Is Barack Obama a Christian?

Christianity Today just published a point-counterpoint between Judd Birdsall and me.  We were asked to answer, essentially, the question of whether Obama is a Christian or not.  Judd made a good case in arguing that he is; I, sadly, concluded that he does not seem to be.  I’ll leave you to read both and form your own judgment.

Here’s a snatch from Judd’s piece:

Conversionism: Barack Obama has a conversion story, if not an entirely traditional one. In his bestseller, The Audacity of Hope, Obama recounts how he warmed to Christianity, and the black church tradition in particular, while attending Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. One Sunday, Obama writes, “I felt God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.” Obama’s eventual decision to be baptized “came about as a choice and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear.”

And here’s a bit from mine:

The culture, not Scripture, is the primary driver of President Obama’s views. With abortion, his own values matter, not Psalm 139; with homosexuality and marriage, his daughters’ opinions matter, not Genesis 2 and Romans 1. But it is not merely President Obama’s isolated policies, troubling as they may be, that give many Christians like me pause. It is the whole worldview. As seen above, there are deeply unbiblical ideas running beneath the surface of the President’s orthodox declarations. The President’s oratory sometimes smacks of Billy Graham, but those who listen carefully will also hear the dulcet tones of Harry Emerson Fosdick. His is a no-injury Protestantism, liberal Christianity enrobed in a revivalist shell.


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  • Christiane

    He says he is, and I take him at his word. So much of the spin concerning him coming from a certain media group has proved to be false.
    Now, I must ask, are those who have bought into this media group as ‘gospel’, and promulgated that media group’s ‘gospel’ . . .

    are they simply deluded Christian people,
    or are they ‘false’ Christian people who use the Holy Name simply to garner votes for worldly power and tremendous wealth?

    • Katie

      Well Christiane, what do you think Cardinal Dolan has decided regarding BHO’s so called Christian label? Or how about Bill Theirfelder from Belmont Abbey, etc.?

      No, he isn’t a Christian. Other than his own statement, he life shows no evidence of it. He sat for 20 years under black liberation theology which is deeply racist. He purposely twisted the Holy Scriptures while praising the Quran.

      For those asking if Mitt Romney is a Christian. That wasn’t the question but I’ll answer it. No, he’s not a Christian. But he will surely not escalate the wholesale murder of children. So we have two people who are not Christians. One has a million excuses for murdering the unborn, and one who is less likely to make us all pay for it.

  • hardrock45

    I would like to know Obama’s definition of a Christian. He must interpret the Bible like he does the Constitution. His behavior doesn’t suggest he knows much about either one.

  • tommy9999

    Is Mitt Romnney a Christian?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Obama says he is a Christian. And I don’t believe that he has a credible profession of faith, nor do I believe that he is a Christian as evidenced through his political decision-making and behavior.

    I will aver that I could be wrong, and hope that I am wrong, and that he is at best, a bad Christian, and I will see him in Heaven.

    But I agree with Owen and don’t think that Obama is a Christian either.

  • Paapa

    Owen, I think if you don’t know Obama personally you are not qualified to say whether he is a christian or not. His immediate family and friends are in a better position to make that call. His political positions can not be used to define his faith. Anybody who wants to question Obama’ faith must ask the same of Mitt Romney. If we as born again Bible-believing Christians want to make laws against abortion and same sex marriages let us also make laws against adultery and fornication. Let us take the moral code of the Old Testament and make it part of our criminal code. We can’t because too many pastors and politicians would be found guilty.Instead of being part of the politics of hatred and do nothing congress let us pray for the President irrespective of which party we belong to. Owen, I am a Democrat. Are you a Republican? If you are will you vote for a Mormon President?

    • winner01

      Can you define what is a Christian? I am curious about the depths of the defense you have presented in your blog. What are you basing it on. Freinds and Family?

      • Paapa

        If you read Owen Strachan and you do not know the definiton of a Christian them you are not being truthful. I raised at least 3 issues. You chose to have an issue with family and friends only. Again you are not being truthful to yourself. The question about President Obama’s faith has a bigger context. There are too many people who think that being pro-life and not being a homosexual makes you a Bible-believing Christian.

  • Philip Hannam

    Surprise. Jesus walked like, talked like and ate like a first century Jew. Why? He was Immanuel. Judging another’s faith on the basis that it looks like their cultural context is not the application of universal truth but the application of one’s own culture as a god.

  • winner01

    why are we even having this debate? The Bible clearly defines it. I am so tired ofpeople having an issue about judging, The bible clearly instructs us how to know the fruits of rigthteousness.Take the (person) out of the equation as the main barometer of whether someone is a Christian or not. If this was “Joe smith” the neighborhood mechanic would it be as significant to debate His relgious profession?

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  • Tony Williams

    This is rather excellent…
    Barack Obama Talks about his Christian Faith – “Christian By Choice”

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  • Ronald Coleman

    To press between two parties with two completely different ideals is where you might draw the line and realign your values before you begin to assert control. What you have is the conservative right and the far right and in between is Obama who while professes everything good, uses the habit of independent thought to put forward private interests of a common goal that expresses the movement of the far right. Barrack Obama is not a Christian.

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  • Drick Boyd

    I find it interesting that those who feel so strongly that one must have a conversion story to be a Christian would deny his faith not on his conversion story but on his views on certain moral/ethical issues. By Owen’s definition of “Christian” if one is not pro-life or supports gay marriage, they are by definition not Christian. Open your eyes and recognize that on these and many other issues Christians have disagreed over the centuries. There was a time that those who thought black slaves were equal to their white masters, or that women should vote, would have not been considered “Christian”. I think it is important for Christians to distinguish between their views on issues of faith, and specific moral/ethical/political issues. The latter is central to who we are as people of faith; the latter are areas where we have honest disagreements. If I took the same approach, I would not consider Owen Christian on the basis of his views on issues.

    • Claire in NZ

      I agree, Drick Boyd. Jesus said, “love one another, as I have loved you”. It saddens me to find Christian neighbors continually fighting among themselves. Even the good Samaritan helped and cared for a stranger who was NOT OF HIS OWN BELIEFS – I think Jesus spoke of him explicitly to show us the way of kindness among all our fellow human beings.

      “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:11-12