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December 29, 2010

Obama's Church Appearance Highlights Public Trend

President Obama attended church in Hawaii Sunday, continuing a trend of public expressions of his Christian faith in the past three months, argues Carol E. Lee in Politico.

Obama has publicly mentioned his “Christian faith” more times in the past three months than he has over the past year. He has more frequently cited passages of the Bible, including repeated references to the spirit of Genesis 4:9 — “I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper” — which was a mainstay of Obama’s 2010 campaign stump speech. And he’s taken his family to church twice, a shift for a president who has preferred to worship privately since the end of the 2008 campaign.

As far as I can tell, the Obama family attends church mostly on holidays and special occasions. However, the family attended a church in September after polls suggested that at least 18 percent of Americans think he is a Muslim.

Adelle M. Banks noted a similar trend of faith as a public expression for Religion News Service.

When President Obama lit the National Christmas Tree behind the White House last year, he spoke of a “child born far from home” and said “while this story may be a Christian one, its lesson is universal.”

This year, Obama referenced that same “child born far from home,” but added a more personal twist: “It’s a story that’s dear to Michelle and me as Christians.”

Three days later, at a Christmas benefit concert, the president again talked about how the story of Christmas “guides my Christian faith.”

What changed? For one, three separate polls in the past year have found that one in four Americans think the president is a Muslim, 43 percent don’t know what faith he follows, and four in 10 Protestant pastors don’t consider Obama a Christian.

The AP reports that Obama attended a chapel at Marine Corps Base Hawaii for a multi-denominational service. Obama has said that his family has not joined a church because appearances would be disruptive.

Comments

Well, if the polls say that Obama is not a Christian, and if Protestant pastors say that Obama is not a Christian, then that can only mean that he's not a Christian. We should tell God that we've saved him some time by figuring this all out for Him. I'm sure that He'll be pleased.

Are all your readers Republicans?

I wince when so many use our President is used as a pin cushion. Did I not read that he was recently chosen as the most admired man in America?

C. Ferrell

Obama appears to hold to a liberal Christian faith similar to that preached in most "mainstream" denominations. His longtime attendance at Trinity United Church of Christ, whatever one may think of Jeremiah Wright, should make this clear. As such he is not being disingenuous when he calls himself a Christian, or a hypocrite when he attends church, and the endless carping about him being Barack Hussein Obama the Muslim needs to stop. Whether or not he knows Christ as Lord and Savior is between him and God

Our country is in severe trouble, and Obama has become a clear symbol of that trouble. This alleged president is already talking publicly about legalizing gay marriage. And he's hired pro-gay judges and justices who are completely committed to imposing gay marriage as the law of the land.

It doesn't even matter anymore what kind of churchy "Photo Ops" Obama puts on for the media. America is in severe trouble. Soon. Real soon.

This is between him and the Lord but he does believe in "collective salvation" (his own words not mine) which is being taught by Jeremiah Wright and that is not what my Bible says. Salvation is a "personal" relationship between me and my Maker and it matters not what the collective does.

That's amazing. That whole explanation, and not a mention of Jesus, who is the only way to heaven.
John 14:6 "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." It doesn't matter what Jeremiah Wright or Obama say about salvation, what matters is what the Bible teaches. Obama's faith, which appears to be works related salvation, may be why some Christians don't believe him when he says he is a Christian, because that is not what the Bible teaches. You can call yourself whatever you want, but it doesn't make you a Christian if Jesus isn't even in the picture, and He isn't accepted as your Lord and Savior.

The entire Bible teaches us that we are sinners in need of a Savior. God loves us so much that He sent His Son, who lived a perfect life, and gave up His life on the cross so that those who believe in Him will have eternal life. The Bible says that He rose again and was seen by over 500 people. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:18 "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."

The Bible says that our works are as filthy rags before God. They don't help us earn our way to heaven. God gave us the free gift of eternal life, to those who believe. We cannot "save" anyone else or ourselves. Romans 1:17 says "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Christians do want to help the poor and feed the needy, but it comes from having the Holy Spirit in us, out of a love for God, not because we are trying to "save" someone else or ourselves. That is something we just can't do. Only the Holy Spirit can change the heart, and that can only be done when the true Gospel is preached and heard. Romans 10:17 "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ."


I think that you and I are in agreement in the matter of works without faith being dead. However, I'm struggling to understand how you are inferring that Obama's call to young people to aid the poor is, as you say, "works related salvation" that "may be why some Christians don't believe him when he says he is a Christian." I don't see it, not from the quoted speech anyway.

And, by the way, what business is it of "some Christians" to doubt the salvation of another Christian? May I doubt your salvation based on one or two sentences that you've posted here, or would you consider that unfair and unscriptural?

Again I ask, please give me some links so that I can read Obama saying that works are sufficient for salvation.

While Pres. Obama does not often attend church IN WASHINGTON, he "does attend private services when he spends weekends at Camp David, the presidential retreat," according to the very AP report cited. The Camp David chapel, although private, does have a pastor. Just because the services he attends are "private" doesn't mean it's not "church." That's a lot more church attendance than just "holidays and special occasions."

And why, for some context, is it never mentioned in these articles that Pres. Reagan likewise declined to attend public church services in Washington precisely for the same reason -- that his presence would be too disruptive?

If I had to guess, I would say that President Obama is spiritually about where most people are. Or many people at any rate. Just as the article says, he goes to church around the holidays. He thinks God agrees with him on most things. He talks about God when it's convenient or expedient and otherwise gives relatively little thought to the matter.

To be honest, I don't expect anything else. As I said, I tend to think that's about where most people are at so why would Barack Obama (who at the end of the day is just a man whatever title or office he may hold) be any different?

I find it regrettable that our politicians seem to feel that they need to pretend to be more devoted Christians than they actually are. It adds a layer of falseness to them. I mean, it's usually fairly obvious when people are speaking outside their comfort zone. When a person who is a 3-time-a-year Christian tries to speak about what "guides (their) Christian faith" I find it a little less than convincing.

And that goes for both parties, by the way. I never got the impression that John McCain was particularly exemplary in such matters either. I'd rather have honest mediocrity than false uber-faith.

I laughed out loud when I read this article and some of the comments. Before, Obama didn't go to church publicly, so we "real Christians" suspected he was not one of us. Then Obama goes to church, but that makes us equally suspect he is not one of us. I just had a novel thought: Since we don't know what he really believes, what if we tried being THANKFUL that he is going to church more regularly and PRAYED for him to make progress on his journey of faith?

I meant to say Hypocrisy is so dense whenever this subject matter surfaces, that it takes the biggest most powerful chain saw to cut through it.

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The President may be a Christian, but he doesn 't understand what it means. The only Bible refrences he talks about are old testament. This is the only stuff he knows. It is easy to beleive he is a Muslim. He was raised as one and regardless of what the liberal left has to say, if he were honest about his life and beliefs, he would unseal his records. Only those with something to hide, hide themselves.

What 'sealed' records are you wanting opened Dave?

He has sealed all records froim birth to his education. It is a moot point to discuss where he was born, but it is not a large stretch to believe he listed himself as born somewhere besides the US to take advantage of financial aid. In addition, what kind of grades did the smartest guy in the world get? When Bush was in the White House he was considered by the liberals as the dumbest inhabitant of the White House, despite his MA in Business and a successful buisness career.

Finally, just a note that it would be nice to have president who didn't bow to every leader he meets. Oh and by the way, America is a Christian nation, but no one is forced by the fear of death to believe.

A more accurate argument/claim would be, that the United States is an addicted nation or an obese nation or a violent nation.

Men can easily be fooled but God will not be fooled.


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