Dear Mr. President, I know where you can find your god.

Dear Mr. President, I heard you make reference again recently to who you referred to as “my god”.  And I started wondering just who your god was because he didn’t sound anything like the God that I’ve come to know through my study of the Bible.

I think I know who your god is, and he’s closer than you think.

After reading your own thoughts on your faith here, things really started to make sense to me.

I believe that it would be worthwhile to first explain why I don’t think “your god” is the same God that I believe in.

To be sure that we’re on the same page, I need to first assert that a Christian is a person who follows Christ (it’s kinda in the name and all….).  Now I don’t believe that you have to follow Christ perfectly to be a Christian or that you even have to have perfect knowledge or understanding of the Bible to be a Christian.  But you do have to be willing to follow Christ.

So I was a little confused when you were asked what you believe and you responded…..
So, I’m rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that 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. That there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and there’s an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived.

Now that statement about “many paths” may be true in reference to Chicago, or Washington DC, or Hell.  But I think it’s a safe assumption that you were referring to Heaven.  And on that point, you’re wrong.

In John 14:1-6 Jesus says “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Christ tells his disciples that he was going to prepare a place for them, a place that they could follow Him to–and I believe that’s the same place you were referring to with your “many paths” statement.  But in John 14 Christ also makes the bold statement that no one can come to the Father except through Christ.

Mr. President, you’ve repeatedly praised religions such as Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism and I’m going to assume that those are the “paths” that you spoke of.

But make no mistake about it…..If your religion denies that salvation lies in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross you are not a Christian.

You can claim to be religious, to be spiritual, to be a good moral person.  And all of those things may be true.  But a Christian is a person who follows Christ.  And a fundamental part of following Christ is seeking salvation in Him.

You went on to say….  I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and prostelytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.

Mr. President…..  The people “in some quarters” who believe that salvation is in Christ and His sacrifice ARE CALLED CHRISTIANS.

So if the “my god” that you keep referring to isn’t the same God who sent Jesus as the saving sacrifice for mankind, who is “your god”?

I think the answer to that question lies in your own statements about your faith….

When asked “Do you pray often?” you answered…..

Uh, yeah, I guess I do.  Its’ not formal, me getting on my knees. I think I have an ongoing conversation with God. I think throughout the day, I’m constantly asking myself questions about what I’m doing, why am I doing it.  And so, the biggest challenge, I think, is always maintaining your moral compass.

Those are the conversations I’m having internally. I’m measuring my actions against that inner voice that for me at least is audible, is active, it tells me where I think I’m on track and where I think I’m off track.

When asked if you believe in Heaven, a place you go spiritually after you die, you answered…..

What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.

When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I’ve been a good father to them, and I see in them that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they’re kind people and that they’re honest people, and they’re curious people, that’s a little piece of heaven.

When asked “What is sin?” you answered…..

Being out of alignment with my values.

When asked “What happens if you have sin in your life?” you answered…..

I think it’s the same thing as the question about heaven. In the same way that if I’m true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward, when I’m not true to it, it’s its own punishment.

When asked “When do you feel the most centered, the most aligned spiritually?” you answered…..

I think I already described it. It’s when I’m being true to myself. 

Mr. President, your god…..Is yourself.

When prayer is having a conversation with yourself and making sure that your actions are in line with your own personal values…..You are your own god.

When Heaven, the reward that God has prepared for those that diligently seek Him is just enjoying life…..You are your own god.

Sin is a violation of God’s law.  And when you say that sin is not acting in accordance with your own values….You are your own god.

Our sin grieves God.  He sent His own son to die on the cross so that our sins could be washed away.  But when you believe that the punishment for your sin is disappointing yourself…..You are your own god.

Mr. President, when you are your own God you’re not, by definition, a Christian.

Of all the wrong things you said about Christianity and religion in that interview I found one of your beliefs that you should firmly adhere to…..  I think that religion at it’s best comes with a big dose of doubt.

Yes Mr. President, your faith in yourself….your belief that sin is violating your own ideas of right and wrong and that the ultimate reward from our Creator is found in the fleeting joys of this life….that religion needs to come with an incredibly large dose of doubt.