One Man’s Faith
Questions lately have arisen about Obama’s beliefs.
So, is Obama a Christian? “The president is obviously a Christian. He prays every day.”White House spokesman Bill Burton made that succinct comment after a 2010 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found 18 percent of individuals surveyed said Obama was Muslim.
Praying doesn’t mean anything, least of all that anyone is a Christian. Muslims pray. Taoists pray to some force of some sort. Praying is communication. Whether their prayers are heard, let alone fulfilled is quite another matter.
“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 that I would want to lead — being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, treating others as they would treat me,” Obama said in a backyard town hall in New Mexico in 2010.
The precepts of Christ don’t make a person a Christian either. It’s certainly nice to heed the precepts of Christ to lead the kind of life, but anyone can do that and still not be a Christian. They can do that and still be the independent, self-reliant person they have been. There are no journalistic shibboleths to distinguish a pretender from a true believer.
A Christian is someone who knows not only that God is, but understands that relationship with Him is possible and depends upon giving up. A Christian is someone who has surrendered. They’ve given up their own life to God through Christ, which is done through faith.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the scripture says, and that being so means that faith can’t be perceived by the senses. Faith is the commodity of another realm, not this one. Faith is the measure by which a person is a Christian. It can’t be quantified or qualified, but it can be distinguished from the individual who doesn’t have it.
In the final analysis, it becomes not a question of whether Obama is a Christian, but does he believe in the One True God. Is his faith fixed in Christ? Or is it placed somewhere else? There isn’t a non-faith option. Even atheists, their protestations to the contrary, have faith. One either has it well placed or badly. My take is Obama’s isn’t well placed.