Wednesday, December 10, 2008

President Bush's "Unshaken" Faith

President Bush completed a rather interesting interview with ABC News about his personal faith. It's revealing. I found myself cheering and encouraged at points, and scratching my head at others.

The video is here.

Here's my question: When you listen to Pres. Bush on the whole, how different are his faith claims from Pres.-Elect Obama? What do you think?


Stephen Ley said...

I don't see a lot of difference between Bush and Obama's faith claims. Only God can look into their hearts and see if they are regenerate members of His invisible church, but based on this interview and interviews of Obama that I've read I'd say their's is basically a Christless, churchless faith that has little to do with historic Christian orthodoxy. I'm encouraged that the President "stays in the Bible" but his talk of "the Almighty" and we're all praying to the same God cuts the legs out from under the exclusive claims of Jesus (John 14:6 and many others). Sadly, I'd say he's not much different than the average American evangelical. Obama I see as more of a classical liberal of the early-20th century kind. The guys that Machen was contending against. His is more of an intellectual faith, but it's also a faith that has more in common with rationalism and gnosticism than "the faith once delivered."

Cornelius said...

IMHO, There isn't much difference. Sure, Bush supports the projection of babies and is against Homosexuality, but he stated in an interview that much of the Bible isn't literally true. I don't know about you, but I am not holding my breath on what any president believes faith wise--there is no way to gage it and it's not my job to.

Barack Obama is a liberal church goer, too. Jeremiah Wright's church teaches acceptance of homosexuality, the whole denomination is from a liberal slant.

People with a strong genuine faith in Jesus Christ can't be president of the USA--It just won't happen.

Hayden said...

President Bush comes from a Methodist background which I think strongly informs his views.

President Elect Obama comes from a black liberation theology background which strongly influences his views.

Pres Bush talks about sin in generalities.

Pres-elect Obama talks about sin being 'out of alignment with my values'.

Both of them are not literal in their interpretation of the Bible.

Both are from a more liberal strain of what is commonly called Christianity which tend to focus on external acts over internal sanctification and obedience to the written Word.

The both have violated the Second Commandment by 'making a god in their own likeness or image'.

We as evangelicals have wanted to claim GWB but I think by his own statements he shows that he is clearly not 'within the camp'. I think the one reason evangelicals have flocked to him is his strong pro-life stances and really the desire to be relevant in the political process.

What I glean from both of these men is this 'doctrine matters'.

Anonymous said...

The encouraging thing said by Bush was that he reads the bible and so does Obama. And we know how powerful God's word is. My prayer is that God will open their eyes and touch their hearts and they will be reborn. The bible tells us that the gate is narrow and few find it. But all will be saved who have been called by God before the foundation of the world. And since we don't know who God has called, we should not give up on people who don't know our Lord yet.


Elnwood said...

"Literally true" is such a bad description of evangelical biblical interpretation that I don't fault Bush for saying "probably not" to that.

Unless we want to say that Jesus was an actual "lamb" of God and other such literalisms, we should eschew calling our interpretation literal.

Jay Youngblood said...

I would agree that doctrine matters. I would even agree that President Bush said some things (eg. Muslims and Christians pray to the same God) that are unbiblical. But I cannot agree with the conclusion of "Anonymous" that because he said what he said, he is not a born-again Christian. To make that leap is, to put it plainly, arrogant, unwarranted, and unkind.

Most of us here would not agree with the theology of John Wesley. But would we really say that because his theology was faulty, Wesley was not a Christian?

The real question concerning President Bush is whether or not he has repented of his sins and placed his faith in Jesus Christ as his savior. Based upon things that I have read about his conversion in the past and other past interviews he has given, I would be very hesitant to answer that question in the negative.

Perhaps his doctinal errors are a result of this denominational background. Perhaps some of the other comments he made that left us scratching our heads were a result of him, as President, attempting not to give offense.

We must remember, President Bush is the Commander-in-Chief, not the Theologian-in-Chief. Maybe we should be just a little more charitable to the man.

Tony said...

I would have to ask who is the Jesus GWB puts his faith in? Since he thinks that the God of Islam is the same god (not capitalized on purpose based on his assumptions) he believes in then that would rule Christ out as God and thus he isn’t relying on the Jesus of scripture for his salvation. I agree that we should not hold presidents to higher standards as they are not theologians. But he should be asked the same questions that we should ask anyone that we talk to about faith. It would seem unloving to simply let him slide because he is the President. We cannot know if he is believer but again if he holds his salvation as in a Jesus that is not of the bible then that is no salvation at all and he needs to know that.

It is good that he, and for that matter Obama, read the Bible, so our prayer should be that God opens their hearts and minds to what scripture really says so that they see the truth. From the interview and from other things I have heard said by both Obama and Bush they hold to what would appear is a very postmodern view of Christianity which is reality Christless Christianity.

Let us diligently pray for both men.

wwdunc said...

The more that President Bush said, the less he seems to be a truly regenerate believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. At best, I think President Bush is a sincere, well-meaning person seriously in need of sound biblical teaching. As it is, he simply doesn't know the word of God.

Based on what I've heard or read concerning his religious beliefs, I've never believed that President-Elect Obama was a true believer in Christ. However, I do believe that, like President Bush, President-Elect Obama is a sincere, well-meaning person. Given his family and religious background, I doubt he has ever had the opportunity to sit under sound, biblical teaching and preaching.

I think evangelicals have embraced President Bush based simply on the Billy Graham connection and his "pro-life" and "pro-family" positions. But, take away Billy Graham and change the political positions, Bush and Obama share a very similar religious faith. Both men, like far too many in our churches, are desperately in need of sound, biblical teaching. How can they know unless someone teaches them? I think we should pray for both of these men that God would send persons their way to teach them the word of God, and that God would help them understand the Bible they profess to read.