A Response to Bishop Paparocki – Voting for Obama and Salvation

Warning: The following blog post touches on both politics and religion. This is also, in all likelihood, a rant. Continue reading at your own risk.

Sometimes, you come across a story that just demands a response. That happened to me today when someone shared the story of Bishop Thomas John Paprocki. He put out a column and a  video explaining some of the issues he had with the Democratic party’s platform.

I get it. He doesn’t agree with some of the positions the Democrats endorsed during their convention. That’s his right and prerogative and he can use whatever means he has available to him to put his message out there.

I have close relationships with people who identify themselves with both parties. Naturally, they disagree with the other party. No problem. Healthy discourse is what our system is all about.

But Bishop Paprocki wasn’t content to leave it at that. He decided to take it to the next level. At the end of his column he states:

a vote for a candidate [Obama] who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.

Say what?

This is one of those times I wish I had the super power of being able to reach through the Internet and slap someone.

I’m pretty sure God isn’t going to check your voting record when it comes time to decide the issue of salvation.

He then goes on and twice tries to tell his reader that he isn’t trying to tell anyone who to vote for or not vote for. What a load of… err…I’m sorry, but that’s simply not true. He is telling people who not to vote for. Moreover, he’s actually threatening his listeners by telling them that God will punish them for all eternity if they don’t do as he says.

Here’s a clue. When people start throwing caveats out on what you are saying, it’s almost as if something in them is trying to warn them they are saying something ill-advised.

This article really made me angry, and I had to express that. I appreciate you (all four of you who read my blog) letting me use this blog as an outlet.

Wrong Message

I’m so sorry that we, as a collective body of Christians, have so messed up showing Christ to the world around us. I’m sorry that the only message we’ve communicated with any clarity is on the subjects of abortion and gay marriage. I’m sorry we haven’t communicated with the same fervor and clarity just how deeply, how passionately, how furiously Jesus and God love each and every person.

The Real Question of Salvation

When your life on this earth ends, the only thing God is going to want to know is if you accepted or rejected what Jesus Christ did for you.

We all do things we know are wrong. When we do wrong things, it puts up a wall between us and God. If you die with that wall there, it’s there forever, separating you from God and his heaven. But God sent Jesus to break down that wall because He loved you so much. Jesus did all the work.

All we have to do is to agree with God that we do wrong things and we need God to forgive us.

The next step is to believe that Jesus he rose from the dead three days after he was buried.

Then you say that out of your thankfulness for what Jesus has done for you, you are going to try to live a life that is pleasing to him by following his advice. The Bible calls this declaring Jesus the Lord of your life.

Paul, in his letter to the early Christians in Rome said

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9

It’s really that simple.

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photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/63662135@N00/1096132303/sizes/m/in/photostream/

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