Christianity Today, October, 2008
Preach and Reach
Despite his liberal record, Barack Obama is making a lot of evangelicals think twice.
John W. Kennedy | posted 10/06/2008 09:29AM
Find the compelte article at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/october/18.26.html
Below are some excerpts from the article above. While the article is about what various evangelicals thinks of Obama, I have gleaned some revealing sections below. Find my comments in bold red after each section.
As the junior U.S. senator from Chicago, Obama has for years been beholden to working-class voters, African Americans, feminists, gay-rights groups, and pro-choice advocates. But for the first time since Jimmy Carter ran in 1976, a presidential candidate from the Democratic Party is enthusiastically courting evangelicals and Catholics.
How do you “court” people who are presumably Christians when your real sympathies lie with these groups? Even though some of these groups might sound neutral, they are not.
What, exactly, are “working-class voters”? Just how many people, besides some who are on the government’s dole, do no work? If someone works very diligently and makes a small fortune, is he then booted out of the ‘working class’? Unfortunately, ‘working class’ has become a code word for those who lean toward Marxist ideas, even though they may not know that name.
Likewise with “African Americans.” That is not just a racial description. It has become a class description, and it is a ‘class’ that American Marxists and liberation theologians have long used to try to drive a wedge between people.
The rest of those categories need no comment. With these groups as your friends, you are no friend of Christians. So I must conclude that any ‘evangelicals’ or ‘Catholics’ who allow themselves to be courted by Obama are not Christians.
Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals, says . . . he found Obama reflective and willing to bridge divisions. Cizik told CT, "He's willing to tackle problems that the Bush administration hasn't, like health care and climate change."
Obama is willing to bridge divisions. He is very willing to build a bridge from right to wrong. He then stands on the shore of wrong and beacons us to join him on the wrong side. While I don’t have much sympathy with the Bush administration, I must at least give them credit for trying to keep the government - to some extent at least - out of areas where it does not belong: areas like health care and ‘climate change.’
Here is a snapshot of Obama's voting record:
* He voted three times in the Illinois Legislature to stymie legislation designed to keep alive newborn survivors of abortions.
* He voted in the U.S. Senate to block a bill to require that at least one parent be notified if a minor had an abortion in another state.
* He declared his first act as president would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would again legalize "partial-birth" abortion and would use tax funds to pay for abortions.
So what then, exactly, should Christians support here - the “let’s kill some more babies” position, or the “let’s make it easier to kill more babies” position? Just make sure babies can easily be killed, and Obama will be happy. But what kind of Christian can even imagine supporting this?
In August, the Obama campaign launched an outreach designed to harness the energy of supportive evangelicals via low-profile house meetings and community-service projects. Among the political action committees stoking young pro-Obama advocates is the Matthew 25 Network, founded by 33-year-old Mara Vanderslice. The organization debuted on the Web in July, calling voters to back Obama because he, like Jesus, "cares for the least of these."
As far as I can tell, Obama does not personally “care for the least of these.” The Obama family has sufficient money to help a lot of needy people. It appears that their perverted substitute for that is lobbying for government programs that will waste much to help very few. And if that is what the “Matthew 25 Network” is all about, then it appears to be paying homage to The State Almighty rather than the God of the Bible and the Christian faith.
"There's no question Obama is a Christian, but he is definitely of a postmodern, liberal, and, to some small extent, black liberation theology perspective," says Stephen Mansfield, author of The Faith of Barack Obama.
Here we have an excellent and concise example of double-talk. Postmodern, liberal, and black liberation theologies are something, but that something is definitely not Christian. So if Obama is any of all of those - and it seems clear that he is - then he is not a Christian. These things are all perversions of the Christian faith, not the Christian faith itself.
Obama noted [in a speech at a Call to Renewal conference] the pluralistic reality of society. "Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers," Obama said. "And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson's or Al Sharpton's?"
First, who said anything about expelling anyone from the United States of America? The genius of the United States is a nation that has a foundation in some of the ideas of the Christian faith, but that is tolerant of anyone who would like to join in the fun. By ‘tolerant’ here I mean not the recent idea that all of these religions can be equally true, but the idea that you are free to hold religious views in the U.S. - even false ones.
I don’t advocate teaching the Christian faith in government schools, because I am opposed to the very existence of government schools. Obama seems to assume that James Dobson’s ‘Christianity’ and Al Sharpton’s ‘Christianity’ are just two very different views, the truth of which we can not assess. In that, he proves himself a postmodern, and thus NOT a Christian.
But after securing enough delegates to ensure the Democratic nomination, Obama moved toward the political center. This has exposed him to charges of pandering to conservatives. "A good candidate listens to arguments pro and con and sometimes changes his mind," [Tony] Campolo argues.
Tony Campolo is a prime example of someone who has managed to slide out of the Christian way of thinking, while still deceiving himself into thinking he is on the side of Jesus. I don’t think Tony Campolo is stupid enough to believe that Obama has just “changed his mind.” Obama will not change his mind about any important position. I think Campolo knows this. So draw your own conclusions about Tony Campolo.
"There is no doubt that if Obama is elected the first African American president, it will be a huge step toward racial reconciliation in this country," [Ronald] Sider says. "It will show that the majority of white people have moved beyond racism."
Ronald Sider, himself a North American liberation theologian, is also doing a bit of race-baiting here. People who vote for Obama will have moved beyond many things, none of which are racism. They will have moved beyond the Christian faith, beyond common sense, and beyond human rights of life and liberty.
Obama repeatedly mentioned his faith during the talk, which at times resembled a revival meeting more than a political speech. "Our faith cannot be an idle faith," Obama declared. "It requires more of us than Sundays at church. It must be an active faith, rooted in that most fundamental of all truths: that I am my brother's keeper, that I am my sister's keeper.
Well then, Barack, start “keeping.” Open your wallet, head off to the slums of Chicago, and start doling out your own dough. When you have unloaded at least 90% of it, come back and let us know how things went.
For those who had doubts, Obama recited his salvation testimony from his days as a community organizer in Chicago in the 1980s. "I let Jesus Christ into my life," Obama declared. "I learned that my sins could be redeemed and if I placed my trust in Jesus, that he could set me on a path to eternal life."
This quotation tells us something very important about the Obama confession of faith. Notice the second sentence quoted here. Obama says he learned that his “sins could be redeemed.” That is close, but significantly, and revealing, different from the Christian faith. In the Bible, people are redeemed, lives are redeemed, and bodies are redeemed, but not sins. While redemption is parallel to “the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:7), sins are not redeemed. This hints that Obama, while attempting to parrot the Christian faith, is not really familiar with it. He is supposed to be a brilliant man who has spent many years in the Christian faith. Yet he gets this strikingly wrong.
Also, notice Obama thinks Jesus “could set me on a path to eternal life.” Not ‘the’ path, but ‘a’ path. Was that just a slip? Perhaps, but remember that Obama is a postmodern ‘Christian’ - which is to say, no Christian at all. That makes the difference between ‘a’ and ‘the’ very significant, and also very revealing.