Obama: Sin is what doesn't match 'my values'

Advertisement    Partners    Contacts

Christian Forum
Christian Resources, Websites, E-cards, Prayer, Video >>
Christian News Search

  News by Topics

Tour partner: Travel Directions

  Who is reading news now

  Christian News Ticker


Photo via catholicnewsagency.com
Obama: Sin is what doesn't match 'my values'

By Michael Foust

Baptist Press

An interview President Obama conducted in 2004 about his faith is getting a second look after being re-posted on a popular website, and it shows that on several major doctrinal issues -- including sin, heaven and the Gospel's exclusivity -- he steps outside historic Christianity.

The one-hour interview by Cathleen Falsani was conducted when Obama was running for U.S. Senate, several months before he was introduced to the country during his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech. At the time, Falsani was a religion reporter for the Chicago-Sun Times. Although the interview formed part of a book ("The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People"), much of Obama's answers were not included in it. She calls the interview the "longest and most in-depth he's granted publicly about his faith," and she made the transcript available at the popular Sojourners website in February.

Among Obama's most intriguing answers, he says he believes there are many paths to God. His answers on heaven and sin, though, have drawn the most discussion:

FALSANI: "Do you believe in heaven?"

OBAMA: "Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings?"

FALSANI: "A place spiritually you go to after you die?"

OBAMA: "What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don't presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing. When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I've been a good father to them, and I see in them that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they're kind people and that they're honest people, and they're curious people, that's a little piece of heaven."

FALSANI: "Do you believe in sin?"

OBAMA: "Yes."

FALSANI: "What is sin?"

OBAMA: "Being out of alignment with my values."

FALSANI: "What happens if you have sin in your life?"

OBAMA: "I think it's the same thing as the question about heaven. In the same way that if I'm true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward; when I'm not true to it, it's its own punishment."

Obama said he is a Christian but that he also draws beliefs from other religions.

"I am a Christian. So, I have a deep faith," he said. "So, I draw from the Christian faith. On the other hand, I was born in Hawaii where obviously there are a lot of Eastern influences. I lived in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, between the ages of six and 10. My father was from Kenya, and although he was probably most accurately labeled an agnostic, his father was Muslim. And I'd say, probably, intellectually I've drawn as much from Judaism as any other faith."

He added, "So, I'm rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people."

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said after reading the transcript, he views Obama as being a "typical 21st century National Council of Churches, mainline Protestant."

"He would be quite at home at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Perkins School of Theology, Yale Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary," Land said of a series of schools that embrace liberal theology. " ... He certainly is someone who views the Bible as a resource, not as ultimate authority. And so he is a cafeteria Protestant. He certainly is not putting himself under the authority of Scripture."

Obama's answer on sin, Land said, is well off target.

"An orthodox Christian answer would be 'being out of alignment with God's values,'" Land said. "The contrast is stark."

But Land won't say that Obama is not a Christian.

"You can't know that without talking to him," Land said. "I wouldn't say that about anybody without talking to them personally, because Christianity is first and foremost a personal relationship between the individual and Jesus."

Obama said he "committed" himself to Christ in the late 1980s during a Sunday morning service at Trinity United Church of Christ. He went to the altar, he said.

Asked who Jesus is to him, Obama answered, "Jesus is an historical figure for me, and he's also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher. And he's also a wonderful teacher. I think it's important for all of us, of whatever faith, to have teachers in the flesh and also teachers in history."

Obama was not asked about his beliefs on the deity of Christ or the resurrection.

The full interview -- which also was posted at Beliefnet.com in November 2008 after he won the general election -- can be read on the Sojourners website at http://sojo.net/blogs/2012/02/21/transcript-barack-obama-and-god-factor-interview

Do you need a prayer?

Your name and country (optional)

* All your prayer requests are sent anonymously to Manmin church willing to pray for your needs
New iPad POLL!

VOTE NOW! Will you buy new iPad?

TAGS: President Obama interview faith Christianity sin values

[03/05/2012] Print Version

© Reprint is allowed unless source hyperlink is not deleted
[ christian news ]     [ HTML link ]     [ back ]

Manmin Central Church hosts «Manmin Festival» in Seoul

Evangelist Slavik Radchuk is celebrating 60th birthday



  Internet-conference    [ all ]
Brother Yun
Leader of house church in China
Serge Velbovets
Owner of the Christian Telegraph
Ad is provided by Google automatically


       AUDIO & VIDEO  

       HOT ISSUE  

Dr. Gilbert Yoonseok Chae, a Korean surgeon, President of WCDN

Copyright © 1999-2018 CHRISTIAN TELEGRAPH. We are not responsible for the content on other sites we refer (if you want to research just visit those sites).
The use in whole or in part of this site content must clearly state as having come from "Christian Telegraph" with hyperlink, not Telegraph nor Christian News etc.

eXTReMe Tracker
The Baptist Top 1000 Christian.com
Social Network
CFS Top Christian Sites Fundamental Christian Topsites LIVE GOD NETWORK