by John Hawkins | December 2, 2008 5:58 am
“The One” has caused some controversy by contradicting the Bible on who can get into heaven,
The impetus was an interview conducted four years by Cathleen Falsani of the Chicago Sun Times. She’d already published a column based on the interview but Beliefnet published the full transcript after the election. That interview included the following exchange:
Obama: There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.
Falsani: You don’t believe that?
Obama: I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup.”
What’s more, I’m told by people who attended Mr. Obama’s meeting earlier this year with several Christian leaders that Rev. Franklin Graham pressed him on this point. Mr. Obama’s answer was similar: he had a hard time believing that his mother, who was not Christian, would be burning in hell.
This led several conservative bloggers to point out that Mr. Obama’s views contradicted a fundamental tenet of Christianity — that salvation comes through Christ.
Joe Carter on Culture11.com questioned whether Mr. Obama had “a true knowledge of Christ.”
Rod Dreher wrote, “It’s the Church of Christianity without Christ. It’s Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, so let’s call it what it is — but not what it is not, which is Christianity.”
Earlier in the year, former Sen. Rick Santorum called Mr. Obama a religious “phony” for the same reason.
I wouldn’t call Barack Obama a “phony” because of his beliefs. In fact, a lot of Christians believe the same thing. They’re of the opinion that since God is compassionate, he wouldn’t deny heaven to Muslims or Hindus who grew up in different cultures where Christianity wasn’t the norm.
However, just to be clear: that is absolutely not what the Bible says. According to the Bible, if you haven’t embraced Christ as your personal savior, you don’t go to heaven — and just to be clear, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, etc., etc., have most certainly not embraced Christ as their personal savior.
Now, does that mean I’m saying all those people go to hell? No, I’m not. Deciding who goes to heaven and hell is above the pay grade of mere mortals — and that includes me, Barack Obama, and everyone else who’s a Christian.
So, just to be clear, if you’re a Christian, you can certainly “hope” that God allows people into heaven who don’t share your beliefs, but you should be very aware that isn’t what the Bible says. That’s especially true for someone like Barack Obama, who has the potential to influence tens of millions of people over the next years with his beliefs.
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