While Christians can appreciate President George W. Bush’s pro-life position over the past eight years, as well as his efforts to limit embryonic stem-cell research, and his appointment of seemingly moral conservatives to the U.S. Supreme Court, comments he made about the Bible in the waning days of his presidency are extremely disheartening. In an interview that aired December 8, 2008 on ABC’s Nightline, President Bush had the opportunity to declare to the world his forthright belief in the truthfulness of God’s Word. Sadly, like so many spineless, politically correct “Christians,” President Bush turned His back on God.
ABC News’ Cynthia McFadden asked the President if he believed the Bible is literally true. Bush responded: “You know. Probably not.... No, I’m not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it, but I do think that the New Testament, for example is...has got...You know, the important lesson is ‘God sent a son’” (Escherich, 2008). McFadden responded to the President a few moments later: “So, you can read the Bible and not take it literally.” President Bush’s reply: “Yeah, I mean, I do.”
Could President Bush have given a more politically correct answer? Just believe “the important lesson,” which is less likely to ruffle the feathers of most Americans—that “God sent a son.” President Bush and the millions of others who have bought in to such foolishness forget (or disregard) the fact that God’s scheme of redemption through His Son is the theme of the entire Bible. Beginning with Genesis 3:15, the Old Testament promises and prophesies that Jesus is coming to Earth. The New Testament is saturated with facts about the life of Jesus, instructions concerning how to live like Jesus, and information about the return of Jesus. The Bible is about Jesus from beginning to end. The story of Jesus is intertwined with everything in Scripture. Jesus created the world (Genesis 1; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16). Minute details of His life were foretold centuries prior to His incarnation and virgin birth (cf. Psalm 22; Isaiah 53). His ancestors are carefully documented—all the way back to Adam (Genesis 5, 11; Luke 3:23-38). He lived in the flesh on Earth for more than 30 years, giving the world a perfect example (1 Peter 2:21-25). He died so that sinful humanity could be set free from sin (Romans 5:6-11). The “important lesson” that President Bush mentions is grounded in and surrounded by a litany of biblical truths. A person cannot rationally separate the “God-sent-a-son” lesson, with “the entirety” of God’s Word (Psalm 119:160), which the Bible writers said is true.
The same Book that tells of God loving the world through the gift of His Son (John 3:16), condemns all sin, including fornication, adultery, and homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 1:18-32). The facts are “literally true.” The same gospel account that records Jesus’ loving invitation to rest for the weary (Matthew 11:28-30), states that man “should fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). The same Jesus Who taught that the righteous will receive “eternal life,” explicitly stated that the unrighteous “will go away into everlasting punishment...into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:46,41).
Sadly, President Bush has bought into the nonsensical, weak-kneed, cowardly “Christian” interpretation of the Scriptures: accept those teachings that are convenient and politically correct, and interpret everything else as “non-literal” language. No interpretation of Scripture could be more men-pleasing and unchristlike.
“But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4, emp. added).
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10, emp. added).
Escherich, Katie (2008), “Excerpts: Cynthia McFadden Interviews President George W. Bush,” ABC News, [On-line], URL: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Politics/story?id=6418908&page=1.
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