During a major speech on the economy delivered at Georgetown University on April 14th President Obama cited a popular Biblical passage in order to bolster support for his strategic plans to revive our sagging economy. He stated in part:
“Now there’s a parable at the end of the sermon on the mount that tells the story of two men. The first built his house on a pile of sand, and it was soon destroyed when a storm hit. But the second is known as the wise man, for when ‘the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon the house, it fell not: for it was founded on a rock.’”
“That’s the new foundation we must build. That’s our house built upon a rock. That must be our future…and my administration’s policies are designed to achieve that future. That is the house upon the rock…proud, sturdy, unwavering in the face of the greatest storms…I have no doubt that this house will stand and the dream of our founders will live on in our time.”
No doubt millions of Americans were encouraged to hear our president compare his policies with scriptural teachings. The parable that he cited is very popular indeed. Let’s review the original parable and compare it with Mr. Obama’s words and his assessment of that parable. Actually Mr. Obama’s rendition picks up right after the situational setting of the parable. Now this is very significant because Jesus puts the parable of the two men and their houses within a specific context.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27
The parable very clearly states that the wise man who built his house on the rock applies to the man who hears Jesus’ teachings and does them. The foolish man who builds his house on the sand is one who hears those same teachings but rejects them. That is the specific context for the parable.
Now then, can any political leader, whether conservative or liberal, claim to build “their house on a rock” if they have heard but rejected the teachings of the Bible?
Consider for example that on his first day as president, Mr. Obama announced that he would issue an executive order to reinstate funding internationally for groups that perform or promote abortions.
Consider further, does this administration’s position of redistribution of wealth via taxation coincide with Biblical principles? How about mass government sponsored entitlement programs? How about this administration’s strategy for peace in the Middle East? How about this administration’s tolerance of those who are attempting to overthrow this country and install a religion not taught in the Bible? How about this administration’s tolerance of those who are overtly removing God from daily life, i.e. removing “In God We Trust” from the new dollar coin or removing “Under God” from the pledge of allegiance? How about legislation that tolerates anti-biblical teachings because they have become the societal norm? How about the appointment of judges having ideologies that conflict with biblical teachings?
Again, inconsistencies such as those mentioned above are definitely not limited to the political party presently in charge. It just seems hypocritical to claim to be able to build a “house on the rock” when the stated condition in order to do that is to “hear and do” the teachings of the Bible.
In the current situation there are perhaps as many that think Mr. Obama is building his house on the sand as there are that think he is building it on a rock.
Everyone has the freedom to examine the facts and decide for themselves whether political rhetoric is substance or fluff. We should be particularly observant to see if those who claim Christianity and cite the Bible really understand it, and furthermore are prepared to live up to what they say.
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