Pres. Obama’s faith is in the news once again. Here is a video link to the speech he gave on Wednesday, February 7th at the National Prayer Breakfast. Many comentators are saying his speach was upstaged by a speech delivered by Dr. Ben Carson. Here is a video link to Dr. Carson’s speech. One thing I have learned in recent months is that if you want to get a controversy started on facebook, mention gun-control or Pres. Obama’s faith.
Pres. Obama claims to be a Christian. While running for office in 2008, he talked about his faith with Pastor Rick Warren. I found his remarks compelling. Here is a video link to those remarks. Immediately, when conservaties hear Pres. Obama discuss his faith and give blatently Christian/Biblical answers and speeches, they say he has good speech writers or is playing to the audience or just an out and out liar. Ultimately, conservatives will say to look at his record and his stance on abortion and same sex marriage. According to them, these policies, which are opposite of their own, mean Pres. Obama cannot possibly be a Christian. They usually follow this thought with the words of Jesus, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:15-20). Of course, these same conservatives never mention Obama standing up for the poor and speaking out for the voiceless and the immigrant. Those policy issue do seem to line up with Scripture.
Here is my question: Is a public figures public policies enough for me to judge their heart and relationship with God?
I don’t know Pres. Obama personally. Many of his policies bother me and conflict with my understanding of Scripture. Like all of us, he seems to be a mixture of right/wrong, good/bad. But I don’t know his heart. I don’t know what he is like everyday. I don’t know his prayers and his private actions. I don’t know how he treats his family and friends. All I know is his public persona and I am sure that is not enough for me to judge his salvation.
I guess what I am saying is that I am in no position to judge Pres. Obama’s faith and claim to be a Christian. Fortunately, the bible does not ask me to judge him. All it asks me to do is pray for him.
And so that is what I will do.