I was reading a news story regarding a chaplain (Kent Higgins) at the University of Massachusettes who was advising students of a way to get credits by campaigning for Obama. The story itself doesn't really surprise me. Universities are crawling with liberals. In my experience, liberals are tyrannical in their intolerance of competing social and political philosophy. What I did find interesting was a comment posted by one of the readers.
"I am suspect of a Chaplain that supports Obama. I would be curious to find out what denomination he belongs to considering the Junior Senator from Illinois record on infanticide. I am making a huge assumption that this Chaplain is even Christian, we are talking about the University of Massachusetts." - "Jim"
Here are some points I'd like to make.
1. "I am suspect..." Me to. Not because he's a chaplain though. I'm suspect of anyone who supports Obama.
2. "I would be curious..." Me too. I put about 3 minutes of effort into it and this is what I found
3. "I am making a huge assumption that this chaplain is even Christian..." This is what I find most interesting. It is a very "Evangelical Christian" type of statement. Here is what I mean:
When I was sojourning through various traditions of Protestant Christianity, I often found an ironic accusation against the Catholic Church. This accusation was that Catholicism was very controlling and judgemental. One of the things that was complained about most vehemently was how the Catholic Church identified herself as the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ and that all other Christian churches or communities were in varying degrees of error in their teaching and faith. This would be followed by an explanation of how their particular community embraced the real truth, and that the Catholic Church (and other Christian churches to a lesser degree) were in error regarding their teaching and faith.
The problem they had with the Church was more about the Church's "arrogance" than it was about the Church's teaching (though there were difficulties with Catholic teaching also). I mean, "how dare the Catholic Church actually believe what it professes and act in a manner congruent with that teaching".
Back to "Jim's" comment... I assume that he is from an "Evangelical" church and that he would describe himself as "Born Again". I also assume that he believes that the Bible is the innerent, inspired word of God and that it alone is authoritative in matters of Faith. I also assume that he believes in "Eternal Security" for those true believers who have been Born Again. That's a lot of assuming, and you know what they say about assuming...
One of the problems with Evangelical Christianity is their understanding of sin and their understanding of being saved by "Faith Alone" and how this relates to their definition of being "Christian". This leads to an inability to recognize social problems for what they are (sins). And it leads to a false judgement of the state of another person's soul.
To believe that a person can only be a true Christian if they "behave" in a certain way is a common error of judgement for Evangelicals. They are close to the truth though. Behaving is about putting your faith into action, you know, WORKS!! (read the Jame's letter). The reason for the judgement that the person couldn't be a real Christian is becuase of the "once saved always saved" error. Many an Evangelical has told me that if a person is "truly" saved they won't be attracted to do the sinful things any longer. And if a person who thinks they are "really" saved falls into some great sin, then they weren't really saved in the first place. You see, many Evangelicals want it both ways... and that just doesn't work (i.e. "eternal security" and the idea that a person couldn't have really been saved in the first place "it didn't take" if they behave in a gravely sinful manner).
I believe that the chaplain in question can be a sincere Christian in his heart and be in error in how he acts in social, political, and interpersonal matters. I would just say that he has a poorly formed conscience to be able to justify supporting a candidate that promotes the culture of death.
I would encourage any Evangelicals reading this to take some time and study the Catholic teaching on justification. Do it with a prayerful and open mind. It makes much more sense than the Protestant/Evangelical position(s) and teaching(s). Here are some resources:
Eternal Security (Once Saved Always Saved)?
Grace and Justification
Necessity of Baptism
Reward and Merit
Salvation Outside the Church?