President Obama’s Sermon On The Mount

April 14, 2009

President Obama delivered a sermon on the economy today (full text here), and in it he borrowed from a famous sermon given by the most famous preacher of all time (though he was and is much more than just a preacher): Jesus Christ.

Obama said:

There is 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 destroyed as soon as the 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 that house…it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”

We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand. We must build our house upon a rock. We must lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity – a foundation that will move us from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest; where we consume less at home and send more exports abroad.

It’s a foundation built upon five pillars that will grow our economy and make this new century another American century…

Obama then listed the five pillars on which to build our foundation:

  1. Reform of rules and regulations on Wall Street
  2. The education system
  3. Harnessing renewable energy
  4. The health care system
  5. Fiscal discipline

What Obama gleaned from Jesus’ sermon was a simple message: “Be wise and build on a solid foundation.”  Unfortunately, he missed the mark, by a long shot.  Jesus considered that an obvious message, which is why he built an analogy out of it.  Jesus’ message was much deeper: “Just as you build your house on a solid foundation, so also you should build your life on a solid foundation: my words”.

Jesus said “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock” and “everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.”  So, Jesus’ message was far more than “consider your foundation”, but rather “do what I have taught you”.

Now here is where it gets really interesting.  Hopefully, President Obama will re-read the sermon he borrowed from and let the true meaning sink in.  What were “these words of mine” that Jesus referred to?  Here are a few examples from the immediate context (The “Sermon on the Mount” is found in Matthew 5:1 to 7:29):

  1. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…”  Ironically, Obama quoted from this sermon in a speech that was focused on treasures on earth!
  2. “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets”.  Consider how this applies to the murder of innocent babies.
  3. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will recognize them by their fruits.”  We are seeing Obama’s fruit: legalized abortion is not enough, but taxpayers must also fund it.
  4. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven….And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”  Is supporting and funding abortion doing the will of the Father?

May President Obama’s wisdom exceed that of the wise man who built his house on the rock; that, after all, is merely common sense.  Rather, may he be a truly wise man, one of those who hears the words of Christ, and does them.

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