Adam Graham
Things too wonderful
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By Adam Graham
December 13, 2008

President Bush is creating some confusion over the issue of religion. The president has declared Christianity but one avenue to God among many. This has left blogger Patterico with a question, "To Christians, is accepting Christ the only path to Salvation?"

The confusion is understandable. Over the years, many Christians have tied this President and his faith very closely to Christian activities. I've heard the president's speeches used in songs on Christian radio stations, for example. Does the president speak for Christians or Christianity? What is the truth?

First, the answer has nothing to do with politics or with Civil Rights. America is a nation that is peculiar in its foundation. There is a very basic theology that is at the heart of our nation's founding. Reading the words of the Founders of our country, you'll find several key beliefs about God that are central to our liberty:

  1. He exists.

  2. He is just.

  3. He rules in the affairs of men.

  4. He is the source and guarantor of the rights of all mankind.

  5. He hears and responds to prayer.

While you'll find many stripes of faith among the founders, from deists like Ben Franklin to the far more religious, such as John Witherspoon and Benjamin Rush, these five beliefs were virtually universal. Of course, a first year theology student will tell you that there is so much more about God than those five things. Yes, but it's arguably not pertinent to Civil Government. The chief point it needs to grasp is that there is a God and that the State is not Him.

America is a land where the individual can believe what they want with no state force. President Washington laid out the American Vision to the Jewish Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, "All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support."

At times, we have faltered from that vision, and various groups have been trampled on, but compared to the rest of the Earth, America's history of religious freedom has been remarkable. Of course, this is challenged by a political correctness that insists, not only are all men equal, but that all ideas are equal. As Steve Turner writes in his poem, "Creed":

    We believe that all religions are basically the same
    at least the one that we read was.
    They all believe in love and goodness.
    They only differ on matters of creation,
    sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

Thanks to this overwrought political correctness, a big question a Christian in politics faces is his view of the afterlife. It's an irrelevant question as George Bush has as much control over the afterlife as George Foreman, George Brett, or George Takei. God and Heaven are beyond the jurisdiction of our politicians and shame on us if we look to them as our guiding lights to Salvation.

Of course, now the president has spoken, and the question is out there. What do Christians believe? To answer the question requires defining just what a Christian is.

Many groups claim the label "Christian" because there are many benefits to doing so. In other lands, there's no problem with everybody wanting to be labeled Christian as that label will bring with it prison, torture, and even death. Christmas lights sold in our country that come from China are made primarily in work camps by pastors of the underground church. In order to meet their quotas, these pastors sometimes have to work around the clock.

Do they really engage in this effort for a Jesus who is merely one of many ways to God? A representative of the Voice of the Martyrs explained that Christian Persecution the world over can be explained by one Bible verse, "Jesus said unto him, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." (John 14:6)

The verse is not a statement on the superiority of Christians. It is true that there are people of all faiths who are good citizens, good parents, good workers, and who are ethical in their business. They have every right to expect to be guaranteed the full protection of law, to have the same say as any other citizen in governing our nation.

However, what is misunderstood is that Christianity is not about merit. No matter how good we are by human standards, not a one of us can be right before God. The scriptures of the Old Testament echo this, with words like, "None is righteous, no not one."

At this time of year, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, never thinking of why He came. He came into a doomed world to die, to provide the solution to man's ultimate problem. If there are dozens of avenues through which men can come to God, then the cross is ultimately a farcical tale of how God's son came to Earth and died a horrendous death to add the fifty-seventh way to God. If there was another way man could be saved, Christ would not have come and died.

You may choose not to believe; that's your right. To follow your conscience and worship God as you see fit is the American Way. However, if Chinese Christians can suffer the privations of forced labor to stand up for the Gospel, the least American Christians can do is refuse to bow to the uptight and insecure Politically Correct Police.

© Adam Graham

 

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Adam Graham

Adam Graham was Montana State Coordinator for the Alan Keyes campaign in 2000, and in 2004 was a candidate for the Republican nomination for the Idaho State House... (more)

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