Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Spiritual Growth of Barack Obama

For many of Barack Obama's opponents, the mere suggestion that he is a Christian or that he draws on the Bible and prayer for strength is unfathomable.  Here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home we have always taken Obama at his word when he talks about his abiding Christian faith.  At times such a stance has resulted in harsh criticism from those on the Right.  

We can debate how Obama's policies have or have not been consistent with the teachings of the Scriptures, but I am not willing to judge the quality of his personal faith nor am I willing to say that when he talks openly about spiritual convictions he is engaging in some kind of political ploy to win support from the American people.

I thus continue to be drawn to articles like this one which appeared recently at The Huffington Post via the Associated Press. Here is a taste:


President Barack Obama is not an overtly religious man. He and his family rarely attend church, and he almost never elaborates in public about his own relationship to his Christian faith.
But far away from the public eye, his longtime advisers say, the president has carefully nurtured a sense of spirituality that has served as a grounding mechanism during turbulent times, when the obstacles to governing a deeply divided nation seem nearly insurmountable.
Every year on Aug. 4, the president's birthday, Obama convenes a group of pastors by phone to receive their prayers for him for the year to come. During the most challenging of times, prayer circles are organized with prominent religious figures such as megachurch pastor Joel Hunter, Bishop Vashti McKenzie of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights activist.
And each morning for the past five years, before most of his aides even arrive at the White House, Obama has read a devotional written for him and sent to his BlackBerry, weaving together biblical scripture with reflections from literary figures like Maya Angelou and C.S. Lewis.
"I've certainly seen the president's faith grow in his time in office," said Joshua DuBois, an informal spiritual adviser to Obama who writes the devotionals and ran Obama's faith-based office until earlier this year. "When you cultivate your faith, it grows."