Thursday, November 20, 2008

BARACK OBAMA'S CHRISTIANITY
...playing politics with God

UPDATED - THIS IS A MUST SEE




In 2004, Chicago Sun Times columnist Cathleen Falsani interviewed Barack Obama about his faith when he was running for U.S. Senate in Illinois. It has proven to be nothing less than controversial. Here are a few excerpts below and would encourage all of you to read the entire transcript.

I believe this powerful interview can serve three purposes for us as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(And please know my heart that the following three things are not derived or driven by race, political party affiliation, or cultural proclivity. But from a burden for the church to be the church and to function and exist biblically in the world where God has sovereignly placed us to live for "such a time as this...")

With that in mind, I humbly submit the following:
1. To know further how we can pray for President-elect Obama as a politial leader; and spiritually, for his conversion (1 Tim. 2:1-4).

2. To gain greater insight into his worldview on how he would govern concerning key issues pertaining to family, faith, and sanctity of life issues such as abortion or euthanasia (Roms. 13:1-7).

3. Lastly, so that we can better prepare and equip ourselves biblically for what I believe will be a coming persecution of genuine believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who live and proclaim the gospel of sola fide in this nation (1 Peter 4:12-19).
VIVIT,
Steve


FALSANI:
Who's Jesus to you?

(He laughs nervously)

OBAMA:
Right.

Jesus is an historical figure for me, and he's also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher.

And he's also a wonderful teacher. I think it's important for all of us, of whatever faith, to have teachers in the flesh and also teachers in history.

FALSANI:
Is Jesus someone who you feel you have a regular connection with now, a personal connection with in your life?

OBAMA:
Yeah. Yes. I think some of the things I talked about earlier are addressed through, are channeled through my Christian faith and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

FALSANI:
Have you read the bible?

OBAMA:
Absolutely.

I read it not as regularly as I would like. These days I don't have much time for reading or reflection, period.

FALSANI:
Do you try to take some time for whatever, meditation prayer reading?

OBAMA:
I'll be honest with you, I used to all the time, in a fairly disciplined way. But during the course of this campaign, I don't. And I probably need to and would like to, but that's where that internal monologue, or dialogue I think supplants my opportunity to read and reflect in a structured way these days.

It's much more sort of as I'm going through the day trying to take stock and take a moment here and a moment there to take stock, why am I here, how does this connect with a larger sense of purpose.

FALSANI:
Do you have people in your life that you look to for guidance?

OBAMA:
Well, my pastor [Jeremiah Wright] is certainly someone who I have an enormous amount of respect for.

I have a number of friends who are ministers. Reverend Meeks is a close friend and colleague of mine in the state Senate. Father Michael Pfleger is a dear friend, and somebody I interact with closely.

FALSANI:
Those two will keep you on your toes.


OBAMA:
And theyr'e good friends. Because both of them are in the public eye, there are ways we can all reflect on what's happening to each of us in ways that are useful.

I think they can help me, they can appreciate certain specific challenges that I go through as a public figure.

FALSANI:
The conversation stopper, when you say you're a Christian and leave it at that.

OBAMA:
Where do you move forward with that?

This is something that I'm sure I'd have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and prostelytize. There's the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven't embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they're going to hell.

FALSANI:
You don't believe that?

OBAMA:
I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell.

I can't imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity.

That's just not part of my religious makeup.

Part of the reason I think it's always difficult for public figures to talk about this is that the nature of politics is that you want to have everybody like you and project the best possible traits onto you. Oftentimes that's by being as vague as possible, or appealing to the lowest commong denominators. The more specific and detailed you are on issues as personal and fundamental as your faith, the more potentially dangerous it is.

FALSANI:
Do you ever have people who know you're a Christian question a particular stance you take on an issue, how can you be a Christian and ...

OBAMA:
Like the right to choose.

I haven't been challenged in those direct ways. And to that extent, I give the public a lot of credit. I'm always stuck by how much common sense the American people have. They get confused sometimes, watch FoxNews or listen to talk radio. That's dangerous sometimes. But generally, Americans are tolerant and I think recognize that faith is a personal thing, and they may feel very strongly about an issue like abortion or gay marriage, but if they discuss it with me as an elected official they will discuss it with me in those terms and not, say, as 'you call yourself a Christian.' I cannot recall that ever happening.

FALSANI:
Do you believe in heaven?

OBAMA:
Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings?

FALSANI:
A place spiritually you go to after you die?

OBAMA:
What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don't presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.

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.

FALSANI:
Do you believe in sin?

OBAMA:
Yes.

FALSANI:
What is sin?

OBAMA:
Being out of alignment with my values.

FALSANI:
What happens if you have sin in your life?

OBAMA:
I think it's the same thing as the question about heaven. In the same way that if I'm true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward, when I'm not true to it, it's its own punishment.


19 comments:

Psalm said...
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prayzgod said...

Obama is not a Christian. He is like the hoards of people that say they are Christians, but they really have no idea what GODS form of Christianity.

Obama clearly stated that his faith is in himself, not in Christ alone.

Furthermore, does Obama use the Bible as the guidelines on what sin is? Nope. He uses his own personal values. He makes up his own rules, and if he breaks his rules, then he has sinned.

Oh dear - I hear the shouts coming from the new age Tower of Babel already.

Oh Lord, please open Obama's eyes. Bring him to a saving faith in YOU, and in YOU alone. Protect America from Obama's blindness. There are still those faithful to you in America Lord, please bless our country. I pray for revival, and I pray for revivial in our new president elect's heart. Open his eyes Lord God. In Jesus' name, Amen

johnMark said...

Campi,

I read some of this yesterday. You certainly picked a key part of the interview that's very revealing. He denys much of the Christian faith. He didn't say that Jesus is God and based on the other things he said it doesn't sound like he believes it.

Sad,

Mark

josephmcbee said...

Wow. So if sin is "when he is out of alignment with his values," then he personally is the standard of what is right, not God. He is therefore his own god.

I pray that the Lord God, the one and only God would have mercy on this man and open his eyes to the truth.

AmandaL said...
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Kuya Kevin said...

Wow. This is "Oprah Spirituality."

Steve, when you get a chance, please email me (kuyakevin at gmail). We are working on a new radio show here in the Philippines and I need to talk with you about playing some of your music.

Tony said...

Very postmodern, no wonder he got so much of the youth vote. Also seems to reveal why someone such as Brian Mclaren would so easily endorse Obama, they both hold the same un-christian beliefs. Sadly his views are what I hear from many that proclaim to be Christians today.

Mike Riccardi said...

Just some clips... makes it all understandable...

Jesus is an historical figure for me...

I think it's important for all of us...

I read [the Bible] not as regularly as I would like. These days I don't have much time for reading or reflection, period.

It's much more sort of as I'm going through the day trying to take stock and take a moment here and a moment there to take stock, why am I here, how does this connect with a larger sense of [implied: my] purpose.

I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell.

I can't imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity.

That's just not part of my religious makeup.

What I believe in is that if
I live my life as well as
I can, that
I will be rewarded. ... But
I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.

FALSANI: What is sin?
OBAMA: Being out of alignment with my values.

FALSANI: What happens if you have sin in your life?

OBAMA:
I think it's the same thing as the question about heaven. In the same way that if
I'm true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward, when I'm not true to it, it's its own punishment.

-------------

It's not hard to see the problem. An admission to not reading the Bible, and an entire "me-centeredness" that is the result of the pride we're all born with, and which is the building block of all idolatry.

Stan McCullars said...
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Stan McCullars said...

But his (former) pastor is such a lovable guy. That should count for something.

Superb Jon said...

Brzezinski spawned Zia al Haq, Khomeini, and bin Laden. Carolignian Brzezinski wants to break up the superpowers using Aztlan and Kosovo. That's what Joel Garreau's Nine Nations was about. Brzezinski and Buchanan are winking anti-Semitic votes for Obama, deliver USA to Pope's feudal basket of Bamana Republics. Michael Pfleger and Joe Biden prove Obama is the Pope's boy. Talal got Pontifical medal as Fatima mandates Catholic-Muslim union against Jews (Francis Johnson, Great Sign, 1979, p. 126), Catholic Roger Taney wrote Dred Scott decision. John Wilkes Booth, Tammany Hall and Joe McCarthy were Catholics. Now Catholic majority Supreme Court. NYC top drop outs: Hispanic 32%, Black 25%, Italian 20%. NYC top illegals: Ecuadorean, Italian, Polish. Ate glis-glis but blamed plague on others, now lettuce coli. Their bigotry most encouraged terror yet they reap most security funds. Rabbi circumcizes lower, Pope upper brain. Tort explosion by glib casuistry. Bazelya 1992 case proves PLO-IRA-KLA links.

Stan McCullars said...

That was stupid.

Renee said...

Wow. I can't believe so many think he is a true Christian.

Have you read his Call to Renewal Speech from 2006? That was very eye opening too as far as his beliefs.

Thank you for sharing.

professorpolisci said...

Very depressing....

professorpolisci said...

...but I have two questions:

1) Has Obama's understanding of the gospel changed in the four years since this interview? I ask because the stuff in this interview does not seem to square with what he said in the CT interview in 2006 or 2007.

2) Would this blog post be any different if John McCain were President-elect? I understand his pro-life voting record but beyond that do we know anything else?

What I'm saying is I get the non-political nature of this post but I have to wonder if you would say the same thing if McCain had won.

Psalm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Candleman said...

Hi Steve,

I am not quite sure what you think the video proves..... I could go to a McCain rally, and interview enough young, not very politically aware people, ask them if they know the names of a senator or congressman from another state, who the current secretary of state, ect. is and get the same "I don't know answers". And for that matter... you get your news from Rush Limbo, Sean and Fox news... sources not entirely without a biased filter. So if the linking of this video is supposed to prove that Obama was elected by a bunch of vapid young people that don't have a clue ... I think you missed your mark, by a long shot.

{{{Candleman}}}

Stan McCullars said...

...you get your news from Rush Limbo, Sean and Fox news... sources not entirely without a biased filter.

How cute. Someone who believes in unbiased news sources.

P.R.E.Z. said...

I see how Candleman just totally missed the point.

The main point is not that Obama voters are uninformed. It adds to the fact that people, in general, are uninformed and unspecific.

The main point is that he is far and away not a Christian. Unsaved. Unregenerate. Satanic minded. On a fast track to hell now. That's the main point.

He's a relativistic humanist. Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. He's a heathen.

But here's what's scary:

I'm always stuck by how much common sense the American people have. They get confused sometimes, watch FoxNews or listen to talk radio. That's dangerous sometimes.

Oh...because we have a differing view on things, we're dangerous. Because we speak out and speak up about these things, we're dangerous. Because we stand against what we know to be wrong, that's dangerous.

Making that statement makes him dangerous.

I will pray that the Lord would have mercy on this nation. He has shown us through instituting a modern day Ahab that we are a nation far from Him and that His judgment is imminent. (1 Peter 4:16-19)

Beloved, the time is fast approaching. The Lord stated, as were the days of Noah, so shall be the coming of the Son of man (Matt: 24:37-39).

We shouldn't faint but persevere (2 Cor. 4:16). Stand (2 Thess. 2:15). Hold fast (Hebrews 10:23).

God bless.

P.R.E.Z.
The Truth Manifesto