Mar 13, 2009

What Do You Hear?

I was visiting Esthermay at The Heart of a Pastor's Wife and she had a wonderful post entitled "Can A Born-Again Christian Support President Obama?" I encourage you to read it.

This post is not meant to be about Obama specifically but he makes for the perfect example.

This quote from Esthermay's post caught my attention.
"I’m rooted in the Christian tradition,” said Obama, who has declared himself a Christian. But then he adds something that will not sit well (at all!) with real Born-Again Christians: “I believe there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as
a people.”
I used to work in collections. I never worked for collection agencies but worked in companies and doctor's offices in the A/R and credit departments where I was responsible for collecting monies owed. At one company, my supervisor was extremely tough (understatement). I have to admit that I learned a lot from her, some good, some not so good things. One thing I learned was hearing what people actually said and not what they implied. For instance, if I called on a past due invoice, someone might say to me that checks are cut on Friday. That implies that the check is being mailed on Friday but it doesn't actually say it. If a company is juggling their finances then they might cut checks on Friday but then hold them for a period of time before mailing them. So I learned to ask when the check would be mailed. I found that most people (not all) would be honest when asked a direct question.

So what does this have to do with the quote? Everything if you're paying attention. In this quote Obama doesn't say that he is a Christian. He says that he is rooted in the Christian tradition. The fact is, that is a true statement. His mother taught him about many religious traditions including those of Christians, so he does have some roots in Christian traditions. But being a Christian is not the same as tradition. A Christian, a disciple of Christ, is one who learns from and follows Christ. There is lots more that can be said on the matter but that sums it up in a nutshell.

Let's look at his next statement. "I believe there are many paths to the same place,". Well, I do too. There are many paths to the same place. Even spiritually speaking, there are many paths to the same place. That place is called hell in the Bible. Notice that he did not mention Heaven.

Next statement - "and that is a belief that there is a higher power,". I also believe that there is a higher power. There are higher powers among people. Satan is a higher power, demons are a higher power, but God (Jesus Christ) is the Highest Power. Obama did not state which higher power he was referring to nor did he say what he believed about that higher power.

Final statement in that sentence. - "a belief that we are connected as a people.” This one is a no-brainer. Yes we are all connected as a people. It is called the human race. According to the Bible we are all sinners and headed for that place called hell if we continue to follow any higher power other than Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us not to be deceived.

Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you." Matthew 24:4

"Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words." Colossians 2:4

"...and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved." 2 Thessalonians 2:10
The Bible tells us to be shrewd.

"With the pure You will show Yourself pure;And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd." Psalm 18:26

"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." Matthew
The Bible tells us there is one way to Heaven.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." John 14:6
So my question today is, are you listening to what people say or what they imply?"


Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind ~ Luke 10:27


My ADHD Me said...

It's amazing what you can hear from people just by listening to what they aren't saying!

Tammy said...

This was great post.There are so many people who throw *religious* words around(like Oprah),yet are blind.

I get so frustrated with my birth mother(I was adopted)when I talk with her on the phone,whenever we get into these decisions.She has the same belief as Obama.

love and hugs~Tammy

Chatty Kelly said...

This is SO TRUE!!!! The problem is that many "Christians" have a faith based on tradition and nothing else. So they go to church on Sunday, and celebrate the big holidays, but Monday - Saturday God never even enters their mind. I know this is true, because I lived that way before I became born again. I believed in God, but my life didn't reflect a change that comes from having a relationship with God.

Excellent writing Edie and very good points and Biblical backup. One of my favorites of yet, because you really just nailed it!

Sue J. said...

I just read Esthermay's post. There is a lot in there.

I suppose what she's trying to say, and you are echoing, is a wake-up call to make sure that we, Christians, are not getting lost in the hype...and missing the news! President Obama is following through on some campaign promises that are clearly against the Word of God. As Christians, we do need to monitor what is going on in our government and voice our Truth as we are able.

Having said that, I would also suggest that President Obama is a lost soul that needs saving--literally! Prayer for his salvation is definitely needed. BUT, also, compassion on our part, as if it were our next-door neighbor or someone new to our churches. It is all too easy to berate the high-profile folks for bad decisions. If we don't approach our prayer time for him and our comments about his decision-making with grace, he will continue to understanding Christianity as being a religion of tradition and not a Gospel of Truth with life-saving grace, joy and hope! (Satan will trap us if we are not looking up!!)

Esthermay also mentions the Romans 13 passage, that God has allowed President Obama to serve our country at this time. As Christians, we need to turn to our Lord and God for understanding, for direction, for His ultimate leadership and to see how He wants us to live in such a time as this.

Sorry for posting.... You got me goin' this mornin'!

Proverbs 27:19 said...

I get frustrated when I am not directly answered and or ambiguously conversed at.

Sometimes I address it and then others I stand there staring at whomever while in my head saying, "You soooo did not answer my question," or, "You must think that I am stupid!"


Kathryn said...

Very discerning and wise, Edie. Reminds me of the ol' saying, "Read between the lines." Also reminds me of another Scripture: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (Galatians 6:7)

May your weekend be richly blessed, my friend!


Thank you for this well-thought-out post - and the salvation message given as well. Wow! All the more for us to pray for our country and its leaders and its people [including you and me] to repent of our ways to follow His ways wholeheartedly.

I've been praying

Daniel 9:4-19

over and over - reading it aloud as often as God brings it to me. I have sensed God's leading me to do this for the last two months now.

I hope we will all 'batten down the hatches' of our lives - and know the Word in our hearts - before that too - is removed from our laps!

Is this a voice of panic on my part? Not at all! It's from a voice who knows the LIVING GOD and who knows [from Scripture] what happens to those who turn their backs on that same Living God.

I want to be in the 'remnant' that prays us through this mess. I want to be in that group that God Himself writes about in Malachi 3:16.

Thanks for allowing our voices to be heard and thanks for sharing the TRUTH of God's Word!

Looking UPward and Choosing JOY,
[Time to FLY]

Greg C said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I wish I could have said it htat well. I have been telling people the same thing for a while now. You have to listen to what people are saying and not what you think they are implying. Outstanding post Edie.

From the Heart said...

Edie, A great post. You have a very special gift of discernment and being able to hear and see what is and what is not. I have not trusted this man from day 1 and I do pray for his salvation. There are others who are close to him that need salvation also. We as a nation of believers need to come together and pray like we've never prayed before like Stephanie said.

I don't know if I told you about the problems my husband has had with his face and recently some infection on his left foot and surgery for an ingrown toenail. The doctor he was going to I'm told is someone not to be associated with. I did not have a good feeling about him from the first time I heard his name. My husband's face had cleared up but when he was put on antibiotics for the infection on his toe it started getting worse. Yesterday he went to his dermatologist and discovered he was allergic to the medicine's he was taken. I called his brother and his wife and they prayed and I continued praying until I got peace. He is like a totally different person today. We were up against some spiritual warfare and really did not realize it. When I did and told him he didn't really say anything. I had not prayed with him because I did not get that feeling from God that I usually get. (That's a whole other story that God has given me). He came back in the room I was in and said we can pray now and we did. God answered our prayers. Thanks for your prayers for me and him (if I had told you about his problem). I am doing better also.

When Christians band together it's amazing what God will do. It's amazing how he is using me. Someday I may tell my story but right now I'm just following the leading of the Holy Spirit and it's not the right time for me to go public with this.
Love you and appreciate your love for God,

a corgi said...

the Lord kept nudging me this morning "go to Edie's blog"; now I know why; thank you Lord. very insightful entry, Edie; I pray for Mr. Obama pretty much daily; I pray he will truly grasp who Jesus is and truly make him his Lord and Savior; I don't know his heart, only the Lord does, but I know if he doesn't seek the Lord and the Lord's wisdom, our country has no hope of recovery

I too am learning to discern what people say. When they say "they believe in God" I used to think they believed in the God I believe in (and the one I know you believe in). Now I ask them to clarify which God they believe in and not just assume its the God I believe in.

wise words, Edie, thanks for sharing them :)


From the Heart said...

I forgot to tell you that I found the memory that I need on ebay but there was so many that I had to get help from the guy who works on my computer. I ordered yesterday and it should be here within a few days. I will have 1 gb (I think that's right 2 512 MG) of memory.

Jody said...

I've caught myself listening better these days, I don't know what has prompted it. I will ask a question and won't get a direct answer. I say, that's not what I asked. We all need to be more discerning and listen through the lens of scripture. This was a great post by the way!!!

Aspiemom said...

I really enjoyed both your and Esthermay's posts. They were inline with what I think, but I'm just not that eloquent. I referred to your posts on my blog today.

LisaShaw said...

Hey Edie,

I'm all over this one already to anyone that would HEAR -- been speaking it since during the election campaign. There's nothing more I need to say that you didn't already say and some of your commentors.

Love you sister.

Esthermay said...

Excellent! This is so good!
I appreciate how you've brought our attention to Mr. Obama as a false prophet - and at the same time brought it to a personal what about me? self-assessment. I think a great number of Americans are re-thinking their vote (perhaps I'm optimistic) and time will bring out the truth about our current president.

I think the saddest commentary on this whole issue as that so many "Christians" in the U.S. really are only "implying" their salvation. How else can you explain the state of our culture and at the same time call the United States a "Christian Nation?" Only God can judge a person's heart, but as time draws closer to His coming, the wheat is most definitely separating from the shaft.
Incidentally: I heard yesterday that there is a group of Islam radicals who are now recruiting young Muslims to make it their life's work to assassinate Mr. Obama. Apparently, Mr. Obama is an "Infidel" for abandoning the Muslim faith for Christianity. Kinda' makes me chuckle. Cleary, these Muslims do not know what true Christianity is. Mr. Obama may be an infidel, but certainly not for following Jesus Christ.
Thank you for following your heart and posting this. . . .

More people need to read posts like this!


On Purpose said...

You preach it sister!! Cause the truth will set us free...and the truth is ONLY found in His living word! Amen!

Kathy S. said...

Truly lovers of truth, united in heart!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

No more can be said here...
you have "my" AMEN SISTER EDIE!

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Oh, my sweet friend. You have hit the proverbial nail on the head. Thank you for being so bold, and truthful, and not pulling any punches. :-) You are a dear disciple of Christ, and I count it an honor to be your friend.

Angela said...


I love your thoughts here. It is easy for us to be deceived when someone is smiling and talking cordially. It takes someone shrewd to see past the front to what lies beneath. Very good and insightful post.

Daphine said...

Oh girl! This was great! I read it a couple of times and your post definitely got my attention. We do need to pray for his salvation though. How sad, but all so true.

Enjoy your weekend!

Lisa said...

You are "all over it"! You took a scalpel and carved out the truth like a fine surgeon! There is only 1 God, 1 way to be saved.
Blessings - Lisa

Marla said...

Great post! The problem is that people don't really listen to what people are saying. You just tell it so well.

Michele Williams said...

Great post! Amen...

We pray for him to become a Christian, and we pray for him as the leader of our country.. as the scriptures tell us to pray for those in leadership and have rule over us... We pray for our country... We may not like the man... or even respect the man.. but we must respect the posistion...that is how I pray for the leadership in our country... Their souls, and to make the right decissions....

God bless you dear friend...

Tambrey said...

Edie, you are so RIGHT! We are to have the gift of discernment, and we are to read between the lines. I do pray for our President. I don't like a lot of things he has done already, but I know who God is and I do believe there is a reason for everything. Thanks for the post!

Bonita said...

What an insightful post, Edie. In his sophomore year, my son took a Logic class at co-op and I was the assistant in the class. We learned so much about the types of things you mentioned in your post and had a field day during this past election listening to the politicians talk all around the issues without actually saying anything. Every time the president speaks it amazes me what does and does not get said.

I agree with Sue too, as I'm sure you do that he's a lost soul in need of salvation. My two chief prayers for both him and his family are that they come to know Jesus personally and that the Lord protects them from harm.