babies and mentally incompetents.

Some of this "reasoning" is even from obscure Scriptures.

But I've concluded, after many years of study and wrestling, that Scripture is silent on these specifics.

I don't mean to dodge the question, but I have learned to be content to be silent where Scripture is silent. And to be content with our good God fulfilling His purposes, doing "all things well".

And I'm content to rest in Deuteronomy 29:29a, "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever..."

Blessings,
Terry

PDS said...

Terry - thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. I guess my follow-up question is...what comfort can you possible give to someone who has a baby die at birth -- or perhaps a son that has no ability to understand and respond in faith to the gospel? What kind of comfort is it to just quote Deuteronomy 29:29? Or to say, "I don't know"?

If I recall, MacArthur believes that babies / those who can't respond in faith will go to heaven. I fully understand MacArthur is not the Bible, but I guess I was unaware (until today) that some in these circles don't necessarily adopt the same position.

While I know God's ways are higher than our ways -- and thought higher than our thoughts...do we really believe he would leave us guessing on this very important issue?

But again, thanks for taking the time to respond.

Terry Rayburn said...

pds,

Thanks for your comments.

Regarding comfort, I would do my best to comfort a Christian with the knowledge that God is good, and right, and sovereign. That's where the real comfort of the truth comes from. Not from well-meant eisegesis (reading into a Bible passage what isn't there).

I don't believe in giving comfort to unbelievers, though we should give them an abundance of love and hope in Christ.

To an unbeliever, I would say something like, "I can't say with certainty where your infant is, but I know that if they are with the Lord, that you can someday join them, if you will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. I care about your baby, and I care about you. May I tell you a little more about what the Bible says?"

And then proceed with the gospel, which God may have sovereignly prepared them for in their grief.

You are correct on MacArthur's view, and my view is personally close to his, but I simply can't support it with conclusive Scripture, and a reading of his book will show that he can't either.

As to whether God would have us "guessing" the answer, I would say, "No. Stop guessing, and rest in His goodness and sovereignty...and His silence."

andy said...

OTT Good luck on Mikes show today Steve,looking forward to listening to it..

andy said...

OTT meant OT off topic haha, not over the top ;-)

PDS said...

Terry -- I've not heard that approach before, but I do understand and it makes biblical sense.

Here's where I come from -- I fully understand that man is separated from God at birth -- man needs a Savior. So, it would seem easy to argue for babies NOT being elect. Problem? Does Scripture state that? Does it need to? Do we know for certain? It seems not. On the other hand, how is this any different from an adult never hearing the gospel? The only difference is age -- it's surely not in ability for we are all dead in sin and unable to come to God without His drawing us. So the question is -- can we be 100% certain some or all who have never heard the gospel (whether they be 2 months old or 92 years old) are not elect?

If one argues all or some are elect/saved, then God has to act in a way to save them which is different from what Scripture's requirement (i.e., by grace THROUGH faith).

Is there another way to salvation? I guess that's up to God. I think that's your point. He is the Sovereign.

I think you have a nice balanced approach that is biblically accurate. You are very good at articulating your position -- well thought out. Do you mind if I borrow it? :)

It has been very helpful and I've learned something.

Terry Rayburn said...

pds,

"Do you mind if I borrow it?"

Of course not.

Blessings,
Terry