President Obama, in a recent video message, offered his warmest wishes to people across the country and around the world for the Passover and Easter holidays. In his remarks, he reflected on the sacrifice of God’s Son and embraced the hope that this sacred season represents. Further, President Obama said:

Whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, or Buddhist; whether faith in God shapes our daily lives completely or not at all, we believe that with common effort, and shared sacrifice, a brighter future is just around the bend. And we embrace our obligation to do something meaningful, something lasting, with the precious time we’ve been allotted on this Earth.

The President also encouraged all Americans to “pause and give thanks for the chance to live in a country where everyone has the right to worship and pray and love as they choose.” In a famous interview with the Chicago Sun-Times in 2004, then State Senator Obama said the following:

I am a Christian. So, I have a deep faith. So I draw from the Christian faith. . . . So, I’m rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people. That there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and there’s an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived.

Later in the same interview, Mr. Obama is expressly asked whether he believes that people who haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior are going to hell. Mr. Obama responded as follows:

I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell.

I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup.

Although Mr. Obama’s views on some moral issues have “evolved” since that time, there is no record that he has modified his views from those expressed in that interview. While it seems to me that his opinion flies in the face of the words of the Lord Jesus in John 14:6 and 3:16-17, Mr. Obama’s contentions make Jesus a liar. And if there are many ways to God, then did not the Lord Jesus waste His time coming to Earth, where He unnecessarily suffered the pain of rejection and crucifixion through His substitutionary atonement to reconcile mankind with God?

Of course, in many American churches, there are countless nominal Christians who express similar views. Several years ago, a survey of 35,000 adults conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 57 percent of evangelical church attenders said that they believe many religions can lead to eternal life, which conflicts with both the Holy Bible and traditional evangelical teachings. (It would be interesting to see the results of a survey of Christian priests and pastors on this topic, wouldn’t it?) I do not write to chide our evangelical brethren for I suspect that similar views would exist in many other churches and denominations. For my readers who have teen-age children or grandchildren who attend church regularly, it might be an interesting Sunday afternoon dinner conversation to ask them their views on whether there are many ways to God, if one dares. But I think you might have to be prepared for some surprises.

For at least two or three generations of Americans, we have been taught in our government schools and through the institutions of influence in our society that all moral categories are nothing more than personal (or societal) preferences where every moral value claim is simply one’s opinion, all of which are equal (well, except for Christian traditionalists). Further, as we see in Mr. Obama’s perception of the Christian faith, religion is no longer a proper basis for morality. As has been observed by many, the Holy Bible, even more than Enlightenment thinking, directed the values of the Founders and the views of generations of Americans. However, for the past several generations, Americans are taught to rely upon their “feelings” to determine how to behave. It is a truism that all of us have a theology; the only question is whether it’s true or false. Ultimately and fundamentally, if we get it wrong about the Lord Jesus, it doesn’t matter what else we get right. As Randy Alcorn once powerfully observed, “Americans embrace democratic ideals. This gives us the illusion that we should have a voice when it comes to truth. But the universe isn’t a democracy. Truth isn’t a ballot measure.” Yes, it would be quite arrogant if Christians were the ones who came up with the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ on one’s life. But we didn’t; we are simply repeating what the Lord Jesus said. If it were merely our thinking, wouldn’t we come up with something far more popular? Our choice must be to proclaim the Holy Gospel, or to reject it. But I would not want to be the one to say that God is mistaken. Again, Randy Alcorn once wrote:

In His story of the rich man and Lazarus, ­Jesus revealed that in Hell, the wicked suffer terribly, are fully conscious, retain their desires and memories and reasoning, long for relief, cannot be comforted, cannot leave their torment, and are bereft of hope (Luke 16:19-31). The Savior could not have painted a more bleak or graphic picture.

So, does Mr. Obama know something Jesus didn’t know? Or did Jesus know something Mr. Obama doesn’t know? No offense, Mr. President, but I am going to follow Jesus on this. And for many of our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters, I join in wishing them a blessed and Holy Pascha this coming Sunday.