Friday, September 17, 2010

Obama's Religion: You Will Know Him By His Fruit

The question has recently arisen, "Is Obama a Muslim?" It's a fair and valid question. Knowing someone's religious beliefs -- true religious beliefs -- tells you something about that person.

In Matthew 7:16 we see these words, "You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" We see it elsewhere in the Bible as, "As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you." (1 Samuel 24:13), or "My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." (James 3:12), and, "Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right." (Proverbs 20:11).

Say, for instance, your brother just announced he has recently become a Catholic. You believe he is sincere in his statement because he has been honest with you in every instance of conversation and written communication previously, so you believe his conversion to Catholicism to be genuine. You now know that he has accepted as important and -- hopefully -- factual, the teachings of the Catholic Church. That tells you that he will now be doing some predictable things: using a rosary, praying certain prayers, going to certain church services, eating certain things (or not eating them), etc. You know that he is now going to be crossing himself, wearing a Crucifix instead of an empty cross; he'll be praying to Saints and Martyrs instead of just God via Jesus Christ. You know what to expect. You're familiar with the signs and "symptoms" of being a Catholic. If your brother does not do those things, then you can seriously doubt his conversion statement as being legitimate and sincere.

Same holds true of Obama being a Christian. Obama says he is a Christian. Therefore, according to the Bible, we should see certain things from him as far as his actions and words are concerned. We should see him going to a church that teaches and preaches the Bible as the loving word of God. Instead, he spent twenty years as a member and regular attendee of the "Rev." Jeremiah Wright's, "Not God Bless America, but God d**n America!" and "America's chickens are coming home to roost!" Sitting under tutelage like that for twenty years, having the "Rev." Wright perform your marriage ceremony and baptise your daughters: Christian fruit, or hatred?

Considering that he has left Chicago and is now in the Red House (used to be the White House until a Marxist/Communist occupied it), his church going has changed. He no longer regularly attends any church. In fact, in his first year in office, he attended church only three times. So church attendance is not something that labels him a Christian. Of course, there is no truth to the fact that everyone who attends church is a Christian, nor that anyone who does not attend church is not a Christian. So with that, I will cut him some leeway. However, I must make two observations on the story linked above. 1) We are told that Obama "prays every day." So do Muslims, some Atheists, Druids, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. "[P]ray[ing] every day" proves nothing toward or against Christianity. 2) Obama supposedly gets his daily Christian lessons on his Blackberry (instead of from his Bible, but okay), but that does not mean that he reads them. Ever hear him spontaneously and accurately quote an appropriate Bible verse? Spontaneously, now, not in a scripted speech? No? Nor have I.

Let's look at some other indicators. In Malachi 3:10 we see that we are supposed to bring our tithes "into the storehouse" in obedience to God to further His kingdom. Leviticus 27:30 says for us to tithe of "everything from the land" and we are taught that one tenth of every bit of our income is supposed to go to God -- before deductions and "adjusted income" is figured. We're supposed to tithe our gross income. According to Obama's charitable donations, we see only $250 went to a church or Christian foundation/organization. The rest of his donations -- even the money from his Pulitzer Prize -- went to other kinds of non-Christian organizations. Is that being obedient to God's word? Is that how he demonstrates with the fruit he bears how much he loves the God of the Bible?

Another consideration is the story he tells of his conversion experience. What does he say about that first moment when God knocked on Obama's heart and called Obama to be His son? Where was he? How did it feel? Who else was there? What did God say? Who did Obama tell first? What happened next inside Obama's heart? How did Obama's heart change? How did Obama's actions change? What was Obama's first desire regarding Obama's service to God? How was Obama's life made different? Has anyone ever heard it and did it sound anything at all like the truth? It is in one of his books that "he wrote of it" (I put that in quotes because I am not sure it was he who wrote those books, there is evidence he did not). If it be someone else's words, then this testimony is not necessarily Obama's testimony and considering that it is not elsewhere mentioned within the book, in fact quickly forgotten, and not in evidence today, I think that the fruit of that testimony is lacking in freshness. Many have a "conversion" that lasts but a moment and no more. Many go forward in church and some even go so far as to be baptized (sometimes even to prove something to a girl within the church, or similar non-Christian motives), but unless that conversion experience changes your heart and life so that you are truly different -- and we've seen no evidence of that -- then it is not a conversion, but a show.

Does someone professing Christianity respect the Bible, quote it correctly, and follow its precepts? Or does he quote the Koran and claim it's part of the Bible, and mock the Bible? If the latter, then I would definitely say it's okay to doubt one's supposed Christianity because that person is mocking God. A true Christian does not mock God because a true Christian would be horrified at the idea of doing so, and would be too scared of the consequences. Someone who says they are a Christian would know better than to mock God. The fruit of that tree is total annhiliation via God's wrath, not the growth of God's kingdom. If the good fruit comes from the good tree, then the tree Obama is planting is a tree of death.

Questioning Obama's Christianity is legitimate because of the fact that he is hateful toward Christianity as a whole. Remember his quote, "it's not surprising that they cling to guns or religion"? Sorry, but a Christian would say that? Would a Christian say that it isn't surprising that people would be Christians? He said that it isn't "surprising that they cling to guns or religion". A Christian would down being a Christian? Is that the fruit of a good tree, or is that a thorn from a thorn tree?

Something else to take into consideration as a "fruit" is, if he is a Christian, does he preach what he supposedly practices? Does he tell others that it's good to be a Christian? Does he follow the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 -- is Obama a witness for Christ? Or does Obama say he is still a Muslim and that the Islamic call to prayer is the one of the prettiest sounds on earth? Not every Christian is an evangelist, true, but there are things God calls us to do -- the things mentioned above, amongst others -- that are all witnesses of Christ. It's how we profess our Christianity in our daily walk, as well as with our mouths that speaks to others. If Obama is a Christian, why do so many Americans -- and others throughout the world -- believe him to be otherwise when they consider the way he lives, talks, treats others and governs? Where is the impression that he is a Christian for those who are closest to him, or furthest from him?

Another consideration is the people Obama is appointing as his advisors, czars and cabinet members. Does he appoint Christians, or does he appoint Communists, Marxists and other atheists? Does Obama surround himself with solid Christian counsel, or does he surround himself with those who hate the Lord? If he surrounds himself with those who hate the Lord, where are the converts Obama has made with his Christian witness? Where are the people saying that Obama's Christian leadership and godly counsel helped save their marriage, or that his prayer brought healing to their child's illness? Where is the "cloud of witnesses" to attest to Obama's Christianity? Who does he surround himself with and when do they become his "cloud of witnesses" to Obama's love of Jesus Christ, Obama's Lord and Savior?

When President Bush was in office, he attended a Christian church regularly and few doubted he was a Christian. He spontaneously prayed with people, he was approachable and people knew he cared. He quoted the Bible not just in prepared speeches, but in his everyday language. President Bush was a known entity and hated for being so outspoken a Christian. Do a Google® search for "George W. Bush Christian" and see how many sites come up that spew hatred for Bush and his Christianity. It amazed me. When you look at Obama's supposed Christianity, then it's we who have to take Obama's word for it, and -- even though he mocks us and he scorns us and denies America is a Christian nation -- we are supposed to take Obama's word that he is a Christian.

I beg to differ. When the Bible tells us what to look for, what facts to consider, what obedience is (tithing, praying, fasting, witnessing, etc.), and we see none of the fruit the Bible tells us to take into consideration, then we can make an educated -- and Biblical -- decision that Obama is not a Christian. After all, what true Christian would ever have the "slip up" of saying, "my Muslim faith"? I think that speaks volumes in and of itself.

So, is Obama a Christian? I think the Bible makes the final call on that. In Matthew 7:21 it says, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." I think "Lord, Lord" is Obama's act: doing the will of God "which is in heaven" is Obama's failing.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You Have "The Dream", Just Pick It Up!

After all of the fussing over the Glenn Beck “Restoring Honor” rally “stealing”, or “hijacking” the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., message, I read Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. What I saw in the speech surprised me. I have heard it several times, but by no means did I ever memorize it. A sentence or two stuck with me, but nothing close to the whole thing. Thus, reading it was something that would serve me well. A good idea and it was very interesting.

In that speech – whose message and idea were no more “hijacked” by Glenn Beck than the Lincoln Memorial was that day – I see that Glenn Beck was actually fulfilling that speech and Al Sharpton, et al, have no right to complain about it.

For instance, in his speech, Dr. King – who stood at the Lincoln Memorial but in a different spot than Beck – said this, “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” While there is no guarantee that former slaves and former slave holders were there or that if they were there, that they were together, there were both black and white at the rally and there was peace and brotherhood at the Restoring Honor rally.

Dr. King’s dream included the, “state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.” Mississippi is just that, as is the rest of America. And his dream included his “four little children” being judged “by the content of their character”, not the color of their skin. I think his four little children have been judged thusly. As has his niece, Dr. Alveda King, who spoke of her “Uncle Martin” at the Beck rally. Her character is impeccable and her voice for the Lord is loud and strong. “[I]n Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” This has come true, as well; not just holding hands, but “mixed” marriages also have become accepted as a normal thing, instead of a shock and scandal, a shame to both families.

Dr. King’s dream, however, did not include government housing being a standard freebie for every person of color who wanted to sit idly at home and do nothing but watch soap operas or talk on their welfare check purchased cell phone. It did not include “free” health care for all because it is never “free” and someone will have to pay for it; that someone being those who do work and pay their taxes. Dr. King’s dream never mentioned food stamps, a “right” to a job, legalized drugs like crack cocaine or marijuana. Dr. King’s dream had none of the “give it to me, I want it” in it that permeates the Al Sharptons of this world.

Dr. King’s dream spoke of one thing: Freedom. Not freedom from want, freedom from envy, freedom from someone else having more, better, bigger, easier than you; freedom to strive and work for what it is that someone else has that you desire. Dr. King’s dream never said you would be given it because you deserve it – after all, you had it bad, your dad had a tough road, your great-grandfather was a slave so now you deserve everything you want and you deserve to have it given to you by the sweat of someone else’s brow. Freedom is none of that. Freedom is the right to work hard and make your own way and to keep the results of your labor, or to decide for yourself what to do with those results. That is freedom.

The right to work is not the same as a right to a job. The right to work means that you have the right – as a citizen of the United States of America – to try to get a job and to be paid equally for that job as someone else with the same qualifications, same experience, same education and same level of expertise. You have that right. If you have those criteria met and you and I are going up for the same position, you do not have the right to get the job because of the color of your skin, but you do have the right to get the job if you have worked harder than I, put in longer hours than I, learned more about the position we both want, than I know. That’s the same criteria used for me getting the position as well, though, so if I get the job, I deserved it; not the color of my skin deserved it. Thus, you have no “right” to a job, but you do have the right to work. No one should interfere with you trying to be hired somewhere at a job you are qualified to do. Just as no one should interfere with me being hired somewhere for a job I am qualified to do. The key word there being “qualified”: whoever is most qualified should get the job and skin color should be ignored.

For someone to say that it is their “right” to government housing, welfare, food stamps, health care, or any other thing besides the right – true right, not made up right – to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is just a lie. It means nothing legally and it should never have happened morally. Admittedly, America’s past did include racism and slavery; mostly due to the Democratic Party, but it was there. But does that past – and it is the past – give anyone the “right” to anything from those who had no part in that past? Do you pay for your grandfather’s sins, or just your own? Should you be jailed for your brother’s illegal activities, or just your own?

For anyone to claim “right” to what I have now because of someone else’s sins, is not just unfair, it is purely immoral. I had no part in slavery or in the racism of the sixties and earlier. I was not old enough to be part of either of those things, and my ancestors immigrated to America long after slavery was over, so my family had no part in that, either. Should I have to pay for the things that other people did when my family had no part whatsoever in the wrongs done by others? If so, is that not just another form of racism?

For Al Sharpton and the rally he led “reclaiming Dr. King’s message” was not just a falsehood, it was probably making Dr. King roll over in his grave. Considering the messages I heard when I watched the two hours or more of the Sharpton rally that I was able to stomach, I saw speakers demand that they be “given” this, they “deserve” that, I truly doubt they had read Dr. King’s famous words in light of how Dr. King meant them, instead of just trying to change the speech to their best advantage. They forgot the line, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” And they left out, “We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.” They ignore his statement, “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair” and to that “despair” they add anger, resentment, envy, self-righteousness, a feeling of “being owed”, the demand of “give it to me and give it to me now!”

Sharpton’s event was not of the same kind as Dr. King would have had. Sharpton preached all that King decried. Sharpton wants those who follow him to be in that place Dr. King did not want people: kept down by their own desire to have it handed to them instead of paying for it with the money earned from their own labor, kept enslaved by their own desire to make someone else “pay” – both in monetary payments and in societal retribution – for their own lack, ignoring the fact that their lack was their own doing, not someone else’s fault.

Sharpton, et al, don’t want their followers to realize that the dream Dr. King spoke so eloquently of is already theirs. If that were not the case, how could there be have been U.S. Supreme Court Justices who were black, a president who is black, U.S. Senators and Congresspersons of color, millionaires in America who are descendants of slaves? If the dream is not already given, how is there a black television network, black advertising agencies, or black owners of a hair product line for black people; how is Don King rich1? If the dream is not accomplished, if everyone does not have the equal right and equal chance to work hard, to seek their own legal path (illegal paths to riches are not part of the dream), then how are the accomplishments of so many black people explained away?

“Uncle Tom” will be cried; but it’s a false cry and they know it. It’s a convenient pejorative and nothing more. It helps keep black people “in their place” to have another black call them that. It’s a signal, “You better not step out of line, mister. You know we don’t want you doing that because it makes us look bad!” It’s not about the accomplishments of the achiever; it’s about the laziness and excuses of the non-achiever. It’s a slaver’s cry to trap someone who could achieve if given the support needed into the “Uncle Tom” crier’s own level of “under-achievement”. It is a leveler: none can do better than this because if one does, then we all can and we all don’t want to so you better not.

That false cry is their own jailer, their own limiter as are Sharpton and his words and demands. If the government and the people don’t do “X” for the black people, then it won’t get done because – according to Sharpton’s words – they can’t do it for themselves. Does this sound anything at all like the “I Have A Dream” speech of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or does it sound like someone seeking to keep others down so he can be considered their spokesperson, helper, saint, rescuer? Sharpton no more wants people of his race to be capable achievers than he wants to be a nobody, ignored, overlooked, forgotten and that is why he must keep the lies going, the false accusations flowing, the hatred, despair and envy spewing from every mouth at every rally he leads, attends or feeds. It is not a “Dream” Sharpton has for the success and freedom of his people it is his worst nightmare for then he becomes nothing and vanishes into the dust from whence he came.

Sharpton and his ilk do not want people to realize that Dr. King’s dream has already been handed to them. Today they have the dream as Dr. King envisioned it. All they have to do is reach out and take it, pick it up. It’s that big, beautifully wrapped present over there. Go over and pick it up and see your name on it. Realize that with that present in hand you can do anything legal in America you dream of – go to school and get the education you desire, work at the job you are qualified to work at, save for your own retirement and pay your own way and live the life you want instead of watching and hating as others live the life you desire – as long as you believe in that dream and accept it for yourself. You see, there’s the rub. You must accept that dream for yourself, and no one else can do it for you.

That’s why those like Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others will never tell you that the dream is already yours. They know that if you realize it, they will not be able to milk you for support – financial and political– for their own ideas, their own desire for the dream. Look at them, though, aren’t they living the dream while telling you that it isn’t available at all? Sharpton himself wears expensive suits, lives in an expensive house, flies all over the country and attends “the best” parties. If he’s living the dream while preaching that America has not yet delivered it, then who is he lying to? Considering that the answer to that question is “You”, don’t you think you need to sit down and figure out what the truth is?