Well if this statement doesn’t offer up a bit of confusion, as quotes taken out of context and used for convenience often do. I’ll admit, this one (no pun intended) has me at a loss. The White House, specifically the President, used a reference from the Bible in a speech made yesterday comparing the parable Jesus told of the wise man and foolish man building their houses on the rock and sand respectively. Matthew 7:24-27 The comparison was made to our current economic crisis and needing a new foundation, or rock, upon which to build. Now I haven’t felt led to say too much about the current administration, except when there is direct correlation to the Word or if certain policies violate biblical Christian values, but this falls into a category that pushes me over the edge and that’s taking the Bible out of context for convenience or to take the appearance of being “Christian.” The problem is that the President does not understand the context of Jesus message of the rock. It has absolutely nothing to do with economics, crisis, government, or otherwise. The Rock is Jesus and His words as written in the Bible. Now if this was the context on which the President was speaking, well then I’m all for it. We as nation need nothing more than to return to our foundation of Jesus as our Rock, except as the speech continues we can see this was truly not the intent.
Now, there’s a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells the story of two men. The first built his house on a pile of sand, and it was soon destroyed when a storm hit. But the second is known as the wise man, for when “the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”
It was founded upon a rock. We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand. We must build our house upon a rock. We must lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity — a foundation that will move us from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest; where we consume less at home and send more exports abroad.
It’s a foundation built upon five pillars that will grow our economy and make this new century another American century: Number one, new rules for Wall Street that will reward drive and innovation, not reckless risk-taking — (applause); number two, new investments in education that will make our workforce more skilled and competitive — (applause); number three, new investments in renewable energy and technology that will create new jobs and new industries — (applause); number four, new investments in health care that will cut costs for families and businesses; and number five, new savings in our federal budget that will bring down the debt for future generations. (Applause.)
That’s the new foundation we must build. That’s our house built upon a rock. That must be our future — and my administration’s policies are designed to achieve that future.
I’m not sure what is scarier, the fact that the President goes to such great lengths to make his point, even referencing the Bible out of context or the fact that this reference contradicts his earlier speeches and shows a complete misunderstanding of the Bible. Just a few days ago we were reminded that the United States is not a nation of Christians, “One of the great strengths of the United States,” the President said, “is … 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”, and now yesterday our leader misrepresents the Word of God, the Foundation of Christian Faith. I’m sensing a pattern.
In March of 2008 we were given this jewel in response to the controversy on the Presidents stance on homosexual civil unions, “I think what you may be referring to, though, when you say controversies, probably has more to do with two issues, which is abortion and gay marriage, which has become, I think, how people measure faith in the evangelical community. If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans,” Obama said. I’m curious to know which part of Romans is obscure? Perhaps Romans 12:2 is not clear, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Finally, let’s recall a presidential campaign speech from June 2006, “Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let’s read our bibles. Folks haven’t been reading their bibles.”
To this point, I’ve tried to remain politically neutral focusing solely on those issues that contradict the Bible. But when a person, president or not, blatantly mocks the Bible, and consistently uses its references out of context for his/her own gain, then that person needs to be called out on it. On a day when many Americans are standing up at Tea Parties against taxation and stimulus, Christians need to begin standing up for their beliefs and the truths in the Word of God. Start standing up against those who would mock the Bible and throw its references around for talking points as though they were a text book. Because as scripture tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1:1 and that Word is worth fighting for.
I Timothy 1:6-7 “Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.”