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The Gospel according to Obama
President Obama is not just a racial trailblazer, but some say a religious pioneer as well. No president has ever shared his type of Christianity, historians say. Some say he may revive a form of Christianity that once dominated America.
October 21st, 2012
06:59 AM ET

The Gospel according to Obama

By John Blake, CNN

President Barack Obama was sharing a pulpit one day with a conservative Christian leader when a revealing exchange took place.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Christian who has taken public stands against abortion and same-sex marriage, had joined Obama for an AIDS summit. They were speaking before a conservative megachurch filled with white evangelicals.

When Brownback rose to speak, he joked that he had joined Obama earlier at an NAACP meeting where Obama was treated like Elvis and he was virtually ignored. Turning to Obama, a smiling Brownback said, “Welcome to my house!”

The audience exploded with laughter and applause. Obama rose, walked before the congregation and then declared:

“There is one thing I have to say, Sam. This is my house, too. This is God’s house.”

Historians may remember Obama as the nation’s first black president, but he’s also a religious pioneer. He’s not only changed people’s perception of who can be president, some scholars and pastors say, but he’s also expanding the definition of who can be a Christian by challenging the religious right’s domination of the national stage.

When Obama invoked Jesus to support same-sex marriage, framed health care as a moral imperative to care for “the least of these,’’ and once urged people to read their Bible but just not literally, he was invoking another Christian tradition that once dominated American public life so much that it gave the nation its first megachurches, historians say.

“Barack Obama has referred to his faith more times than most presidents ever have, but for many it’s the wrong kind of faith,” says Jim Wallis, head of Sojourners, an evangelical activist group based in Washington that focuses on poverty and social justice issues.

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“It is not the faith of the religious right. It’s about things that they don’t talk about. It’s about how the Bible is full of God’s clear instruction to care for the poor.”

Some see a 'different' kind of Christian

Obama is a progressive Christian who blends the emotional fire of the African-American church, the ecumenical outlook of contemporary Protestantism, and the activism of the Social Gospel, a late 19th-century movement whose leaders faulted American churches for focusing too much on personal salvation while ignoring the conditions that led to pervasive poverty.

No other president has shared the hybrid faith that Obama displays, says Diana Butler Bass, a historian and author of “Christianity after Religion.”

“The kind of faith that Obama articulates is not the sort of Christianity that’s understood by the media or by a large swath of Christians in the U.S.,” says Bass, a progressive Christian. “He’s a different kind of Christian, and the media and the public awareness needs to reawaken to that fact.”

Some Christians, however, still see Obama as the “other.” He doesn’t act or talk like other Christians, says the Rev. Gary Cass, a conservative Christian president of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

“I just don’t see or hear in his accounts the kind of things that I’ve heard as a minister for over 25 years coming from the mouths of people who have genuinely converted to Christianity,” says Cass, pastor of Christ Church in San Diego.

Cass says he’s never heard Obama say he’s “born-again.” There’s no emotional conversion story to hang onto.

Obama talks about his faith and attends church, but Cass says that doesn’t mean he’s a Christian.

“Joining a church doesn’t mean you’re a Christian. “You can put me in the garage, but that doesn’t turn me into a car.”

The origins of Obama’s faith

The suspicion about Obama’s faith may seem odd at first because he’s written and spoken so much about his spiritual evolution in his two autobiographies, “Dreams of my Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.” Other books, like “The Faith of Obama” by Stephen Mansfield, also explore Obama’s beliefs.

The 1925 “Monkey” trial of John Scopes, a high school biology teacher who taught evolution, drove fundamentalists underground, some say.

Mansfield says Obama is the first president who wasn’t raised in a Christian home. Obama’s mother was an atheist and his grandparents were religious skeptics (Obama’s family has challenged the description of his mother as an atheist. Obama called her “the most spiritually awakened” person he’d ever known, and his sister called their mother an agnostic).

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Mansfield called Obama’s boyhood a “religious swirl.  He was exposed to Catholicism, Islam, and strains of Hinduism and Buddhism while growing up in Indonesia during the 1960s.

“In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology,” Obama said in Mansfield’s book. “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”

Obama became a Christian while he was a community organizer in Chicago. He joined a predominantly black United Church of Christ. The UCC became the first mainline Protestant denomination to officially support same-sex marriage in 2005.

Obama’s faith showed many of the elements of a liberal Protestant church: an emphasis on the separation of church and state, religious tolerance and the refusal to embrace a literal reading of the Bible.

In a 2006 speech before a Sojourners meeting, Obama talked about his approach to the Bible:

“Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?”

When many people think of Obama’s religious experience in Chicago, though, they cite his exposure to the angry sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and “black liberation theology,” a movement that emerged in the late 1960s and blended the Social Gospel with the black power movement.

Bass, the church historian, says another black pastor shaped Obama’s theology more: the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

He attended liberal Protestant seminaries where he learned about the Social Gospel’s concern for the entire person, soul and body.

Obama has reached out to evangelical leaders like Rick Warren, seen here praying at Obama’s inauguration, but many still doubt his faith.

King once wrote that “any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them …is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.”

But King and the black church also fused the Social Gospel with an emotional fervor missing from white Protestant churches, Bass says. Other presidents like Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were influenced by the Social Gospel, but they weren’t shaped by the black church.

“This is the first time we’re hearing the Social Gospel from the perspective of the black church from the Oval Office. It makes it warmer, more emotive, more communal," Bass says. "There is less fear of linking the Social Gospel with the stories of the Bible, especially the stories of Exodus and Jesus’ healings.”

The emphasis on community uplift - not individual attainment - may strike some Americans as socialist. But the emphasis on community is part of King’s “Beloved Community,” Bass says.

King once wrote that all people are caught up in an “inescapable network of mutuality… I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be.”

“When I listen to Obama, I don’t hear communism, I hear the Beloved Community,” Bass says. “But a lot of white Americans don’t hear that because they never sat in those churches and heard it over and over again. It’s the whole theology that motivated MLK and the civil rights movement.”

Obama is not a Christian, some think

For some, Obama’s actions in the Oval Office seem to contradict Christianity.

Jesus was nonviolent. Obama has ramped up drone attacks in Afghanistan that have not only removed terrorists, but killed civilians.

The Bible talks about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. Obama invoked Jesus when he came out in support of same-sex marriage. “The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule," Obama told ABC News during his announcement.

Jesus talked about helping the poor. But he never said anything about creating a massive health care law that taxed the rich to help the poor, some Christians argue.

But Wallis of Sojourners says Obama’s push for health care was a supreme example of Christian faith.

A situation where 50 million Americans don’t have health insurance is “a fundamental Christian problem,” Wallis says.

“Health is such a Gospel issue. Jesus was involved in healing all the time, and to have some people excluded from health care because they lack wealth is a fundamental Christian contradiction.”

Wallis has been one of the most persistent defenders of Obama’s faith. But no matter how much Scripture he and others cite, doubts about Obama’s faith have followed him throughout his political career.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson once said that Obama distorted the traditional understanding of the Bible “to fit his own world, his own confused theology.” The Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, publicly questioned Obama’s faith, then later apologized.

Conservative Christian books and websites are filled with stories of Obama allegedly trying to suppress the nation’s Christian heritage.

The Rev. Steven Andrew, author of “Making a Strong Nation,” says Obama is trying to change the national motto from “In God we Trust” to “Out of Many, One,” and he’s ordered the Pentagon to remove biblical verses from its daily report.

“That’s the most serious thing someone can do to a nation, trying to separate a nation from God,” he says. “He seems to be trying to change the Christian laws our Founding Fathers made.”

Andrew says Obama is actually an enemy of Christianity. In his book, Andrew argues that the Founding Fathers were Christians who created a “covenant Christian nation” and calls for a “national repentance.”

“I think he’s an anti-Christ,” Andrew says.  Cass, of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, says Obama’s emphasis on helping the poor through social justice isn’t Christianity.

Christians who talk about “social justice” are often practicing “warmed-over Marxism,” Cass says.

“Do I believe in caring for the poor and oppressed? Yes. But you don’t do it along the lines of communistic redistributing.”

Obama’s support of same-sex marriage and abortion rights also disqualifies him from being a Christian, Cass says.

“It’s the most pro-abortion administration in the history of America.  On every social issue – the sanctity of life and of marriage between men and women – Obama is on the wrong side of every moral issue,” he says.

He says a progressive Christian is a contradiction.

“No Christian says I believe in Jesus Christ and I reject the Bible,” Cass says. “These progressives who say they’re Christians are liars. They’re using Christianity as a guise to advance their own agenda.”

Cass says he doesn’t know what Obama believes.

“He’s conflicted,” Cass says. “He has Muslim sympathies from his upbringing."

How progressive Christianity lost the public square

There was a time when Obama’s brand of Christianity would have been understood by millions of Americans, historians say.

Obama along with first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha leave church after attending a Sunday prayer service.

The Social Gospel and progressive Protestantism dominated the American religious square from the end of the 19th century up to the 1960s. At times, the traditions blended together so seamlessly that it was hard to tell the difference.

The Social Gospel rose out of the excesses of the Gilded Age in the 1880s, when urban poverty spread across America as immigrants crammed into filthy slums to work long hours in unsafe conditions.

Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor in a New York slum, urged the church to take “social sins” as seriously as they took individual vices. Churches began feeding the poor and fighting against other social ills.

“The notion that religious people should be about feeding the poor and helping the homeless is a carryover of the Social Gospel,” says Charles Kammer, a religion professor at Wooster College in Ohio. The Social Gospel was adopted by many Protestant churches in the late 19th and early 20th century, says Bass, the church historian. Some of the Social Gospel churches grew popular because they provided the poor with everything from English classes to sewing instructions and basketball leagues.

“The first American megachurches were liberal, Social Gospel urban churches,” Bass says.

The Social Gospel, though, sparked a backlash from a group of pastors during World War I. They were called fundamentalists. They published a pamphlet listing the “fundamentals of the faith:” Biblical inerrancy, the virgin birth, Adam and Eve.

But the fundamentalists lost the battle for public opinion during the “Scopes Monkey Trial” in 1925. John Scopes, a high school science teacher, was tried for violating a Tennessee law that prohibited the teaching of evolution.

Though Scopes lost, fundamentalist Christians were mocked in the press as “anti-intellectual rubes,” and a number of states suspended pending legislation that would have made teaching evolution illegal, says David Felten, author of “Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity.”

The trial drove fundamentalists underground where they created a subculture, their own media networks, seminaries and megachurches, he says.

That subculture thrives today, Felten says, and has infiltrated the political arena. It has created an “alternative intellectual universe” that denies science, rational thought – and any beliefs that violate their definition of being a Christian, Felten says.

“They have millions of adherents who believe in a literal six day creation and a literal Adam and Eve – so it’s not a stretch to believe that President Obama is a Kenyan-born secret Muslim bent on destroying the country,” Felten says.

Progressive Christians eventually lost the messaging wars to this fundamentalist subculture, Bass says. Their nuanced view of faith couldn’t compete with the “spiritual triumphalism” of conservatives.

“If you get up and say we’re right and we have the truth, then you have a powerful public message,” she says. “They have a theological advantage in the public discourse. It’s comforting to have things clear, to have things black and white.”

The result today is that the Protestant tradition that shapes much of Obama’s Christianity is fading from public view.

The share of Protestant Christians in the United States has dropped below 50% of the population, according to a recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

White mainline Protestants make up only 15% of the nation’s population, the survey revealed. The study also found that the fastest growing "religious group" in the country is people who are not affiliated with any religion.

Another generation of Christians, though, may bring a new version of progressive Christianity back.

The lines between younger conservative Christians and progressives are blurring, says Marcia Pally, author of “The New Evangelicals: Expanding the Vision of the Common Good.”

Pally spent six years traveling across America to interview evangelicals. She says her research revealed that more than 60% of young evangelicals support more governmental programs to aid the needy, as well as more emphasis on economic justice and environmental protection issues.

“What’s interesting is that these values, associated with Obama and the black Protestant tradition are now also the values of a growing number of white evangelicals,” she says.

Her perspective suggests that Obama’s faith may be treated by history in two ways:

He could be seen as the last embodiment of a progressive version of Christianity that went obsolete.

Or he could be seen as a leader who helped resurrect a dying brand of Christianity for a new generation.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Barack Obama • Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Church • Courts • Creationism • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Evolution • evolvution • Faith • Fundamentalism • Gay marriage • Gay rights • God • History • Homosexuality • Interfaith issues • Obama • Protestant • Religious liberty • Same-sex marriage • Schools • Science

soundoff (8,626 Responses)
  1. v. burrell

    How can anyone who is aware of ' true facts' accuse President Obama of being “an extremely poor president”? Do you really think that the American people have forgotten the # 1 publicly stated priority of Republicans and their ‘affiliates’, with regards to President Obama's ‘success’ and his 'terms' in the office of President of the United States of America? Did it have to take 'Sandy' to give us, what will hopefully be, more than a ‘teachable moment’, with regards to what happens when Republicans ‘work across the political aisle’ with Democrats, for the good of American households, instead of ‘working the craving’ to ‘occupy’ the White House?

    November 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  2. Robert

    The evolutionist would say that Obama can be president because he has finally evolved from ape to human, though it took his folks a little longer than white people. However, the creationist, which is what I am, would say that all men are created equal. It' has nothing to do with race. Obama is just an extremely poor president.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  3. A Davies

    I believe Mr Obama lacks a full understanding of Christianity because it is to be studied daily. He lacks an understanding of many things because he has not been taught by a mature Christian leader and because he doesn't read the Bible for himself. The Bible says we are to study the scriptures for ourselves, that we might not sin against God. If we do not know what is there, how will we recognize error when we hear it? We won't.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:27 am |
  4. Anonymous

    It is true that following scripture to the letter is impossible for us, but that is exactly why Jesus Christ's death and resurrection is so important. Directly contradicting the Bible in some respects while embracing other portions hardly seems reliable unless you are perfect. Obama's version of Christianity (and most of society's for that matter) seems to consist of spiritual altruisms from the Bible mixed with popular opinion or a social agenda. Does God really give us the right to dictate what is right and wrong in the eyes of God?

    October 31, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • BYRON

      Yes; if He didn't, how would we ever be able to preach the TRUE Gospel?
      We had better tell others of God's wrath as well as His Love:
      "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21

      November 1, 2012 at 3:01 am |
  5. CSX

    What a bunch of crap, manufactured news. BTW, it is the Lord's house. Black people and churches have sold their souls.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • TorahKnight

      Your generalization is falls quite short of it's intended purpose I'm sure. I liken the foolishness to a similar quote like, "all birds fly."

      October 31, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  6. Wayne

    His ring denotes Islamic prayer. Christian? While I cannot judge, I doubt. I was taught deeds not words. Works reflect faith.
    I have seen no evidence, just words. My name is not Thomas, but I doubt.

    October 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • John C Finley

      I have seen a high resolution photo of Obama's ring. It seems like you are seing the face on mars on about the same scale. I guess you could see what you want. Maybe I should go back and read the Weekly World News more.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  7. Felix

    Hi there, I found your site by the use of Google while looking for a similar subject, your website came up, it looks good. I have bookmarked to my favourites|added to my bookmarks.

    October 30, 2012 at 3:29 am |
  8. Mary Rogers

    Chucklabit,

    You forget that in Jesus' time they did not have the kind of government that they could ask for aid to the poor. Jesus didn't address the issues we have today because those issues didn't exist at time. But beyond that obvious flaw in your reasoning the question remains; if individual charity were enough, then there wouldn't be a problem in the first place.

    October 30, 2012 at 3:14 am |
    • Anonymous

      While I do see your point, welfare in the US goes beyond the biblical mandate to provide food, clothing and shelter for the poor. Welfare indirectly allows many in this country to buy I-phones, flat screen TVs and cars that are nicer than those owned by the middle class with their marginal income, by paying for all of life's necessities (food, clothing, shelter and medical services) that those in the middle class pay for out of pocket. This creates a culture of dependency that will drain an economy by disincentivising productivity.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  9. Semore

    Read back about 10 even 30 pages its the same posts over and over same people and this is everyday

    either its their job ( someone paying them to propagate their agenda which seems to be romney and religion ) or its some wack job(s) sitting all day posting ignorance

    October 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Mittology

      Maybe some feel they're on a mission to convert the heathens.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:56 am |
  10. shaawna

    Sorry if this man would die tonight he would NOT inter into heaven he is NOT SAVED .

    October 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Said in the true spirit of contemporary "loving" Christianity.

      October 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Velvetmom

      Shaawna – How do you know that President Obama is not saved? Being saved does not mean that struggles do not occur in your life, or that you don't make mistakes, or make the wrong decisions or choices. Being saved means that you confess and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He bled, hung and died on the cross for our sins, and that He rose and ascended to heaven. I cannot remember Bush's, or Bush's, or Clinton's or Regan's religious beliefs every coming into play when they were President. This situation just makes me so sad.

      October 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Russell's Teapot

      Amusing how many 'christians' that take it upon themselves to speak for god. What was it that one guy said about casting stones and sin? Amazing how few seem to remember.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:43 am |
  11. Chucklingabit

    My favorite part in the Bible is where Jesus looks at his disciples and says "if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Then you should march up and down the streets, and take a significant portion of money from each person. If they have more, take a higher percentage, because I want to redefine the definition of the word 'fair' - I'm God, I'm allowed to do that you know. After that you take that money and you give it to the poor. If anyone refuses to pay this forced charity, you drag them off to prison - at sword point - and tell them they hate poor people. And women."

    October 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Chucklingabit

      I can't find a single place where Jesus - or the writers of the New Testament - imply that it's the governments role to serve the poor. Instead, he insists that it's each and every person's responsibility to do that of their own volition, especially acting as a united Church.

      October 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Toby

      Book and verse please. I don't recall that.

      October 30, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Mittology

      I guess you're easily amused, but it does show how easy it is to make up bible stuff.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:53 am |
  12. littleozzydoak

    He couldnt revive a fart

    October 29, 2012 at 6:34 am |
    • littlehorn

      how dare you call our country a fart!!!

      October 30, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Juliana

      , “I just want to have fun before I beocme a Christian.” Then was followed by the question What does this mean? obviously anyone making this statement would know what becoming a Christian entails. For example becoming a Christian would mean recognizing that you are a sinner, repenting followed by baptisim, and willing to turn away from that sinful lifestyle whatever that lifestyle may be. In the statement of I just want to have fun .. could only mean that the person's definition of fun could only be a sinful fun. By this person's statement it makes me think of them choosing the oppisite of what Moses chose as we see in Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. Is this person accountable for their decision? Absolutely yes. Matthew 12:36But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.Romans 14:12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.The next question was What happens if he/she is in an accident? Has he/she actually made a decision? Assuming that you meant the person has died in an accident while in the mindset of I just wanna have fun before I beocme a Christian, has he/she made a decision? yes. unfortunately a bad decision. Romans 3:23 says for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So, without repentance a person dies in their sin.The next question was, I see that he/she is not converted, that he/she has not made a ‘decision’ for Christ, but doesn’t he/she already have the knowledge? Revelation 3:16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.Isn’t he/she now making a decision to not follow? Yes.What if there is ‘no later’?? Very good question. 2 Corinthians 6:2(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)May God bless each and every one who read this,Love in Christ, JesusDonald Hale/ House of Prayer Ministries Bedford ky

      November 9, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  13. Jeannette

    Michelle:
    Jesus asked us to follow him ( to seek him, imitate him). He also said tha by their love you would recognize them.
    Their are moral guidelines for the beleiver; but it is God who knows the heart of the people.
    Da King:
    I agree.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  14. blake

    The gospel according to Obama is a damnable, false gospel.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Since no gospel plays any part in the US government, who cares?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Da King

      Tom Tom, you should read the Declaration of Independence again.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The DOI plays no part whatsoever in our laws. You're apparently confusing it with the Cons t itution-which, by the way, doesn't mention god even once.

      Go back to class and try to pay attention this time.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • The Dowager

      Jefferson was right. Most of you idiots shouldn't be allowed to have a vote.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Russell's Teapot

      LOL @ Blake, and mainstream christianity largely considers mormonism to be nothing more than a heretical cult, what's your point?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:50 am |
  15. JOHN

    These CNN reporters have little idea of what they are talking about. If they aren't theologically educated and born again they will not understand how far removed President Obama and Romney are from this camp. Christians need to organize their own party. God wants His voice heard throughout this land, weather we win or lose. Shame upon our so-called Christian leaders who place their voice, thus God's voice under the authority of the GOP. I guess they are not ready to stand for righteousness sake. Someone should....

    October 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Psst's understudy

      "Weather" refers to the temperature, rainfall, atmospheric pressure and the like, "Whether" doesn't. Get it?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • End Religion

      john, you would be much more comfortable in a theocracy, which the U.S. is specifically not. Consider moving to Vatican City or Yemen.

      October 29, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Nii

      John
      How can the voice of a religious leader be the voice of God? That is the problem! Everyone's religious leader has the "voice of God". That is why they walk about like tin gods and disgrace the name of Christ all the time. They are men like you and me. we must respect them but always remember that they are mere men who can lead us astray. Only Christ is our true Pastor, Rev Fr or Bishop. No one else. Obey Him!

      October 29, 2012 at 3:43 am |
  16. Priscilla, Texas

    John 14:6 says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." those are the words of
    Jesus, and in Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Jesus said He is the way and He told us that who ever calls on Him for salvation will have it. No human is perfect, so God made provisions for that, called the Lamb of God, who took away the sins of the world, He is the propitiation, I John 2:2, for our sins, and not for ours alone, but for the sins of the whole world. Jesus died for all of the sins of the human race, all sins are forgiven, for by one, and only one, sacrifice for sins forever, Hebrews 10:12. Salvation is a free gift from God to the human race, but each
    individual human has to make the decision to accept Jesus as their Savior. or reject Him. Your sins are already forgiven, no one goes to Hell because they did not ask for forgiveness, a person goes to Hell because when they have passed the age of innocence, and have come to the Knowledge of the Gospel, or they have learned that Jesus died for their sins, and that He gives us salvation freely because He loves us more than we love ourselves, and we have to make a choice to accept or reject this free gift, if that individual accepts Jesus as their Savior, then they go to Heaven, and if that individual rejects Jesus, then they go to Hell. That is the difference between a saved person going to Heaven and a person who is not saved and is going to Hell, Have you accepted Jesus or rejected Him. All your sins are forgiven, your sins do not send you to Hell. What makes a person a child of God, or saved, is the atoning blood of Jesus. Jesus, as God's Son, died on the Cross for our sins, then, after 3 days, He arose, He came back to life and is alive forevermore, Rev. 1:18, waiting continually for you to call on Him and accept Him as your Savior, He stands at your heart's door and knocks, seeking to come in, Rev, 3:20. Will you let Him in??? Please do. God loves you and wants to give you salvation and peace, He wants you to go to Heaven, God is not willing that anyone should parish, 2 Peter 3:9. We are all human and we make mistakes, but that is forgiven, God will deal with us as with children who need to be corrected, Hebrews 12:5-8 but He does not disown anyone who has come to Him for Salvation. What Christians make a habit of doing is misleading others into thinking that we do not sin any more, but we do, and we should be humble and remember what God has saved us from and the sins we are guilty of and could have been guilty of but for the Grace of God! First Cor. 3:16-17, says we are God's temple to live in when we are on this earth (if we have asked Jesus to save us), and not to defile the temple or He will destroy us – cause the death of this body, our soul and spirit will still go to Heaven. Jesus told us in Mark 7:14-23 what will defile the man, not things that you take into the body, but the things that come from within, out of the heart, evil things such as hate for others around us, prejudice, unforgiveness, meanness, pride, lying, wanting to have what belongs to others, all those unloving things that come from out of the heart. God did not promise that every time one of us humans gets salvation that we will know perfectly everything the Bible teaches, and will know all the time the perfect way to live, we will not know all that until we get to Heaven, then everything will be perfect, and we will know everything perfectly, First Cor. 13:12. That is why we have so much confusion about "religion", the Devil is the author of confusion and he wants us all mixed up and at each others' throats just because we all don't agree or we all don't act like a Christian should act. But, if anyone has asked Jesus to be their Savior, then they are a child of God and will go to Heaven, imperfect as they may be. The goal is to be more like Jesus, Love like Jesus loves, and be humble.

    October 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      The opposite of humble: commenting on a blog for the entire world to see concerning how loving and awesome is jesus.

      October 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Nii

      END RELIGION
      I always tell you that you are same as the so called religious you deride. Don't you sit here on the blog extolling the virtues of Atheism while denouncing other religions. Seems you are proud too and I don't like proud people...

      October 29, 2012 at 3:49 am |
    • Yepitsme83

      Love your post Priscilla!!!! The Word of God is infallible. Those who will not hear it is their loss.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  17. John

    CNN's fake story about MITTS Ludicrous Religion is a joke. The interviewer mentions absolutely NOTHING about the Planet, special underpants, ancient Isrealites sailing to America, Jesus and Satan being brothers and nothing at all about the POLYGAMY! Nothing! That was an essential part of the cult leaders passions. The main point is the Mormons run around claiming to be Christians and they are most definitely not, no more than Christians can say they are Jews. The Mormons have created a fantastic, Alice in Wonderland adventure .

    October 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  18. wowzah

    curt do you want to say naive or (nave) :)

    October 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  19. wowzah

    truth is we have identified theology not Christ. Many come but they speak lies. We as christians feel that we are exclusive. We feel that we are in a box and God is with us and us alone in the box. We believe that God cares for no-one else just us and our religious perspective. Confounded foolishness- Segregated gospel. God cares for all humanity. Open your eyes.

    October 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Da King

      wowzah, that may be the way in your church, but who would go there? Are you the only member?

      October 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  20. Michelle

    I was a Christian for the first 22 year of my life. I joined the First Methodist Church when I was twelve and latter joined the Congregational Church. What I know about Christianity is that you don't have to be born again to be a Christian. All you have to do is believe in Christ. If you are "born again" you don't have to announce it to the world and wear it wear it as a badge of honor. President Obama has the right to his own personal beliefs of what it means to be a Christian. Only certain Christian Faiths stress the "born again" philosophy, any way. No Christian faith has any right so declare it is the only one true path and that our President has to follow that path. I don't feel that any the member of any Faith has the right to declare who is a Christian and who is not.

    October 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Da King

      Actually Michelle, it is important to know and it is knowable.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Edgar Rdz.

      Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
      Nicode'mus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
      Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
      That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
      John 3:3-6
      You really need to read the bible more, if you are not born of the Spirit AGAIN, then you cannot be Christian, Why? You have to let Jesus to be in YOUR heart, not only in Word, but in truth in you! you really have to have a personal encounter with Jesus Chirst Now!

      October 30, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • A Davies

      The Bible is clear about who a Christian is. It's one who leaves all to follow Christ. It's not do your own thing, hide it under a bushel, never talk about it. The Bible says to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. There is a commission to speak our faith. It's not a personal faith. It's an outward faith.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Yepitsme83

      Actually Michelle darling, you need to read your Bible. You have been taught incorrectly.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:33 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.