Why are you a Christian?The woman framed the question with her own comment that she loved Mother Teresa's answer to this same question. This exchange was well reported in the New Mexico Independent newspaper.
President Obama answered this question this way:
“I’m a Christian by choice,” the president answered. “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.”After reading the many comments that Prof. Franz Pieper made about the presidents of the United States in his lifetime, I believe he would highlight this weak and flawed confession ... with approval. Why would he do so? Even with so many phrases showing weakness?
“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. 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.”
Oh, there are plenty of portions of his statement that a true Lutheran could find fault with:
5) Finally Obama ends with this phrase:
Yes, there are plenty of works righteousness phrases in Obama's talk... plenty to condemn the talk as of a worldly religion. But ...
but... is his statement the expression of a weak Christian faith that begins to distinguish the Law from Gospel? In the history of the presidents of the United States, I would be surprised if any other president spoke a similar confession, even a weak one, that spoke these words:
... understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins... that we're sinful... that we achieve salvation through the grace of God.Mitt Romney, the Mormon, would never have spoken these words, certainly not from the heart. And Mother Teresa probably never spoke those words. Prof. Franz Pieper would never have let pass these words of a President of the United States... he would have called out these words as a thing of beauty... and confirm the President in this faith, albeit a weak and confused faith.
– President Barack Obama, September 28, 2010
But what about Obama's policies promoting abortion rights, so-called "gay" rights, and others... and his friendliness towards the Muslim religion at times... all harming Christian sensibilities? That is certainly true, but there are many leaders in so-called "mainline Protestant" camps, even "Lutherans", who hold to many of these same positions.
Jesus continually had to work with those weak in faith, as is spoken of him:
A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench... Matt. 12:20, Isaiah 42:3Pieper would have corrected the President where his statements were weak, but he would strengthen him where he spoke of a Saviour from sin and of God's grace. That is what Pieper would say.