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Evangelism? Gone Wrong, Pt. 12: Obama’s Heckler

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Maybe you saw this on the news: President Obama held a fundraiser at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. In the middle of his speech a “religious heckler” interrupts and shouts.

But do you know what Obama said in response to the heckler at the 1:15 mark? The major networks left out a very interesting Presidential response. (Click here to start at the beginning of the “Evangelism Gone Wrong” series.)

According to TimesLIVE this is what the heckler said, “[The] Christian God is the one and only true living God, the creator of Heaven and the Universe. I love Jesus. Jesus Christ is God. Jesus Christ is the son of God.”

Obama halted his remarks and a crowd started to boo the man as he was hauled out of the auditorium by police and Secret Service agents, yelling “Jesus Christ is God. Barack Obama is the Antichrist!”

Don’t call this guy an evangelist. What he did was wrong. Dead wrong.

According to the Bible we are to “Show proper respect to everyone” and “honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17) This man was completely out of line and out of place in his disruption. Our teams would never disrupt a speech, much less the President’s.

We have on occasion preached just outside an area where a speaker was, but at a distance so as not to disturb those listening to the speaker. We would also preach outside an event, even a Presidential event, but would never say anything disrespectful about the President. We’d kick someone off the team if they ever called someone the Antichrist in public.

Politics should never enter into a presentation of the Gospel. The Word is of primary importance no matter how much we may disagree with a politician or a message.

A preacher of the Gospel must be careful not to get entangled in the affairs of the world when proclaiming the Law and Gospel in the open air. Paul wrote this to a young pastor in 2 Timothy 2:4—”No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.”

It makes no sense when you are on your soapbox to take sides on a political issue, especially if your focus is on saving souls. Why?

There will always be a segment of any crowd that will hear only your partisan stance, disagree with you, then shut out the rest of the really important stuff, like how they will be held accountable for their own sin and end up in Hell unless they repent and trust in the Savior.

They’ll lump you into the enemy’s camp as a despiser of freedom, equality, and personal rights.  Of course, you’ll be a hater, a know-nothing, pro, anti-whatever sociopath that should be taken out back and shot.

Stay on point. Reference current events but don’t spill your political beans.

I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:22)

What’s your purpose, to have people vote right, or get right—with God? When they get right, they’ll vote right.

It’s so much easier, and certainly more effective to have everyone despise your message—and you—for the right reason: The Cross. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1Corinthians 1:18)

It’s an equal opportunity offender.

Click here to go to Part 13!

(See how I put my advice into action with this article: “The Not-So-Great Prop 8 Debate”)

33 Comments

  1. Very well put Pastor Steve! I commend the man’s boldness in what he said and obviously I agree with what he said but I agree that it was done in very poor taste. Like you said we are to be respectful especially to the office of the President of the United States. Even if we do not agree with the man we are to respect the office.

    I especially like what you said here, “What’s your purpose, to have people vote right, or get right—with God? When they get right, they’ll vote right.” Amen to that Pastor Steve! Much wisdom in this post, God bless!!!

    • On the part where I said “I agree with what he said….” minus the part about Obama being the Anti-Christ. I think that might be a bit strong, but also I don’t want to count out any leader from that category in these last days.

  2. Well said, Steve. Totally agree.

    From a personal point of view, however, I also disagree with the heckler. Though Obama may be ‘anti’-Christ, as all non-believers are, he and they are not necessarily ‘THE’ Anti-Christ that the Bible warns is coming.

  3. Obama may proclaim to believe that Jesus is the Lord, but that does not make him a follower of Christ, nor does it mean he is saved and bound for heaven.

    “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.” – James 2:19

    • Paul, the problem with that is that anyone can say the same thing about you:

      “Paul Latour may proclaim to believe that Jesus is the Lord, but that does not make him a follower of Christ, nor does it mean he is saved and bound for heaven.”

      • Actually, what the President did was just state a fact: “Jesus Christ is the Lord.” Sadly, the proof is in the pudding when you look at the President’s record (For gay marriage, For abortion) that Jesus is obviously not the Lord of his life.

        As far as the Antichrist thing: John said it best when he wrote: “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” (1 Jn 2:18)

        “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” (1 Jn. 2:22)

        Extrapolate this as well: Atheists are Antichrists.

      • As are Jews and Muslims, Buddhists, Shintoists, and Native Americans all the peoples of the world who have faith in different religions.

      • Actually, what the President did was just state a fact: “Jesus Christ is the Lord.”

        Obviously, you and I would be in disagreement over your assertion that that is a fact. I would ask you to demonstrate that but… that hasn’t worked well.

        Sadly, the proof is in the pudding when you look at the President’s record (For gay marriage, For abortion) that Jesus is obviously not the Lord of his life.

        I don’t seem to remember Jesus saying anything about gay marriage (or gay people), or abortion.

        Let me check… nope, he didn’t say anything about either. I would argue that you are applying your own views to the scriptures.

        As far as the Antichrist thing: John said it best when he wrote: “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” (1 Jn 2:18)

        How very vague and easily-manipulated.

        “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” (1 Jn. 2:22)

        So, anyone who is not a Real True Christian is an anti-christ. That’s silliness.

        Extrapolate this as well: Atheists are Antichrists.

        And you’re going to Hell for ascribing partners with Allah.

        So, we’re both hosed, eh?

        (That’s an extremely broad way of reading the scripture, while ignoring the context, Steve.)

      • Maybe he just has a better interpretation than you Steve?

        After all you do not abide by various tenets of the Old Testament, yet you focus on the anti-gay statement. Similarly you avoid the statements in Exodus and Leviticus that show that a fetus has no/little worth.

        In the end its just your interpretation against his, when you are both fallible and likely both wrong.

      • Steve wrote: “Extrapolate this as well: Atheists are Antichrists.

        Hold on, I can’t believe I missed it.

        Steve, I think it’s pretty clear that above we were talking about The Anti-Christ. The guy who makes the one-world government and the mark of the beast on people and rules during the Tribulation and all that.

        The Anti-Christ.

        No one was talking about people who are “against Christ”, however you want to define that.

        So why are you now talking about the second definition, when I think it’s pretty clear that everyone — Christian and atheist alike — understood that the guy was using the first definition? Because, and I’ll be blunt, that looks like spin.

      • The guy misunderstood. I have the real meaning.

      • The guy misunderstood. I have the real meaning.

        So, I take it that Thomas Moore and Paul Latour also misunderstood? Because they too were talking about The Anti-Christ.

        Do you not believe that there will be “The Anti-Christ” during the Tribulation, Steve?

      • Yes. And there are now many. Especially on this blog.

        According to John, of course.

  4. Pingback: Evangelism Gone Wrong | IANA Ministry

  5. @ Thomas

    How do you know that we’re in the last days? Do you know according to Christian beliefs we’ve been in ‘the last days’ for the past 2000 years? Paul believed he’d still be alive when Jesus returned and since he received a message, supposedly, from the source you’d think he’d have been correct about that sort of stuff.

    • Like Pastor Steve said below since Jesus was born or I guess you could go forward in time when Jesus ascended after His resurrection commanding His disciples to go and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:9-11). Since then we have been in the last days but there will come a point where we will move into the last hours. When that happens Jesus’ second return will be very close, closer than ever before!

      “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am [Jesus] coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”—Revelation 22:20

      • 2,000 years is a pretty long time for “the last days”, don’tcha think?

      • Nohm your right 2,000 years is a long time but read this:

        “Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.’
        5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. 7 And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
        8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”

        2 Peter 3:3-9

        But it is not a long time for God!

      • I meant to say at the beginning “Nohm your right 2,000 years is a long time for US but read this:” Just for clarification.

    • Thomas, you do realize that Mark 16:15 was a forgery right? It among other things in the New Testament were added long after the original writers passed on. I mean the snake handlers enjoy its passages, but its not to be found anywhere in the older texts.

      • I am very much aware of the history behind this text Vin. That is a debated subject within Christianity on that part of Scripture (much like John 7:53-8:12) and the time of its writing, but because these Scriptures do not contradict the rest of the Bible they in effect made valid to the whole of Scripture.

        Its possible with the Mark text that it was originally there but because the Gospel of Mark (many different copies) were handled so much (strong evidence points to Mark being the first Gospel written) it was rubbed off over time but not with every manuscript (in the early stages of the Gospel of Mark being copied). This would cause this section of Mark to survive but not in great numbers hence putting it into the category of debated Scripture)

      • And I would add: Ya think we ought to preach the Gospel even if Mark 16:15 didn’t exist, Vin?

      • Just like the ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ passage, it was added later by translators, either accidentely or deliberately after the fact. Its not really debated Thomas, not amongst the majority, the NIV has a disclaimer stating the passages aren’t authentic as they’re not in any older texts. Yes it is possible that it was originally there but the common sense answer is that it was added in after the fact because the writing style, sentence structure, etc. etc. are different from the previous passages.

        To Steve, no preach away, but don’t argue the infallibility of the Bible when its shown to be quite fallible and subject to the alterations and mistakes of the many many translators through antiquity. If someone or a group of someone’s have added something to the Bible, such as the handling of poisonous snakes and not being harmed, and it wasn’t inspired by God (because snake bites can still kill the faithful quite easily) why do you accept it as authority when its been invented and copied by men for dubious reasons? Such men could have written anything and gotten away with it…. and you’d believe it because you have no real choice.

  6. Did you hear what the Presidents response? “First of all I do agree… Jesus Christ is Lord”

    The president declares himself to be a Christian!

    While I would not have done what the heckler did, it did get a very interesting declaration from the President of the United States of America. He is a Christian. Now, we need to pray that he will become a consistent Bible believing Christian. You know, marriage is between one man and one women and the killing of babies in the womb is wrong. Until he changes his understanding of these issue I will not vote for him.

  7. I would tend to agree with Paul on this one Richard. Jesus said: “You will know them by their fruits.” “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”

    Vin: We have been in the last days since Jesus was born.

    • So because we’re in the last days we can make guesses and declarations without base about when revelation will take place and who the anti-Christ is even though everyone in the past who’s done that has been dead wrong in the past? Will it happen exactly like it did in the Bible? Will we follow the script in the Bible like actors or robots? For instance, the moment the rapture takes place and every Christian on the planet is whisked away via magic to heaven… and the rapture becomes the only explanation of why this happened… the rest of the people of the world who do have access to plenty of unoccupied Bibles won’t just convert rather than face hellfire?

      • I’m waiting for the dragon with the crowns and such.

        No, not really. 🙂

        (And yes, I have to chuckle at all the declarations of “anti-christ”, even though that’s been going on for centuries and everyone has been wrong.)

    • Just we will know you and Ray by your fruits. You both have lied, misrepresented what people have written and played the hypocrite.

      I guess that means you are both followers of your ego and not Jesus at all.

      Now you were saying?

  8. Vin,

    In regards to the passages you referenced that are controversial in the Bible, I have a few questions:

    1) Are such passages in agreement with the whole of scripture, that is, are they contradictory to a general understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

    2) What are your thoughts on the accuracy of the great Isaiah scroll in relation to the copies we had prior to the dead sea scrolls, circa 900 CE, and those found at Qumran, circa 100 BCE? Further still, how do you view the Codex Sinaitucus and Codex Vaticanus?

    3) Do you believe in God, or a god or gods? If so, on what basis do you believe, and how can you know him or her or them?

    Grace to you in Christ Jesus,

    Nick

  9. I understand what you said Steve I agree with how you showed the Bible tells how to go about things.

    On another note by your fruit you shall know them is so true. Now is it a coincidence that Pres. Obama and other Leaders of nations throw the same satanic hand signs and secret symbols?

    I believe Pres. Obama is under the influence of the spirit of anti-Christ ,and a member of the new world order.

    Even still my mom always tells our family to pray for him to repent and so that God would help him to get his life right with him and to not deny Jesus and that he’d obey the Gospel and follow the Lord God truly.

    @ Steve Sanchez

    I would like to ask you though. Do believe in prayer salvation? Or do you teach people that part of God’s plan for salvation is not only for them to repent ,but to be baptized for the remission of their sins?

    I believe if you tell the Gospel to tell all of it or do you believe it is part of the process? It has disappointed me to see Ray Comfort and others who preach similarly to share part of the truth but not the full Gospel of Christ.

    – Sincerely Gary God Bless (thx 4 reading)

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