“Other sheep have I?”

There is little doubt that Barack Obama’s long-time pastor is a stone racist. His remarks on the alleged differences in the brains of blacks and whites, his repeated message of hate against America, his racist remarks about white people, they all continue apace.

The good news for those who attend actual Christian churches, as opposed to “black churches” as defined by charlatan Jeremiah Wright? The more the man exposes himself, like a pervert exposing his privates in front of small children on the playground, the more will thoughtful Christians of all colors turn our backs.

Wright, in addition to blaming the U.S. government for creating AIDS as a form of genocide against “people of color” (hey, I’m a color also, rev…) and, from the pulpit that belongs to Christ, calling on God to damn America, and performing disgusting sexual antics, again at the podium, has anointed himself as the head of the “black church.”

Wright claimed this in an appearance this morning at the National Press Club. In addition to this, and all of the other dainty little tidbits that Wright has provided us in the past few days, there is this tidy exchange on salvation:

MODERATOR: Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the father but through me.” Do you believe this? And do you think Islam is a way to salvation?

WRIGHT: Jesus also said, “Other sheep have I who are not of this fold.”

Isn’t that sweet? Jeremiah Wright is so inclusive that he won’t exclude those who specifically deny that Jesus Christ is the son of God.

The quotation is from John 10:16. Its clear interpretation is that there is no other way to salvation but that which goes through Christ Jesus. A little context from John 10:

14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

The obvious meaning? Those who are not now Christians may be saved. If, and only if, they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. “One flock, one shepherd.”

How this works out at the end is known but to God. But that is the plain meaning of the passage that Wright quotes. And one may not follow Islam and be saved. To claim otherwise is to engage in denial of the words of Jesus Christ. An interesting position for one who claims to be a minister of Christ.

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10 comments

  1. I feel like the “fold” here is specifically referring to the Jews or Israelites…the others, if this is the case, are clearly the gentiles.

  2. Kirk Holloway · · Reply

    It seems Jeremiah Wright didn’t give us “the rest of the story!”

  3. concerned christian · · Reply

    I felt compelled to respond after quickly perusing your blog in response to Wright and his comments today. I’ve actually just finished watching his statement and his response to the questions. Unlike you, I have become far more impressed and respectful of him as a result of my watching. I would imagine from what you’ve written that the minute I make this statement, you will immediately begin discrediting what I would say.

    This is not to say that I have a hard time receiving what he has to say. My life does not intersect the issues he and his congregation have been forced to face for the last decades. I could only describe my circumstances as circumstances of privilege in comparison to what many from his community have had to face. And, even then, I have only my shallow understanding of their circumstances from the time that I spent serving a community in the inner city for a summer a while back.

    The reason it is difficult to hear is because his description of reality does not match what I daily experience. There is very little lack of education in my church. There is minimal poverty in my area. There is no gang violence, very little injustice, and my family is far safer in our community than many in his congregation. Had I not experienced for a short while the reality that they face, I would probably be writing Wright off too.

    However, I would strongly caution you calling him racist. He is merely a man who is cognizant of the circumstances of oppression and injustice in which he lives. Furthermore, for you to call him racist only suggests to me that you did not really understand what he was speaking about. He repeated over and over again his understanding of God’s vision of equality and reconciliation. If you could understand these subjects, I think you would be far less eager to heap the judgements upon him that you have.

    There is a great deal to the manner in which he speaks that I have great difficulty with, being that I am Caucasian and not from his culture. There is a swagger and seeming pride to the manner in which he speaks and in which he engages the audience. It would be easy to seize upon this difference in manner as a proof of his pride and evidence of unfounded perspectives. This is an inclination of mine I constantly have to keep in check, simply because MY culture tends to consider people like that to “bombastic,” ‘over-confident,’ and ‘egotistical’ – all of which are condemned.

    I have another understanding though, and I will share it with you. When I finished my time serving in the inner city, I had a strange culture shock when I returned to my community. After facing the issues I dealt with on a daily basis, the things I normally faced seemed laughable, trivial, and incredibly UNimportant. For someone in Wright’s position, his confidence is inevitably born out of his experience serving in some of the darkest places in our cities. The opinion of the media, the repetition of the “sound bites” as he claims them, and the statements of the press then become laughable. Did you notice his comparison of his congregation to the American government? He listed everything his congregation had been doing for the poor – all of which states BY ACTION that they are far more familiar with and concerned about the issues this country faces than most of the people who have condemned him and his statements. And from this experience, he challenges the American government because he sees the source of the oppression he fights against as having root in the government that claims to be trying to help.

    Thus, there is good sense in that he would be saying the things he says in the manner in which he says them.

    Now, I don’t really agree with him on many of the things he says– especially about the AIDS issues. But I would venture to say that his experience in the inner cities and the dark corners of our society give him a right to speak in the fashion that he does. Furthermore, I would say that those of us who are not daily amidst this experience would do well to listen and consider what he says, as one who is uniformed listens to the words of the informed.
    I would encourage you to re-read those passages that discuss God’s justice. You can read Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and any other prophet and you will quickly find the concepts of God judging and “damning” the governments and systems that cause oppression and injustice. In fact, you may conduct some study of the “cows of Bashan” and find some very disconcerting news about those who indirectly aid in oppression. The heart of God is revealed in the judgements, though we don’t always like to hear it. It is even more terrifying when you consider what God must think of even some of the commonly understood actions of our country!
    As a warning: while you dish our very damning words yourself….
    “There is little doubt that Barack Obama’s long-time pastor is a stone racist. His remarks on the alleged differences in the brains of blacks and whites, his repeated message of hate against America, his racist remarks about white people, they all continue apace”
    … you may be wary that that same measuring stick might be applied to you. Be careful what you say, I implore you.

    As for his “other sheep have I” quote and your subsequent response- I believe it is very telling how you both perceive the issue of justice, acceptance, and redemption. Wright refused to have the question define his position of God’s redemption. The question sought to divide him and the unsaved – hoping to get his condemnation of the practices of the people so that it could be stated as a condemnation of the people themselves. Rather than to claim out of his own understanding that their path will be damned, he instead associated himself with the sheep, noting only that they are still in need of being found. You however, are much more interested in the judgement, and perhaps of holding that scepter in your own hand?

    John Luke, we are not called to persuade people into the kingdom of God. We are called to love people and show them by example how we need to follow Jesus, the savior. Condemning others cannot achieve this. It must be achieved by associating with, joining with, and loving people where they are. It can only be done in standing alongside them and telling them that Jesus is asking them to come home. I encourage you, as one Christian to another, to refrain from blasting other fellow members of Christ. Instead, I encourage you to investigate the basis by which he makes his claims and the issues in which he endeavors to change. And, if you really still feel as strongly that his thoughts and methods are broken, perhaps them you can speak words of correction out of love.

    Sincerely,
    Your Concerned Brother in Christ

  4. Sharon Carpenter · · Reply

    Thank you, I felt so sick when I heard Mr. Wright say that phrase. I went directly to my bible to read what was said.
    It sickens me to think of the people that he is leading astray.
    His whole performance and I say performance because I felt that he was trying to be just a little to “cutsey” was
    pathetic.

  5. Student · · Reply

    I was a bit concerned about that comment as well regarding “other sheep not in this fold.”

    Even after looking at the scripture again, it is hard for me to imagine Islam being in the fold. I’ve learned and still believe it means the gentiles. And praise God! that I am included in his salvation plan!

    However, I would not go as far as to call him a stone racist.

    I mean, I believe it is extreme to think about the government creating AIDS. But the government has done things similar to that like with the whole Tuskeegee thing…or the forced sterilization of African American women during the 90s.

    No man is perfect, and Wright may hold some underground racist tendencies, just like any of us, including you and I. Psychological research has shown through studies of “implicit association” that most Americans hold unconscious racist tendencies.

    I also feel it is true that the African American Church is different but not deficient. There are practices and behaviors that are not common to mainstream American Christianity. This doesn’t make them wrong. So Wright’s charisma or “showboating” has to be viewed within this context.

    There are core doctrines to our faith. The Apostle’s Creed. However, our Lord is gracious and allows for diversity.

    It was either Thomas Merton or C. S. Lewis, I think, who made the statement, “In essentials, UNITY. In nonessentials, LIBERTY. In all things, CHARITY.”

    I encourage the author of this blog to be less charged in their tone towards Wright, at least until he or she has had a chance to get to know him, or study his viewpoint.

    Perhaps the author has already done so, in which case, I hold my tongue and ask for forgiveness.

    “LORD, I thank you for your goodness and mercy. Help us all love as you loved. Forgive us our sins and help us in our misunderstandings. Give us discernment to know when we are being mislead by anyone. Govern our thoughts! In your beautiful name I pray. Amen”

  6. Concerned Christian, thank you for your comment. But you are preaching to the choir, as it were. It is precisely Wright who is “condemning others.”

    I very much believe that God will judge, and judge harshly, governments that terrorize and abuse. Our government is hardly perfect, but the claims made by Wright are simply untrue.

    Wright cannot be a prophet and speak things he must know to be untrue. Unless you believe that he does not know the difference between radical fantasies (e.g. the government created AIDS to kill blacks) and the truth.

    Either Wright knows the truth and lies from the pulpit, or does not know the truth and refuses to be educated. Either way, he’s not one fit to be the spiritual adviser to a president.

    Or anyone else.

  7. Let get something clear here. Wright is a racist only because it helps to push his agenda. His version of liberation theology cannot in anyway be called “Christian.” It does not comport with Scripture. Wright seeks to legitimize his brand of Marxism by manipulating Biblical text. He seeks to inflame racial animosity to foment revolution, even violent revolution.

    Wright’s church has a website which states:
    “The vision statement of Trinity United Church of Christ is based upon the systematized liberation theology that started in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone’s book, Black Power and Black Theology.”

    Who is James Cone? He’s the theologian who wrote this:

    “Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.”

    Did you get that “BY ANY MEANS AT THEIR DISPOSAL” part. Wright is committed to advancing Marxism not Christ. Wright seeks to use disillusioned blacks as the foot soldiers in this Marxist reordering of society and government. I do believe he is now engaged in trying to destroy Obama’s chances to become President so he can then point to that as more evidence of oppression and racism. It serves his agenda. The mainstream media, as usual, has no clue about his motives. They can not see past his personal style and conclude Wright is on an ego trip. While that may be a small part of it, it is not all. Wright is a true believer but only in Marxism. A Marxism dressed up in faux Jesus Weejuns is his god and the way of salvation for the black community.

    I do agree with Wright in that Christ does oppose oppressive governments. But, I would also remind Wright that Christ also opposes rebellious individuals.

  8. Everyone would be well served to actually REFUTE Wright’s arguments instead of calling him a racist. Even I knew from pre-K that name calling is neither mature nor civilized.

  9. If God is such a great shepherd, then to allow even one sheep to fall astray is a failing grade.

  10. I think it’s funny how one person can lead so many astray. I’m not talking about Jeremiah Wright. I’m talking about the media.

    Americans are very short sighted and forgets one day to the next. I, on the other hand, am like an elephant, and I never forget.

    Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell gave the very same sermon in 2001. *SHOCKING* The chicken have come home to roost. Oh, they was condemned for it too.

    I have a political science degree so I keep tabs on what the “government” does. I will withhold my judgment of you and simply assume that you are trying to do the best by God in your own way. I assume then, that you know nothing about the Bilderberg group or the Black 300 or the Illuminati. I am assuming you know nothing about the Scottish Rite Freemasons or the Skull and Bones.

    There is no possible way you could know about those groups and then listen to Jeremiah Wright and call him wrong.

    Admitted, he might be saying “white”, but it’s like the difference between saying “south eastern country clubs exclude Blacks” and “whites exclude blacks”. It is merely semantic. Obviously Scottish Rite and Bilderberg are completely made up of WHITE people, ONLY. So is it wrong to say “white” people are doing this?

    Obviously the man isn’t racist. He had a white minister to come preach at his church many many times.

    Remember, I said at the beginning that Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell said the same thing? In fact, they were worse:

    Jerry
    “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.'”

    “I do believe, as a theologian, based upon many Scriptures and particularly Proverbs 14:23, which says ‘living by God’s principles promotes a nation to greatness, violating those principles brings a nation to shame,'” he said.

    Pat
    “We have sinned against Almighty God, at the highest level of our government, we’ve stuck our finger in your eye,” said Robertson. “The Supreme Court has insulted you over and over again, Lord. They’ve taken your Bible away from the schools. They’ve forbidden little children to pray. They’ve taken the knowledge of God as best they can, and organizations have come into court to take the knowledge of God out of the public square of America.”

    Both of these guys later on recanted or tried to clean up their statements, but they made them, on national t.v., to millions. And, what’s worse? Many ministers agreed and gave similar sermons in their churches around the very same time. I make it a habit of visiting about a dozen churches, sometimes 3 -5 in one Sunday morning. So I heard first hand all the sermons of at least a dozen churches that month, Sept 2001. They all said the same thing. God is mad, and it’s because of our government and society today in America.

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