President Obama’s Tenure Has Been More “Christian” Than His Critics Will Ever Admit

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Back in January of last year, President Obama gave a passionate, vulnerable, teary eyed press conference to announce new guidelines for gun ownership. It provided some of the rawest, most authentic expressions of compassion and grief ever shared by a sitting American President.

It was also another example of a man’s religion speaking loudly without needing to be referenced at all.

You see, faith isn’t real faith until it’s walked out and most people know this. Without a life attached to it all theology is just theory, all religion only words. It’s so often (for both politicians and pew sitters alike) merely flowery language and religious window dressing designed for maximum curb appeal from a distance. But unless and until it shows up in the every day of a person—well it’s worth little more than zero.

Even before Barack Obama took office the attacks on his spiritual beliefs by his detractors were fierce and incessant, calling him a closeted Muslim whose religious convictions were more about the demise of America than a “personal relationship with Jesus” (something they often boldly brandish at every turn like a shiny, new Rolex whipped out at a cocktail party).

The narrative his adversaries have always tried to sell the American people, is that Obama’s is at best a fraudulent, irrelevant mockery of the faith; that they not he are the only believers truly worthy of guiding our “Christian nation”.

But a really funny thing has happened over the course of President Obama’s two-term tenure. This man quietly, consistently crafted a platform and a legacy that reflect Christ far more than those across the aisle like or will ever admit to—and in ways his successor will never dream of.

In many ways, he has in effect out-Jesused many of his Conservative Christian critics.

Rather than being the kind of showy, loud but largely loveless noise in the world that the Apostle Paul warns believers against becoming, the President’s time in the White House has yielded the kind of tangible fruit Jesus said would be the mark of the true person of God.

In other words, Barack Obama has let his life be his testimony:

He’s vigorously defended the civil rights of all human beings, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or faith tradition.
He’s engineered a national system of healthcare for all citizens.
He’s been an advocate of the working poor.
He has spoken out loudly against the death penalty.
He’s continually challenged us to be hospitable to refugees and immigrants.

He’s called out the corporate lobbyists and big business special interests that have crippled the middle class and widened the income gap between the richest and poorest of our people.
He’s been a champion for equality in the workplace for women and minorities and the gay community.
He’s worked to eliminate the bullying and marginalizing of the LGBTQ community.
He’s pushed back against the NRA and the gun lobby to reduce the violence in our streets.

While not at all perfect and certainly deserving of scrutiny and pushback, in so many ways President Obama’s tenure has championed justice, equality, and the inherent dignity of all people in a way that closely mirrors the stated mission of Christ; certainly as much as any politician on either side can claim. Many Evangelicals either don’t like to admit this or they simply no longer recognize the kind of life Jesus was actually calling his followers to live when they see it.

That’s because there’s a stylized, bastardized Christianity that many politicians and celebrity pastors have peddled for years; one that has slowly but surely become our American template. It’s a bloated, opulent, consumerist, aggressive, nationalistic, might is right amalgam that really doesn’t resemble Jesus much at all.

It’s the kind of religion that name drops God in stump speeches and invokes Scripture at every turn, but retains little of the deep humility, love for the poor, defense of the downtrodden, care for the hurting, call for community, and shunning of excess that we see characterizing the life and ministry of Christ.  In fact, it’s President Obama’s failure to conform to this prevalent but counterfeit Americanized Christianity, that has revealed the real merit in his convictions.

Much of this Commander In Chief’s time in office may have flown in the face of that imitation Evangelicalism, but it’s in step with the early Church and I would argue, as recognizable as Christlike as any we’ve seen in the Oval Office. His faith is that of so many of us who remember what Jesus called the most critical of our callings in this world. We recognize in his life the religion we know to be worthwhile in our own and we respect.

That day last year (as extraordinary as it was) was really just another day out of many when this President with a continually questioned faith, reflected the compassion and teachings of Jesus far better than many of his loudest Christian critics.

292 thoughts on “President Obama’s Tenure Has Been More “Christian” Than His Critics Will Ever Admit

    • This is dumbest article I have read all day. Not all Obama critic’s are Christians . Way to stereotype and label people to your opinion. Critical analytical skills are absent in bloviated article.

      • Wow, harsh. I think you might have missed the point of this very well written article. If a person is going to run a campaign partially based on their ‘strong, Christian beliefs’, they should make decisions that are in line with the words and actions of Jesus Christ.

        • Do you believe the murder of unborn babies is in line with the words and actions of Jesus Christ? Obama doesn’t seem to have a problem with it.

          • God gave us free will to make choices in our lives. We have choices to do as we please. So if you don’t like the choices someone makes, you don’t need to condemn them. We have free will for our lives.

          • I don’t think President Obama is a proponent of abortion – his party supports it. I hate abortion but cannot vote for a person on one issue. I have lots of issues why I would not vote for tRump.

          • Being anti abortion does not make one pro life. Pro life means one will protect the life of a child before AND after he/she is born. When school lunches are taken away, when health care is a luxury, when foster care systems are under funded and under regulated. When one turns their back in the child they “saved in the womb” only to let them parish in the streets…that is NOT being pro life…and it is certainly not being a Christian.

          • Being Pro-Choice does not mean one believes in abortion Fran. That is idiotic simpleton thinking. Pro-Choice means that you believe it is the individuals’ choice, not someone else’s. I have no right to tell another what to do in this case. Coincidentally, the “pro-life” movement is anything but. They are merely the pro-fetus movement. They cease to give a damn about that fetus the minute it becomes a living human being. They don’t want to help sustain it, to clothe it, to feed it, to educate it, to support it, provide healthcare, to give it equality if it is LGBT, nor to give it should it be a her the right to choose her own course should she have to face this decision some day. The actual Pro-Life party is the democratic party that actually cares about the living, those that breathe the air around us.

          • Is that it then? That’s what it’s all about? How about God killing thousands and thousands of innocents in the OT….how do you justify that? Or Trump’ s plan to murder people through withdrawal of Obamacare?

      • Quite sadly you aren’t able to see the true spirit of a very admirable and honestly humble human being. And quite the contrary, the article does in deed offer critical and analytical skills. Some people just can’t accept a real and honest & human being. May be because they don’t even know what that is?

        • My life started during Nixon’s reign, and every President in my lifetime has been significantly less honest than the previous one. I have never met any honest politicians, conservative or progressive. The job forces one to be dishonest, or else one doesn’t last as a politician.

          Even “Honest Abe” played politics.

          • “Hostile people live in a hostile world”….

            What does that say about Jesus? This statement of His certainly indicates that He saw hostility. He is not a hostile person, nor was He when He said this….

            “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”
            Matthew 24:9

            • A truly Christian president would not reject Christian refugees from Muslim countries and accept all the Muslims, including terrorists. Would Jesus have indulged himself with so many expensive vacations at the tax payers expense, especially since the country is so deeply in debt. How about all the lies he told to get his policy enacted. I could go on, but that’s enough to give another perspective.

          • We must steer clear of the “all politicians are corrupt” belief. It creates a powerlessness in ourselves and makes our votes appear futile. There are many good people working on our behalf if we just open ourselves to hearing what they say instead of listening to those who tell us what we’re supposed to think.

            • Well said. “all politicians are corrupt’ combined with this year’s “alternative’ facts” leave many with no faith at all…spiritual or otherwise.

          • “Every president in my lifetime has been significantly less honest than the previous one.” If you think Richard Nixon was more honest than Jimmy Carter, you need to read up on your history.

      • Jared: Who said they ALL were? The writer is talking about those who say they are Christians. At least deal with what the writer actually says.

      • Of course not all of Obama’s critics are Christian. This story only addresses those who are, and who accuse Obama of being insufficiently Christian.

      • I agree Jared. How can it be that a President who claims that we are no longer a Christian nation and a blogger say that his tenure has been more Christian be one in the same? Prime example of two people who are not on the same page but using rhetoric to appear a certain way for publicity and public opinion.

        • Edward, to say that we are not a Christian nation, but that he has shown his own Christian faith during his tenure is not at all antithetical. We are not a Christian nation. While those who claim Christianity as their religion in this country are about 83%, only about 40% go to church, and even less than that ever read the Bible (about one quarter). And of that small number, a great many are more interested in following the Old Testament legalism than in following the teachings of Jesus or Paul. We are more like Rome, which held military power and prowess, peace through victory (destroying one’s enemies), equated worship of the state and emperor worship with proper worship of God, and which saw compassion as a vice rather than a virtue – to which Jesus and his message was a counterpoint. Like John, I would not agree with everything the President has done or does, but he has shown much more of Christian faith and discipleship than his detractors.

        • The most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. He has broken the law at least 75 times. He has continually ignored or completely went against the constitution . He created Isis. His spending of our money has been out of control for years now. Our economy is not to far from collapse. He has hidden so much from the American people. People are going to get a rude awakening very soon. Almost all the refugees he let in here are fighting age men. There have been very few stories about how mad the Syrian women are that all the men left. The women and children are still there. He has poisoned America with the flooding of Islam which is a contradiction to the ways of Christianity and America.Get your heads out of the sand and see things for how they really are.

            • Wow just because someone has a different opinion then yours they are stupid. can’t anyone on the Internet just have a conversation without calling people names or stupid stuff. Everybody is entitled to have a opinion not one is better than the other it’s a conversation, It’s called democracy do we not have that anymore. I believe Obama did some good in the White House and I also believe he did something that probably were not so good for our country but as a human being I think he really did try to put his faith forward. And with that note I didn’t vote for him either time.

          • What nonsense Frank. Like most trolls, you don’t substantiate any assertion you make with a fact or an example; you merely repeat the party propaganda: hate Obama and everyone who is not like “us”. This is a classic fascist spiel: start with a false premise that you are a “patriotic Christian American” and anyone who does not think or believe as you do is not.

          • Frank, you’re all fouled up. He created ISIS? You’re kidding! Our economy is in better shape than when he took office. I don’t know where you get your information. FOX News?

          • How bout you get YOUR head out of Fox News and try working with facts and reality instead of propaganda and falsehoods. “Almost all the refugees ‘he’ let in here are fighting age men”, for example. Where did you pull this out of? Got any reputable citations for any of what you just stated here?

          • You are wrong about pretty much everything you said. Demonstrably, provably wrong. It’s sad that people have devolved to the point where they will believe anything, no matter what facts show, if it will prop up their hate for someone who looks different or god forbid acts differently from their approved bubble of haters. How do we educate these people?

          • You must watch Fox and get your news from InfoWars? Why are you wasting time on this blog? Your comment is a cut and paste compendium of breitbart talking points that are not even true – look up facts – even in this “post-truth” year.

          • I am with YOU 100%…
            Being more “christian-ly” {i know it’s not a word!}, does NOT inoculate him from making stupid, country-damaging, bankrupting, destroy us from the inside out decisions. My opinion, he’s been an arrogant, cockey, bought & pain for “tool” of the far left @ best, and “The Manchurian Candidate” @ worst. He was bought & paid for by Soros & his left-leaning activist, social engineering pals, regardless of how “Christ-like” some dolt thinks he has been!

        • Stating fact that this country is made up if more then one religion and that we need to be respectful of that fact, and acting in a christ like manner can indeed be found in one and the same person. Being one religion, While recognizing that not everyone else you come in contact believes as you do is a very intelligent thought. Not changing how you act dispite pressure to do so is true strength. And being unable to recognize that is the mark of a moron.

        • Edward, you used the term “no longer a Christian nation.” When were we? On what date did we adopt such a stance, and when did we declare it void? Oh. Never, either one. As a secular humanist (google it) I’m amused to see decent human behavior called Christian; it’s simply the best of being human. And yes, Mr. Obama frequently exhibits this.

      • Edward: He actually said “we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.” You left out one very important word and changed the meaning of his statement.

        • Yes! President Obama follows the religious tradition of his choice, and respects everyone’s right to make their own decisions. As a nonbeliever I was very happy to be included and respected!

      • Agree with Jared.
        Obama has an agenda that clearly takes sides! And rather than hang out with the opposition (like Jesus) he has stood as a barrier- make no mistake- his motivation may be admirable- but he’s not Jesus.
        And for this reason alone: Jesus would have never ‘run’ for President.
        Only George Washington of all our presidents could be described as apolitical.
        This article is possibly a last ditched attempt to create a legacy?
        Obama, God bless him, has failed.

      • The article wasn’t talking about all of his critics, just the ones criticizing him on the basis that they don’t think he’s a real Christian because he doesn’t walk and talk like a right-winger.

      • I don’t think he ever made the assertion that ALL of his critics are Christian; he was just specifically talking about right-wing Christians who criticize him. Also, I think if you’re going to label someone’s writing as “dumb,” you should make sure to use your apostrophes correctly.

      • Jared, when you are writing to a broad spectrum of people, you have to write in a way that most all of those people can understand your message. Using Christianity as the name for Mr. Obama’s love, care and giving is using the most commonly known name, which then is understood by pretty much everybody. (Even those who do not walk the Christian path.)
        Sort of like calling a California Sequoia (Redwood) a tree. It is a tree, even though it is a specific kind of tree. But using the term “tree” allows for greater comprehension among an audience than the term “sequoia”.
        The term Christian within this context is even more to be expected when you acknowledge that many, many people consider America to be a “Christian nation”. It’s not, you and I know it’s not, but that’s not the usual idea. Same thing as saying Iran is a Muslim country — it is, sort of. However, there are Ba’hai, there are Christians, Jews…other sorts of religions. People would be dumbstruck if you referred to Iran as a Christian nation, even though it is technically possible.
        Don’t get so hung up on labels that you miss the point of the article: this man, who has served faithfully and to the best of his abilities for 8 years, is a loving, thoughtful, kind and caring man. His religion only gives a convenient name for how he acts.

      • Jared, I am afraid you may be confused. This article is about Christians. I take it you are not one, just guessing. Of course every Obama basher is not a Christian. The article challenges Christians to be more Christ-like, subtly calling them out on their hypocrisy. This said while many other Christians and non-Christian admire Obama for his Christ-like character.

      • If you want your comment to be taken seriously, avoid using a possessive (_critic’s_) in place of a simple plural (_critics_), avoid sentence fragments (“Way … opinion”), show that you understand that one stereotypes and labels people BY STATING one’s opinion, not that one stereotypes and labels people TO said opinion, and preface _bloviated_ with either _your_ or _this_, preferably the former. /// Your point that not all Obama supporters are Christians is absolutely correct, but that was not the thrust of the article. In fact, I find myself rather hard-pressed to find any implication, let alone any declaration, of that. The author’s stated opinion was that Obama’s views, as reflected by his actions in office, have been more in line with Christian teaching than many of his Christian fundamentalist critics’ (please note: appropriate use of plural possessive) stated views and associated actions have been. Also, by referring to “counterfeit Christians,” the author was both carefully and clearly distinguishing between more moderate Christians of today and those who, in his view, have distorted the faith into something altogether different from what it appears to have originally been. /// Perhaps you were basing your argument for the author’s bashing of all Christians on his final sentence, which he ended with _Christians_ instead of _counterfeit Christians_, _fundamentalist Christians_, or some other delimiter of the broader label. Perhaps he should have qualified his label one final time for the sake of clarity. However, it’s my view that he more than adequately explained his awareness of the difference between the fundamentalist and the non-fundamentalist believers earlier in the article.

        • Also, Jared, I’d recommend caution in the use of terms like _bloviated_ or its more everyday equivalents such as _needlessly wordy_, _verbally pretentious_, and so forth. Labeling a thorough – and what many could regard as a cogent – explanation of one’s positions _bloviated_ (or making snide remarks about “big words,” _etc_.) can either signal or at least suggest a failure by the respondent to comprehend fully the original writer’s message, reverse snobbery (aka the “plain folks” argument) on the part of the respondent, or both.

      • And yet here you are again Jared. Why do you continue to read John’s article which you always hate? Also you slways bloviate using no critical analysis if said articles. Why?

    • I agree and it is a refreshing article to read indeed!

      Some of the forums I read are accusing several people of being the AntiChrist! This is a very very bad thing, if these people are not whom they say they are, what then? It can only be one person! People need to focus on doing what the Lord wants us to do. If we truly believe and walk with G-D in faith, we do not have to worry about such things. When the appointed time comes, his will shall be done!

      In a time and era where negativity and cruel and harsh judgements are indeed the norm! You know if someone walks in Spirit and in Truth by the fruits they yield! Yes we all fall short at times, but we are forgiven by the Holy Lamb of G-D!

      If instead of the prostitute that was being stoned when Jesus stepped in, do you not think he would have done the same thing? If that person was gay or any other Sinner? Certainly it would be so! He forgives all sins for all people
      From the past, present and future! We must believe in him and that he was sent from the Father, died and was resurrected on the third day. We will have eternal life in his Fathers house, that has many rooms and that is being prepared, even to this day! We must truly repent being humbled and sincere, as well as faithful and obedient! Does this mean that we can’t sin anymore? Of course not! Remember our sins our forgiven FOREVER! However if we err, we need to repent and ask forgiveness! Our precious mediator or defense attorney will tell the Father that we are worthy to enter into his presence, as he now sees us being without sin, through his most excellent Son!

      Judge not! Lest ye be judged! We have the right to judge a man by his actions and hate the Sin! We do not have the right to hate the person and judge a persons countenance! Only the Holy Lamb of G-D is worthy of this! Words are also what we will be judged on! To many people are using words that are negative and hurtful! Words are a powerful thing! We need to do as he says! Approach your brother who is in error, with kindness, gentleness of spirit, compassion, mercy and deligent prayer! If he is cold, give him your coat. If he is hungry, give him food! By doing this to the least of his, you are doing it for him, who is worthy to be praised and glorified before all things in creation!

      • Jim, I think you have it right. Its sad to me that so many are so hateful in the name of Christ. A person doesn’t need to tell me they are Christian. I will see it in their actions. Here is a trustworthy saying I learned in the Army: Don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see! I think most have it backwards. They believe everything they hear (as long as it supports their hate) and not even half of what they see (again, unless it supports their hate.)

        • “Don’t believe anything you hear…..” Funny. My Army brat cousin taught me that saying more years ago than I care to say: They may be cynical words that fail to promote trusting relationship; even so, there’s more than a grain of truth in them — especially when they have anything at all to do with politics or the armed services.

    • This is the most ridiculous and far reaching story I have ever had the displeasure of reading!! Our nation is the most polarized I have ever witnessed! And when you compare BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA to Jesus Christ you are truly blastfeming! Get a life!

      • So, is writing BARAK HUSSEIN OBAMA in all caps. supposed to get a subliminal message across? The GOP is mostly responsible for that polarization you are talking about.

      • You are correct about the polarization. But it is the fault of the right media and politicians and their decade of reprehensible derision, conspiracy nonsense, and propaganda against this man. Is he perfect? Of course not. But the fact that he and his family have spent the last seven + years turning the other cheek is simply remarkable.

      • At least he says it out loud. This is the true Democratic Party position. Obama equals Christ. If you don’t accept you are a blasphemer.

      • Blaspheming. If you’re going to threaten someone with eternal damnation, at least spell it right.

        Also, not comparing. Christians are supposed to be Christ-like (although your ill tempered response is not very humble, loving, or spiritually edifying) and the listing of acts that prove a person’s attempts to emulate Jesus are not blasphemous comparisons.

        The alt right, über-conservative, separatist, fundamentalist Christian movement has caused more to cause polarization and separation in this country than anything Obama did in eight years. Add the racist, sexist, xenophobic views of so many in that group, and it’s just worse.

        Go back and read your bible. The part where you’re told “A new commandment I give unto you. Love one another, as I have loved you.” And since you’re into comparisons, compare the spirit of that commandment to the statement you left here.

    • Jesus said his people will know his voice. The ones that can’t hear his voice will not understand. Sometimes I would hear Barack say things about the bible that were so deep and then I hear them accuse him of not being a Christian and I thought, you have no idea of how much of a Christian he really is..

    • While I respect your take on it, and can see how you can believe it, I felt a tinge of political rhetoric in your writing. In describing his critics, you referred to those across the aisle, while many from his own party refuse to discuss his faith as it is a sore subject. Civil rights for everyone is a man driven objective, not a Christ driven objective. True, Christ was not about condemning them or thinking less of them, but his messages were about how he walked with sinners, not about his condoning their sin. I am not one to condemn our President about religion, because religion and politics are not common partners. If Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin, then it is for them, but condemnation of the person is not their place in life. I would ask you if you would marry two gay men? Would you do it in the eyes of the Lord? I am conflicted myself, as I see no reason to be hating on anyone, but asking someone to go against their beliefs would also not be right. We champion civil rights, and soundly so when it comes to bias, but would we champion it for pedophiles who also claim this is from birth, or bestiality? Yes, they are extremes, and no I’m not comparing them except in the context of sin. Lying and greed are sins as well as is murder, lust, etc. We all sin, therefore none of us have the right to condemn another, but the question goes, do we condone it? Should we condone greed? Should we condone lying (which is criminal in many contexts). You said he works on behalf of the poor. That is how it appears, but one could also say that he has created more poor, he has created more people who have become addicted to the government programs because they lose those things the more they draw away. I’m not saying it is by their choice, or by their desire, again, I am not trying to condemn, but did our President just put more bandaids on an epidemic that will only get worse until we address the root causes about our poor. I’m not sure what the NRA or lobbyists have to do with Christ. So, Christians don’t own weapons? Christian organizations do not lobby Congress? You hit upon the LGBTQ community and the gay community (I have separated them because they are separate issues to most), several times, giving the impression that Christ and God would back it in spades? Again, I’m conflicted myself, loving everyone is great, is homosexuality a sin or not? You seem to address it as just being a part of life, yet most ministers of the book do not? I do not care if my President is of a certain religion, but I wish him to be morally and ethically good, and I want him to respect religious beliefs to the extent that he can. Do I personally care if people who are gay are married? No, it is in the eyes of man, and all the rights of man should be applied evenly. I do not speak for the rights allowed by God, I am not He. As for Obama being a Christian, many question it because of the LGBTQ missives, the lack of standing up for the persecuted Christians in the Middle East, his cooling of relations with Israel, his desire to help Muslim refugees when he did not do the same for the Christian refugees. Valid points? Probably not, he seems to have a good heart, but that does not make a great President, or Jimmy Carter would be considered the finest President of all, because he was a great man. It is all politics and your article seems to be written from a liberal agenda. I say this as a lifelong independent who votes on the quality of the leader, not the party rhetoric.

    • No government can ever be benevolent nor altruistic. To attribute Christian virtues to Obama for creating national programs is absurd. I’m not saying he’s not a Christian—even though I do question the theology of any “Christian” that says their pro-abortion.

      I think John Pavlovitz needs to read the bible a little more carefully. Nowhere does the Bible advocate for government to do the job of the church. Jesus did not say “render unto Ceaser what is Ceasers so that Ceaser can take care of the poor. He said YOU take care of the poor.

    • You judge people you don’t know. You words are less than zero. What do you know about faith? Or what any person else feels regarding their faith. Your words are poison because you provoked a negative response.

    • The only way this kind of opinion about Christianity would seem valid, is if a person does not understand the Biblical Gospel of Christ. Mr. Pavlovitz has described a “social gospel”. The core of Christianity is not about doing good works to make it a better world. The core of Christianity is this: Jesus came into the world to be sacrificed on the cross as a punishment by God upon Him for the sins of human beings, so that God can forgive those who place their trust in His sacrifice. Jesus is called “Savior” in scripture because He saves from the wrath of God all those who place their trust in His saving work on the cross. Anyone who repents of their sinful life (confesses it, and is remorseful for it) and trusts that Jesus has been punished for their sins, is forgiven by God. That is the definition of a Christian … one who trusts Jesus Christ for their salvation. 1 Timothy 1:15 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. To refuse God’s gift of salvation in Christ is to remain under the judgement of God at death. Those who die without their sins forgiven must be punished eternally in Hell to maintain God’s justice, for they have sinned against the eternally good and righteous God. God is eternally righteous, therefore the penalty must be paid eternally. Do Christians desire to keep God’s commands in Scripture? Yes, they desire to keep God’s laws out of love for the God who gave His Son to save them from Hell. Therefore they desire to love their neighbors as themselves, even though they often fail to do this and sin against God because they still have a sinful nature while here on earth. But a Christian does not desire to lift up and celebrate those things that God has made clear are sins in scripture… whether that is lying, adultery, or yes, even homosexuality and abortion. If a person believes that Christianity is simply following a set of personal or cultural ethical codes that they believe can be based upon a certain perspective of the social behavior of Jesus, and they do not acknowledge that Jesus is God who gave us the commands of Scripture that clearly state that not only lying, injustice, etc., are sins, but that also homosexuality is an abhorrent sin to God, (Romans 1: 26-27 – Leviticus 18:22) then they are simply picking and choosing those things that they agree to philosophically and throwing out the other areas of scripture that describe commands from our Creator that they find offensive. And yet it is the very fact that ALL of us have broken God’s laws that has established our need for Jesus to be sacrificed in our place so that we could be saved from God’s justice … which is His eternal punishment upon us as lawbreakers. Jesus was treated as a lawbreaking criminal in our place on the cross. This is why He came to earth. His holy and perfectly innocent life lived out as the God-Man, the sinless Son of God, is an example of the perfect law-keeping life, the perfect love of God and neighbor, a perfection of love and righteousness that NONE of us as sinners are capable of. So though Christians desire to keep God’s laws, we try, but we continually fail and simply add more and more to our record of falling short of Jesus’s example. Jesus did not come simply to be an example … He came to save us from God’s just penalty for our sins. If Obama celebrates homosexuality and abortion … if he believes that somehow disregarding the plain teaching of God’s commands in scripture that these are sins, is somehow an expression of piety, and somehow “Christ-like”, then he is in denial of the fact that Jesus came to save people from the guilt of having broken the laws of God. Jesus died to pay for ALL sins committed, whether homosexuality, lying, adultery, coveting, not loving your neighbor as yourself, etc. If you call something good, that God calls sin … then you do not understand why Jesus had to die. Jesus HAD to die so that God can forgive His sinfully and legally culpable creatures. You cannot say that you understand truly who Jesus is, and what He came to earth to do … if you deny Scripture’s definition of sin, that is .. the breaking of your Creator’s laws. This is what Jesus died for, to save you from the penalty for your sin. If you deny that ANY sin described in Scripture IS sin … then you deny the very reason why Jesus came to earth to die on a cross. In effect, you deny Him as Savior. And Christians do NOT deny Jesus as their Savior.

  1. I know I will get hit by the progressives on this site but I am not writing this to debate them because they are too entrenched in their religion of progressiveness, I am here to warn newbie’s to this site to be aware that this author and many followers have the religion of progressiveness not the religion of God. I am reminded of this quote from an unknown to me “God IS sovereign. But He has commanded US to seek first His Kingdom. Not by political correctness or social programs — but by repentance, obedience to His Word, and a love for Him greater than anything!”

    • With all due respect, Brad. God did not enter this world in the person of Jesus to begin a new “religion of God” (defined as a particular system of faith and worship). I think Jesus was as close to a “progressive” in his time as anyone who adheres to the label today. His ministry began with this quote from Isaiah : “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…” This is our mission as followers and disciples of Christ. This is what it means to be obedient. This is what it means to seek first his Kingdom. True repentance comes when we see each human being, regardless of race, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or culture as made in the image of our God and love each person as we do ourselves. Repentance means turning from our inward and secret sins of prejudice and hate, not just the outward ones that everyone sees. Blessings and peace to you.

      • Hi Patti, a little story that helps me explain my thoughts on Progressive Religion. A tale of two towns – Several years back the School District I lived in and a neighboring school district both had the wish to have a hockey arena. Hockey is very big in the area I live in. But keep in mind not all people love hockey the way hockey fanatics do, they like basketball, gymnastics, or other sports or they don’t like sports at all. Both districts were growing and needing new schools, new roads, maintenance and administration was growing for years. Taxes had been going up at a high rate. The other district chose to go the route of raising taxes. This angered many who were already struggling with their own money demands, or just thought it was not the right thing for the district to do at the time. It caused anger amongst the town people. Nasty letters to the editor were a common occurrence. Taxes were ultimately raised. The opening of the arena was celebrated by a few but left bitterness in the community. In my district we took another route we started an Arena Association, an all volunteer route. We went hundreds of miles to get used hockey boards from another arena upgrading. We tore the boards down ourselves; a volunteer trucker hauled them back. We were give a chance to go into a hospital that was going to be demolished and we took out doors, windows, and tile, everything we could utilize in the arena. We asked the housing contractors in the area if they would object if we built a house and sell it for money to help build the arena, the happily agreed and some helped. A trucking contractor offered trucks if we supplied drivers to haul in fill. We all help tie each section of tubing used to freeze the ice, painted, tiled, put in doors, windows, put up boards, ran electrical and on and on. Some had to sign bank papers for money and put their savings on the line. It was unreal! Then the Arena Association sold the arena to the school. Throughout this whole effort I cannot remember one complaint or one bad letter to the editor. There was praise from the towns in the district, the school and from many citizens that were not involved in hockey what so ever. What a truly great feeling when it was over and the opening of the arena. The arena is now used by the school and towns for many events outside of hockey. There was a film and book about this giving effort. When I look at the two examples of building a hockey arena I see the first as the Progressive way, force others to follow what they think is right, and the second is the Christian charitable way. In John’s list of Obama, where in the list has he not demanded we all follow his way? Obama leadership to me is just like the first school district. Doesn’t John’s progressive religion and writings seem to be a world forced into doing what he and others think is the Godly thing to do? You yourself are responsible for spreading the Kingdom of God, not being forced to spread it by a progressive theology such as Obama’s or John’s.

      • Patti, You are partially correct only, peace be to you also. Lord also commands OBEDIENCE, which means TURNING from all sin, like infidelity, homosexuality, and many others, which Paul said will not allow you into Heaven

      • Patti-
        I’m sorry that you do not know the bible. Isaiah also said that the anger of God was upon Israel and Juda because they no longer his their sin but paraded it like Sodom. In the book of Revelation, final judgement will come upon the people because they will refuse to repent from, among other things, sexual immorality. I can understand unbelievers such as pRODIGAL1 twisting morality to their own benefit but not so called believers. I would be best if you just admitted you don’t believe.

        • Try reading the Bible through the hermeneutic of the Gospel and your works righteousness rules and regulations use of Holy Scripture will fall away.

      • Thanks for your comments, Patti – as you can see, you unleashed a torrent of awful comments from the right wingers, including accusations that, because you do not agree with them, you are going to hell. Brad, of course, simply equates being a Progressive with wanting to raise taxes; unfortunately, if you look at the history of the parties, you will see little difference in that regard – the difference is mainly that the GOP spends it on war, while the Dems spend it on care for people. All that, of course, has little to do with the faith of Progressive Christians, which has little to do with their opinions on taxation, but more with their understanding of whom Jesus was and is, and what it means to be a disciple of his. Brad, building an arena for kids like that is something any Progressive would applaud, because it is about valuing people and caring for them. They would see it as truly “progressive,” in that it is a community effort that brings people together. So welcome to the cause!

        As for the other trolls – who are you that you think you know anyone else’s faith? “Judge not lest you be judged.” Patti not only quotes Jesus, but in context, and has the support of everything else he, the prophets, and Paul said. Perhaps go troll somewhere else, and leave decent people be.

      • Patti … you misunderstand the Gospel as described in Scripture. The only way this kind of opinion about Christianity would seem valid, is if a person does not understand the Biblical Gospel of Christ. Mr. Pavlovitz has described a “social gospel”. The core of Christianity is not about doing good works to make it a better world. The core of Christianity is this: Jesus came into the world to be sacrificed on the cross as a punishment by God upon Him for the sins of human beings, so that God can forgive those who place their trust in His sacrifice. Jesus is called “Savior” in scripture because He saves from the wrath of God all those who place their trust in His saving work on the cross. Anyone who repents of their sinful life (confesses it, and is remorseful for it) and trusts that Jesus has been punished for their sins, is forgiven by God. That is the definition of a Christian … one who trusts Jesus Christ for their salvation. 1 Timothy 1:15 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. To refuse God’s gift of salvation in Christ is to remain under the judgement of God at death. Those who die without their sins forgiven must be punished eternally in Hell to maintain God’s justice, for they have sinned against the eternally good and righteous God. God is eternally righteous, therefore the penalty must be paid eternally. Do Christians desire to keep God’s commands in Scripture? Yes, they desire to keep God’s laws out of love for the God who gave His Son to save them from Hell. Therefore they desire to love their neighbors as themselves, even though they often fail to do this and sin against God because they still have a sinful nature while here on earth. But a Christian does not desire to lift up and celebrate those things that God has made clear are sins in scripture… whether that is lying, adultery, or yes, even homosexuality and abortion. If a person believes that Christianity is simply following a set of personal or cultural ethical codes that they believe can be based upon a certain perspective of the social behavior of Jesus, and they do not acknowledge that Jesus is God who gave us the commands of Scripture that clearly state that not only lying, injustice, etc., are sins, but that also homosexuality is an abhorrent sin to God, (Romans 1: 26-27 – Leviticus 18:22) then they are simply picking and choosing those things that they agree to philosophically and throwing out the other areas of scripture that describe commands from our Creator that they find offensive. And yet it is the very fact that ALL of us have broken God’s laws that has established our need for Jesus to be sacrificed in our place so that we could be saved from God’s justice … which is His eternal punishment upon us as lawbreakers. Jesus was treated as a lawbreaking criminal in our place on the cross. This is why He came to earth. His holy and perfectly innocent life lived out as the God-Man, the sinless Son of God, is an example of the perfect law-keeping life, the perfect love of God and neighbor, a perfection of love and righteousness that NONE of us as sinners are capable of. So though Christians desire to keep God’s laws, we try, but we continually fail and simply add more and more to our record of falling short of Jesus’s example. Jesus did not come simply to be an example … He came to save us from God’s just penalty for our sins. If Obama celebrates homosexuality and abortion … if he believes that somehow disregarding the plain teaching of God’s commands in scripture that these are sins, is somehow an expression of piety, and somehow “Christ-like”, then he is in denial of the fact that Jesus came to save people from the guilt of having broken the laws of God. Jesus died to pay for ALL sins committed, whether homosexuality, lying, adultery, coveting, not loving your neighbor as yourself, etc. If you call something good, that God calls sin … then you do not understand why Jesus had to die. Jesus HAD to die so that God can forgive His sinfully and legally culpable creatures. You cannot say that you understand truly who Jesus is, and what He came to earth to do … if you deny Scripture’s definition of sin, that is .. the breaking of your Creator’s laws. This is what Jesus died for, to save you from the penalty for your sin. If you deny that ANY sin described in Scripture IS sin … then you deny the very reason why Jesus came to earth to die on a cross. In effect, you deny Him as Savior. And Christians do NOT deny Jesus as their Savior.

    • Brad, John welcomes everyone here. We try to respect and listen to each other. We do not mind different views or constructive criticism. Although I disagree strongly with your opinion of John. Nothing wrong with respectfully sharing your thoughts.

      • That’s right Brad. If I had to stamp a label on you, it would read “Jerk for Jesus” Of Course, I think all Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are jerks for Jesus. You can come over to my blog and read in detail just why you people are jerks and how you are not anything like Jesus:

        https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

        • Dover, The only way this kind of opinion about Christianity would seem valid, is if a person does not understand the Biblical Gospel of Christ. Mr. Pavlovitz has described a “social gospel”. The core of Christianity is not about doing good works to make it a better world. The core of Christianity is this: Jesus came into the world to be sacrificed on the cross as a punishment by God upon Him for the sins of human beings, so that God can forgive those who place their trust in His sacrifice. Jesus is called “Savior” in scripture because He saves from the wrath of God all those who place their trust in His saving work on the cross. Anyone who repents of their sinful life (confesses it, and is remorseful for it) and trusts that Jesus has been punished for their sins, is forgiven by God. That is the definition of a Christian … one who trusts Jesus Christ for their salvation. 1 Timothy 1:15 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. To refuse God’s gift of salvation in Christ is to remain under the judgement of God at death. Those who die without their sins forgiven must be punished eternally in Hell to maintain God’s justice, for they have sinned against the eternally good and righteous God. God is eternally righteous, therefore the penalty must be paid eternally. Do Christians desire to keep God’s commands in Scripture? Yes, they desire to keep God’s laws out of love for the God who gave His Son to save them from Hell. Therefore they desire to love their neighbors as themselves, even though they often fail to do this and sin against God because they still have a sinful nature while here on earth. But a Christian does not desire to lift up and celebrate those things that God has made clear are sins in scripture… whether that is lying, adultery, or yes, even homosexuality and abortion. If a person believes that Christianity is simply following a set of personal or cultural ethical codes that they believe can be based upon a certain perspective of the social behavior of Jesus, and they do not acknowledge that Jesus is God who gave us the commands of Scripture that clearly state that not only lying, injustice, etc., are sins, but that also homosexuality is an abhorrent sin to God, (Romans 1: 26-27 – Leviticus 18:22) then they are simply picking and choosing those things that they agree to philosophically and throwing out the other areas of scripture that describe commands from our Creator that they find offensive. And yet it is the very fact that ALL of us have broken God’s laws that has established our need for Jesus to be sacrificed in our place so that we could be saved from God’s justice … which is His eternal punishment upon us as lawbreakers. Jesus was treated as a lawbreaking criminal in our place on the cross. This is why He came to earth. His holy and perfectly innocent life lived out as the God-Man, the sinless Son of God, is an example of the perfect law-keeping life, the perfect love of God and neighbor, a perfection of love and righteousness that NONE of us as sinners are capable of. So though Christians desire to keep God’s laws, we try, but we continually fail and simply add more and more to our record of falling short of Jesus’s example. Jesus did not come simply to be an example … He came to save us from God’s just penalty for our sins. If Obama celebrates homosexuality and abortion … if he believes that somehow disregarding the plain teaching of God’s commands in scripture that these are sins, is somehow an expression of piety, and somehow “Christ-like”, then he is in denial of the fact that Jesus came to save people from the guilt of having broken the laws of God. Jesus died to pay for ALL sins committed, whether homosexuality, lying, adultery, coveting, not loving your neighbor as yourself, etc. If you call something good, that God calls sin … then you do not understand why Jesus had to die. Jesus HAD to die so that God can forgive His sinfully and legally culpable creatures. You cannot say that you understand truly who Jesus is, and what He came to earth to do … if you deny Scripture’s definition of sin, that is .. the breaking of your Creator’s laws. This is what Jesus died for, to save you from the penalty for your sin. If you deny that ANY sin described in Scripture IS sin … then you deny the very reason why Jesus came to earth to die on a cross. In effect, you deny Him as Savior. And Christians do NOT deny Jesus as their Savior.

    • I agree. I see Tyranny and Hatred in the items mentioned. The destruction of the hetronormative family, the spread of the Once Gay Always Gay heresy, the lies about Obama care being affordsble, the death panels that are now common in Oregon where Obama care will pay for euthanasia but not treatment, the 90% death rate for children with genetic diseases detected in the womb. None of these things are Christian. Nor will they ever be.

      Obama is not a muslim. No muslim would turn his back on God the way Obama has. Obama is a post Christian Secular Humanist Homophiliac with a real hatred of hetrosexuality and parenthood. The mental abuse he has subjected his daughters to encourage them to kill any grandchildren in the womb makes him an unfit parent.

      • “Death panels” are not the same as physician-assisted suicide, and assisted suicide is not the same as euthanasia. (I do not support assisted suicide, by the way, because I am concerned that the “right to die” might become the “duty to die,” as a radio talker in Oregon said many years ago.) “Death panel” was terminology attached wrongly to a provision in the ACA that allowed physicians to be reimbursed by health insurance for their time spent talking with patience about their wishes with regard to their end-of-life care–something we ALL should be doing, to help our loved ones in the event, God forbid, they must make agonizing decisions on our behalf.

        A great deal of the rest of your post makes no sense whatsoever. “A real hatred of parenthood”? Then why is he pretty clearly a devoted father to his two daughters? And how does it follow that a person believing in legal and social equality for LGBT persons “hates heterosexuality”?

        • Some devoted father: if you get pregnant, have an abortion.

          In Oregon under Obamacare- the right to die HAS become effectively a duty to die- and while yes, the conversation is covered, it goes far beyond just a conversation between doctor and patient and into doctor and health insurance collaborating to convince the patient to choke down the barbituates.

      • Mr. Seeber,
        I’m surprised by your consistent expression of hatred of Obama and John Pavlovitz. These posts obviously bother you a great deal, so why do you continue to read them? It should be clear to you that those you hate are not helped by your expressions of hatred and are not going to change their ways, because they believe they are following the right path.

        I’m a secular humanist and former Christian with many years of study in the world’s religions. After reading a number of John’s posts, I’m confident that his expression of love reflects the Jesus of The Gospels. I see no hatred in John.

        Below is a paragraph from your rant:
        “Obama is not a muslim. No muslim would turn his back on God the way Obama has. Obama is a post Christian Secular Humanist Homophiliac with a real hatred of hetrosexuality and parenthood. The mental abuse he has subjected his daughters to encourage them to kill any grandchildren in the womb makes him an unfit parent.”

        In that paragraph, you’ve demonized President Obama, absurdly characterizing him as an inhuman monster. It’s understandable to be angry with someone you think is following the wrong path or hurting others by his actions. Hatred is something else. I don’t think Jesus expressed hatred of anyone.

        I recommend that take some time to examine yourself and try to understand why your heart is so full of hatred and why you’re spending so much time and energy lashing out at others. I reflect regularly and recommend it for everyone. There’s a reason it’s part of every major religious tradition.

        Best wishes,
        Chris Lamke

      • I don’t think this will thread correctly , but this reply is for Chris.

        Love your enemies and those who persecute you. Knowing your enemy is the first task needed.

        Yes, I do see secular humanists such as yourself, President Obama, and John Pavlovitz as anti-human monsters who want the species to go extinct. It is the ONLY logical reason for supporting abortion, homosexuality, contraception, and the sexual revolution. It hides behind reducing human suffering; but human suffering is valuable- life itself is suffering. It is not worth murder to reduce suffering.

        • Theodore -do you believe in going to war, do you believe in caring for our children that are poor and do not get the proper nourishment each day!!? I’m just curious-because many of the issues you brought-up above about preserving life before birth (and I am against Abortion, on general principle-but there are several very legitimate or real reasons to terminate a pregnancy)!! I see you are pro-birth, but are you actually pro-life?!! In other words-do you support adoption by yourself or others-if the parents are “forced” or coerced into having a child they did not want (as in the cases of rape, incest, or for medical reasons as in the life of the Mother, child is severely brain damaged & will not live more than a few days, etc.)!! Do you support nutrition programs for kids in Schools, Food Stamp Programs, etc.!! Would you advocate for peace in this Country & through-out the World; and advocate against war-where often our young children are sent to war zones, but those of us that are wealthy are able to defer their enlistment!!? I’m just curious!!? Do you believe in using guns and are you an advocate for more thorough background checks-so that more innocent lives are not lost!!? Do you support living wages for our citizens so that they could support themselves &/or their Families when they work full-time!!? And for those who work part-time-do you support a healthy minimum rate/hr.? The list goes on & on!! Many people that advocate for birth rights, could care less after the child is born & needs support!!!

      • Mr Seeber, I believe that you have some misperceptions about a few things.

        Belief that a woman has a right to make decisions about her own body is not the same as endorsing abortion; indeed all the pro-choice people that I know are anti-abortion.

        Gay marriage is about equal treatment under law and has nothing to do with religion. Both of these are secular issues.

        Can you cite an example of euthanasia, or is it just rhetoric?

        You seem to have much anger, friend; I wish you peace.

      • Please just explain one thing: How has the “heteronormative” family been destroyed by President Obama or the legalization of same-sex marriage? Wouldn’t you have to admit that there is much more damage done to traditional marriage by the 50% divorce rate among heterosexuals and the ensuing damage to the children of those broken families? If only the Christian community would spend more time, money and energy looking for a way to solve that problem, That, of course, would require Christians to look at themselves and not always point out at a group of sinners to which they can claim they don’t belong.

        • The destruction of the paternity presumption, and thus, termination of parental rights arbitrarily. The government is now the mother and father of your children. A necessary step to divorce marriage from procreation legally.

      • Sorry, Theodore, but your answer to my question makes no sense to me, and it doesn’t answer my question to you, either. Please provide some link which supports your claim that the government is now (presumably because of the legalization of same-sex marriage) the father and mother of our children, and address my question to you about heterosexual divorce issue.

        • The Obergefell decision terminated the connection (what little there still was) between marriage and paternity. Without changing that part of the definition of marriage- and thus terminating the parental rights of every father in the nation- same sex marriage can’t be anything other than an oxymoron. It was mentioned in both the majority and minority opinions in the decision. No legeslative relief has been forthcoming from Congress (nor can it without destroying same sex marriage).

          Face it- a homonormative culture is incompatible with parenthood. Which was the real reason they forced it on everybody.

      • Theodore: No one is being forced into homosexual relationships, there are plenty of kids being born, and no chance whatsoever that humanity is going to die out, considering that homosexuals make up less than 10% of the population, so once again, I have to say, your comments make no sense to me. I would still like to hear your opinion on the fact that so many Christians seems obsessed with this small percentage of the population getting married while they seem to ignore the 50% heterosexual divorce rate in this country, and the effect that has on the children (including the nearly half a million children currently in foster care, in this country alone).

        • Not what I am talking about. Previous to Obergefell, there was a legal assumption of paternity in heterosexual marriage- that any children resulting from such a marriage were the legal guardianship of both mother and father, because it could reasonably be assumed that the father was the biological father of the children.

          In the rush to force same sex marriage on the country, the Supreme Court separated marriage from procreation, destroying this legal principle and making Natural Parenthood itself unconstitutional.

      • OMStars – “Theodore” !! >>
        (U are at a VERY extra-special level of complete M-O-R-O-N. (poor little boy)

        > you still live in your (long-time widowed) mother’s basement.
        > only eat store-bought white bread and whole milk (w/ every meal, of course)
        > have NEVER seen a naked woman before (‘cept the few times that you saw your sister)
        > your online profile lists your last education level as ” high school graduate”
        > you cannot discern the difference between the words “your” and “you’re”.
        > you don’t understand what “conjugate the verb” means.
        > you’ve never eaten at a restaurant where you actually PAY the bill AT your table.
        > you’ll vote for Trump b/c you believe him when he says that he KNOWS how you feel.

      • I am very surprised to read that Terry claims, “all the pro-choice people that I know are anti-abortion.” Either you don’t know many pro-choice people or you have misrepresented the truth. All of the pro-life people I know are also pro-choice; it’s just that we don’t believe killing an unborn human being is an option that should be made available to a mother who otherwise has multiple choices available to her.

        • There’s the difference, don’t you see? While the pro-choice people do NOT (as a whole) encourage abortions, but they believe that it’s the woman’s decision, not the government’s.

          I truly understand your point, but consider this, if you would; banning abortions will not stop them, it will only push them to the back alleys and coat hangers. If we want to stop abortions, we need to do much much more to PREVENT unwanted pregnancies!

          • I believe abortion to be a decision of pro-choice people in the Republican party to reduce payments on the WIC program, and of racists in the Democratic party to directly reduce live birth to black people, just like Margaret Sanger and the KKK planned when they started Planned Parenthood.

            • That’s just sad, Theodore; it doesn’t even deserve a rebuttal. I just hope that some day you can open your mind to see beyond the walls that you have erected around your soul.

              God bless you, friend.

              • What is really sad is the now 58 million people that have been killed in the genocide of the unwanted. All because the richest country ever known can’t be bothered to live up to its own Declaration of Independence and grant everybody a basic right to life.

                • For once I agree with you Theodore. As you rightly profess in your comment, everyone (presumably without exception) has a basic right to life.

      • I couldn’t agree more – “If we want to stop abortions, we need to do much much more to PREVENT unwanted pregnancies!” I also agree that banning abortions would not stop them, but it would dramatically reduce them; that’s a goal we should all embrace.
        No sane person would encourage or condone murder. That said, what civil society can stand idly by, tolerate murder as if the “murderer” had right or choice in the matter and not do everything it can to minimize it?
        I know pro-choice advocates deride the use of the word murder; they prefer to think of abortion as “family planning” but it is what it is – the science is clear and the moral argument is resolute.

        • Why this bigotry against the unwanted? Who are we to say that anybody is unwanted? Perhaps instead, we should put more energy into only having sex when we want new people. Or better yet, being inclusive enough to want every soul God chooses to send.

    • Hi Brad! I’m one of the progressives you’re warning the newbies about. Nice to meet you. 🙂

      I can understand your hesitation to our particular flavor of Christianity. I was averse to it myself at one time. But as I have come to know this so-called progressive viewpoint, the more I have come to understand that THIS, not the church establishment, is closer to Jesus’ message than anything else I’ve seen. The focus of all bring welcome, helping the least of these, and loving thy neighbour. He who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whosoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

      I think you and the newbies may want to hear us out for a few moments with prayerful consideration. I was very glad I did.

    • And how do you show that you seek G-D’s kingdom? Surely loving your neighbour as you love yourself – and that’s hard work. Learning to love as Jesus loved- dying for the other (not necessarily literally, but certainly figuratively by transcending your ego (see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane)
      ………..weeping with those who weep……..this is no more progressive now than it was then. Jimi Hendrix got it – ‘When the power of love overcomes the love of power there will be peace in the world’ – at all levels. Starting with you, dear Brad.

      And thank you John that you get it!
      Pax.

      • Are you kidding me? From how same-sex marriage was accomplished (judicial fiat at the federal level) to Roe vs Wade, Progressives are always about the love of power.

        Even this item- gun control- is about centralization of power. Nothing to do with the power of love at all.

      • Hello Theodore Michael – how about the lump of wood out of your own eye before you tackle the speck of dust in another’s?

      • Maybe when progressives are willing to start allowing the unwanted to live, I will belive they want to be inclusive. Until then, there is no reason to suspect that their own planks are any shorter than mine. Bigotry is bigotry, and progressives are as bigoted as the KKK from which they sprang.

        • Oh stop now, Theodore. I’ll agree that the original KKK were indeed Democrats, but they were the southern CONSERVATIVE Democrats who are now the Republicans. That is an irrefutable fact. It was – and is – within conservative ideology that the KKK and their ilk live; it has nothing to do with party affiliation.

          • Planned Parenthood and pro choicers, whether Republican or Democrat, are who are the philosophical heirs of eugenicist groups like the KKK. This is not partisan, as the recent government shutdown where funding for PP was traded for tax breaks for rich Republicans proved.

        • Sorry Theodore…this particular post of yours is seriously lacking in the exuberance and eloquence of your verbosity which is so painstakingly woven into the fabric of your rhetoric. This one is less exuberance and more childish tantrum. Now, come on, pull yourself together!

        • After all this, I feel I should tell you that science has proven that homophobes are latent homosexuals. You might need to do some soul searching.

        • So if abortion is wrong because of the taking of a precious life, what do you say about the thousands of lives lost in the war on Iraq? Young men and women who have barely had a chance to live have died and for what? Do you make an exception for war? Are those young men and women not wanted at home? Or do they have the free will to choose to live their life as they see fit?

    • Except that you do not really love God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit. You are just scared shitless of them Brad, and you cannot love anything that is scaring you shitless. Impossible task.

    • They would argue that you are too entrenched in your religion of Christianity (the one where only your views are correct) . Why can’t you entertain, just for one moment, that in fact Obama has show much compassion that is often so lacking, and perhaps snuffed out with anger from the likes of say… Trump Christians? He makes an interesting point. But NM him, right? because he doesn’t believe in verbal plenary inspiration? Seems a bit narrow-minded.

      • Compassion isn’t enough to be Christian. Mercy is required. I would argue that Obama only shows mercy to his cronies.

        Being Christian isn’t in how we treat our friends- it is in how we treat our enemies. And that, in the end result, is why I don’t believe partisan Americans are as devout as they claim, on either the progressive or the conservative side.

        Every President in my lifetime has been measurably worse than the previous one. With Hillary and Trump as the early front runners, I do not see that trend ending anytime soon.

    • First, using the word “progressives” as though it’s a negative is a form of judgement, so good job there. Second, Jesus himself was as close to progressive in his day as anyone today that seeks to think, feel and act on behalf of others, humankind and a greater good.

      • The term “progressives” is certainly a loaded one. My impression of some that call themselves progressive are implying that “non-progressives” are backward and ignorant. So the word can cut both ways.

        I suspect that”newbies” will figure out the slant pretty quickly.

        I’m an evangelical Christian. That is, I believe God’s Word is inerrant, living and the writers led by the Holy Spirit.

        I’m tired of “progressives” calling me ignorant and of conservative Christians being aggressive and angry. I don’t see Christ in either slant.

        I read lots & lots of views I don’t like, but definitely have to take breaks and read God’s Word. I don’t have all the answers but God does. So, I lean on him. Leaning on other human beings or even yourself leads to falling over, more often than not.

        God is love. The pure source of all true love. And, He warns us away from sin out of that love. I love Him.

    • Thank goodness for your warning, Oh Wise One, @Brad.

      Given your fear of progressiveness, you should leave this site and never return. Mr. Pavlovitz preaches an agenda of Love. Where that coincides with progressive ideals, he clearly does not shy away.

  2. When President Obama first came to office I was opposed to him as I thought he was going to undermine Christian values and set in place a rule that would take the USA and the world into a decline, but he has consistently shown himself to be a humble, faith-filled man who has led the USA with courage and dignity. I have grown to respect him greatly and totally agree with what John Pavlovitz says here. Thank you, John, for your bold, wise words.

  3. The bastardized faith being proclaimed by false prophets of Satan like Brad above offer us the clear choice between love and fear, Light and darkness, truth and satanic lies that we humans have always encountered. When we Americanized Christians today prefer our own darkness as did the religious folks of his own Jerusalem, Jesus. …like Obama. ..still weeps.

      • Gonna need some evidence on this one too, I’m afraid. I am a Christian pastor, and neither I nor any colleagues I know of, nor my congregation, has experienced any legal repercussions because of our practice of the Christian faith. If “Christianity in America is illegal,” truly, wouldn’t the cops be breaking up our Sunday services and midweek prayer meetings? I don’t see that happening, do you?

      • Let me guess..and Obama just might be the anti-Christ…amirite? AND “Christianity in America is illegal.” Oh really!! Careful, your persecution complex is showing there Theodore. 😉

      • I see my repeated postings of proof have fallen on deaf ears and gotten deleted. Just as I expect from progressive genocidal maniacs who love abortion more than they love mankind.

        And no, Obama isn’t the anti-Christ. Trump might be. Every President in my lifetime, regardless of party, has been less honest than the one before.

  4. Certainly some of what Obama has said and done may be Biblically consistent, but there is enough that is very inconsistent with what scripture and Christ teaches. Christ made it very clear that marriage is a holy union between one man and one woman, reflecting the relationship between Christ and His church.
    He also spoke of caring for the least among us…
    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40
    And who is more “least” than the unborn baby?

    • There is more to Christianity than just one issue, and the Bible does not address the issue of abortion directly and specifically. You have to do dubious and tortured gymnastics with scripture to force the scripture to support your personal human supposition that abortion is always wrong. Abortion is a case where human beings have defined abortion as sin out of their own flesh—and then tried to mold and distort the Bible like wet clay to fit their desire of the flesh. Jesus makes it clear that man is at his most sinful when he creates a new moral law out of his own flesh—because the creation of moral law is God’s job alone. This is why the anti-abortion fight has not been successful and never will be—because the anti-abortion position is founded with its roots in the very heart of original sin itself…

      • Certainly there is much more to Christianity than one issue. Following Christ should impact every second of your life. Regarding abortion, the attempts to justify abortion seem rather tortuous to me. “If I want the baby, it’s a baby. If I don’t want it, it’s not.” Science states that life begins at conception, but for expediency we decide to bestow “personhood” arbitrarily. As far as finding pro-life support in scripture, it’s easy enough. “Thou shalt not kill”. Pre-born baby John the Baptist leapt in the womb when Elizabeth encountered Mary, who was carrying Jesus. That is enough to convince me of the pro-life position. There is certainly much more, though.

        • I stand by what I said. The Bible does not address the subject of abortion at all. If it were that important, it would have done so directly and definitively.. You will never win on this issue because it is founded in human flesh and sentiment. The question is not when biological life begins—never has been. Biological life is just a bunch of cells. The real issue is at what point after conception does the human soul (spiritual life) get formed and inserted into that flesh. The ancient Jews did not believe this occurred until about 3 years of age.

          • If we go with your stand that personhood begins with when the soul is “inserted” into the body, and we don’t know precisely when that occurs, shouldn’t we err on the side of life? The determination of personhood is based so much on expediency and the desire to have the freedom to do away with a problem person. It is not based on reality.

  5. So true. His actions speak louder than so many of the words being shouted loudly from certain corners of the political establishment. Despite all of the name calling and fear mongering going on, Obama calmly champions tolerance and brotherhood in a way that it very Christ-like. Thanks for posting!

    • Some tolerance. 90% of downs syndrome children are killed in the womb. 60% of black children are lynched in the womb. If that is tolerance, I do not want to see hatred!

      • I don’t know about the statistics, but I will say that the abortion debate shouldn’t be pinned on Obama–this makes no sense. In 1973, a heavily Republican Supreme Court made abortions legal, and the same can be said for the 1990’s case in which that was upheld. Those court opinions are complicated documents–portraits of judges’ (and a country’s) struggling with this issue. But struggling thoughtfully, and trying to balance moral judgment with both individual rights and community responsibilities. I don’t know the answer to that debate, but I will say that stepping out of the name calling we sling around so freely these days, and trying to be thoughtful about our response to God and to our fellow man is the meaning of tolerance to me. It doesn’t mean you agree with everything and have no moral backbone; it means you treat your neighbor respectfully, whether or not you agree with him or her. When Christ sat down to eat with prostitutes and tax collectors, he didn’t cheer them on in their life’s work, but he did affirm their worth as human beings and he gave them respect. So, anyway, this is way to long winded– I’ll call it a wrap with that. And thanks, John, for your posts. I always enjoy them.

    • Cost lives. Every Mass shooting has happened in a gun free zone- schools, goverments buildings, theaters. You are making targets on purpose.

    • Hi Seancolarossi, I have a couple questions and comments from your article you wrote,
      1- What is the gun show loop hole, not sure I know about that. I know people who work them and they have to call in for a background check.
      2- You said Cruz had a shameful picture of Obama, I can give you that. But what about your picture of Cruz on top of the page that had a gun pointed at his head? Is this a Progressive thing where it is ok for me but not for someone who disagrees with me?
      3- What improvements did Obama make that will change anything to keep a gun from a bad person?
      4- When Obama had his office and both the Congress and Senate, why didn’t he do something then?
      5- you do know that gun ownership is a right not a privilege by law?

      Thanks

      • Brad,

        1. Most states do not require background checks for firearms purchased at gun shows. This creates a loophole which allows some people to purchase guns without going through any type of screening process.

        2. Ted Cruz’s campaign created a doctored image of the president in order to draw an inappropriate and false comparison. The picture I used was not doctored in the slightest — it was a picture taken by the media of Ted Cruz speaking in front of a sign depicting a gun. It was related to the topic I was discussing. If I, as the Cruz campaign did, doctored the image to show a gun pointing at his head or altered it to mislead readers, then it would be different.

        3. Expanding background checks will prevent people with criminal records or mental illnesses from purchasing a gun. States that enact similar expansions see gun-related violence decrease. No, it will not stop all gun deaths, but strengthen the screening process would prevent some shady characters from getting a weapon. Why would anyone be opposed to that?

        4. Any political observer will tell you that politics is about priorities. The economy was in collapse and there were other things on the president’s agenda in his first term. And, in all honesty, the tragedy in Newtown likely motivated him on this issue in a way that he probably wasn’t in his first term. Perhaps he even regrets not acting earlier?

        5. Of course, I know gun ownership is a right. My response: so what? Did I suggest taking away that right? No, I didn’t. Background checks and safeguards strengthen everyone’s rights, they don’t diminish them. It’s disingenuous of you and the Republican Party to suggest otherwise. If you or any gun owner is too afraid to go through a background check or follow simple guidelines to own a deadly weapon, I’m not sure I want you to be able to get your hands on one.

        -Sean

    • Sean,
      I got them all right……I predicted each of your answers. Learned how to do this from Get to know your progressive 101, I am sure someone somewhere will say very good grasshopper to you.

      • Yes, but you have a really big problem Brad. There are millions and millions and millions of them out on the American landscape. You can buy all the guns you want, but no one is ever going to give you an opportunity to use your guns on the people you hate. You can take your Progressive 101 and shove it up your God-hating behind.

  6. Dear John, You are a significant part of what makes my faith tick. Thank you. I wish for you the hope to keep going with your powerful, honest portrayal of following Christ. ????Marlene

    >

  7. It was strange to me that during the election, evangelicals backed Romney over Obama, and based on family values, Christianity, etc. An unusual twist by the born-again right to support the Mormon values of Romney, over Obama who was affiliated with Baptist and Afro-centric churches. I found it interesting that all these years in church, hearing from evangelicals about the false doctrine of Mormonism, how it is cult-like and the barriers to transparency included in that faith, that make it an undesirable denomination for most protestant Christians. We watched movies refuting Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses, and counted them among the unsaved. I never saw any evangelicals embrace Mormonism as a legitimate expression of following Jesus, and yet Romney was THE choice of the religious folk in the election. Astounding how the rhetoric changes when the skin color changes. Suddenly a Mormon was THE righteous candidate, even if years before a Mormon candidate would have been labeled misguided, and unsaved, and a false prophet. Doesn’t anyone else remember that anti-Mormon sentiment? In any other election, that would have been an issue.

    • To None of the Above, the decision to support Romney over Obama was not based on their religion but their values. Even though Romney was a Mormon his values aligned with Christians. Although Obama attended a church, his own pastor said, “he was not a Christian” His skin color had nothing to do with lack of support from many Christians, his values had everything to do with it: his promotion of homosexual marriage, his promotion of abortion to name just two.

      • I love seeing people who claim to be all about the Constitution openly opposing the right of an adult citizen to marry who they wish. Is it all about personal freedom, or is it not?

  8. Excellent writing here John. Thank you for your valuable perspective.
    Humility is rare in our world. Some seem to have all the clarity, see above.

    Oh well, as for me ,I will choose to love my God and love my neighbor.

    There is enough work in that.
    jeffrey

  9. John,

    I have enjoyed your blogs. Can you contact me about having my company Progressive Voices work with you?

    Thank You George

  10. You know, as one who was raised in the fundamentalist/evangelical end of the church, I was essentially taught to start with the epistles in forming my theology and use the gospels for illustration and reference. It always confused me, when I read the gospels, that Jesus’ emphasis always seemed much more on building the kingdom of God through acts of justice and mercy, rather than personal salvation theology and personal righteousness, which are much more the focus in the epistles. I now realize that the gospels are the place to start in understanding the Christian life, and the message of Jesus sure seems a lot more in tune with the kinds of things John’s post above spoke of than with 20th century American conservative ideology. In fact, it’s hard for me to reconcile modern Republican Party policy with the Christianity of the four gospels.

  11. Pingback: Has President Obama’s Tenure Been More “Christian” Than His Critics Will Ever Admit? One Writer Thinks So. | BCNN1 WP

  12. Pingback: Has President Obama’s Tenure Been More “Christian” Than His Critics Will Ever Admit? One Writer Thinks So. | BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

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  14. Brad;
    Regarding your story about the hockey rinks, I see three things that stand out:

    1). The story of group a (who raised taxes to build their hockey rink) presupposes that the poor in the area were not being cared for; by neither the wealthy or their government. Of course any loss of funding would anger them, especially if it were used to build something that they would not be able to enjoy (assuming that the local school charged for admission and would operate during their time off).

    3) The construction of the arena created jobs, which would benefit the local economy.

    3) The story of group b assumes that there are enough people in the area to dedicate their time and resources to build the arena (not always the case).

    4) You said the arena was sold to the school. How was it paid for?

    • Hi Eric, I will try and answer your questions.
      I am not quite sure on what you mean on #1, our org was all levels from poor to well off. Never did we turn away someone who could not afford hockey. I am not sure they held to those values as I have
      away for some time. No one felt left out
      #2 we were careful on this point and asked local businesses if they opposed. Most dedicated time or offered money. Many of the purchases of our new arena were made in the local area. And by building it there have been many events held there.
      #3 we never ran into an issue where some time could not be dedicated. Some gave many hours and some gave what they could, some could not offer any, none of these were issues. It was huge the amount people offered up their time. There was no pointing fingers about who was spending time and who wasn’t. It is amazing when people of all backgrounds work together. That is one thing Poor to Rich have in common, the value of giving ones time.
      4) I knew this would be a question after I posted, I apologize I should have included it. We sold it to the school for one dollar. Not sure if they ever paid up 🙂

  15. President Obama has been a champion for progressive ideology. This does not make him a “better Christian”. It isn’t a competition. It makes him a champion of a minority of Americans. Period.

    • That sounds like a pretty good record to me—if any of it can be believed when one considers the source. Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have to understand that they are never going to fuse their beliefs with American government and make their beliefs the official religion of the United States and imprint those beliefs on American culture. All Obama is doing is keeping religion and state separate—a basic Baptist principle that goes all the way back to Roger Williams. You fundies think religion, particularly your religion, and the state, and the culture must be the same. It is not going to happen because more and more people are waking up to the fact that Christian fundie religion is bankrupt and a false gospel created by man in the early 20th century.

      • Well said, dover1952. The United States is great partly because we’ve consistently refused to join our government with any religion. Our founders knew from history that the fusion of religion and state bred the worst atrocities. They were very clear on their intent for this separation and I’m hoping we’ll learn enough from our own and other nations’ recent history that we’ll recommit ourselves to this principle.

    • My goodness; regarding http://www.wallbuilders.com, you’ve been a busy little bee concerning the truth of Mr. O’s Christianity! I’ve seen nothing there that makes him a bad Christian, but a lot that shows he follows the Constitution as a good American. Good grief, Stanley, give me and him a break!

  16. NoneoftheAbove, I’m so glad you reminded me of the anti-Mormon, anti-Seventh Day, even anti-Catholic in the church I grew up in sentiments of my youth, and the 1990s. I finally broke loose from fundamentalism due the hate and anxiety and general compulsion to not think, and because it’s not very friendly to bright motivated women. I settled into a more progressive (ie not fear mongering) Christian faith.
    RevSharkie, I’m so glad you explained what “death panel” means. It is in fact a made up term of propaganda to strike fear into the uneducated (sort of like renaming the inheritance tax the death tax). I am a primary care physician making a quarter of what my equally qualified colleagues make doing specialty care, while working longer hours to make it, because I wanted to help people, simply stated. The “death panel” really is just a billable medical service (like a 15 minute office visit), so your physician can have a one time family or one-to-one meeting to ask 80 year old CHF patients and cancer patients and end-stage COPD patients questions like, “If your heart stopped, would you want CPR?” “Would you want to be transferred to a tertiary medical facility?” “Would you want IV vasopressors?” “You survived a ventilator this time? Would you want it next time?” It is a service primary care physicians have always provided for free, and the forms used to document these types of discussions are long standing (for example every nursing home patient has always been required to fill out some sort of form expressing their wishes for when they can no longer speak for themselves). These kinds of conversations and documenting these wishes are long standing, and half always increased the sanctity of life for the very old and very ill, as well as providing a reality check for families who are living in denial that there 90 year old grandfather is likely to die any day. What is changed is that primary care doctors now can get paid (if they remember to check a box on a routing slip) to provide these services, as we stay past our clinic hours to have patient family meetings at bedside in the hospital in lieu of eating dinner with our own families.

  17. This is the worst, most inaccurate, and dumbest article I have ever read. The author clearly has no discernment or knowledge of the Bible. Obama is a type of AntiChrist, not Jesus-like. He is the most Christian hating, Anti-Semitic president we have ever had. He is a murder of babies and advocates the destruction of family values. Furthermore, he should be impeached for scheming against America and making this country vulnerable to Islamic Extremist and “moderate Muslims.”

  18. This article almost made me throw up. The way clueless people bought that fake emotional display obama was able to emulate is just incredible. So now he’s a man of God, “out-Jesusing many of his Conservative Christian critics.” Really?? He fights for the rights of the demented, the perverted & the murderers, while hanging the rest of us out to dry.
    He “pushed back against the NRA gun lobby to reduce the violence in our streets…?” Like taking guns away from law-abiding citizens will somehow make it harder for the criminals to rob, kill or otherwise spoil our day.
    “He’s made the working poor a priority?” How, exactly?? (Besides the huge fine they have to pay because they’re too poor to get decent insurance… yeah, that’s a priority.)
    “He’s been a champion for equality in the workplace for women, minorities and the gay community.” And catering to the homosexual (they’re not “gay”) is something Jesus would do? Excuse me, but God has been very clear about that being a disgusting abomination, saying “if the sinner will neglect to hear the church & change his evil ways, let him be unto thee as an heathen…” so that he may be ashamed. All I see is obama giving them undeserved, unwarranted & inappropriate favor.

    I could go on countering the ridiculous list of how obama is so Jesus-like (not!!) but think I’ve made my point, & frankly with everything he’s done to destroy this once-great nation which I love, I find him far too sickening a subject to dwell on for more than a minute or 2.

    Some people may have been fooled by the crocodile tears of the liar & pretender’s greatest performance, but I hope to say most of us are not that stupid.

    • Uh-h-h-h-h. You forgot to say what you really wanted to say most of all: “But worst of all, he is a damned nigger.” Always try to be comprehensive in your writing and never forget the really important parts. It is like when someone vomits and you say: “Please, could I eat the big pieces.”

      • Obama is the anti-nigger. His appetite for funneling federal dollars into abortion clinics in the ghetto knows no bounds.

    • Lori: There have been times in this country’s history when “good Christians” thought the country was going down the drain — when women got the vote, when African-Americans got the vote, when schools were segregated, when inter-racial marriage was legalized. I could go on, but I think you get my point. This country was in a giant mess when President Obama was elected. It seems very easy for some to forget how perilously close we were to a complete financial collapse, but a little research will educate you on the subject of just how much this President has down to bring the country back to a more stable place and to undue the extreme damage done by the previous administration. I can perfectly understand disagreeing with someone’s policies, but repeating the lies about this President that are perpetuated by right-wing media don’t make them true. As I said, a little time and research would clear up a lot of your misconceptions.

  19. if you see the Lily Ledbetter act, his first in office, as a “unwarranted favoritism,” this discussion might as well be closed because, as Churchill said, ” if you stop to throw stones at every barking dog you will never reach your destination.” And many here seem to be finding strength in Obama and each other to reach for a better America. That is a positive journey, not to be delayed by those who refuse to accept reality.

  20. Better to find strength in God, rather than in the likes of the monstrosity of a so-called “president” who has such contempt for the True & Living God that he would give credits & “rights” to those whom God has called abominable. That is reality.

    • Count yourself lucky Lori. Jesus could have blasted you with a lightning bolt last night, but he showed mercy to the abomination called “Lori.” You might like to take a moment out from the day and thank him for allowing a miserable wretch like you (and me) to live another day.

  21. Jesus talked several times about the little children. I’ve seen pictures of President Obama with the littlest ones, he seems to genuinely LOVE the children. He seems to delight in their child-hood. While I don’t necessarily think that this president is our best president ever, I do see a lot of good in him. I see love for his wife and daughters, I see love for his vice president and his family, I see love for the staff members children, and I see love for the country.

    • I see all of that as false, because of his support for post-birth abortion (killing children who survive an abortion attempt). Progressive values are poison and are false love.

  22. Great post John!

    Obviously, it brought out some haters in the replies. I suspect, however, that no arguments will pierce their angry tribalism.

    But for those with an open mind, I think you’ve nailed it.

  23. John,
    This post, more than any I’ve seen in a long time, has attracted quite a few people whose idea of Christianity is to hate everyone different from them. I don’t see any of Jesus’ teachings in their behavior, and I don’t think they could create such a vicious worldview by reading the Old Testament.

    I see the response to this post as clear evidence that people bring their existing worldview to a religion and adapt the religion to conform to and support their worldview. Hateful people use Christianity as a vehicle for “righteous” hatred. Loving people use Christianity to give form and meaning to their love. It’s the same with Islam and the other major religions.

    Wayne Dyer described this perfectly: “Loving people live in a loving world.
    Hostile people live in a hostile world.
    Same world.”

  24. For many years now I’ve kept my faith in the closet, not wanting to be affiliated with confused, angry ideology of the Christian right. Your writing has opened the closet door. Thank you.

  25. Johnny Boy. I think old Baptist President Harry S. Truman said it best, and you do it well too:

    “I speak the truth, and to them it just sounds like Hell.”

    Keep up the good work!!!

  26. Liberals see Obama’s stance on immigration and the death penalty as Christian. Conservatives see his stance on gay marriage and abortion as unChristian. But do either of those things mean Obama is or is not a Christian, or more Christian than his political opponents? No. A Christian is a person who is saved by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, made new by the Holy Spirit. This is the gift of God, offered to all people. Unfortunately, the author here is implying that a person is “more Christian” who aligns with a liberal political agenda, embodied by our president. This is not unlike the religious right, who equate being a Christian with being a republican and watching Fox News. “Barack Obama has let his life be his testimony.” Yes, a testimony to the fact that he is a democrat, which is not the same thing as a Christian.

    • Jason,
      You’re defining a Christian (a noun) as a person who’s saved by believing. This definition is far from universal and is stressed primarily by “conservative” Christians, who are pretty uniformly against Obama and his actions as President.

      As the title of John’s post indicates, Obama’s actions as President have been more Christian than his opponents will admit. John is using Christian as an adjective, stressing that Obama has followed Christ’s example far more than his opponents are willing to admit. In fact, if being Christian implies at least trying to follow the teachings of Christ, then Obama’s opponents have been very un-Christian.

      I see nothing of Christ in the hatred of Obama and others demonstrated here and in the actions of the GOP. As a non-Christian who’s studied the Bible at length, I have love and the highest respect for Christ and his teachings, and I’m appalled at what so many do in his name. M. K. Gandhi said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I think that’s a good statement of how I feel about those who claim to be Christians but consistently act contrary to Christ’s teachings.

      • Both the GOP and the Democrats are Crony Capitalists, a system utterly opposed to Christ. Money changers in the temple. Obama’s only difference is that his cronies are the Racist anti-Christian preacher James Wright, Health Insurance Company Executives, Planned Parenthood, and the gays from Men’s Country he used to cheat on Michelle with.

        Which fully explains his attitudes and behavior.

          • This was all well known during the 2012 campaign. Nothing new to see here.

            All politicians are corrupt in our crony capitalist system. Get used to it. It doesn’t matter whether you call yourself a conservative or a liberal- EVERY politician you’ve ever voted for takes bribes called “campaign contributions” from special interest groups and large businesses that matter far more to them than your pitiful vote.

      • Chris, thanks for replying and telling me a bit more about yourself. A couple thoughts:

        The way I define “Christian” is rooted in biblical orthodoxy and church history. You’re right that it’s not universal; however my point is that there’s nothing uniquely Christian about Obama’s politics. His views are supported by some secular humanists, some Hindus, some atheists, some Muslims, some Christians, etc. If John’s intent as you say was to show that Obama has acted in a more Christ-like manner than his opponents, he would’ve done well to detach it from the Dems social agenda, which the author embraces wholeheartedly.

        Regarding hate. Man, there’s a lot of hate out there right now, and I completely agree that hate is a poor reflection of Christ, particularly when it comes from people who call themselves Christians. I myself am a believer and follower of Jesus, and rely fully on him to both forgive the hate in my own heart and transform me into a more loving person. I understand the urge to get defensive and attack people who disagree with me, but that’s a useless approach. Jesus’ humble, graceful, and truthful way is so much better.

    • “Liberals see Obama’s stance on immigration and the death penalty as Christian.”

      That’s because it is Christian—real Christianity—rather than that plastic pink flamingo kind you follow—the one invented in the Great Lakes Region of the United States in about the year 1910.

      You no doubt think that all murderers should be killed. Christ has blessed you and me with unmerited favor. Yet, you would deny unmerited favor to a person on death row—and refuse to commute their sentence to life in prison. I see many things in you—but Jesus ain’t one of them. Of course, I know you feel the same about me, so we will just have to leave it at that.

      I still marvel at something I heard from one of YOUR PEOPLE years ago:

      I believe in the death penalty. Jesus got the death penalty and was executed on a cross. If that’s good enough for my Lord, then the death penalty is good enough for me to. I support the death penalty.”

      • “But it would just be so unfair to the family of the murder victim. They need the emotional release that can only come from judicial revenge against the murderer. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Now that’s real Christian love in action—gettin’ in them thar revenge points.”

        Never mind that Jesus requires the family of the murder victim to forgive the person who killed their daughter—even if the murderer never gets executed—and if they continue to harbor bitterness and rage towards him—then that is their sin. In other words, Jesus requires something extraordinary of the family of the victim. He does!!!

        But you want no part of this Jason—no part of the Jesus way. You want to start the poison flowing, flip the switch, pull the trigger, or drop the trap door. And do you know why? It is because your American culture (and if you live down south) traditional country hick southern culture tells you it is the right thing to do. So, faced with a choice between the way of Jesus and the way of revenge—you take your culture and its way of revenge just like every other good fundie—ignoring the fact that ultimately the God you worship is yourself.

        Lecture over.

        • As to the comment, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth;” this was never a Christian concept or taught by Jesus. It was one of the Old Testament’s bloody ideas and never adopted or said by Jesus who wasn’t a Christian either.

      • That is a scary thought. Me, I’m consistent ethic of life, so at least in any country that has welding technology, I’m against the Death Penalty. The Death Penalty has only two valid uses: Protection of innocents, and inspiration to conversion for the guilty (in which case, of course, the guilty party becomes repentant and no longer deserves the Death Penalty, ironically). Both can be better fullfilled in a modern nation with life imprisonment combined with regular visits from clergy.

        I’ll admit I’ve struggled with immigration- but now consider it a postivie duty under charity to give sanctuary to the refugee. We are rich enough that we don’t need to harm our own people by reducing opportunity to do so; and I’d like to see assimilation villages added to the process, but all that come to these shores deserve the basic needs of all human beings.

        • Except of course the gay ones who, no doubt, you would secretly have hoped for their drowning before knocking on your very hospitable and charitable door.

  27. Who would want the job? Only narcissistic power hungry people I think. His speech was moving and I believe sincere. I couldn’t help but think of the invisible drones flying overhead in countries where more innocents are dying than terrorist. He will be remembered as the “Drone” President. I didn’t vote for him. At the time I was drinking cool-aid from the Republican trough. It began to grow very sour. Would I vote for him now? If I had to choose between him or Trump, yes, Obama is the better of two evils. I am not saying he is evil, I think the whole secular, Nationalistic flag waving empire is and we have to choose who will lead us better and not want to push the atomic button. In the coming years, we may wish for more Obama types for President, it is really scary out there now.
    I thought his speech on gun control was very fair. My wish is he would rein in those dam drones.

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  30. Theodore Seeber, I truly wish there were a mute button on these comments. You seem unhealthily obsessed with homosexuality and abortion. I’ve read many of your comments another are tiresome because you bring everything back to your hobbyhorse, no matter whether it’s relevant. We are never going to agree on many things, so rather than constantly bitch and moan with such predictability, why not find a positive way to engage.

    I’ll not hold my breath

    • Sergio: I don’t seen very many Christians defending the traditional family. They THINK they are by opposing same-sex marriage, while they ignore the 50% divorce rate in this country among heterosexuals, and the nearly half a million children (born to heterosexuals) currently in the foster care system in this country alone. Which is more damaging to traditional family?

      • Sorry, missed the final question because it was off topic, but it deserves to be addressed.

        Divorce, up until Obergefell, was more damaging. There is never a situation in marriage, including physical abuse, that adding the abuse of divorce cannot make worse.

        Unfortunately Obergefell itself made even heterosexual divorce worse, because there is now no legal reason to assign paternity to the father without a DNA test.

        • It is true that divorce is all too often the go-to solution. But, there are times when divorce is the best and only option. You mention abuse and suggest that divorce is a bad choice in such a situation. But, cases of abuse can be a matter of life and death.
          What if the abuse is child abuse? What if your spouse sexually abused your child? Would divorce be a wrong choice there?

          It is true that a lot of divorce is wrong. And the high divorce rate had damaged marriage. So has extra-marital and pre-marital sex. And, now same-sex marriage is another point of damage.

          The difference between same-sex marriage and divorce is that sometimes divorce is right and appropriate. But, same-sex marriage never is. Morally and Biblically speaking.

          • A better solution in cases of physical and sexual abuse is commitment of the offending spouse to an institution where they can get the appropriate mental health care that they need. Thus potentially actually solving the problem as opposed to making it worse with divorce.

            Divorce is never right or appropriate. Ever.

            • What about in the case of adultery?
              “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Matthew 5:32

              Or what if the abuser can’t by law be committed or locked up? Divorce legally offers additional protection from the abuser. Divorce is not so black and white. I’ve read the scripture over and over. I’m not divorced, nor planning to. But, I’ve seen why it has been necessary at times. Due, as Jesus said, to the hardness of hearts.

              • Adultery is indeed the hard case, particularly when the offender is unrepentant.

                Perhaps though we should try not to have hearts so hard. A spouse can always get treatment for their spouse. Divorce destroys that possibility.

                The hardness of hearts issue is why divorce is always inappropriate and wrong. I will give you necessitt, among immoral people, but there are many wrongs of necessity among the immoral. None are right behsvior.

                • I agree that there is a lot of hardness of heart around. I don’t agree that a spouse can always get treatment for their spouse. Not only that, but when they get treatment it is not always successful. And, a dangerous spouse is tough to “fix” before they’ve damaged or killed.

                  This discussion does make my point that there are shades of grey in divorce, where sex outside of marriage and homosexuality are pretty black and white Biblically.

            • Theodore: I don’t know where you coming from or what has shaped your opinions, but to me they are very extreme and rather scary, and I will choose to not read them in the future. Keep reading John’s posts, though, and I’ll pray that his words someday reach your heart.

              • Years of my wife doing daycare with broken families is what has shapped my opinion. Adults with hard hearts getting divorced *ALWAYS* is abuse against the children. Every single time.

                • I do not agree. Adults with hard hearts who are making everybody miserable while living under the same roof are doing everybody a favor if they separate. Some people can co-parent successfully when they’re divorced. Keeping a bad marriage together at all costs isn’t always the best option. However, I am not optimistic that this will compute to your black-and-white, all-or-nothing way of thinking.

                  • I have never seen a successful blended family or Co-parenting situatuon. The kids always get the worst of such situations- no stability and no attachment from at least one parent.

                    If one person is making the family miserable, get that person whatever it takes to make them functional again. Families support people, they do not throw people away.

                    • So let me get this straight Theodore – because quite frankly your rants are seriously beginning to piss me off now! You are advocating that children in abusive home environments should continue to suffer abuse on the basis that, you believe, the divorce of their parents is even more abusive. I’m sorry Theodore but if that is what you think, it is you who needs to seek help.

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  33. When you have time tell me what you think of this. I like it. On Jan 6, 2016 5:55 AM, “john pavlovitz” wrote:

    > johndpav posted: ” This week President Obama gave a passionate, > vulnerable, teary eyed press conference to announce new guidelines for gun > ownership. It provided some of the rawest, most authentic expressions of > compassion and grief ever shared by a sitting American Pre” >

    • If public displays of emotion and grief are all we have left of religion, then we have fallen so far from the medeival height of Christendom that it makes all of our technology, material wealth, security, and safety seem worthless. Might as well return to feudalism. At least then we had a sense that God is more than tears.

      • When you get to the pearly gates I hope you remind Jesus that when, “Jesus wept”, his public display of emotion rendered him falling from the medieval height of Christendom.

  34. such shocking ignorance. a man may smile, and murder, and smile. Will S wrote that for men like obama. he is the incarnation of the banality of evil who, along w/many another US POTUS, will go down as one history’s most evil monstrosities.

  35. I hear this kind of warped opinion all the time; that the liberal-progressive agenda is essentially Christian because it helps people. Garbage. People are not helped by conscripting them to lifelong, multi-generational government dependence. This is a nothing but a new spin on the failed Great Society programs. The lives of the poor were in no way improved by herding them into government housing projects which became centers for crime, drugs, prostitution and out-of-wedlock births. We know where these so-called acts of Christian compassion will lead. Besides, Obama’s initiatives were never designed to help people but to make people dependent and use it for political blackmail every election season: “Don’t vote for the other candidate or he’ll take your freebies away.”

    • Well said Bob… and remember it was a Democratic president who said it right “speak softly but carry a big stick” and today we see Obama speak boldly about a Red Line in the Sand… And then run from evil… Some People tried to equate that as being a good compassionate person… but actually it’s the act of a coward a fool or both let’s learn from World War 1 and World War 2 we must stand up to fight evil or we will perish .. Killing In The Name of religion .. beheading ..pushing homosexuals off of buildings ..raping and altering little girls isn’t evil then I guess I don’t know what evil is

  36. I think that, if Obama is representative of Muslims, and Trump is, as some evangelicals now claim, representative of Christians – then Jesus has turned Muslim on us.

  37. This artical shows a complete misunderstanding of Jesus, however it does show we are truly living in the last days. “If it were possible even the elect would be decieved”

  38. This errant nonsense was addressed and soundly countered by C. S. Lewis around 70 years ago in the preface to the book compilation of his radio talks, Mere Christianity.

    Far deeper objections may be felt-and have been expressed- against my use of the word Christian to mean one who accepts the common doctrines of Christianity. People ask: “Who are you, to lay down who is, and who is not a Christian?” or “May not many a man who cannot believe these doctrines be far more truly a Christian, far closer to the spirit of Christ, than some who do?” Now this objection is in one sense very right, very charitable, very spiritual, very sensitive. It has every amiable quality except that of being useful. We simply cannot, without disaster, use language as these objectors want us to use it.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/77eki8h6a4xvgo1/CSLewis-MereChristianity-Gentleman.pdf

  39. Both the writer and President Obame need to read the Bible. Obama routinely supports actions and people the Bible condemns as a sin. The writer does the same thing as Obama critics. Same logic and outcome. Both need to read the the bible.

  40. “He’s vigorously defended the civil rights of all human beings, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or faith tradition.
    He’s engineered a national system of healthcare for all citizens.
    He’s made the working poor and the elderly a priority.
    He has spoken out loudly against the death penalty.
    He’s continually challenged us to be hospitable to refugees and immigrants.
    He’s called out the corporate lobbyists and big business special interests that have crippled the middle class and widened the income gap between the richest and poorest of our people.
    He’s been a champion for equality in the workplace for women and minorities and the gay community.
    He’s worked to eliminate the bullying and marginalizing of the LGBTQ community.
    He’s pushed back against the NRA and the gun lobby to reduce the violence in our streets.”

    It takes a unique sort of blindness or willful ignorance to make any of these statements with a straight face.

    For example, obamacare has ruined the best healthcare system in the world and taken the costs to such a point that many people cannot afford even basic care any longer. 17 healthcare exchanges have already failed leaving people in those states with no choices whatsoever.

    Blaming the NRA for gun violence is a distraction. The FBI and the CDC studies have both shown that most gun violence is perpetrated by people already illegally in possession of the gun and not eligible to purchase a gun. Also, prosecutors almost never actually prosecute the criminals for the illegal possession or use of a gun.

    Race relations have deteriorated dramatically under Obama. Starting with his pick of Eric Holder to head DOJ. Anyone remember the Black Panthers blocking access to the polling place in 2008? remember how the charges were dropped and an apology issued? that was just the first of many events where a persons race determined whether or not they were prosecuted. Remember the Professor who was trying to break into his own home and the uproar when a cop asked him for ID? Obama telling the world the cop was a racist? The “Beer summit” at the white house? How about “If I had a son, he would look like Travon”? This has been his theme since he was elected. He has looked at the color of ones skin rather than that persons character so often that no one expects anything different now.

    I could refute every on of the points listed above, but by the tenor of the people posting here, it would be futile. So I will leave you to continue the blind adulation of this soon to be ex-President. The Kool-aid is on the table to the left. Never mind the aftertaste, it is just the ashes of a once great country.

  41. I think your either AFRAID of the Political Hitmen assisting this administration or you have already drank to much of the Kool Aid my friend There is NOTHING Christian about tearing apart america JUST like he said he would do in his books ! Please get off of this praising BOmama !

    • It’s the Republicans lies and intolerance that have torn apart America, while Obama has consistently support minorities. I guess fighting for equality is ripping at your hatred and pride and supremacy.

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  43. Then there are those of us who don’t want a someone imposing their Christian beliefs on us or the world at all, no matter if they are conservative evangelical or progressive. The White House ain’t a church pulpit. No need to preach your version of the Gospel from there, thank you very much.

    • Will, separation of church and state have already done this for you and I. No one is preaching, including Obama, from the White House. Being Christ-like is the point here, not that anyone imposes Christianity on us. This country was founded on Christian “values” not laws, meaning that America should stand for ethical practices not religious practices.

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  45. Well said! Unfortunately there are so many people who have been influenced by uninformed popular religion and don’t recognize compassionate Christianity when they see it. I pray for the time when people will stop listening to “evangelical” figures who seek the limelight and political gain rather than demonstrating any knowledge of or commitment to a genuine expression of Christianity. What a different climate we would have if people paid more attention to actual pastors who serve the Lord for the right reasons.

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