Posted by PastorRudy at 11/9/2010 10:23 AM CST
President Barak Obama was asked by a woman at one of his backyard conversations in Albuquerque N.M. on Tuesday before the midterm elections about his religious beliefs. According to the Associated Press the president “described himself as a “Christian by choice” who arrived at his faith in adulthood because “the precepts of Jesus Christ” helped him envision the kind of life he wanted to lead.” Some conservatives and political opponents have questioned Obama’s Christian faith. In fact, a Pew Research Center poll in August found that 18 percent of people wrongly believe Obama is Muslim – up from 11 percent who said so in March 2009. Just 34 percent said they thought Obama is Christian. “I’m a Christian by choice,” Obama told his audience here. “My family didn’t – frankly, they weren’t folks who went to church every week. And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn’t raise me in the church.”
“So I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead – being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, treating others as they would treat me,” he continued. “And I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we’re sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes, and that we achieve salvation through the grace of God,” Obama said. “But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace.” If I could be honest, I’m really looking for the grace-filled church going Christian these days.
More than a quarter of adult Americans have left the faith of their childhood to join another religion or have exited religion, according to a new survey of religious affiliation by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.” Could it possibly be the lack of grace that’s caused this exodus? The “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey,” details the volatility of American religious life in light of the 44 percent of Americans who have switched religious affiliations or have walked away from church. Faith departure is not exclusively an American pandemic. After visiting Rome a while back and experiencing the most beautiful monuments (formerly churches) in the world, I’m inclined to believe America is following a trend that has already taken a firm grip on many parts of the world. As I moved through the land that has served has the hub of Christian activity for thousands of years, it dawned on me that the churches that once provided a place for the masses of early Christians to worship God had been reduced to museums for viewing a religious experience of a day gone by. After a very unOfficial opinion poll throughout Italy, I realized that I didn’t meet one person who said they attended church. Unfortunately Rome is not the exception; it’s quickly becoming the rule in the rest of the world.
Here’s e big question in light of President Obama‘s remarks: Is Christianity today providing an environment today where young men and women would want “to become a Christian by choice” or have we done irreparable damage to the cause of the faith through poor examples of love for others? Here’s an even more critical question: What can we do to make Christianity more relevant today?