“Obama isn’t a Muslim; he’s a Christian.” — Hugh Hewitt last night on CNN
“The president is a Christian, and he was born in this country. Those two things are self-evident.” — Chris Christie this morning on NBC
“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it`s also a sacred union. You know, God`s in the mix.” — Barack Obama
I think many conservative voters justifiably have a problem when Republican politicians insist that Obama’s Christian. For one thing, it promotes the view that Christianity and same-sex marriage can be reconciled, which is just what Obama wants people to think. If pressed on this point, Cruz had a perfectly workable answer: “The president’s faith is between him and God.” That’s really all that a conservative politician needs to say on the matter. It’s also a relatively safe answer politically.
Conservatives who accuse Obama of being Muslim are foolish. As we see from Hewitt and Christie, it merely results in conservatives backing up Obama on TV, vouching for his honesty on a matter about which Obama himself has been less than honest. For we now know that Obama was simply not telling the truth when he uttered the words I quoted above. Let’s read them again:
“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it`s also a sacred union. You know, God`s in the mix.”
Thanks to David Axelrod (and others), we know the president was for same-sex marriage all along. Obama confessed to it:
David is mixing up my personal feelings with my position on the issue.
His public position was one thing, his personal view another. The problem is he presented his public position as his personal view. In fact, he really didn’t believe marriage “is a sacred union between a man a woman.” He didn’t “evolve.” God wasn’t “in the mix” (a political calculation was). If the foregoing is true, why shouldn’t we at least suspect that he wasn’t being forthright about his religion as well? The doubt about his Christianity doesn’t arise from cynicism on our part but from his own deceptions about fundamental Christian matters. In short, if you don’t believe that Obama is a Christian, you shouldn’t feel bad about it; it’s perfectly understandable considering how the president lied to the nation about his position on this fundamental issue.
To help answer this question about whether or not same-sex marriage is compatible with Christianity, witness the day the Supreme Court of the United States extended same-sex marriage to all fifty states. On that very day, Obama delivered a eulogy for Reverend Pinckney. In it, he stated that the “Bible calls us to hope” and warmly embraced “our Christian faith.” Let’s take his advice and turn to the Bible. We know that, for a Christian, hope means salvation. Now what hope for salvation is there for practicing homosexuals according to the Bible? “Do not be deceived,” the Bible warns us:
neither the sexually immoral, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you. But you were washed, sanctified, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6.9 ESV).
Since the word “homosexuality” dates from 1892, it’s somewhat anachronistic in translation. The NIV has “men who have sex with men,” the KJV “nor the effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” The Greek words being translated are μαλακοὶ and ἀρσενοκοῖται, which derive from malakos, soft, and arsenikos, masculine. They refer to the participants in gay sex: men who practice homosexuality. Moreover, this verse from Corinthians is not the only one to speak this way about homosexuality. 1 Timothy 1.10 states:
The law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality [ἀρσενοκοίταις], enslavers, liars, persecutors, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted (ESV).
Scripture warns us not to be deceived by anyone who tells us the practice of homosexuality’s consonant with Christianity. According to the Bible, Obama is deceiving us. But no Christian should listen to a deceiver. What would happen if the Church were to accept same-sex unions? The Church itself would become a deceiver — according to its own holy book!
History produced a remarkable confluence between black civil rights and gay rights. The eulogy Obama gave at Mother Emanuel Church in the aftermath of the killings there by a white supremacist was given on the day the Supreme Court issued its same sex marriage decision. But liberals had all along been presenting gay rights under the template of the black civil rights movement. David Axelrod, responding to questions about his admission that Obama intentionally misled the country about gay marriage, drew a comparison between Obama and Lincoln: “You know,” Axelrod said in an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell, “there were plenty of folks who were angry at Lincoln because they thought he didn’t move fast enough on emancipation.”
This analogy between Obama and Lincoln is grossly unfair to Lincoln (apart from being highly self-serving). The radical difference between Lincoln and Obama can be stated, from a Christian point of view, as follows: Whereas Lincoln’s goal of abolishing slavery was consonant with a Biblical imperative and restored an important Christian principle to the country (truly making us a more perfect union from a Biblical perspective), Obama’s promotion of sodomy did exactly the opposite: it violated a core tenet of Christianity. From this perspective, Lincoln and Obama play diametrically opposed roles in American history. (Whether or not Lincoln lied to the country might be considered later.)
In light of this constant overlapping of gay and black civil rights, it becomes necessary for Christians to defend their religion from the misconception, which naturally arises, that Christianity and same-sex marriage are consonant. But, before returning to gay marriage, let’s briefly consider the Bible’s position on slavery. Interestingly enough, the Bible itself juxtaposes the two issues. 1 Timothy 1.10 lists “Men who practice homosexuality” and “enslavers” right next to each other. As regards slavery, Jesus said,
You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10.42).
It is also true that Ephesians calls upon slaves “to obey your earthly masters.” Predictably, those who hate the Bible will call our attention to these words and make it seem like the Bible justifies slavery. But it has to be noted that the Bible calls on the masters to “do the same, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven and that there is no partiality with him” (Ephesians 6.5). From our vantage point in history, it’s easy to miss what is so radical about those words. In an ancient world in which slavery is considered perfectly acceptable, it tells the master that he is intrinsically no better than his slave, that he must recognize his slave as his equal.
If we read Ephesians 6.5 in light of 1 Timothy 1.10, with its prohibition against human smuggling and slavery, we can truly say that the institution of slavery was completely undermined by the Word of God almost two thousand years before it was abolished in America. Those who fault the Bible because it doesn’t tell the slave to rise up in bloody rebellion completely misunderstand the Christian message. Far from excusing slavery, by condemning human smuggling, scripture deprives slavery of all moral legitimacy.
Now recall that this is the very same verse which warns us about the practice of homosexuality. If we want to discount it because of what it says about homosexuality, we have to consider that we’re also throwing out its condemnation of slavery. Should Christians simply toss the verse aside, as political correctness would have them do? On the contrary, as Christians we see all too clearly the betrayal Obama committed against the slaves who wielded the Bible (that most powerful of tools) in their defense. We have to see to what an extent Obama has alienated African-Americans from the source of their deliverance, from that which made their struggle so righteous to God and man. One can almost hear a slave master saying what Obama says today: “Pay that verse no mind, boy.” Spiritually, Obama has placed himself in what is possibly eternal bondage to those slave masters who were so dishonest about God’s word.