A Matter of Expedience?
OBAMA'S SHIFTING FAITH AND LOYALTIES
By Berit Kjos
"As the memory of the Christian base grows ever dimmer, freedom will disintegrate." Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live
"My family... weren't folks who went to church every week. My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn't raise me into church. So I came to my Christian faith later in life." President Barack Obama, 2010
Changing colors to blend with the environment is normal for chameleons but a challenge for politicians. Still many try, and some succeed. Trained in Alinsky-style "Community Organizing," our president is usually a master at it. Now, with elections looming, he once again dons his "Christian" image.
Unlike chameleons, ambitious politicians face an inconvenient obstacle: printed documentation. When facades clash with facts, a skeptic can check the records. So can we. Let's take a fresh look at Obama's 2004 interview with Cathleen Falsani. How well did he present his testimony to the American public? How well does it match his more recent testimony? And, what's most important, how well do his beliefs actually match Biblical truth?
OBAMA: I am a Christian. So, I have a deep faith.... On the other hand, I was born in Hawaii where obviously there are a lot of Eastern influences.... I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people....
FALSANI: Have you always been a Christian?
OBAMA: I was raised more by my mother and my mother was Christian. ...a deeply spiritual person, and would spend a lot of time talking about values and give me books about the world's religions....
FALSANI: So you got yourself born again?
OBAMA: Yeah.... And I'm not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I've got a monopoly on the truth.... I'm a big believer in tolerance....
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 am a follower, as well, of our civic religion. I am a big believer in the separation of church and state.... I am a great admirer of our founding charter... and its resolve to prevent disruptive strains of fundamentalism from taking root in this country....
FALSANI: Do you believe in heaven?
OBAMA: Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings? ...if I live my life as well as I can...I will be rewarded....
FALSANI: What is sin?
OBAMA: Being out of alignment with my values....
FALSANI: ...An example of a role model, who combined everything you said you want to do in your life, and your faith?
OBAMA: I think Gandhi is a great example of a profoundly spiritual man who... never slipped into intolerance or dogma."
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE ANSWERS:
In spite of America's spiritual diversity, Obama apparently believes that "there is a higher power" that connects all of us "as a people." He accepts the notion of "many paths to the same place," even though it rules out Biblical faith in the sovereign God of the Bible. He claims to be a Christian, but he seems to ignore the fact that the only path to our sovereign God is through the cross? As Jesus told us in His Word,
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6
Obama claims to be a follower of "civic [or civil] religion," which is based on Rousseau's 18th century "social contract." Its non-religious "form of social cement" for building collective solidarity helped inspire Communism as well as the French Revolution. Like today's separation of church and state, it banned God's guidelines. The result was chaos and carnage.
Obama indicated that he would support government efforts to "prevent disruptive strains of fundamentalism from taking root in this country." They simply don't fit today's global vision of interfaith tolerance. According to UNESCO, uncompromising Christianity is incompatible with its "Declaration of Principles on Tolerance." Ponder some of its decrees:
In his 2004 interview, our president seemed to mock the Biblical reality of life after death. Instead, he expects his reward, not through God's gracious forgiveness, but according to his own "good works." His standard for goodness is not God's Word but "alignment with" his own chosen values -- however contrary they might be!
"My people would not heed My voice.... So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels." Psalm 81:11-12
MORE RECENT FAITH CLAIMS:
"You know I am a Christian by choice," announced President Obama while campaigning in New Mexico during the last week in September. A woman had asked him to explain his Christian faith, and he tried to answer -- though he sounded strangely uncertain. Might one of his spiritual advisers have helped him prepare a Christian-sounding statement that would offend no one? I don't know. But the redundant words in the transcript below hint at his uneasiness.
"My family didn't -- frankly, they weren't folks who went to church every week. My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn't raise me into church. So I came to my Christian faith later in life. And it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life I would want to lead: Being my brother's and sister's keeper. Treating others as they would treat me.
"I think also -- understanding that, you know, Jesus Christ died for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings. That we're sinful, and we're flawed, and we make mistakes, and that we achieve salvation through the grace of God.
"...we can still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace. So that's what I strive to do...that's what I pray to do every day. I think my public service is a part of that effort to express my Christian faith."
He got the message right in the second paragraph. But then he muddled the meaning of grace in the third paragraph. Christians are not called to help others "find their own grace" or "achieve salvation." Both suggest the kind of self-effort that's at the heart of all other religions.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
Obama's discomfort seemed to fade when he reached the last paragraph. He sounded perfectly confident as he shared his vision for a more pluralistic nation -- one that would fit the UN plan for global solidarity.
"As president of the United States, I'm also someone who deeply believes that part of the bedrock strength of this country is that it embraces people of many faiths and of no faiths. This is a country that is still predominantly Christian, but we have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and that their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own, and that's part of what makes our country what it is."
Once again, our president misused the word "grace." God's amazing grace has no parallel in other religions! Nor can true Christians revere what Obama calls "their own path to grace." Our Lord calls us to share His loving Truth with all who will listen, but we can never "revere" the world's gods and idols! The consequences would be devastating:
"...if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods... you shall surely perish." Deuteronomy 8:19
THE RADICAL BELIEFS OF THE OBAMA'S PASTOR:
During his 2004 interview with Cathleen Falsani, Obama shared his "enormous amount of respect for" his close friend, Pastor Jeremiah Wright. But when their relationship became a political liability, Obama chose to distance himself from his former mentor. A 2009 video helped me understand why. Instead of honoring God, Wright applauds Marxism as well as Liberation Theology, which twist God's truth into racist lies.
This video message is no longer available through YouTube or various websites. But this description by Cliff Kincaid (Accuracy in Media) gives us a glimpse of Pastor Wright's unbiblical values:
"A new video of Jeremiah Wright (11-1-09) has surfaced, showing Barack Obama’s pastor of 20 years praising Marxism and discussing his ties to communists in El Salvador and Nicaragua and the Libyan government. Equally important, Wright is being introduced in the video by Robert W. McChesney, co-founder of [the Soros-funded] Free Press, an organization which has come under scrutiny for its links to the Obama Administration and dedication to the transformation and control of the private media in the U.S.
"In an article in the socialist Monthly Review, 'Journalism, Democracy, and Class Struggle,' McChesney declared, 'Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism.'
"In the video, which captures Wright’s appearance at a September 17, 2009, anniversary celebration of Monthly Review, Wright said that ... Monthly Review offers what it calls 'no-nonsense Marxism.'... He called America 'land of the greed and home of the slave.'... [Earlier that year he had] blamed 'them Jews' for keeping him away from President Obama.
"He said that 'My work with liberation theology, with Latin American theologians, with the Black Theology Project and with the Cuban Council of Churches taught me 30 years ago the importance of Marx and the Marxist analysis of the social realities of the vulnerable and the oppressed....”
The last quote seems to fit Obama's vision of "change" and global socialism. He is not alone! Obama is an important link in a worldwide chain of "power elites" determined to establish a totalitarian system of "global governance." It would show little tolerance for Christians who love God more than the State.
"O our God... we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." 2 Chronicles 20:12
LIGHT IN THE SPREADING DARKNESS
In line with UNESCO's Declaration on the Role of Religion in the Promotion of a Culture of Peace, our president is leading us down the path to global pluralism. In this context, Biblical Christianity is an enemy to peace and unity. American parents -- like those in Communist or Muslim nations -- may actually lose their freedom to teach God's Truth to their children.
Let us pray -- faithfully and fervently -- for our nation, our president, our churches, our families and friends. Never has it been more important to equip our children with the Truths of God's Armor, for the mental and spiritual assaults that our children will face in the years ahead are almost incomprehensible.
Only by God's Spirit can we walk with Him on His narrow way. Only by His grace can we stand firm as the battle intensifies -- keeping our hearts focused on His Light ahead no matter how dark the world around us. Yet,
"...in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39
1. Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live (Fleming H. Revell, 1976), p. 250.
2. "Obama's faith assertion called 'politically driven', WorldNetDaily, September 28, 2010, www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=209301
3. Cathleen Falsani, Interview with State Senator Barack Obama, March 27, 2004. http://blog.beliefnet.com/stevenwaldman/2008/11/obamas-interview-with-cathleen.html
4. See Writing New Rules for the Global Community at www.crossroad.to/articles2/009/memory.htm#schaeffer
5. Cliff Kincaid, "Controversial New Video of Obama’s Pastor, Accuracy in Media, November 1, 2009.
6. Welcome to Global Governance at www.crossroad.to/articles2/009/sovereignty/global-gov.htm
7. See illustrations: Homeschooling and Christian Families at www.crossroad.to/News/family.html