Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Is Obama Really Christian? Are Most Christians Really Christian?

posted by swaldman

Obama’s interview with Cathleen Falsani, recently published on Beliefnet, has re-ignited not only some political wars but religious fights that have persisted for almost 2,000 years: what does it mean to be a Christian?
Joe Carter, Rod Dreher, Rick Santorum and several posters in the comment area of the blog post have suggested that Obama can’t call himself a Christian since he seems to reject the idea that acceptance of Christ is required for salvation:

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 Obama’s meeting earlier this year with several Christian leaders and that Franklin Graham pressed him on this point. His answer was similar: that he had a hard time believing that his mother, who was not Christian, would be burning in hell.
Carter and others argue that Obama therefore cannot call himself a Christian. They note that even Mainline Protestants accept the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed, both of which make that same declaration.
But here’s the rub for orthodox Christians: millions and millions of people call themselves Christian, worship at Christian churches and believe that acceptance of Christ is not required for entry into heaven. In a recent Pew poll, 70% said “many religions can lead to eternal life.” 66% of Protestants and 79% of Catholics said they agreed with that idea.
It was also a view shared by many of the Founders.
“I believe with Justin Martyr, that all good men are Christians,” said John Adams.
Like Obama, Adams doubted that those around the world who hadn’t accepted Christ could be damned. In a letter to Jefferson, he claimed that according to Christian doctrine nine tenths of the population would suffer for eternity as they were not schooled in Christianity. Why, he asked, would God allow “innumerable millions to make them miserable, forever”? The explanation often given, said Adams, was, “For his Own Glory.” This answer disgusted Adams. “Wretch! …Is he vain?” he asked about God. “Tickled with Adulation? Exulting and triumphing in his Power and the Sweetness of his Vengeance? Pardon me, my Maker, for these Aweful Questions. My Answer to them is always ready: I believe no such Things.”
Many liberal Christians argue that Christianity is defined through actions not theology, and some dispute the idea that John 3:16 should define Christianity on this point.
Theologically, I don’t have a dog in this fight but I will merely point out that if Joe Carter, Rick Santorum, Cal Thomas and others drum Obama out of the bugle corps for that reason they will need to expel a sizable percentage of Christiandom.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(33)
post a comment
RJohnson

posted November 17, 2008 at 1:26 pm


“Theologically, I don’t have a dog in this fight but I will merely point out that if Joe Carter, Rick Santorum, Cal Thomas and others drum Obama out of the bugle corps for that reason they will need to expel a sizable percentage of Christiandom.”
I would also point out that by engaging in such hair-splitting over the sincerity of Obama’s faith, they invite similar scrutiny of their own.



report abuse
 

Charles Cosimano

posted November 17, 2008 at 1:33 pm


There are going to be a lot of surprised Christians entering Heaven when they are greeted by the Buddha and Mohammed.
To be called a non-Christian by this crew would seem to be a high honor.



report abuse
 

RJohnson

posted November 17, 2008 at 2:12 pm


“There are going to be a lot of surprised Christians entering Heaven when they are greeted by the Buddha and Mohammed.”
I have a feeling that a lot of us are going to have some very precious “private interpretations” torn away at the moment we enter into His presence. This may well be the least of them.



report abuse
 

Tim

posted November 17, 2008 at 3:08 pm


It’s churlish for these fellows to read Obama out of Christendom on the basis of these comments.____It’s also bad PR.____I think the Pew Poll is at least slightly misleading…in America, people tend to define other Christian denominations as different religions, so a Baptist who answered “yes” when questioned “can other religions lead to eternal salvation” may well have had in mind Catholics or Episcopalians. Were the question phrased more precisely (“Can Ricky, a Buddhist and great person who rejects Jesus’ deity go to heaven?”) the numbers would go down.



report abuse
 

Art

posted November 17, 2008 at 3:11 pm


Since we’re supposed to emulate Jesus and they considered Jesus to be an apostate, we’re in good company.
I’d rather be out of the camp then in the camp with some who deem themselves keepers of the Christian faith.



report abuse
 

Rod Dreher

posted November 17, 2008 at 3:21 pm


Steve, I can’t speak for Evangelicals, but I’m sure Rick Santorum, as a Roman Catholic, and I know that I myself as an Orthodox Christian, would not say, because our church’s teachings do not permit us to say, that any specific person is in, or is going to be in, Hell. We just can’t know these things. What we can know, as Christians, is that if God, in His mercy, chooses to save anyone, He does so through Jesus Christ, in some mysterious way.
If Obama denies the divinity of Jesus Christ, though — that is, if he sees Jesus as only a wise teacher, not as the incarnate God — well, that’s thoroughly heterodox. It seemed to me that that’s what Obama was saying. I’m pleased to be proven wrong.



report abuse
 

RJohnson

posted November 17, 2008 at 3:39 pm


“I’m pleased to be proven wrong.”
Then you should be quite happy.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/januaryweb-only/104-32.0.html?start=2
“I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful. I didn’t ‘fall out in church’ as they say, but there was a very strong awakening in me of the importance of these issues in my life. I didn’t want to walk alone on this journey. Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.”



report abuse
 

Beth

posted November 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm


I like trhe “even” that precedes “mainline Protestants”. I just checked both the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed I can’t see where either one of them says you have to believe in Jesus to be saved.



report abuse
 

Steven Waldman

posted November 17, 2008 at 5:34 pm


Rod,
On the point about whether Obama believes in the divinity of Christ, i think there’s a stickier issue: Obama has said a few different, slightly contradictory things. AS RJohnson notes, in another interview, he said “I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life.”
So which comment best reflects his actual views?
On the point about salvation through Christ, I think he’s been consistent — and consistently in violation of orthodox Christian teaching. I now turn it over to y’all as to whether orthodox Christian teaching is, as the lawyers say, dispositive.



report abuse
 

Anne

posted November 17, 2008 at 5:43 pm


CS Lewis also believed non-Christians could achieve salvation.



report abuse
 

Robert

posted November 17, 2008 at 6:18 pm


I think this concern about Obama’s Christian orthodoxy is more a projection of partisan politics than any faith concerns. As Rod Dreher notes, orthodox (and Orthodox) Christians often adhere to Paul’s teaching “Ask not who shall ascend,” because speculation as to whom God may show mercy takes away from the worship of Christ. Obama’s heartfelt desire that his mother would be with God doesn’t take away from Christ. On the other hand, Obama’s often-repeated experience of faith, in almost the born-again variety, is a different formula from what a cradle-Christian would use, but I’d hope Rod Dreher, of all people, would recognize the joy of spiritual realization that can come in adulthood.
I’m not aware of anything in Holy Writ that requires us to believe any particular group is damned to be among the saved. I don’t think the criticism of Obama represents that which is clearly Christian. I’m not writing this just as an Obama supporter, which admittedly I am, but also out of concern that the whole treatment of the issue denigrates faith in Christ.



report abuse
 

Steve James

posted November 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm


Christianity is first based on the foundation of Jesus Christ being the savior of the world. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men



report abuse
 

Ali Sulian

posted November 17, 2008 at 7:26 pm


A HUGE contributer to the negative feelings about a lot of people spending eternity in hell is the presumption that this great amount of people are somehow ‘innocent’ and thus don’t deserve such treatment.
I admit, that if people were ‘innocent’ and not causing offense to God, then the doctrine of eternal punishment would be hard to understand – making God out to be cruel!
But the clear fact of the matter is that NO ONE is innocent – all have rebelled and turned away from God who has “not left himself without testimony” in the world (Acts 14:17), and thus it’s people’s own choice if they choose to stay in opposition to God and so desecrate a good and perfect creation under His ruler-ship.
I think also the notion of ‘hell’ can’t be simply left only looking at the punishment side. It is a place for those who continue to be in opposition to God. “Gnashing of teeth” is more an expression of hatred, anger, fury, and opposition. It would seem in hell that people will not be seeking mercy from God, but still claiming ownership of themselves as equal to or above God.
In the end, I think it’s clear that God doesn’t merely send people to hell, so much as people choose this fate for themselves.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted November 17, 2008 at 7:55 pm


And I really have to wonder if the doctrines about hell and salvation evolved over the centuries as a great way to keep the masses in line, following the orders of men who wear dresses and pointy hats. I really do. But even if you believe Jesus is the sole mediator between God and men, that those who go to hell are not innocent if God proclaims them sinful, I don’t see how it is necessary to take over God’s job and condemn individuals to be saved. And Obama isn’t.



report abuse
 

pagansister

posted November 17, 2008 at 10:24 pm


The exact definition of a Christian is varied. Like all those with religious beliefs, there are the conservatives and there are liberals.



report abuse
 

Julie

posted November 17, 2008 at 11:15 pm


How many religious blogs/articles repeated wrote articles questioning whether Pres Bush was a Christian after his 2004 interview with Charlie Gibson? The Evangelicals still voted for Bush.
Transcript Bush Interview Charles Gibson 2004
http://tinyurl.com/4f8t7z
http://tinyurl.com/4kdfvu youtube
CHARLES GIBSON: Do we all worship the same God, Christian and Muslim?
PRESIDENT BUSH: I think we do.
CHARLES GIBSON: Does …
PRESIDENT BUSH: We have different routes of getting to the Almighty.
CHARLES GIBSON: Does bin Laden? Does Abu Musab al-Zarqawi pray to the same God that you and I do?
PRESIDENT BUSH:I think they pray to a false god otherwise they wouldn’t be killing innocent lives like they have been.
CHARLES GIBSON: Do Christians and non-Christians and Muslims go to heaven in your mind?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, they do. We have different routes of getting there. But I will, I, I want you to understand, I want your listeners to understand, I don’t get to decide who goes to heaven. The almighty God decides who goes to heaven. And I am on my personal walk.
Billy Graham – They may not even know the name of Jesus
Billy Graham: Well, Christianity and being a true believer—you know, I think there’s the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ. And I don’t think that we’re going to see a great sweeping revival, that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said that God’s purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name. And that’s what God is doing today, He’s calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they’ve been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they’re going to be with us in heaven.”
http://tinyurl.com/5nmj77



report abuse
 

Turmarion

posted November 17, 2008 at 11:46 pm


The Orthodox Church, to my knowledge, has never specifically in full Ecumenical Council condemned the concept of apokatastasis (universal salvation/reconciliation); whereas on the other hand great theologians such as Gregory of Nyssa, Clement of Alexandria, Diodore of Tarsus, and Maximus the Confessor accepted it. Although this doctrine, has, I think, been condemned by the Catholic Church (at least in the formulation that all are definitely saved), some theologians, including Hans Urs von Baltasar (one of Pope John Paul II’s favorite theologians, whom he intended to make a cardinal before Balthasar’s untimely death), have argued that it is reasonable to hope that all may be saved through the mysterious working of God’s mercy. I would note that von Balthasar’s work on this was never condemned, as I’ve pointed out before.
Furthermore, I’d point out that the Catholic Church has always held the possibility of “baptism of desire”, that is, the idea that those who are unaware of or morally unable to accept Christianity through so-called “invincible ignorance”, may nevertheless be saved in virtue of their behavior in light of the natural law. In fact, the Church excommunicated the infamous Father Leonard Feeney for teaching that only baptized members of the visible, institutional Catholic Church can be saved. The Orthodox Church has never defined the status of non-Christians, leaving the matter to God.
Protestant churches run the whole gamut of beliefs regarding the fate of non-Christians, so it’s impossible to generalize.
However, given that the world’s two largest Christian churches and a significant part of the ancient tradition teach a clear possibility, if not certainty, of salvation for non-Christians, I think it’s fair to say that such belief is ceretainly not incompatible with little-”o” orthodoxy.
By the way, I’m sure many Christians fatuously believe God saves everyone becase he’s “nice” (which seems to be an underlying implication from Rod and some posters); but based on the quotes from Obama, I think it’s unfair to characterize his belief as this. I think any thoughtful Christian who does believe in the possibility of salvation for non-Christians is quite well aware that it comes through Jesus in some way we don’t understand.
Let’s face it. If God imposes a strict criterion of complete understanding of and full, total, and absolute belief in every item of doctrine as stated, heaven is, to say the least, going to be a very roomy place. Not that I don’t think it’s important what you believe; it certainly is. However, I think getting caught up in the game of defining who is and isn’t a Christian is either a uselessly abstract theological game or a pernicious activity bordering on chracter assassination.
Recall John 21:20-22: “Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them…. When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (NIV, emphasis added). If you consider that Peter, the keeper of the keys, symbolizes the institutional Church and the Beloved Disciple (usually thought to be John) the more intuitive, mystic church, I think the message is clear. While the institutional Church is necessary and important, what business does it have in defining others’ relationship to Christ? It simply “must follow” him, and leave off worrying about the others’ status.
I guess the one big thing I still don’t get about all this regarding Obama’s faith or lack thereof or dissembling (which modern American politics almost forces on every candidate regarding religion, anyway) and such: So what? What is the purpose of this conversation, anyway?



report abuse
 

fish

posted November 18, 2008 at 5:20 pm


Everyone reads John 3:16 and feels good about it, but the verse makes no sense without the verses around it. Read John 3:17 for starters.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted November 20, 2008 at 2:26 pm


If most Christians were thoroughly educated in Biblical history, I have a feeling that many would be at a loss for a true answer to this question. Many of the religious factions of Christian faith have developed as the result of different understandings (and sometimes, perhaps, misunderstanding) of the various original versions of the Bible’s books and the translations thereof. Frankly, having done some research in this area, I can safely say that the accuracy of “the Word” in any currently published volume is debatable. Therefore, the very foundation of Judeo-Christian belief is, to a degree, up for debate. The early (the first 300 years after the death of Jesus) church decided what books should and should not be included in what we now call the Bible. Currently, Biblical scholars, theologians, linguistic scientists, and historians (both secular and non-secular) who are studying the original texts are finding that there have been a few mis-translations and, hence, a few mis-interpretations.__Now, my point, which is this – since some of the original texts, that perhaps God intended to be included, were not included, and since the exact translation of the books of the Bible are, to say the least, somewhat questionable, perhaps the greater wisdom here would be for those who want to consider themselves “really Christian” try studying and practicing what the Christ preached (at least what we think we know about what he preach). The Beatitudes are the coolest, I think. I particularily like the “judge not lest thee be judged” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. But, that’s me.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted November 23, 2008 at 6:17 pm


Why are we so concerned about if Obama is a Christian or not, we that are Christian, should pray for our Goverment. ANd why are you debating over religion, religion is man made.. If you read the bible Chritainty is a way of life and it is having a true relationship with God. Well going to heaven, the bible says, only through Him will we be able to have everlasting life.. John 11:25 So if Obama if he is or not a Christain it does not matter now he is in office and all we can do is pray. As everything else, we will know by his action,(everything will come out in the wash). prayer is the only action we should take, and we should not judge others but we should let the light of the Lord shine through us and be there for others that are not Christians.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted December 2, 2008 at 1:20 am


Mr Obama says he has a hard time believing that God would consign four- fifths of the world to hell, for not beleiving in Jesus Christ as personal savior. Well sorry that is an essential doctrine of Christianity. The four-fifth part is Obama’s own estimate. God of the bible tells us which path we should choose in order to be with Him eternally. If we don’t choose the path of truth, as defined biblically, then we send ourselves to hell. A person can believe whatever they want to believe, but biblical christianity states: “I am the truth the way and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. (John 14:6)



report abuse
 

koranist

posted December 3, 2008 at 8:31 am


Some people have said that the Koran says that the Torah and Gospel are corrupted and its no longer a book of guidance. They say Muslims say so. Some Muslims even have said that anyone who still follows these scriptures is no longer a believer but a disbeliever and will go to hell. However when asked to provide their evidence from the Koran they are mute and confused. This is because what they say and the Koran are complete opposites. Lets look at the Koran and what it say:
Let the People of the Gospel judge by what God hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel. (Surah 5, Maida, verse 47)
But why do they come to thee for decision, when they have (their own) Law before them?- Therein is the (plain) command of God; yet even after that, they would turn away. For they are not (really) people of faith. (Surah 5, Maida, verse 43)
Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? – And on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For God is not unmindful of what ye do. (Surah 2, Baqara, verse 85)
Say: “O People of the Book! Ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord….” (Surah 5, Al Ma’idah, verse 68)
If only they had stood fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course: But many of them follow a course that is evil. (Surah 5, Maida, verse 69)
Of the people of Moses there is a section who guide and do justice in the light of truth. (Surah 7, A’raf, verse 159)
2.41 And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone.
2.89 And when there comes to them a Book from God, confirming what is with them,- although from of old they had prayed for victory against those without Faith,- when there comes to them that which they (should) have recognized, they refuse to believe in it but the curse of Allah is on those without Faith.
2.91 When it is said to them, “Believe in what God Hath sent down, “they say, “We believe in what was sent down to us:” yet they reject all besides, even if it be Truth confirming what is with them. Say: “Why then have ye slain the prophets of Allah in times gone by, if ye did indeed believe?”
Here the Koran clearly states the Koran confirms what is with them, meaning the Jews and Christians. Clearly this is not stating scriptures ofthe past but what they have possession of. As I did my research about this subject some time ago I was looking for where this evidence of the tampering and corruption is mentioned. How can God say the previous scriptures are corupted then order them to follow them. It even attacks those who refuse to follow it and says its a confimation of the scriptures they have with them.
Whats more the Koran seems to indicate its a confirmation of the previous scriptures.
To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what God hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute; Surah 5 Verse 48
It even uses the previous scripture as evidence for the validity of the Koran:
And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that) was before thee… (Surah 10, Jonah, verse 94)
Muslims who follow Sunni/Shia Islam say these verses are concerning the originals. But these scriptures have not changed since the days of the prophet. In fact they are the way are today long before the prophet. So what scriptures was the Koran talking about. They then point to this verse as evidence.
2.79 Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:”This is from God,” to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.
This is then used to support the tampering of the scriptures. However upon close examination, I see they failed to look at the verse before it and after it.
2.78 And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture.
So the Koran is saying those poeple were making things up but never said the Book itself has been tampered since those people never knew the book. It was confusing at first but then the next verse explained it:
2.80 And they say: “The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days:” Say: “Have ye taken a promise from God, for He never breaks His promise? or is it that ye say of God what ye do not know?”
This is not in the Torah but its refering to the Talmud. The supposed “oral” traditions the Rabbis say was passed down to them.
The Rabbinic tradition arose from the Pharisaic tradition after the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70. In general, it moved away from traditional Judaism’s emphasis on an earthly future for Israel toward the concept of reward in the life to come.[4] Gehinom (Gehenna), according to rabbinic literature, is a place or state where the wicked are temporarily punished after death. “Gehenna” is sometimes translated as “hell”, but the Christian view of hell differs from the Jewish view of Gehenna. Most sinners are said to suffer in Gehenna no longer than twelve months.Those who are too wicked to reach paradise are sometimes said to be punished forever.[5] Other accounts reject the idea that a merciful God would punish anyone forever,[6] in which case those too wicked for purification are destroyed (see annihilationism)
Gehenna – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
As for Gospel
Jesus is reported to have said “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” and “I am in the Father, and the Father in me” (John 14:9-10); but in the same passage he shortly goes on to add: “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” (John 14:20) Again, while Jesus does proclaim “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30), he also prays for his followers, “that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” (John 17:21) Whatever the nature of the “oneness” Jesus is claiming exists between God and himself, it is apparently something that is supposed to hold between God and all Christians – in which case it can hardly be the relation of numerical identity.
Likewise, in the two New Testament passages where Jesus is said to have regarded himself as “equal with God” – John 5:18 and Philippians 2:6 – the Greek word translated “equal” is isos, which means “on the same level” or “of the same rank,” never “identical.” The claim that Jesus was God did not become Christian orthodoxy until the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. The orthodox reading of these passages seems natural today only because they are read through the lens of what “everybody knows” about Jesus’ claims to divinity; few would find incarnationism in the texts unless they first brought it there.
An objector may point to the opening lines of the Gospel of John, which apparently identify the “Logos” with God (John 1:1) and the “Logos made flesh” with Jesus (John 1:14). Of course these lines were not spoken by Jesus, and so do not show that Jesus himself claimed to be God; but in any case, what exactly are they saying? The relation between God and the Logos seems to fall short of strict identity; the Greek, literally translated, says something like “the Logos was with the God, and God is what the Logos was” – an awkward construction clearly trying to express a subtler relation than identity. The term “Logos” is borrowed from Greek philosophy, where it means a thing’s abstract rational nature; the Logos that is “with” God and is what God is, is not God but God’s nature. To say that Jesus is the Logos made flesh, then, is simply to say that he is a physical embodiment of God’s nature. This hardly makes him identical with God, since all human beings are supposed to be created from God’s spirit (Genesis 2:7) and in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27).
Indeed the New Testament authors clearly understand Jesus as offering everyone the opportunity to be sons (and daughters) of God and to partake of God’s nature:
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. … And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:14-17)
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him.” (1 John 3:2)
As the New Testament authors understand Jesus’ message, being the “Son of God” is evidently not a status that Jesus claims for himself alone, but one that is open to all Christians;
http://praxeology.net/unblog02-04.htm
Clearly this has no basis in the Gospel, the Koran reiterates this:
People of the Book, do not go beyond the bounds in your religion, and say nought as to God but the Truth. The messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the messenger of God, and his word that he committed to Mary, and a spirit originating from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not ‘Three’. Refrain, better is for you. God is only one God. Glory be to him-that He should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the Heavens and in the Earth; God suffices for a guardian. (4.171)
“And they say, The All-Merciful has taken unto Himself a son. You have indeed advanced something hideous. As if the skies are about to burst, the earth to split asunder and its mountain to fall down in the utter ruin for that they have attributed to the All-merciful a son; and behaves not the All-merciful to take a son. None there in the heavens and earth but comes to the All-Merciful as a servant” (Maryam 19:88-93)
There is nothing, absolutely nothing about corruption or tampering of previous scriptures. The Koran states that the Talmud is NOT the word of God and says the Christian priests are NOT following the Gospel but indeed they hide and conceal and take things out of context and following vain desires:
“They (i.e. Jews and Christians) changed words from their contexts and forgot a good part of the message given to them, and you will continue to find them -except a few among them- bent on new deceits…” (5:13)
There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (as they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, ‘That is from God,’ but it is not from God: It is they who tell a lie against God and (well) they know it! (3,78)
Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? – And on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For God is not unmindful of what ye do. ( 2,85)
For more including what Koran says about Torah:
http://www.ballot.com/hotwire/26302-what-koran-says-about-torah-gospel.html



report abuse
 

Jammie

posted December 5, 2008 at 7:38 pm


Have faith in the Lord and in Jesus. I am with Obama in that I do not believe that people who live good lives are going to hell. God is eternal and religion is made by man. What use does our Lord have for names. If one believes in God under any name then they shall be saved.



report abuse
 

KevDog

posted December 16, 2008 at 8:09 pm


@Jammie
Amen…



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted December 18, 2008 at 10:32 pm


In light, darkness has no place and in darkness light has no place.But you can make the decision to either walk in darkness or in light but not both.



report abuse
 

smelly girl

posted January 20, 2009 at 9:43 am


Jammie, nice post, but it is still too long. Edit it down to this and you really have something:
“… I do not believe that people who live good lives are going to hell. Religion is made by man.”



report abuse
 

deanerdawg

posted January 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm


Jammie,
You are dead wrong. John 14:6, and 1 timothy ch 2..read it…
Jesus said, i am the way the truth in the life, and no man comes before God but through Jesus..The bible also tells us that nobody is good, not one..all have sinned..Living a good life will not get you to heaven, only faith in Jesus Christ and being born again from above, regenerated by the Holy Spirit will you reach eternal life..it is not by works, by God’s grace…that kind of thinking leads people to hell…if we were good, then Jesus would not have had to die..think about that….



report abuse
 

CC

posted April 26, 2009 at 8:45 pm


Innocent, and kid (child) are the key here, an innocent child who has never been taught and does not yet know Christ will be saved. Anyone who has been taught christ but still rejects him will not be saved.
So many things are starting to unfold, seriously, even if you don’t believe right now, you should watch for the signs and study further, there is still hope for those who are lost.
It’s always interesting to see how so many people are so afraid, and get so angry when they are confronted with Jesus (who was such a peaceful man). For the lost, they should continually try to realize that just because many say they follow Christ, does not necessarily mean they do. Beware of those who would “demean, and threaten you,” they are misled and not following the true word of Christ. REally, you must read the bible, but not just once and not with a closed heart. If you read the bible with the intent to find a mistake, or you are angry, you will surely find a way to reject it, but if you are open minded, you will begin to find truths.
I am on my 3 rd reading and am still finding things in those words that I would never have realized in the first time through. Sometimes I think by believing if you do good things, it makes it okay for you to do bad things just as long as you do some good things. This is the attractiveness to believing in a God that is truly not God. It’s like saying I can do bad, sin or whatever, be cruel be selfish be self-absorbed, put others down, judge and whatever else, but as long as I am nice to a few people (I kinda like) or give some canned food on a food drive, I’m okay and God will think I’m okay in his book.
Truly think that over, do you really think that would do the trick? If nothing else, it’s something you should think about.



report abuse
 

Terrance Krueger

posted June 7, 2009 at 8:09 am


I do believe that all who are regenerated will and do have faith, but deny that the “faith” — that is, the believing response to God — is in all cases “cognitive” or “informed” faith — for cognitive faith necessarily depends on hearing the rational proclamation of the gospel; rather, I do not hesitate to affirm that it is, in all cases, below the level of consciousness — Lazarus-like, the sinner responds believingly to Christ in response to His Divine fiat in regeneration, being made willing in the day of His power, believing according to the working of His mighty power, and coming to Christ in “vital” relationship (Ps. 110:3; Eph. 2:8; Eph. 1:19; Jno. 6:37, 44). Cognitive faith is indeed present in some, but the gift of faith is present in all of God’s children; hence, I concur that no one goes to heaven without faith, but deny that no one goes to heaven without rational knowledge of the truth. A teaching does indeed take place in the new birth, for God teaches the heart directly and immediately to know Him (Jno. 6:65). Cognitive faith, however, must necessarily come after this initial work of grace in the soul, for it depends on the instrumentality of the preached word. Obviously, if such cognitive (or evangelical) faith is necessary to eternal salvation, then every infant who dies in infancy and every individual without average mental capacities would miss salvation. But my position — i.e. the position that defines “saving faith” (if I must use the term) as that faith that is given to the soul in the work of regeneration — is adequate to include every potential case in which a person is in need of salvation. By the same token, I do believe that the ultimate evidence that a person possesses salvation is an evangelical faith in the Lord Jesus Christ — a faith that expresses itself in voluntary obedience to Christ. Where such faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is present, a person gives indisputable evidence of salvation. – from footnote 6 – page six > http://www.pbpage.org/TimeSalvation.pdf



report abuse
 

Terrance Krueger

posted June 7, 2009 at 8:28 am


I primer on the sovereign act of Jesus Christ in Regeneration and quickening unto eternal life of millions of His elect around the world who will never have the opportunity to audibly hear about him through the Gospel which was canonized in only 325 AD. Rev, 5:9; 7:9; 16:4 and Acs 10:35 testify that there will me many out of EVERY nation, kindred [family], tribe and tongue [language]in heaven, many of which have obviously been extinct long before the advent of the Christ [the only way to heaven], and before the Psalmist and before the Law Giver and necessarily before the great flood of Noah in which all perished except the eight in the ark. These links are believed by millions of “Old School Type Baptists” for centuries. Jesus saves alone. He does not need our help and He does not want our help in His saving work of grace upon the hearts of His elect – that is absolutely effectual towards eternal salvation – making YOUR faith an evidence ONLY of what He has already accomplished.
http://www.SavedHow.com
http://www.judaizers.com
http://www.CognitiveFaith.com
http://www.JesusSavesAlone.com
P.O. Box 100
Fountain Inn, SC 29644-0100



report abuse
 

Bob

posted April 23, 2010 at 8:22 am


deanerdawg – according to your beliefs, Hitler, who was Christian and a believer in Jesus, is saved and in Heaven. Believing in Jesus is NOT the path to Heaven. Believing in what Jesus stood for is the path to Heaven and Jesus stood for Love.



report abuse
 

DominiqueChambers30

posted December 25, 2010 at 3:56 am


Following my own monitoring, thousands of persons on our planet get the loan at different creditors. Thence, there is good possibilities to receive a secured loan in all countries.



report abuse
 

JK

posted May 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm


Why are we even debating religion? What we believe is personal and so it goes for the President. He doesn’t have to prove a thing about what he believes or doesn’t, if he’s Christian or Muslim, if he goes to a church or doesn’t. Who cares. I see as a good person and should be left at that. I feel anyone who believes and tries to live their lives treating everyone as he would want to be treated, is in God’s favor no matter if you’re Jewish, Christian or Muslim. We all set our own expectations of God to live out our own beliefs.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!
Thank you for visiting this page. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Top Religious News Most Recent Inspiration Post Happy Reading!

posted 6:00:22pm Apr. 20, 2012 | read full post »

Good Bye
Today is my last day at Beliefnet (which I co-founded in 1999). The swirling emotions: sadness, relief, love, humility, pride, anxiety. But mostly deep, deep gratitude. How many people get to come up with an idea and have rich people invest money to make it a reality? How many people get to create

posted 8:37:24am Nov. 20, 2009 | read full post »

"Steven Waldman Named To Lead Commission Effort on Future of Media In a Changing Technological Landscape" (FCC Press Release)
STEVEN WALDMAN NAMED TO LEAD COMMISSION EFFORT ON FUTURE OF MEDIA IN A CHANGING TECHNOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE FCC chairman Julius Genachowski announced today the appointment of Steven Waldman, a highly respected internet entrepreneur and journalist, to lead an agency-wide initiative to assess the state o

posted 11:46:42am Oct. 29, 2009 | read full post »

My Big News
Dear Readers, This is the most difficult (and surreal) post I've had to write. I'm leaving Beliefnet, the company I co-founded in 1999. In mid November, I'll be stepping down as President and Editor in Chief to lead a project on the future of the media for the Federal Communications Commission, the

posted 1:10:11pm Oct. 28, 2009 | read full post »

"Beliefnet Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Steps Down to Lead FCC Future of the Media Initiative" (Beliefnet Press Release)
October 28, 2009 BELIEFNET CO-FOUNDER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF STEPS DOWN TO LEAD FCC FUTURE OF THE MEDIA INITIATIVE New York, NY - October 28, 2009 - Beliefnet, the leading online community for inspiration and faith, announced today that Steven Waldman, co-founder, president and editor-in-chief, will re

posted 1:05:43pm Oct. 28, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.