Is President Obama A Christian?
Author : Freddy Davis
We all remember the effort President Obama made, when he originally ran for office, to claim his Christian credentials. He heavily touted the fact that he was baptized and had been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for twenty years.
Recently, the topic of the president's Christian faith has surfaced again. The topic was broached as he decreed that religious organizations would have to pay for services they were morally opposed to. It picked up steam as he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast and declared that his policies "coincides with Jesus's teaching." It reached a higher pitch when Franklin Graham came out and said he was not sure President Obama is a Christian at all.
So, what are we to make of this? Is the president a Christian?
Truthfully, it all depends on what you mean by the word "Christian." In modern times, this word has come to mean very different things to different people. For some, just the personal claim to be a Christian is enough to be considered one. There are many who make this claim in America based simply on the fact that they are American and "America is a Christian country." For others, being a member of a religious group that claims to be Christian is enough. This is the claim our president makes, but we also see this with groups such as Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. But for biblical Christians, the term has very specific theological boundaries.
As we try to sort this out, we need to look at what constitutes the outer boundary of a belief system – this applies to any belief, not just Christianity. The belief boundary for any belief system can be found in how it answers three questions: 1) Who is God? 2) What is a human being? and 3) What is salvation and how can we achieve it? Every belief system has a specific way it deals with these questions, and anyone who answers them differently, necessarily belongs to a different faith.
Biblical Christians answer the three questions like this.
1) God is the deity who created material reality. He is a Trinitarian being who has revealed himself in the Bible as Holy, Just and Love.
2) A human being is a creature created in the image of God but who is fallen, thus separated from God.
3) Salvation is redemption from the fallen human condition, and the creation of a personal relationship with God. It is achieved by individuals who receive Christ who provided the possibility of salvation by his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.
At this point, we ought to be able to look at President Obama's belief system and compare it with biblical Christianity to see how it matches up. President Obama follows a religious system which is based on Liberation Theology. Liberation Theology is not traditional Christianity. Rather, it is Marxist ideology dressed in Christian terminology. Here is how Liberation Theology answers the three questions.
1) God is a nebulous transcendent being who is focused on liberating people from material oppression. This is not the personal God of the Bible whose focus is on liberating people from sin. Liberation Theology claims to have its origin in the Bible, but does not exegete that position from the Bible. Rather, it begins with another philosophy and tries to justify it using biblical proof texts.
2) A human being is not understood as fallen and in need of a Savior. Rather, the human species is made up of material creatures who deserve to be free from the oppression of oppressors. Humanity is divided into the "haves" and "have nots." Based on this belief, the "have nots" are justified in taking the resources of the "haves" and dividing it among themselves.
3) Salvation is the accomplishment of social justice (meaning: wealth and power redistribution from the oppressor to the oppressed). The concept of a personal relationship with God is not a part of the belief system. The best way to accomplish social justice is through a socialist or communist political system.
The result of a faith that follows Liberation Theology is a belief that the government is the arbiter of salvation. It is the job of the government to take from the oppressors and give to the oppressed – and it is governmental leaders who make that determination. It makes no difference whether or not the consciences of citizens are violated. At this point, we see the president's religion on display and understand why he is able to say that his policies coincide with the teachings of Jesus. According to the belief of Liberation Theology, that is absolutely true.
So, is President Obama a Christian? According to his belief, based on Liberation Theology, he feels justified in making the claim that he is. But according to a biblical understanding, he is not. This distinction gives us the ability to grasp not only why he claims to be a Christian, but also why he pursues the policies he advocates. As biblical Christians, it is critical for us to know the difference in order to stand effectively for biblical ideals and share the true gospel with those who don't know Christ.
© 2012 Freddy Davis
Author's Resource Box
Freddy Davis is president of MarketFaith Ministries - a teaching ministry designed to equip the body of Christ to become more effective in their faith life and witness. You can find out more about MarketFaith Ministries at www.marketfaith.org.
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