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Witness: Obama v. Gandhi

Posted Monday, February 9, 2009, at 7:18 PM

As a nation we voted for President Obama, and with that bought the package he brought with him. Most Americas hope he succeeds; this does not mean all of us assume everything he does or says is history's final answer. I pose this caveat because I want to quote something the President said which struck me as very telling as to the state of the Christian church and its witness to a hurting country.

I happened to catch the end of his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5th. If you want to play it back there are several sites on the Internet where it is currently available. Overall it is an eloquent speech in which he said, in part:

"I was not raised in a particularly religious household. I had a father who was born a Muslim but became an atheist, grandparents who were non-practicing Methodists and Baptists, and a mother who was skeptical of organized religion, even as she was the kindest, most spiritual person I've ever known. She was the one who taught me as a child to love, and to understand, and to do unto others as I would want done.

"I didn't become a Christian until many years later, when I moved to the South Side of Chicago after college. It happened not because of indoctrination or a sudden revelation, but because I spent month after month working with church folks who simply wanted to help neighbors who were down on their luck - no matter what they looked like, or where they came from, or who they prayed to. It was on those streets, in those neighborhoods, that I first heard God's spirit beckon me. It was there that I felt called to a higher purpose -- His purpose."

Just by coincidence I happen the same day to come upon the "witness" of Mahatma Gandhi. Contrast President Obama's experience to what Gandhi is quoted as saying, "I would accept your Christ if it were not for you Christians."

No matter what happens from now on in or to our country, from the President's own words we can believe the world was changed by the witness of people just doing what their faith demanded. One wonders, what would be the influence on some future American President from Christians working for their Lord in any given church of Clay County Indiana? All human contact has consequences, and America's future could certainly be changed by such an encounter; but in what direction? If our church, or yours, encountered such a person on their way to some future White House sojourn, would their subsequent testimony be that of Obama or Gandhi?

David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at kayanddavid@joink.com.


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I have interacted with Muslims in foreign countries, as I have with the British, Spaniards, Danes, and Germans among others. One thing that I have found is that we are all people.

There are Christians that "talk the talk and walk the walk"; then there are the ones that have the attitude of "My way or the highway"! Which ones are the real followers of Christ? You do not have to read much of the New Testament to identify the groups....LOL!

If you are going to profess to follow Christ, let's "walk the walk"! I do believe that in the Gospels, Christ advises us not to be hypocrites, stating that hypocrites receive their reward one the spot but gaining nothing in Heaven.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Tue, Feb 10, 2009, at 10:07 AM

My grandmother told me to live my religion... If I did others would follow. It took me years to understand what she was saying!

-- Posted by sassypants on Tue, Feb 10, 2009, at 11:11 AM

I'd like to believe that Ghandi would not try to sneak in the first step toward socialized medicine like obamma has done the head of the Wall street journal said on the news today, was its hidden in the stimulus package, and his example was the elderly will be hurt the most say someone had diabetes the gov. will ration your healthcare, you will get what meds they want you to have, but if you need any other procedure, tough too bad, they will only cover the diabetes, and he's only been in a few weeks, I'm not trusting his Christianity if he can't be any more empathetic than that !

-- Posted by Edward Kane on Tue, Feb 10, 2009, at 12:18 PM

The issue at hand is not Barack Obama

The issue at hand is not Mahatma Ghandhi

The issue at hand is what influence you will have

-- Posted by LifeObserver on Tue, Feb 10, 2009, at 7:14 PM

Powerful!!

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Tue, Feb 10, 2009, at 8:56 PM


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