Barack Obama on funding faith based initiatives

Barack Obama has been quoted in an interview on saying this about if/whether/how he will support faith based initiatives if he gets elected:

“You know, what I’d like to do is I’d like to see how [the faith based initiatives have] been operating. One of the things that I think churches have to be mindful of is that if the federal government starts paying the piper, then they get to call the tune. It can, over the long term, be an encroachment on religious freedom. So, I want to see how moneys have been allocated through that office before I make a firm commitment in terms of sustaining practices that may not have worked as well as they should have.”(from an interview with Christianity today http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/januaryweb-only/104-32.0.html?start=2)

I think he is right on this – Christians are first and foremost citizens of God’s kingdom, over and obove allegiance to any national government or group. Our task it to demonstrate God’s kingdom to the world through acts and words of love. Nothing should hinder this. This does not mean Christians should not get involved in politics or whatever, but should be very aware that the priorities of politics, government, and nation are often very different from the priorities of God. A look at how Jesus reacts to these questions can tell us a lot. For example, (see Matt 22:15-22, Luke 12:13-21) he refuses to accept the basis of human, political, and legal questions in order to point his hearers to the characteristics that are in line with his kingdom. This his just an example of how different governmental and political concerns can be to those which Christians should be concerned about.

Sure, take the money and use it for good, but don’t let government call the tune.

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4 thoughts on “Barack Obama on funding faith based initiatives”

  1. I read that and saw it as another issue in which he doesn’t want to make a ‘firm commitment’, like his ‘present’ votes, although the programs have been around long enough to know ‘how they operate’. I say that as one who has worked and written grants in the nonprofit sector for years. In my opinion, those supporting Obama are not praying sincerely about the elections and are depending on human emotions. Do the words ‘pluralistic’ and OneWorldOrder ring a bell? He said we could “set up a kingdom right here on earth”. We need to be reading between the lines with these politicians.

    We know what we’d be getting with the others, but Obama is a fresh face that people are not researching with an open mind. Or, they have agandas themselves…Please listen carefully and see how empty the rhetoric is in his speeches.

    Do you not know that Oprah embraces New Age teachings? That’s when I became alarmed that people were blinded! Her family has said how concerned they are and that she has strayed from what she originally believed.

    Does it not bother you, as a Christian, that he and Hilary have argued over who’s stand for abortion is stronger? And he voted not to help babies who survived?

    Read ‘Obamination’ on my blog, then ask yourself why he’s a member of a ‘church’ that honored Louis Farrakhan (Nation of Islam) last month. And how can he be a member of a ‘church’ that recognizes race before God, although race is not mentioned in the Bible? (nations are, not race. dark-skinned, but not in a context of separatism Go to http://www.gotquestions.org and type in ‘race’.)His g’mother in Kenya was interviewed (a predominantly Muslim country) and those who were interviewed hoped he was elected so they could benefit.

    Absolutely, God is in control, but He will not Bless a nation that rejects Him.

    Is Obama waiting for instructions on how to proceed? That’s what I think. A very Dangerous man, but I don’t think there are any other choices except Ron Paul in implementing The Constitution.

    I used to read CT, but I now recognize the double-speak in many of their articles.

    Sorry for the long comment (rant? 😉 but I am concerned that we are destroying ourselves from the inside-out. I’m ready for Jesus, but it breaks my heart that so many are playing around, re-writing God’s Word, and are not ready.

    God’s Blessings!

  2. You said, “God will not bless a nation that rejects him”

    This is exactly the thing I was talking about – I just used Obama’s quote to illustrate it… The notion that by electing the ‘most Christian’ leader, this will lead to a ‘Christian’ country is flawed. God is not in the business of blessing nations – he is in the business of bringing individuals towards him to be saved, forgiven, and transformed, and thus blessed through Jesus Christ. This happens by God changing people’s hearts (not us) – starting from the inside, not by changing external things like laws and governments. Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world”. (There are certainly ‘better’ governments and ‘worse’ governments, but none can be described as totally Christian)

    Read Greg Boyd’s book “The Myth of a Christian nation” for a great description of how God’s Kingdom operates. http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Christian-Nation-Political-Destroying/dp/0310267315/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1201531266&sr=8-1

    BTW:… Kenya is roughly 70% Christian (various denominations) and only 10% Muslim – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenya#Demographics, or http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1024563.stm#facts,
    or http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-259732/Kenya

    You also said, “Is Obama waiting for instructions on how to proceed?” Instructions from whom? Please don’t believe the contents of any email you may have received. (See http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp for a refutation of that). His name might sound like two of the USA’s recent enemies, but I honestly don’t believe he is.

  3. Thanks for your time! I am concerned that you say God is not in the biz of blessing nations (Matthew 25:32; 1Peter 2:9-17; Revelations 5:9) and that we cannot expect to have Christian leaders. It’s sincerely astounding that we have so little regard for God’s power and ability, yet call ourselves Christians. He punished Israel for marrying into and embracing other religions and not all Israelites were participating.

    You’re right, Christ’s kingdom is not of this world (I will add that Christians are “foreigners and strangers” 1Peter 2:11) but we are guilty of silence if we do not speak against “plurality” when it comes to salvation thru Christ. Christians are the only ones I know of who believe in salvation, and have certainly shed blood over Christ’s divinity. Not all who claim to be Christian are—we are not to add to or change God’s Word.

    Kenya does not interest me regarding all the varied statistics (I’ve read both ways) except that the article indicated several who were interviewed having material expectations. It’s really a moot topic except that Obama’s interests should be questioned. The USA is too embedded in other county’s biz, as it is, IMO.

    Even though you did not address the New Age or abortion point, I implore you to read up on those. I am assuming that you are a Christian b/c of your use of scripture, so I therefore am assuming that you know in scripture, “I knew you from the womb” is expressed many times.

    Basing beliefs or opinions on e-mails? No, although I did get the “Muslim one” about 6 or 8 mos ago, which I dismissed, but did look deeper than Snopes!
    It is not my intention to be argumentative; I am just deeply concerned over the lack of discernment and claims of following Christ. I read, look and listen to what qualifies as issues that people are fighting over and it troubles me that many are so dedicated to unGodly beliefs.
    God’s Blessings!

  4. It’s good to have discussions about these things. Thanks for commenting and debating.

    However, I’m afraid the three passages you’ve quoted do not support the view that God blesses nations as a whole today – I’m talking about nations as present day political and governmental entities.

    Matt 25:32 is the parable of the sheep and the goats. God has called all nations before him, but he is separating the people into ‘sheep’ and ‘goats’; separating people, not nations as a whole.

    1 Peter 2:9-10 says “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God…Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God”
    Peter is not talking to a nation, but the church. He is saying that Christians (as a whole) are God’s people – entry into this people group is by belief in Christ (see preceeding verses). This is an important distinction between Old Testament theology, where God’s people were identified by the nation of Israel and other nations were going to be blessed through them, and New Testament theology, when ethnicity and nationality no longer matters – the people of God are now identified by those who believe in Jesus Christ. (Paul talks about our ‘citizenship’ being in heaven, and that a Christian’s life should be lived as such – Phil 3:17-20 – Hence we are, as you said, ‘foreigners and strangers’)

    The Revelation passage (5:9-10) uses a similar notion. People have been called to God “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (5:9) – that is every human nation – to be a “kingdom and priests to serve our God” (5:10). A new kingdom is formed from those who come to God.

    To sum up, I’m saying that it the job of Christians, whatever nationality or country they currently belong to, to show the ‘kingdom of God’ in this world and to live out their lives in the way that citizens of God’s kingdom should act. Merely voting for the ‘right’ candidate is not enough, as God’s kingdom is different to human kingdoms/government/nations.

    I didn’t comment on the New Age or abortion points. I’m against abortion and I would like to see less people carry them out. How to bring this about this is an entirely different debate!

    And ‘New Age’ – I didn’t think it was relevant to our debate that Oprah dabbles in it (is she running for president? 😉 ). You said it shows that many are blinded. This is true, but doesn’t it also show that many are searching for something spiritual and are looking in the wrong places? How is the church going to address this challenge?

    Thanks again for your comments. I’ve enjoyed reading them.

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