Pro-abortion: Honoring Christ’s Teachings or Obama’s?

In many news and blog articles Rick Warren is being criticized for having Senator Barack Obama speak at Saddleback’s AIDS Conference.  The controversy involves Obama’s pro-abortion position which is in opposition to Warren’s position and, of course, against the biblical position.  I want to take a look at a brief response by Obama from an article reporting Rick Warren’s defense of having him speak at Saddleback’s AIDS conference.

“Many people of faith have strong views about abortion, and I deeply respect their beliefs,” Obama said in a statement. “While we will never see eye-to-eye on all issues, surely we can come together with one voice to honor the entirety of Christ’s teachings by working to eradicate the scourge of AIDS, poverty and other challenges we all can agree must be met.”

I put forth to you that since Obama says we should honor the entirety of Christ’s teachings while defending his pro-abortion stance then Obama is basically claiming Christ is pro-abortion.  Or Obama is only asking others to honor all of Christ’s teaching while excusing himself.  This statement above is typical political speak that glosses over the issue in the most palatable way. All issues are broadly lumped together as if they are from the same worldview summing up the position with the important issue being the emotional anchor of support.

The catch phrase that really ties this all together which is often stated in various ways is “honor the entirety of Christ’s teachings”. Of course, most agree or can live with that phrase as long as they don’t have to change their worldview and can use it to support their argument. A phrase like this is especially effective coming from someone as charismatic as Barack Obama. He’s very good speaking to the public.

In reading Obama’s statements it is easy to see his contradictory remarks when we read about not seeing eye to eye on “all” issues while at the same time honoring the “entirety” of Jesus’ teachings. How about if I spoke for Obama at one of his rallies and said, “Obama is a good man and we should support him in all of his causes and vote for the other candidate. While we may not agree on all issues, we can vote for the Republican opponent while working towards Obama’s causes.” Just think of the offers I would get to speak and run political campaigns. But isn’t this what Obama is doing? I am comfortable believing that Obama wouldn’t invite me to speak for him as in the above example, so why should Obama be invited to speak as if he is speaking for Christ in an SBC church? Or any church?

The centrality of Christ’s teachings is to point to Himself as the only way of salvation. Is Obama including that in his “entirety” comment? Maybe Obama or anyone who holds this position would like to explain how Christ’s teachings include supporting abortion. Why is it okay to end another’s life before the living really begins while in the same breath pushing to save others’ lives? As I’ve heard it put, “That don’t make no sense.” And it doesn’t. So why not support both the pro-life position along with the problems of AIDS and poverty? It is very difficult to help infants once they are dead.

I’m not agreeing with Rick Warren for having Barack Obama speak at this conference. Warren is simply trying to actually do something to affect change in the world by crossing ideological lines. I have no idea how or if Warren plans to incorporate verbally communicating the Gospel in all of this. Agree or disagree, I do see this as trying to help people. But again, why one cause to the detriment of another?

As for Obama, he is simply one in a line-up of many speakers and my questions go to all of those who hold to Obama’s position above. Unless Rick Warren is the only Evangelical and Barack Obama is the only one who holds his position at this conference then maybe more criticism is due. Why point just to Warren and Obama? For example, does a name like Franklin Graham ring a bell? I’m sure other’s present can be said to be crossing the line and hurting the pro-life positions. Politically, this is actually wonderful publicity for Obama. If you’ve never heard of him you most certainly have now. We can only hope that Warren will try to, in the same light of the current issues, biblically persuade Obama that abortion is wrong.

Now I have a novel idea. Using Rick Warren’s proposal to motivate 1 billion of the 2.1 billion Christians in the world is a grand idea. Let’s put this idea into action in way of supporting both the pro-life position AND poverty and AIDS. Better yet, let’s spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this manner. This will have the most positive eternal as well as temporal benefits. Just think of how much easier (no, really) it would be for one to live in poverty or with AIDS if they have peace with God through Jesus Christ.

Mr. Warren? Mr. Obama?


Let's connect!

in Church Issues,Culture,Southern Baptist

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SelahV December 3, 2006 at 7:30 pm

How great this blog was. I agree…lets put our money and our energies to spreading the gospel and leading others to Jesus. I want to help all people and I hate what aids is doing to the poor around the world–the uninformed. I fault no one for doing all they can to do all they can. But I am with you in promoting the gospel. The poor and the sick will always be with us. Until they die. And with the gospel they have a hope that this earth can never give them….selahV

2 johnMark December 4, 2006 at 7:24 am

Thanks, SelahV. So often protestants do gather together and gain momentum for a social cause. And this is not a bad thing, but how often is this same energy and time put into getting many together to go out and spread the Gospel? Well, I don’t see many news reports on many being offended by a world gospel conference.


3 matt February 27, 2007 at 9:13 pm

so found this site trying to figure out to Obama’s stance on issues….

And I wrestle with these ideas, I keep on wondering why the abortion issue is so divisive, where as helping those in need or sick and dying are somewhat more universal.

just some background… i’m also coming from sbc, but feeling very disillusioned with the worldview that all these issues on a political level (including the abortion issue) is so black and white.

As you criticize Warren and Obama for what they are doing… can at least start by giving them some credit that helping the poor and the sick are exactly what Jesus commands all of us to do and they are in fact living out the gospel?

as for politically pushing christian agendas, i don’t understand how that is living as Jesus showed us to. the more I think and wrestle with this… the more i believe that Jesus wouldn’t put himself into this ridiculously polarized political environment. Rather, through love and service, would be able to bring people into righteousness.

and last point… I think Obama has a different perspective on poverty and HIV AIDS given his background in working in the inner city and heritage from his African father.

ok, another point. the pro-life position is not what is ultimately important but the gospel of Jesus Christ that is being carried out. I’m uncomfortable when you differentiate helping those in poverty and aids vs living out the gospel in the world….from what I read in the gospels, they are one and in the same.

and really the last point..
” Just think of how much easier (no, really) it would be for one to live in poverty or with AIDS if they have peace with God through Jesus Christ.”

can you share from your life that your life of poverty or with Aids or those intimately close to you were comforted through God during their time?

4 johnMark February 27, 2007 at 10:27 pm


I’m not sure how you got what you got out of my post. I was criticizing Obama for excluding the importance of being pro-life while helping those with AIDS and in poverty. I was trying to show that it’s not an either/or situation but a both/and. In other words, you don’t get to say that “you may not agree that it’s Okay to murder babies, but please stand with me to fight poverty”. Because life is so important and valuable to us as Christians we should want to save babies lives’ from abortion AND help the lives of those who have AIDS and/or live in poverty.

I also pointed out that Rick Warren wasn’t alone at this event and at least he was attempting to get something done. I also did not advocate politically using Christ to spread the Gospel, etc. I am just confused as to what you were referencing.

I would also like to add that merely helping someone is technically not the Gospel. If you never tell anyone the Gospel no matter how much “good” you do for them they cannot believe in whom they’ve not heard.

I don’t think I know anyone too close to me with AIDS, but I have two good friends with cancer. One with lung cancer who is 50 and another with brain cancer who is 37. They pray often and it’s not easy.

I also want to add that I have some relatives who are in very poor health. They don’t have much comfort as they have looked to their works all of their lives as they learned from Joseph Smith. I have shared the Gospel with them, but they can’t get over the unfairness of their suffering. You see, they never had alcohol or tobacco in their home. They felt they were good and holy people. I think this situation is harder for me than my two friends above. It’s sad.



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