Barack Obama
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Challenge your beliefs each week with topics on domestic and international politics, missions, Christian movements, persecution and global outreach with Steve Strang. Listen to the Strang Report at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


Editor’s Note: The below article responds to the Rev. Dennis Dillon, publisher of The Christian Times, who recently wrote an article called, “Why Christians Should Vote for Barack Obama.” Mr. Dillon mentioned Bishop Mattera by name, attempting to rebut the Bishop’s piece, “Why Do So Many Believers Shun Biblical Values While Voting?

Before I respond to Mr. Dillon, let me preface it by saying that I do not like using a pen to debate someone who calls himself a brother. I would rather be face-to-face. Despite our disagreements, I trust that he is an honorable man who sincerely believes that he best represents Christ. But because the article he published singling me out and encouraging Christians to vote for Barack Obama was both theologically ignorant and politically naive, I must respond. 


Biblical Values?
First, Dillon gets into a word game over “biblical values” versus “Christ’s righteousness,” as though there’s incongruity with the two. He puts me in the former category; him the latter. Of course, the righteousness extended through faith in Christ is a component of “biblical values,” although, strangely, Dillon’s point is to lump those who believe in “biblical values” with the Pharisees demanding that Jesus condemn the woman caught in adultery. He coupled this bizarre analogy by applying Greek definitions to the modern-day words liberal and conservative, with the ultimate point being, if you can believe it, that it was the “conservative” Pharisees who wanted the woman stoned, but Jesus, the liberal lion, extended her grace.

Like I said, the analogy was weird.

In any event, it’s poor scholarship to prove a point using the original Greek meaning of a word while isolating that very same word from context in which it was used. In this case, the word liberal understood today does not even remotely refer to the liberty we have in Christ (John 8:31-36) because the liberty we have in Christ is never disconnected from virtue; it means having the freedom not to sin.

The contemporary use of the word liberal, however, refers to people who identify as pro-abortion, are proponents of same-sex marriage, wish to purge religion from the public square, favor an activist role for the federal government and demand high taxation.

Meanwhile, to suggest, as Dillon did, that the word conservative is code today for protecting the racist and ungodly status quo that Jesus confronted is beyond preposterous. As any Political Science 101 student grasps, I used conservative to describe a political philosophy that respects the involvement of Judeo-Christian values in our culture, a position that should be non-controversial for any Bible-believing Christian.

Besides, to imply that Jesus would not uphold the moral law of God because that would make him pharisaical ignores the fact that Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish God’s law, but to fulfill it (see Matt. 5:7, 17). And if that weren’t enough, Jesus said that our righteousness must be greater than that of the Pharisees if we are to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:20). The context of this passage demonstrates that Jesus’ use of righteousness is based on upholding the law, which has to do with what he taught from Matthew 5:21-7:29 regarding obeying that law from the heart and not merely with outward form and rituals.

In Dillon’s use of the woman caught in adultery, what he failed to note is that Jesus not only forgave her but also told her to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11). I suppose Jesus was a narrow-minded, self-righteous Pharisee, huh?

Liberal Economics
Second, Dillon says that conservative Christians are “dogmatic, anti-poor, pro-war” and shouldn’t even call themselves Christians. Yep, the same guy ranting about dogmatism one minute ago actually says that not following his own reflections on Jesus makes the Christian Right, er, un-Christian. Let that one sink in for a minute.

Back in the real world, under Barack Obama’s presidency there are now more people on food stamps than ever before, the unemployment rate is higher today than when he took office, the employment participation rate is lower and the poverty rate is soaring. And in the black community, unemployment remains double the national average, towering at a staggering 14.3 percent.
 
Is this the Rev. Dillon’s idea of eradicating poverty—by creating millions more poor people?

Bottom line: Barack Obama’s policies are a disaster by every economic metric.

Dillon should also cut back the lectures on “war,” seeing that this president ramped up drone kills, aided military strikes in Libya and continues a war in Afghanistan for no good reason.

A Biblical President?
Third, Dillon argues that Barack Obama quotes the Bible often—a “religious pioneer” if you will. Mitt Romney, however, is a professed Mormon. Enough said, we’re told. So let’s see how our noted theological president sold same-sex marriage to ABC News: “[Michelle and I] both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf, but it's also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated.”

Who knew, Jesus Christ was the first same-sex marriage advocate.

Obama’s also extreme on abortion. He favors it in every single trimester (partial-birth abortion, too) and even opposed the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” which was a law granting rights to babies of botched abortions in Chicago.

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