One More Question on Obama

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Feb 1, 2008.

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  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    I've come up with another question on Obama. Quite a few of those responding to my earlier OP on Obama defended his claim to being a follower of Christ, and that brought up this question.....

    I don't know if he is a believer or not, and it's not for me to judge. What I've seen so far suggests that he is a decent man. I have gleaned this from listening to him during the debates. He loves his wife and appears to a great father to his two daughters. There is NO question in my mind or heart that he really loves America, and wants the very best for this nation.

    If elected, he will come under the same negative scrutiny as Bush, and in truth, he will held in check more closely than Bush, by the check-and-balance system of the legislative and judicial branches of government. With all the mistakes made by Bush [mistakes according to Bush hating Democrats and extremely liberal Republicans and Independents] I'm quite sure Congress and the Senate will look more closely at future efforts to defend the country with military force. Obama has a freshness about him, and a charisma like none since JFK. If he keeps up with this growing momentum, he will ride it right to the Whitehouse!

    With that said, here is my question: If Obama is truly a believer in Jesus, and has made Him Lord of his life, why does he maintain his ties to the Muslim Faith by retaining his Muslim name. I mean, even Saul changed his name to Paul after his conversion, and others throughout the Old and New Testament were renamed by God after they came face-to-face with Him.

    Wouldn't it behoove [be in the best interest of] Obama to make his claim to Christianity more real by changing his Muslim name to something that doesn't identify him with the Muslim faith, especially in this time of mistrust for those of the Muslim faith? Does he keep the name out of pride? And if he does keep it out of pride, isn't this a sin?

    I know some of you may chose to "flame" me because of this question, but, it is a legitimate question that deserves an honest answer [not nasty rhetoric].

    Again, I am only presenting my concerns, and asking those on the Board to share with me their views [pro or con]. I was helped with some of the information I received on the previous OP, so I am not heartless, nor immovable when it comes to my opinions. I am truly perplexed with this persons actions {deeds}, and I am simply looking for answers so I can be more fair-minded when it comes to talking to others about him. Thanks for your feedback and input.

    Shalom,

    Pastor Paul :type:
    http://www.removethehaze.com
     
  2. tinytim

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    I would say no, he shouldn't have to change his name..
    Nothing in the constitution prohibits it.


    I wouldn't want to change mine.
     
  3. SBCPreacher

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    What was his name before he was given his Muslim name? Or, did he even have another name first?
     
  4. JamieinNH

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    First a question, and then I will answer the way I see it.

    What was your name before your found Christ and now what is your current name?


    My view of this is he shouldn't have to change his name. There is no need. There is no good reason for him to do so. IN your question, you summed it up well why he shouldn't need to change his name.

    In your question, you state that these men were renamed by God. They didn't change their name, God did. There is a difference.

    Since it's not a common Christian thing to do the change your name thing, why should we look to Obama and ask him to do it? Whether hs name means something in another country/place/culture has no bearing on what he says he is now. He says he is a Christian, and for me that's enough. The rest is between him and God.

    Jamie
     
  5. Gold Dragon

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    As I stated in the first thread, his name has arabic origins that are not necessarily islamic.

    Barack is an african form of Baraka which means "blessing". Hussein means "good looking". Arabic Christians likely have similar names.

    There are many European names that have pagan associations. For instance, Brenda is a Norse name meaning "sword" and Eric is a Norse name meaning "eternal ruler". Do we require those folks to change their names if they become Christians?
     
    #5 Gold Dragon, Feb 1, 2008
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  6. preachinjesus

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    Maybe you should ask Ergun Caner the same question.
     
  7. JustChristian

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    Born: Aug. 4, 1961, in Hawaii to Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham.
     
  8. Brother Bob

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    I could care less about his name and think if it hurts anyone, it would be him by reminding American citizens that he is from a Muslim country, or at least has ties to one. God renamed Paul and Jacob, I doubt if He will rename Obama.
    I still have my concerns about him and if he had of changed his name, it probably would of went worse for him because if he called himself "John Doe" and then we googled his name and found out he once had a muslim name then I suspect he would be in much greater suspicion.

    BBob,
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    Born: Aug. 4, 1961, in Hawaii to Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham.

    Um, just toss this out there. Plenty of us have been on missions trips to Muslim countries, I live in the same apartment complex with two Muslim families, some of us drive by mosques on a daily basis, we have probably bought products manufactured in a Muslim dominated country...so I guess we all have "ties" to a Muslim country. I think your point it moot.

    Oh, and there should be something said for the Old Testament people with names that haven't been westernized. How about New Testament people with Middle Eastern names...Apollos, Saphira, etc.
     
  10. righteousdude2

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    Very Good Point

    Thanks BBob...that is a great point.
     
  11. jakers

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    I really think that expecting him to change his family name, particularly with him being Barack Obama, JUNIOR is ludicrous. IMO, it would actually reflect worse on him that he would disrespect his family in that way.
     
  12. Alcott

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    Assuming it's true that the apostle Philip [Philippos, Greek for 'horselover'] didn't change his name, as there is not a record of it, does that mean he was still a worshipper of Zeus, Hera, Apollo, et al?
     
  13. Magnetic Poles

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    If he had changed his name, no doubt the same cast of characters would be saying "Why did he change his name if he isn't hiding something." You can't win with some folks.
     
    #13 Magnetic Poles, Feb 2, 2008
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  14. Brother Bob

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    I think for you to not know that having a muslim name running for President, does not give reason to be concerned. Read the news and see. You say my point is moot, but I think you are kidding yourself. Or just not well informed. Run a google check and see what you come up with.

    BBob,
     
    #14 Brother Bob, Feb 2, 2008
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  15. EdSutton

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    Well yes, God 'changed' the name of Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, respectively. And God also 'also-named' Jacob as 'Israel'. In the NT, Jesus gave an additional moniker to Simon Peter of that of 'Cephas'.

    However, Saul neither changed his name, nor did God change his name to Paul, according to Scripture. Saul was also known as Paul, from the get-go. Two or more names also is not unheard of, in Scripture. Simon Peter (also called Simon bar-Jonas in other verses), Judas Iscariot, Matthew Levi, and Jude Lebbaeus Thaddeus come to mind among the twelve disciples of Jesus.

    Saul, from the Heb. "Sha'uwl" or "Shaul" (Strong's # 7586) was the Jewish name of the individual, and rendered as a proper name, from the Greek from "Saulos" (Gk. # 4569) and/or "Saoul" (Gk. # 4549) and is the name the Apostle was known by, even after his 'conversion', even in the church at Antioch, and as he early on ministered among the predominately Jewish Christians, and this even after his conversion. The name of 'Paul' is from the Greek Paulos (Gk. # 3972). He is not even referred to as Paul, until the time when he and Barnabas were separated out, to go to the Gentiles, from Antioch. After this, granted, he is predominately referred to as Paul. But the Scripture never says either he or God changed the name.
    Folks, one does not have to agree with or even like any or all of Sen. Barak Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain; Gov. Mitt Romney, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Ron Paul, or anyone else (still) running for the office of the President of the United States, including the extremely long-shot campaigns of Sen. Mike Gravel and Amb. Alan Keyes, to accord each and every one of these the dignity of their own (chosen) name and the singular respect of their own office, since each of them has held some 'political' office in the United States.

    Ed
     
    #15 EdSutton, Feb 2, 2008
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  16. freeatlast

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    Barack Obama Barack Obama was born at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii to Harvard-educated economist Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a native of Kenya, and S. Ann Dunham, of Wichita, Kansas. At the time of Obama's birth, both his parents were students at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Barack initially followed his Muslim father's religion, but later became a Christian.

    Of his years in Hawaii, Obama has written, "The irony is that my decision to work in politics, and to pursue such a career in a big Mainland city, in some sense grows out of my Hawaiian upbringing, and the ideal that Hawaii still represents in my mind."
    When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father eventually returned to Kenya, and he saw his son only once more before his death in 1982. Ann Obama then married his stepfather, Lolo, another East-West Center student from Indonesia. In his early childhood while growing up with his mother, Barack used the name 'Barry'. The family then moved to Jakarta, where Obama's half-sister Maya was born (Obama has other half-siblings from his father's other marriages). When Obama was ten he returned to Hawaii under the care of his grandparents, and later his mother, for the better educational opportunities. He was enrolled in the fifth grade at Punahou School, where he graduated with honors in 1979. http://www.mysticgames.com/famouspeople/BarackObama.htm

    WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Although Sen. Barack Obama is a Christian, his childhood and family connections to Islam are beginning to complicate his presidential ambitions.
    The Illinois Democrat spent much of last week refuting unfounded reports that he had been educated in a madrassa, or radical Islamic school, when he lived in Indonesia as a boy.
    “The Indonesian school Obama attended in Jakarta is a public school that is not and never has been a Madrassa,” said a statement put out by the senator’s staff.
    But the school did teach the Quran, Islam’s holy book, along with subjects such as math and science, according to Obama, who attended when he was 9 and 10.
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    “In Indonesia, I had spent two years at a Muslim school,” he wrote in his first memoir, “Dreams from my Father.” “The teacher wrote to tell my mother that I made faces during Koranic studies.”
    Obama — whose father, stepfather, brother and grandfather were Muslims — explained his own first name, Barack, in “Dreams”: “It means ‘Blessed.’ In Arabic. My grandfather was a Muslim.”
    In his second memoir, “The Audacity of Hope,” Obama added: “Although my father had been raised a Muslim, by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist.”
    Still, when his father, a black Kenyan named Barack Obama Sr., died in 1982, “the family wanted a Muslim burial,” Obama quoted his brother, Roy, as saying in “Dreams.”
    The statement put out by Obama’s office last week referred to his father simply as “an atheist,” without mentioning his Muslim upbringing.
    But with pundits already making faith a major issue in this presidential campaign — as evidenced by questions about Republican Mitt Romney’s Mormonism — Obama’s religious background is likely to come under further scrutiny.
    “He comes from a father who was a Muslim,” said civil rights author Juan Williams of National Public Radio. “I mean, I think that given we’re at war with Muslim extremists, that presents a problem.”
    Obama’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, for whom the senator was given his middle name, Hussein, was fiercely devoted to Islam, according to an account in “Dreams.” The grandfather, who died in 1979, was described by his widow when Obama visited Kenya in the late 1980s.
    “What your grandfather respected was strength. Discipline,” Obama quoted his grandmother as telling him. “This is also why he rejected the Christian religion, I think.
    “For a brief time, he converted, and even changed his name to Johnson. But he could not understand such ideas as mercy towards your enemies, or that this man Jesus could wash away a man’s sins.
    “To your grandfather, this was foolish sentiment, something to comfort women,” she added. “And so he converted to Islam — he thought its practices conformed more closely to his beliefs.”
    When Obama was 2 years old, his parents divorced and his father moved away from the family’s home in Hawaii. Four years later, his mother married an Indonesian man, Lolo Soetoro, who moved his new wife and stepson to Jakarta.
    “During the five years that we would live with my stepfather in Indonesia, I was sent first to a neighborhood Catholic school and then to a predominately Muslim school,” Obama wrote in “Audacity.” “In our household, the Bible, the Koran, and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf.”
    Obama’s stepfather was a practicing Muslim.
    “Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths,” Obama recalled. “He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.”
    “It was to Lolo that I turned to for guidance and instruction,” Obama recalled. “He introduced me as his son.”
    Although Obama wrote of “puzzling out the meaning of the muezzin’s call to evening prayer,” he was not raised as a Muslim, according to the senator’s office. Nor was he raised as a Christian by his mother, a white American named Ann Dunham who was deeply skeptical of religion.
    “Her memories of the Christians who populated her youth were not fond ones,” Obama wrote. “For my mother, organized religion too often dressed up closed-mindedness in the garb of piety, cruelty and oppression in the cloak of righteousness.”
    As a result, he said, “I was not raised in a religious household.”
    Later in life, however, he was drawn to the writings of an influential American Muslim who served as the spokesman for the militant Nation of Islam.
    “Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different,” Obama wrote. “His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will.”
    He added: “Malcolm’s discovery toward the end of his life, that some whites might live beside him as brothers in Islam, seemed to offer some hope of eventual reconciliation.”
    While working as a community organizer for a group of churches in Chicago, Obama was repeatedly asked to join Christian congregations, but begged off.
    “I remained a reluctant skeptic, doubtful of my own motives, wary of expedient conversion, having too many quarrels with God to accept a salvation too easily won,” he wrote.
    But after much soul searching, he eventually was baptized at Trinity United Church of Christ.
    “It came about as a choice and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear,” he explained. “But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.”
    Obama’s family connections to Islam would endure, however. For example, his brother Roy opted for Islam over Christianity, as Obama recounted when describing his 1992 wedding.
    “The person who made me proudest of all,” Obama wrote, “was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam, and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol.”
    Meanwhile, Obama remained sharply critical of what he called “the religious absolutism of the Christian right.”
    In “Audacity,” the senator wrote that such believers insist “not only that Christianity is America’s dominant faith, but that a particular, fundamentalist brand of that faith should drive public policy, overriding any alternative source of understanding, whether the writings of liberal theologians, the findings of the National Academy of Sciences, or the words of Thomas Jefferson.”
    As for the Democratic Party, Obama observed that “a core segment of our constituency remains stubbornly secular in orientation, and fears — rightly, no doubt — that the agenda of an assertively Christian nation may not make room for them or their life choices.”
    Although the overwhelming majority of Americans describe themselves as Christians, Obama does not believe that any one religion should define the United States.
    “We are no longer just a Christian nation,” he argues in “Audacity,” which was published last year. “We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”
    Obama calls the Iraq war “a botched and ill-advised U.S. military incursion into a Muslim country.” He is also protective of civil rights for Muslims in the U.S.
    “In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans … have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging,” he laments. “I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
    http://www.examiner.com/a-534540~Can_a_past_of_Islam_change_the_path_to__president_.html
     
  17. cowboymatt

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    As Ed pointed out already, Paul had the name Saul from birth; Saul being his Hebraic name and Saul his Gentile name. There are some who had their names changed, like Jacob and Peter, but their names were changed by God or Jesus, not on their own.
     
  18. KenH

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    If I was in that situation I would keep my name the same. We are saved by the Christ Jesus' life and death on our behalf, not by the name that our parents', or anyone else, gave us.

    Your question is interesting; however, it is not important, in the big scheme of things is irrelevant, and will have no impact on my vote in November is Obama if the Democratic Party presidential nominee. I will decide to vote or not vote for Senator Obama based on issues other than his name. :)
     
    #18 KenH, Feb 2, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  19. JamieinNH

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    I have to respectfully disagree with you. If you think for one minute that the name of a man defines the man, then you're as you put it.. kidding yourself.

    A name does nothing to define the man. Him being from a muslim background may weigh on people's minds, but his name? :rolleyes:

    My name is Jamie Jackson.. Please show me how a name can define someone. Please give me some insight you now have since you know my name.

    Jamie
     
  20. Alcott

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    I am not the one to whom you made that request-- but you don't think I care, do you?

    In the Perry Mason novels, occasionally there was an associate named 'Jackson;' unlike Mason, he was a family man, not so hard-driving, content to do 'routine' legal work for his living; while Mason despised routine work and "only took cases that interested him." So Jackson was like a clown compared to Mason, and I think that's why Gardner gave him that name... son of a jack [knave].

    As for 'Jamie,' that is a diminutive form of James, from the same root source as Jacob, which of course meant "grabber" or "cheater."

    So... are you a little cheater who had a bumbling father? [I doubt it; this was just in fun ;).]
     
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