I previously wrote about the White House’s explanation of Obama’s Christian faith: he prays, so he’s obviously a Christian. Most articles and tv reporters talking about this subject keep repeating that Obama is a Christian, to tell the rising number of Americans (as high as 25% in recent polls) who think Obama is a Muslim that they’re idiots.
Who decides who is a Christian? Who decides who is a Muslim? Both systems of belief have a recognized authority: for Christians the New Testament, for Muslims the Koran and the hadiths, other teachings supplemental to the Koran.
Only 1 way:
The Bible says that no one is born a Christian. There’s interaction between a person and the supernatural, and the person enters into a relationship with the one triune deity, recognizes Jesus as the master (Lord) of their life. Romans 10:9-10 is the closest the New Testament has to a step-by-step process of salvation:
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
There is no magic phrase to recite, but these verses speak of a verbal confession of what a person inwardly believes. Even the spoken element is only a confession of inward reality. If the inward reality isn’t there, the speaking isn’t a confession, but a lie.
Being a Christian is about an inward spiritual change that affects every aspect of your being. The Bible teaches that only God knows a person’s heart, it therefore follows that only God knows the spiritual state of everyone around the world. It is not possible for someone else to know whether you are truly a Christian through any sort of litmus test. There is evidence, however – outward transformation in a person’s lifestyle and actions that happens when your are inwardly changed. Does a person’s world view, beliefs, and positions on issues line up with Jesus’ teachings? While no one is perfect, a Christian should be conforming more to the person of Jesus as time goes by.
In contrast, one can be a Muslim by conversion or by birth.
Option 1: Conversion
One may convert to Islam by saying the following phrase (the Shahadah) in Arabic: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” This is not a direct quote from the Koran, but is based on Koranic and extra-Koranic writings and has been the longstanding tradition in Islam. A whole-hearted attitude or inner change is not required, though that’s desirable.
Option 2: Birth
Any children born to a Muslim are considered Muslim from birth. While Muslim men are free to marry non-Muslim women, Muslim women are forbidden to marry non-Muslim men. Thus, regardless of the mother’s religion, a Muslim household always has a Muslim man at it’s head, and the children are Muslim. If your father was a Muslim, you are a Muslim, according to Islam.
A Muslim child is not accountable before Allah for his/her actions until puberty. At that point they can continue to live as a Muslim or they can choose otherwise, and are considered an apostate, deserving execution.
Execution!? This is not some archaic story in the Koran that was situational. It is a very clear teaching. While it isn’t practiced by every Muslim, it happens around the world and Malaysia and Iran have recently been considering legislation to legally enforce this Koranic teaching. The video below is about a teenage girl from a Muslim family in Ohio who fled for her life after her father threatened to kill his daughter.
Quirk: Lying in Islam
While the Koran forbids lying, there are lies that aren’t considered lies. One general rule of thumb I’ve heard many times is that it’s not considered lying to lie for the advance of Islam or for the heart of a woman (which as we know from above is a quick way to beget baby Muslims). Additionally, “Muslims can lie while under oath and can even falsely deny faith in Allah, as long as they maintain the profession of faith in their hearts. ” You can read this long article on the Muslim practie of Al Takeyya, the practice of lying for one’s self or for other Muslims. The article states that even befriending people of other beliefs and displaying adherence with their unbelief as a means of self-protection is ok, and for self-preservation or the preservation of other Muslims, a Muslim can:
- Drink wine, abandon prayers, and skip fasting during Ramadan.
- Renounce belief in Allah.
- Kneel in homage to a deity other than Allah.
- Utter insincere oaths.
So from a Muslim perspective, it’s possible to denounce Islam and remain a Muslim, though it seems relegated to being in a position where it would be detrimental to one’s self or to the cause of Islam to be openly Muslim.
President Barack Hussein Obama: Christian or Muslim?
Photo from the LA Times
As the previous post referenced, there has been a doubling of the percentage of Americans who believe Obama is a Muslim. The White House and the traditional press (newspapers, network, and cable news) have all risen to his defense to tell everyone about Obama’s faith. According to the White House, he’s a Christian. But according to the White House, the continuing recession is “Recovery Summer.”
But it doesn’t matter what the White House or your favorite media personality states. It matters what the authorities within Christianity and Islam state.
He can’t be both. If President Obama truly believes that Jesus Christ is Lord (God and master of all areas of his life) – the condition of being a Christian – then he cannot believe the Shahadah – the condition of being a Muslim. They are mutually exclusive.
As the New York Times accurately reported back in 2008, President Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as understood uniformly around the world. When he reached puberty, he became accountable for his actions as a Muslim. To apply the information gathered above, there are only 2 possible outcomes in Islam:
- Barack Obama is an apostate, worse than an infidel, and should be executed as an apostate by the followers of Islam.
- Barack Obama is a Muslim in good standing and engaged in Al Takeyya, pretending to be a Christian for the advance of Islam. This would only be possible if one could conceive of a reason that pretending to not be Muslim could be advantageous to the advance of Islam or his personal benefit as the President of the United States. Perhaps if you take a moment here to think: from the perspective of Islam, what could possibly be the benefit of having a Muslim in charge of the most powerful nation on earth, even if he had to pretend to be a Christian? If you can’t think of any possible answer, I’d like to thank you for visiting from MSNBC!
From a Christian perspective, the best that can be said about Obama is that he is likely a true Christian. Or you could argue likely not, as his positions on issues of importance don’t line up with Jesus’ teachings, and his views ought to be affected by his faith.
From a Muslim perspective, Obama is a Muslim or he needs to be executed.
Is Obama a Muslim? It depends on your perspective.