That is fine, and I respect Obama'a reasoning. One should not be judged solely on the basis of a few comments. I have made many comments of which I am ashamed. I would not want to be strictly judged only on those comments. As I stated in my March 25 post, however, the problem I had with Rev. Wright's asinine rhetoric was related to where he said what he said; not that he said what he said.
This is a free country that allows free speech. While steam might leak from my ears because of such ridiculous remarks, I am thankful that he is free to be foolish. Here is the problem; Rev. Wright made those remarks during a church service from the pulpit. He substituted the message of the Gospel with a political message.
There is no excuse for that.
And then you have Senator Obama proving his ignorance of the Gospel. In this Christian Post article Jennifer Riley reports that the Illinois senator...
said he believes that Jesus Christ died for his sins and through God’s grace and mercy he could have “everlasting life.” But he also believes Jews and Muslims and non-believers who live moral lives are as much “children of God” as he is.
That is just not true.
To support his view Obama used his non-believing mother as an example. He said:
[S]he was the kindest, most decent, generous person that I have ever known. I'm sure she is in heaven, even though she may not have subscribed to everything that I subscribe to.
Therefore he is assured of her salvation based on her kindness, decency, and generosity. While Christians should be kind, decent, and generous, one cannot earn, warrant, or receive salvation based on those or any positive character qualities.
Paul said that there are none who are righteous, not even one. We are all sinners. Some people are just more respectable than others; still, all people are sinners separated from a holy God and in need of salvation. While God is infinitely holy He is also supremely loving. The same apostle who clearly declared that all men are sinners, gloriously affirmed that God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Paul teaches us that, for our sake, Christ was made to be sin, even though he knew no sin, so that in him we might be made righteous before God.
It is only in and through Christ that one may be made righteous; that one may receive the grace and mercy that leads to the everlasting life that Obama mentioned. Christ alone is the way, the truth, and the life, and the only way to the Father is through him. That is not just my view, those are the very words of Christ.
Salvation has nothing to do with religious behavior or rituals; it is received by grace through faith. No one can boast of their salvation because it is not the result of any good works which they have done. The person who has been saved is transformed. He is a new creation in Christ; the product of his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God ordained beforehand, that we should walk in them.
This is the gospel. This is what must be clearly, charitably, and consistently proclaimed by pastors from their pulpits, and by Christians wherever they may be.