I remember hearing a long time ago that not every device you ride, has wheels, and is found in a garage is a car. True enough. There is a riding mower in my garage and a bicycle too. Neither is a car. Equally, not everyone who goes to church is a Christian.
If I were to say to you that I “felt God’s spirit beckoning me,” and as a result, “I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth” , would you recognize me as a Christian? If you said that to me, I’d say “Great! You believe in God!”
Jews believe in God too and they are not Christians. Many people believe in a supreme entity or being that they may call “God”. I have a Hindu friend who refers to God too. So there really is not enough in the statement to confirm Christianity.
Besides, “I submitted myself to His will” is ambiguous and “dedicated myself to discovering His truth” is too academic. A true Christian would not beat around the bush and would simply state that “I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.” Anything short of that is not a Christian profession of faith. Anything more “delicate” than that is someone trying to be politically noncommittal while not offending anyone. Such a person is keeping an escape open and is ashamed of the Gospel. I would NOT hesitate to tell that person that he and I are not Christian brothers. I believe I could use the Bible to back this up and I would not be usurping God’s authority to judge. We will know if we are brothers by our love and that love includes how we love to say “I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.”
Roland Martin is a politically and financially motivated mouthpiece of the so-called news/media establishment and may not know much about Christianity. His article suggests that he is content to read-between-the-lines and make inferences. Not a very good news or fact-gathering technique. His position is explained not by his outrage of people questioning Barack Obama’s faith, but rather from his position that as a fellow Black man, he is incensed that Barack Obama is being questioned about something that others may not find they are being asked. Barack Obama should have a “pass” even if what he says is a bit of equivocating. Add to that the fact that he can attempt to legitimize Obama’s statements by belittling Franklin Graham (White) and invoking TD Jakes (Black) and he has a Pullitzer-worthy article. Not! (The fact that he wrote a book about Barack Obama lends itself to the profit motive in speaking out.)
Oh, and when he says “Any Christian will tell you: If a person verbally professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, that person is considered saved. No ifs, ands or buts. That’s when the conversation should end“, I have to wonder when and where he’s heard Barack Obama say this. He cites the quote I used above but never gives a quote that satisfies his assertion about verbal professions.
Maybe this article would have helped Roland make his case, although “Jesus” is never mentioned. Obama invokes “God” and “the Lord” a few times and of course, we all know that “the Lord” refers to Jesus, right? (As in George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’)