I just came across this AP story about the new Alabama governor, who is a Christian and who apparently rejects the theological doctrine of universal salvation:
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told a church crowd just moments into his new administration that those who have not accepted Jesus as their savior are not his brothers and sisters, shocking some critics who questioned Tuesday whether he can be fair to non-Christians.
“Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother,” Bentley said Monday. . . .
And no, I don’t think they’re posting this story just because it’s a slow news day. For some reason, a statement like this has actually become newsworthy in today’s society. In the modern age, the only proper belief for a person to have is that hell does not exist, that all faiths are good, that we are all brothers and God’s children, etc. You can call yourself a Christian all day long — and indeed, you probably should call yourself a Christian because it will get you more votes — but if you actually hold that Christ served a purpose by coming and sacrificing yourself, you are simply a nut.
Never mind the fact that universalism is blatant heresy.
I think it is refreshing to hear a politician preach theological truth. You may say, “Well it violates republican principles for policitians to talk about God,” but such an objection would be silly and hypocritical. Politicians talk about God all the time. For example, even Barack Obama himself quoted from the Bible during his “memorial” speech last week for the victims of the Tucson shooting. And he has made other comments, too, such as that Muslim prayer calls are beautiful, that he is part-Christian-part-Muslim-part-Hindu-etc., and that he prays to himself in his own thoughts. Even the supposedly conservative, supposedly Christian George W. Bush eventually started conceding to reporters that people of all faiths can get to heaven, and that Jesus is just one possible way to salvation. (Of course, if that were true, then what would really be the point of Jesus or Christianity?)
The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday called Bentley’s remarks shocking. “His comments are not only offensive, but also raise serious questions as to whether non-Christians can expect to receive equal treatment during his tenure as governor,” said Bill Nigut, the ADL’s regional director.
Politicians are allowed to talk about religion all day long and no one cares. That is, they are allowed to say false things about religion all day long, and no one cares. People only get upset if politicians make true statements about God, such implications that God sends people to hell if they disbelieve in Jesus.
Personally, I like what the Alabama governor said. And the reason I approve of his statement is not that I think politicians will be much help in evangelizing the lost. Rather, I just find it refreshing to hear someone cut through the politically-correct garbage and introduce at least a sliver of common-sense truth, saying to hell with what everyone else thinks.