Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Some Obama Things

In case you hadn't heard, Obama seems to have enough delegates to claim the Democratic presidental nomination. Yay. =)

Also a friend sent me a link to this deep and meaningful article about why Obama isn't a Christian. My immediate reaction is that it's fine and good if Cal Thomas wants to say Obama isn't a Christian, so long as he notices that he's not a Christian either, since he obviously worships the Bible instead of ... y'know ... God.

6 comments:

Ryan said...

I thought Obama wasn't a Christian because he has a weird name. RIght?

Besides, If I weren't worshiping the bible, what would I worship?

Matthew said...

Mm, you make a good point. He could have cut right to the chase with that name thing. Cal should have you write his column.

D Love said...

Hey Matt. What is your take on John 14:6 which is mentioned in the article? This has been a problematic verse for me as I have struggled with what to do with it. If the author's standpoint was correct, then if I was born in another country that the main religion was not Christianity, then my chances would be very slim that I would go to heaven.

Sometimes I throw around the idea that Jesus represents all that is good and that anyone from anyone religion who seeks all that is good, whatever they may call it, is in essence following Jesus. In most religions I think what is good is very similar (love, kindness,hospitality,peace,hope, etc.) I obviously dont know even know exactly what I think about this and would love to hear other viewpoints on this.

Matthew said...

Hi, Darin. I think you're right, the whole framework wherein "belief in Jesus" is somehow necessary to gain entry into Heaven after death is extremely problematic if we also claim believe in a God who is good, just, powerful and loving.

I think you have a good approach to reconciling John 14:6 with your understanding of who God is: the passage doesn't really spell out what Jesus means by "through me". We may take it to mean that Jesus' life, sacrifice or example are sufficient to redeem the entire creation, regardless of what individual people are able to know or do.

paul maurice martin said...

D Love and Matt: And more generally, the whole "point system" notion of Christianity... we're each here to score points to get into heaven and avoid punishment in the bad place... It sounds really off to me, kind of like at some point in church history bureaucrats got hold of the message and turned it into a religious perversion. Golden Calf, Golden Point System - no essential difference that I can see.

Jesus lived and died because God loved the world but we're here to live and die for brownie points? If that's the imitation of Christ, I think our act still needs a lot of work...

scoots said...

What does remain relevant is that Obama is not what most church-attending American Christians would regard as a Christian. In other words, he's essentially a different religious than most evangelicals, even if both can justifiably be called "Christian." So Thomas' article, if it's meant to damn Obama to hell, is off base. But if it's meant to let evangelical Christians know that Obama is a world away from the faith they hold dear, I think it accomplishes that task rather well.

@Paul: "Brownie points" is one way to put it. "Justice" is another. The whole idea of heaven and hell is grounded in an ancient apocalyptic world view that saw powerful people doing enormously cruel and wicked things to the Jews, and it stated that God would eventually reward the righteous for their steadfastness and punish the wicked for the atrocities they had committed.

You can disagree with such predictions if you like, or you can even argue that such thinking just leads to cycles of violence (unless we remain pacifists and wait on God to avenge, as Jesus and Paul both taught), but saying that people are just trying to "score points" seems to me to trivialize key Bible passages unfairly, even if it does reflect how some Christians approach things.