On Monday, Barack Obama’s U.S. apology tour, stopped in Turkey where he caused quite a stir. In a press conference, in a shaky attempt to be all things to all people, he said this: “Although we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”
Obama is wrong! A new Newsweek poll (http://www.newsweek.com/id/192915) shows that 62 percent of our citizens still consider the U.S. to be a “Christian nation.” Therefore, Obama clearly had no right to say this on our behalf.
The U.S. is not a theocracy. However, it was founded by Christian men of great faith. Furthermore, the “ideals” that bind us together and the laws under which we live are not based on thin air. They are based on Judeo-Christian principles.
James Madison, the primary author of our constitution, said this: “We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
According to the American Religious Identification Survey,
76 percent of us self-identify as Christians, 1.2 percent self-identify with the Jewish religion, while Muslims represent only 0.6 percent.
The moral and ethical teachings of the Bible are part of our Judeo-Christian heritage. One doesn’t have to be a Jew or Christian to appreciate a government bound by laws based on those principles. Many of the principles in the Bible, particularly the first five books, are accepted by Muslims as well. Therefore, Obama need not feel as though he has to apologize for us!
However, the fact that this discussion has come up during the week we Christians celebrate Easter is fortuitous and useful for self-examination.
The one thing that separates Christians from all other religions is Jesus Christ. There are those who deny that Jesus ever existed but there was far more written about him than any other person in ancient history.
In addition to the 27 different documents in the New Testament, there are many non-Christian sources as well.
The Old Testament prophets foretold that Jesus was coming for one specific reason — the redemption of our sins. However, by the time of his birth, the Jews had watered-down what the Bible says about “original sin” and man’s need for personal salvation to the point that the Jews began looking for a deliverer in a warrior/king like David.
The Muslin Qur’an describes the virgin birth of Jesus but calls Him a prophet, equal to Abraham and others and ranks Jesus far below Muhammed.
Many Jews also accept Jesus as a “good teacher.” In order to do this, the Muslim and Jew must ignore what prophets like Isaiah (chapter 53) said about Jesus’ birth, life and death. They also must ignore what Jesus said about himself. “Anyone who has seen me, has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
The Qur’an contradicts the historical evidence of the crucifixion and claims that Christ never really died on the cross simply because Muhammed made that assertion.
However, Easter is not simply about the crucifixion. It is about the most dramatic event in human history – the resurrection! For those who seek the truth, it is one of the most well-attested events in the ancient world.
Following the resurrection, over the next 40 days, Christ made many appearances. The Apostle Paul wrote of one such occasion where there were more than 500 witnesses, most of whom were still alive. Did anyone come forward to refute it? No, not one!
However, the best evidence of Christ resurrection today is changed lives.
If you will examine the evidence, you will discover the truth for yourself. You can believe on Jesus with confidence.
Each of us is born with a God-shaped vacuum. We can deny it exists but we know it’s there. We can busy ourselves to the point of exhaustion but, the reality is, it can be filled with none other that the living Christ. If you are willing to confess your sin and surrender your will to Christ, He will come in and dwell with you. That vacuum deep inside finally will disappear. Then – and only then – will you begin to live a life of true fulfillment.
Don’t miss this opportunity to have a joyous Easter!
If you would like to compare Christianity to the other major religions I highly recommend this
little book. It’s easy to use and will be a valuable resource.
If you want proof that Jesus is Lord and on the authenticity of the Bible, I highly recommend this little book. http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=janechastainc-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=084230021X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr&nou=1
If you want to dig even deeper, I recommend this book but, for a quick start, begin with the one above. Then move into this one.