Bible Teaching aimed at helping you enjoy the Scriptures which are the Word of GOD!
Preaching by: John J. Malone, Sr - JABSBG*
Due to the controversy surrounding the faith of Barack Obama, a.k.a. Barry Soetoro, a.k.a. POTUS, the subject arises of how can we know if someone is a Christian or not.
Listening to the pundits, such as Rush Limbaugh, the matter becomes more confusing, not less. For instance, yesterday Limbaugh was citing a poll that fewer and fewer Americans believe Obama is a Christian, and more and more of them think he is a Muslim. Today, Limbaugh is claiming that President Clinton was very obviously a Christian. This coming from a guy that couldn’t tell you the second thing about “Christian,” and yet Christians listen to him far more than they do their own preachers.
I seem to remember that, during the campaign of 2008, the subject of Obama’s Christianity arose. Now, In American politics, the quality of someone’s Christian faith doesn’t really arise in large public discussions. All sorts of sectarian church memberships are accepted as Christian, and pretty much that is that. President Reagan ran as a Christian, and then stories emerged that he became one after he was shot. President Bush was accorded Christian standing on the basis of his Episcopalian church affiliation, and became better known when he claimed in the public debates that Jesus Christ was the most influential person to him because “He changed my life.” Nixon was a Quaker. Kennedy was Catholic. And so forth.
If I remember correctly, the question of Obama’s Christianity arose at the time of the Iowa caucuses, and our own Nebraska Senator former Governor Ben Nelson stepped up to certify to us that Obama was a Christian. Forget for the moment that Nelson’s Christian credentials in Nebraska come as a surprise to many of us. Among Christian circles in which I have moved in Omaha, Nelson has ridden in on the Christian coattails of politically and socially ambitious Christian women, one of whom has made her “Christian career” to accept Roman Catholics into Bible-teaching churches, even to the point of placing them occasionally in the pulpit.
So, from my view, Obama’s Christian testimony comes from someone – a US Senator! – whose Christian testimony comes from a woman that I know, and her friends, who will admit anyone that says, “I believe in God, and I am a Christian” to actually be a Christian.
Now my standard of Christian testimony is no narrower than the Bible’s. When Jesus asked his disciples who people said He was, and then who THEY said He was, Peter answered simply, and correctly. When Jesus told Martha, at the occasion of her brother Lazarus’ death and subsequent resurrection from the dead, that He is “the resurrection, and the life,” she correctly answered him , just as Peter did.
I have traveled Obama’s fatherland extensively, having been involved in Kenya as a business man and preacher for above 17 years now. During the campaign, while I was in Kenya, every man-Njoroge of them believed Obama was a Kenyan. They did not understand the unique provision in US constitutional law concerning natural birth. In fact, in public marketplaces, unknown Kenyans would come up to me, and simply shout “OBAMA!” into my face. They named large beers after him. In the US, you may run down to the nearby gas station or convenient mart for a “40.” In Kenyan bars, and slums, guys were knocking down “Obamas.” Beyond merely being Kenyan, Obama is regarded there as a Luo. In fact, after the US-supported (some even say sponsored) referendum to alter the Kenyan constitution – held on Obama’s birthday – Obama is qualified to be the President of Kenya. While there is no question about that, questions still linger whether he’s qualified by his birth, or even citizenship, to be President of the United States.
Obama is no doubt beholding to his Luo tribesmen, who at the very least can be expected to get his back if anyone besides Jerome Corsi travels there to investigate. Corsi was thrown out of the country. During the Kenyan elections, when the controversy arose concerning rigged results, it was the US that pressed Luo “cousin” Raila Odinga – a physically powerful man who loves race cars, was trained in Russia, and for years was rumored to be “KGB” – into a hastily created “Prime Minister” position in order to give the second largest tribe in Kenya a stake in the government, devolve the Kenyan presidency, and satisfy the militant Luo political forces which threatened to set the nation ablaze after Mwai Kibaki’s rigging-stained “election.”
Odinga’s supporters insist to this day he won the election. He was aided and abetted in his campaign not only by Obama visits, but by the political strategies designed by Dick Morris. Morris seems to pose these days as if conservative, but it puzzles me because he was a chief Clinton strategist. Well, he’s yesterday’s liberal, so I suppose now he IS a conservative.
It’s amazing to me that, in America, the most powerful nation on earth, we are being served up consecutive Democratic Presidents with questionable parentages. What a coincidence. What an anomaly. Who would have ever guessed?
But Obama’s US citizenship credentials are only disturbing at an earthly level. We who study the Scriptures understand that in the times we live, there will be all sorts of problematic people running about in our times, even including traitors in the list.
His credentials as a Christian are far, far more suspect, but much more easily sorted out. There must be some kind of profession of faith in Jesus Christ. That’s the credential, and the only credential. That profession is not about whether or not one is “Christian.” Other people called believers “Christians.” Christians professed the Lord Jesus Christ for Who He is. Historically, that is done in Christian baptism.
We know Obama was born to a Kenyan father. Reportedly, he was a Muslim, even if a nominal one. I was born to a Roman Catholic father, ad adult “convert” who had no faith, and joined that organization to make my mom and her family happy. That organization inducted me into its membership by way of infant christening, and from there I was indoctrinated in the Roman Catholic religion. I don’t know anything about Muslim rites at birth, but I understand if you’re born to a Muslim father, you’re accepted as a Muslim, at least by them. Then, Obama was reportedly later adopted as Barry Soetoro, and was indoctrinated in Islam. In my case, I became a Christian – by profession alone – in 1975. I was immersed in water a couple of years later, making a public statement of my faith before assembled witnesses.
Does Obama have a baptism record of any kind? Someone had to be watching his baptism, if indeed he was baptized. “Barack Obama, have you been baptized since you believed?” Obama’s home church, Trinity United Church of Christ, is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, which has a relatively stringent view of adult baptism, requiring as they do the recitation and belief of the Apostle’s Creed. At Easter time, they ask their members to recite it. I understand Obama can recite in clear Arabic whatever one of the five “prayers” are that Muslims recite daily. I wonder if he would recite the Apostle’s Creed, like any good UCC member would do?
I find it very interesting that Obama’s home church is just now featuring former Omaha Salem Baptist Church pastor Maurice Watson on their web site. While I was not happy to learn of Watson’s Jesuit training at Creighton University, when I asked him directly about his faith not so many years ago, he was quick to tell me that, concerning salvation, he believed in “sola fide (faith alone)” and “sola scriptura (Scripture alone).” That’s not too far from the very solid “Grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone.” Watson conducted “revival” meetings at Obama’a former home church.
So Trinity (Chicago) UCC at least welcomes someone whose first thought is not “Liberation Theology,” which, by the way, has its roots in Jesuit teaching. Large churches like Chicago’s Trinity are a complex mix within their congregations. No black church in America can long even call itself “Christian,” and feature ONLY the kind of politically charged preaching of a Jeremiah Wright, or a Jesse Jackson, or a Martin Luther King, Jr. Nevertheless, this particular church, where, let’s face it, people like Barack Obama probably had only the most tangential attachment, is thoroughly imbued with eth leaven of Herod, and therefore has as its primary focus not the Scriptures of God, but the plans and political strategies of men.
Just like large churches that are predominately white, large black churches that appeal to the growing black middle and upper middle classes feature a jumbled mess of doctrine, and a thorny mix of saved and lost.
If Obama is Christian, he has something of the kind of experience of faith in Christ that all Christians have. “Once I was lost, now I’m found.” It would be nice to trace it out historically. People should ask him plainly when he first made a profession of faith in Christ, and if he was baptized, when and where. Simple questions, and easy answers for a Christian. But if that’s too complex, and he has fuzzy recollections, or lack of knowledge, that’s still no problem.
Someone should just ask him the simple question posed to Peter by Jesus Christ: “Who do YOU say that I am?” That will settle the whole issue.
Will someone ask him? I doubt it.
Today, President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya added an insult to our injury.
I found this is the April 24th, Nation Newspaper article entitled “Firms Urged to Start Varsities.”
The (Kenyan) government Wednesday said it is encouraging private firms and religious organisations to establish universities and other institutions of higher learning to curb capital flight.
This is being done in line with the governmentâ€™s policy as provided for in Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2005 on Education, Training and Research, President Kibaki said Wednesday.
â€œThis will go a long way to reduce capital flight and indeed fewer Kenyans are now seeking further education abroad,â€™â€™ said President Kibaki as he awarded a university charter to Strathmore.
Interestingly, Strathmore – now Strathmore University – was an approved center (along with 13 other institutions) by our joint venture with the JKUAT (the JKUAT-MMS Information Technology Training Centre), and under this aegis provided its ICT education utilizing our curriculum and program.
Our ten-year venture was founded in 1996 in order to train Kenyans at home, in part reversing the brain-drain in Kenya, at an affordable cost. Over 6,000 graduates went through the program, and now are responsible for virtually running all of IT in Kenya – especially IT education. Over 95% of our graduates were successfully placed in employment.
Shortly after Mwai Kibaki came to power, in June 2003, his chief campaign advisor and Mount Kenya chum Nick Wanjohi, freshly appointed JKUAT Vice-Chancellor, seized the venture – expropriating it – squandered the funds, and destroyed the program. Wanjohi seized the venture by use of campus police power.
One of the excuses I hear today is that Kibaki wasn’t ruling at the time, coming off years of drunkenness as well as a crippling automobile accident. Well, he’s ruling today – or is he? – and our venture is still expropriated, and we have not been compensated, despite assurances to the contrary by the Kenyan constitution.
US Ambassador (and Raila Odinga’s boy) Mike Ranneberger has helped to cover up this expropriation by terming it “a business dispute,” and castigating me personally for not turning to the same Kenyan courts he said were too corrupt for Raila Odinga to use. In the past, we have turned to the Kenyan legal system to rectify fraud and illegal conversion, but 14 years have passed, and Amos Wako and his fellows have not yet prosecuted the known culprits! Perhaps the file is lost …
So, to those organizations and institutions that are considering investing according to the recommendations of President Kibaki, just remember that if you succeed, some friend of the President may come along and simply take your investment with impunity, and you will be left with nothing.
If you are an American investor, the US State Department and Embassy will not only fail to stand behind you, but will do everything in its power to see to it that the fact of the expropriation will never see the light of day.
Watching events in Kenya develop and transpire by way of reading news reports may be convenient and interesting, but it’s not fun, nor does it present an accurate picture. One must read far more between the lines of print than in them.
For instance, today I read of an account where US Ambassador Michael Rannerger met with George Saitoti at the Serena Hotel, and that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice made phjone calls to President Kibail and Raila Odinga, I had to laugh just a little to myself. US officials are once again on the end of the artful dodge of Kenyan politicians, who have known for years that time is always on their side, and that outwardly formal and polite intransigence will always pay handsome rewards.
Well, the news is in that Kenya now has a new government signaling peace! There was dancing and shouting in the streets of Western Kenya as Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki finally promised to cede substantial power to Raila Odinga by creating the Prime Minister post he refused to create following his election in 2002.
As has been discussed here before, there are no good guys in this whole picture. But there ARE right and wrong acts. What has happened in Kenya in the last few days is that they have suspended their multi-party democracy to appoint Raila Odinga Prime Minister, and “share power” between “the government,” and “the opposition.” Of course, there has never been a true “opposition” in Kenyan politics unless one sees that the government itself is in opposition to the people of Kenya.
When a sentence against evil-doing is delayed , the Bible tells us, men embolden their hearts for evil.
If you have read this blog much, you realize that in 2003, the corrupt new government of Kenya expropriated our assets there in a feeding frenzy akin to the Israelites under Saul when they ate the Philistine cattle,
blood and all
. This corrupt seizure was neither clever nor subtle. It didn’t need to be. When Kibaki assumed the presidency in Kenya, he brought with him a gaggle of he Mount Kenya mafia, who simply believed “it is our turn to eat.”
I visited Kenya recently, at the peak of the recent election run-up, for the first time since our investment there was expropriated by force by a corrupt Kenyan government, and then covered up by a corrupt US government.
Since my return, and after the close of the Kenyan elections, there has been considerable civil upheaval in Kenya. This reaction was anticipated by many close to the situation who understood that whoever lost that election would not tolerate the results.
The problem in Kenya is somewhat similar to many problems elsewhere, albeit on this occasion considerable violence attends. The problem is that there are no good guys in this battle. None at all.
The antagonists, on the other hand, are many.
On the one hand, we have the persistently corrupt incumbent Kenyan government of Mwai Kibaki. It is a Kikuyu regime, known to be patronizing to its partisans, and a government which openly looted from its inception. This is the government that expropriated my own investment in Kenya.
On the other hand is today’s “opposition,” fashioned largely out of Kibaki’s former coalition partners. This opposition is embodied by Raila Odinga, and his loyal Luo tribal following.
These two tribal groups demonstrate the kind of conflict that is seen all over Africa: the Nilodic peoples (ranchers) conflicting with the Bantu peoples (farmers). Combine that with the concept that control of government has, as its main purpose, “to the victors go the spoils,” and you have the circumstances for today’s Kenya.
However, you have to add in some more antagonists. The USA is another antagonist in this drama. So is the EU. In this case, as is usual, the US takes its cues from the UK when it comes to African diplomacy, and the west in general has a united front about what it wants for Africa.
And that front wants some questionable – and awful – things from African nations in general, and Kenya specifically. First and foremost, the internationalist west is interested in something less than a sovereign nation. This has been the agenda for quite some time. Second, the west is interested in population reduction of Africans. Third, the west is interested in business opportunities. Fourth, the US is interested in a military base in Kenya, probably off Lamu Island.
The EU wants most of these same things. They might be less enthusiastic about the military base, but I would guess the EU supports the idea of the US having it, manning it, and paying for defense against mutual enemies.
So, where are the protagonists? Aren’t there any good guys? The good news is there are some good guys.
Kenya is substantially a Christian nation – used to be substantially a Protestant Christian nation. There is salt and light in Kenya, but over the last 15 years especially, the Kenyan Christians have allowed themselves to eat so much of the leaven of Herod that they have rendered themselves useless in the current crisis. I have some reason to think they will shake themselves from their useless condition, but it could be a long road back.
How did this happen? In much the same way it has happened in the USA and elsewhere. Christians have become worldly, and have turned to political and economic means to achieve the spiritual purposes of God, which will never be achieved through such means. The Kenyan Christians have tolerated evil in their midst: in the pulpit, among elders, and among other leaders. Today in Kenya, wealthy men and politicians are allowed to speak and are praised in the churches regardless of their standing before God.
The real problem today in Kenya is that the only good guys around have put themselves on the sidelines some time ago.
It’s time for them to suit up and play.
So, at the invitation of Senator Hagel’s Chief of Staff, our Managing Director from Kenya and I fly out to our nation’s capital.
Our arrangements were incredibly efficient, and so we remarked to each other. Everything was trouble free. We left the airport, cuaght the train, and before we knew it, we were at DC Union Station, taking a very short walk to our hotel, which maintained excellent arrangements for us.
Having discarded some of what we were carrying, we walked back to Capitol Hill and the Russell Office Building where, in room 248 and others, Senator Hagel offices.
We kept our 4:30 pm appointment promptly. Although I had asked for an appointment with Senator Hagel, his Chief of Staff Lou Ann Linehan had her assistant call me the week prior and set an appointment with her for this time. So, we kept it. Linehan had made a concerted effort to keep me from meeting with Hagel for seven months.