The President has once again made a comment about Christians, stating, “And I have to say that sometimes when I listen to less-than-loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned.” I will not try to read the president’s mind, I can read what is known of his history and his words, but every man’s mind is its own domain, and any of our fellows that claims to read the specific contents of our hearts is a fool, I will therefore avoid speculation on his point.
Perhaps it was men like Jeremiah Wright (whose incendiary rhetoric nearly derailed his campaign in 2008) that the president meant, though the president’s later words lead me to question whether he actually understands Christianity on these points. The president went on to clarify that his own position is not actually a Christian one. The president stated, “we are all Children of God.” This of course is not in line with historic Christian teaching (and if it is not in line with historic Christianity, to call it Christianity is sophistry). We are not all children of God (or Christ would not have referred to the Pharisees as the children of the devil), only those who have accepted Christ as Savior can be considered God’s children.
Perhaps this mistake is ignorance – this is not to be unkind, there is no crime in being ignorant and it is more kind than the alternative assumption that the President was simply looking for an opportunity to attack those he perceives as political opponents. I will assume, out of Christian charity, which reminds me to assume no evil, that this is a point of the presidents ignorance about Christianity. Besides this, as a Christian it is clear we live in a society that does not understand what love is.
Our society views love as an emotion and often confuses it with acceptance – as a Christian I believe this entire definition and view of love to be misguided. This is rooted in the Religious Humanist viewpoint that has, unfortunately, become prevalent. This philosophy is grounded in the assumption that man is basically good, the Christian position is that man is at his root, evil and self-interested, motivated by evil desires, and avoiding his duties to his Creator. Thus, societies are presented in Romans 1 as in a state of free-fall and degeneration, due to open rejection of our Creator, and the last stage of which is marked by acceptance of homosexual activity. Christ himself noted, it is not food that causes mankind to be defiled (thus noting that ceremonial cleanliness was not the same as Godliness), but rather what defiles us is what comes out of our impure hearts. Paul sums it up by noting that before we came to Christ we were dead in trespasses and sin.
As Christians then, we assume man is evil and therefore engages in evil. But Scripture is clear, the solution to the problem of human evil is found in the sacrifice of Christ as the final, complete sacrifice for sin, and if this is ignored, then sadly the wrath of God is revealed for those that do not seek shelter in the Cross. From such a position, Christians are in an unusual position, we can love our neighbors, or we can be unloving by accepting what Scripture tells us is wrong. As Christians we believe, for example, that homosexuality is an expression of the evils within a man or woman’s heart. It might very well seem natural, but that is only germane if man’s nature is assumed to be good (which as noted above is contrary to Christian teachings). To accept homosexual marriage, then, is not to be loving, but to give a person false assurance that God accepts their sinful lifestyle, and they therefore have no need of redemption. It is to pave the way to hell for the gay couple by removing the warning signs, “Bridge out, hell ahead, turn to the Savior to survive.” In short, it is as loving as the mother who enables a child that addicts himself to drugs – it may have surface appeal, but no real kindness to the errant child is provided. There are to be sure Christians who express these truths in a way that are ineffective, but this is a matter of the speech, not the heart, something which no one, including the president, can read.