In part 1 of this series (seen here) I gave the reason that Obama says he is a Christian. In part 2 (seen here), I took on those who say he's not. In this final part, I want to state my opinion (even though some has already leaked out) and address the question "what difference does it make?" And I'll add in some closing remarks as well.
So, I'll start with the hard part. If you're interested in my opinion, do I think Sen. Obama is a Christian, here's my final answer. I don't know.
I'm not blessed with the ability to tell who is and who isn't truly saved. When I see the Senator's statements about his faith, they seem to line up with what I expect of a new convert. I wish I could see evidence that he had grown from that initial conversion. Instead, I see a man who believes that everyone gets to choose their own path, a man who doesn't hold infant life in high regard, who has said he sees a human fetus as a burden. I see a man who picks and chooses what he uses from the Word of God and who even ridicules those of us who believe. I also see a sinner. Like me. In first Corinthians 6:11, Paul said I was just as bad as the Democratic candidate.
That said, the next question is, "what difference does it make?" We're not electing a minister, we're electing a president. As I mentioned in part 2, our current president has made theological blunders and I expect the next president will too. Just because someone is, or is not, a Christian won't make them a good (or bad) president.
It does however, speak to the character of the man. If a man (or woman) is a Christian, I can partially anticipate some of their future direction. I firmly believe (like a certain VP candidate) that the next president will be tested (although I have different reasons) in ways we can't imagine. Eight years ago, no one expected 9/11 to happen. The next big event may be a foreign attack or it may be the economic condition we're already seeing. I have certain expectations for a Christian. If I knew more Muslims, I might have expectations about them also.
In Senator Obama's case, he has shown that, while he might be a Christian, he doesn't always follow his faith. That gives me insight (good or bad will not be discussed here) on how I think he will handle the unknown.
So the candidate's faith does make a difference to me, but I won't use that as a litmus test. It's too easy to misjudge what I think a person might or might not do.
But as I wrote these three parts, I was struck with a more important question. While none of us may be able to tell for sure if the next President (Obama or McCain) is truly a Christian, we can tell about ourselves. So the most important question is, ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN?
We are all sinners. I hope that you, like the young man on the south side of Chicago will come to the realization that something is missing. I hope that you will submit yourself to His will, to dedicate yourself to discovering His Truth.
God loves you. Just the way you are. In all your sin. Just as He loved me in my sin. He wants you to turn away from that sin. He wants you to open your heart and to let Jesus take over your life.
Each day I pray that God will continue to open my heart. To continue to expose my sin. To continue to show me His will for my life.
I implore you, just as I implored the candidate Obama, to search the Scriptures to see if what I have said is true. God has already told us everything we need to know, now He wants to show us how He can impact our lives.
I know these three posts were long, I appreciate your reading them. Comments are welcome.