President Obama Calls Jesus ‘A Son of God’ Who ‘Knew Doubt’ During Annual Easter Prayer Breakfast
1 Thessalonians 5:21, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
Reflecting upon the “triumph of the resurrection” of Christ and the “all-important gift of grace”, it seemed good at first glance to hear President Obama taking an apparent step forward at the annual Easter Prayer Breakfast, hosted by the White House yesterday. Knowing that speeches are planned and reviewed well in advance and that words are chosen carefully, it was therefore disappointing to then hear Obama refer to Christ as “a Son of God” — not as the Son of God, the only begotten [unique] Son of the Father — and that Christ was one who “knew doubt”:
It’s an opportunity for us to reflect on the triumph of the resurrection, and to give thanks for the all-important gift of grace. And for me, and I’m sure for some of you, it’s also a chance to remember the tremendous sacrifice that led up to that day, and all that Christ endured — not just as a Son of God, but as a human being.
Unlike President Obama, Scripture never refers to Jesus as merely “a” Son of God. Yes, Scripture declares all who believe in Him to be sons and daughters of God, but Christ is the preeminent and only begotten [monogenēs, “unique“] Son of the living God, a Truth to which every single related reference in the whole of Scripture testifies. It may sound trivial, but often something as seemingly insignificant as the word “a” can be what distinguishes sound Christian doctrine from the kingdom of the cults. Much of what is said can be truth or fall within the pale of orthodoxy, but it is then mixed with “tiny” lies, just enough to poison the meaning and the message. John 1:1, in referring to Jesus Christ as the Word [Logos], declares that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Yet the New World Translation used by Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, takes John 1:1 and changes the original text’s intended meaning to say that “the Word was a god” and, as such, teach that Jesus is not Almighty God, but rather a “mighty” yet lesser god only.
For like us, Jesus knew doubt. Like us, Jesus knew fear. In the garden of Gethsemane, with attackers closing in around him, Jesus told His disciples, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” He fell to his knees, pleading with His Father, saying, “If it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”
Jesus was fully man, but He was also fully God. Sure, the humanity that Christ took upon Himself would have naturally allowed Jesus to be tempted (Matt 4:1) or to feel apprehension and physical distress in knowing that His preordained purpose — to die an agonizing death for the sins of the world — was about to be fulfilled. It would have been a human, physical reaction to His impending crucifixion and what it meant for His creation. But doubt is not physical. It is spiritual. Jesus never doubted who He was. Jesus never doubted His purpose. Jesus never doubted His mission. Doubt is a product of having a weak faith (cf Matt 14:31; 21:21) and Obama’s claim to the contrary strips Christ of His Divinity, and clothes Him with nothing more than the weak faith of a mere man. Yet Jesus was One “who knew no sin” (2 Cor 5:21), something that could never be accomplished by any mere man (Romans 3:23) where weak faith and doubt exists.
We can eat food that is 99% healthy, and just 1% poison. But good food cannot save the body when poison destroys it. As Christians, we need to familiarize ourselves with Truth and recognize that even when the leader of the free world, in an attempt to gain support from American Christians, speaks about the “triumph of the resurrection” of Christ and the “all-important gift of grace”, declaring that Jesus is “a Son of God” — as if to infer that Christ somehow has equals — and “knew doubt” is an error that will beget error, and a lie that can, and will, destroy if we fail to correct it.