Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Obama & Jesus

In an attempt to reach out to evangelical Christians and to dispel the (rather silly) internet rumors that he is a Muslim, Barack Obama has released a new flyer in Kentucky. On it, Obama is shown standing at a pulpit, with a glowing cross prominently displayed behind him. On the back, you can read a short version of Obama's conversion story: "That day Obama felt a beckoning of the spirit and accepted Jesus Christ into his life."

Really? Let's think this through...

Obama's church, Trinity United Church of Christ, is a bastion of black liberation theology, which preaches a false Gospel, one that replaces the biblical Christ with a black-power activist, spiritual salvation with political liberation, and God's people with black people. Thus, when Obama says that he is "doing the Lord's work" (quoted from the new flyer), one has to wonder what that really means. As the recent turmoils over Jeremiah Wright have disclosed, Trinity UCC is a false church with a false gospel. Yet it was in this false church, under the preaching of false doctrine that Obama claims to have had a (false?) salvation experience.

To top it all off, Trinity UCC is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, one of the most liberal denominations of our day. Their "God is still speaking" campaign reflects a common liberal view that God's Word, the Bible, is not the final authority. This allows room to interpret Scripture in light of modern scientific findings and popular cultural movements (i.e. the UCC's acceptance of homosexuality). To give you a taste of just how far-out this denomination is, here's an excerpt from a UCC website:

Although Christ is the primary lens through which we view God, we experience God
in a variety of ways. Through the centuries, one way the church talked about God
is through the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We also speak about God in other ways that enrich our faith—God as mother, rock, liberator, savior, and friend.
Christ is a lens through which we view God? No; Christ is God! One way the church talked about God is through the Trinity? No; God is Triune! These aren't just ways to 'view' or 'experience' God. These are truths about the essential nature of God. And I won't even get started on the 'God as mother' stuff.

So Obama accepted Jesus into his life. I don't doubt that. The question is which Jesus? The black-empowering Jesus proclaimed from the pulpit of Jeremiah Wright? The all-inclusive, gay-friendly Jesus of the United Church of Christ? Some combination of these probably make up the Jesus that Obama accepted. That Jesus may empower you and make you feel good about yourself, but he cannot save you.

A Jesus who accepts all sinful lifestyles has nothing from which to save us. A Jesus who is not fully man and fully God could not conquer sin on the cross or defeat death at the Resurrection.

You, I & Obama need the biblical Jesus, the God-man who came to bear the wrath of God for us, who rose physically from the dead to grant us eternal life, and who will return again to judge all those who do not place their faith in Him today.

Which Jesus have you accepted?

PS- Sorry about the recent lack of activity on the blog!


Anonymous said...

First--thanks for the small apology at the bottom. I enjoy reading your blogs--lots of insight. It is always a great debate for me to think over--many times I agree with your thoughts, but like to provide the other side's opinion. With that being said...

You talk about the empowering black Jesus and the gay-friendly Jesus, and such that many have proclaimed to have saved them. However, I've read many articles by those "Christians" who talk about our faith. I know, I know...we read the Bible to say who is right and who is wrong. But in our society, must people (yes, even Christians) look to their pastors for wisdom and Biblical truth. I agree with what you are going to reply back--it is our responsbility to read the Book ourselves and determine if our pastor is teaching us correctly, but as a pastor I am sure you are aware that many do not do that. Many take you (or their pastor) at your word. After saying all that, my question is how do we teach others that the empowering black Jesus or gay-friendly Jesus, or sin is a mistake, and such is not truly the Gospel or the Biblical Jesus. Rev. WRight is fairly popular and many believe how do we say "We are right, you are wrong" to people who do not open the Book for the truth?

As far as Obama...we cannot say what Jesus has saved him--only he knows.

The Culbertsons said...

This is such a great question. How do we discuss truth with people who do not turn to the Scriptures? Or to state it another way, How do we discuss objective truth in a society that rejects objective truth?

As far as the 'which Jesus' discussion goes, the only way we can determine Jesus' identity is by going to the Biblical text. Anyone who is seriously interested in talking about Jesus must go to the Bible. That's where we meet and learn about Jesus. So if a person is claiming to hold to a different Christ than the one presented in the Gospel accounts, that 'Christ' is false. For instance, it is absurd to think that the biblical Jesus was a black-liberator. He never once speaks of black people (or white people)! He spoke of Jews (His race) and He spoke of Gentiles (our race...blacks/whites). So the black-empowerment Jesus is unbiblical and, thus, false. That's pretty cut & dry (for me at least).

But in discussing lifestyle/sin issues with people we must fight for objective truth. Yes, we can reason with them (outside of Scripture) to some degree. "John, you drink too much. Look at what this is doing to your family!" "Sally, evolution probably isn't true. There are a million gaps in Darwin's theory." But, since sin affects our reasoning, this only goes so far (and it's usually not very far). That's why we have to argue for some standard of objective truth... something outside of ourselves that tells us what is right/wrong, true/false. That objective truth is the Word of God. He is the supreme authority.

We can & should attempt to prove that someone's position is wrong through debate & evidence. But, ultimately, it must come down to embracing or rejecting God's Word as the only source for truth.

Anonymous said...

Well put. Something I try really hard to teach my "kids" (from church) is to MEMORIZE scripture. I told them that they would never know when presenting the TRUTH to someone would come across their path and they may not have a Bible in hand. If someone is to debate, so to speak, with them, they must be prepared to answer in TRUTH only--nothing more is needed.