Summary: If we have a proper understanding of condemnation,we should be motivated to carry the life-giving message of the Gospel to our family, friends, and neighbors.
Opening Illustration: Last Wednesday (June 7, 2017) there was in Washington D.C. a Senate hearing for the Russell Vought, President Trump’s nomination for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. You may have seen or heard of this event on SPAN, but more likely on various Christian news outlets.
In the hearing, Russell Vought was repeatedly challenged by Senator Bernie Sanders for his Christian convictions and specifically quoted Vought’s statement that he made on his college’s website concerning his college’s stand (Wheaton College is in Wheaton IL is where Billy Graham graduated) stand on Islam on whether Islam and Christians worship the same God.
Here is the statement Russel Vought made:
"Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned."
Senator Sanders asked Vought: Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?
Vought: Absolutely not, Senator. I'm a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith. That post, as I stated in the questionnaire to this committee, was to defend my alma mater, Wheaton College, a Christian school that has a statement of faith that includes the centrality of Jesus Christ for salvation, and
Sanders interrupts: I apologize. Forgive me, we just don't have a lot of time. Do you believe people in the Muslim religion stand condemned? Is that your view?
Vought: Again, Senator, I'm a Christian, and I wrote that piece in accordance with the statement of faith at Wheaton College:
Sanders: I understand that. I don't know how many Muslims there are in America. Maybe a couple million. Are you suggesting that all those people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned too?
Vought: Senator, I'm a Christian ...
Sanders (shouting): I understand you are a Christian, but this country are made of people who are not just – I understand that Christianity is the majority religion, but there are other people of different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?
Vought: Thank you for probing on that question. As a Christian, I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of their religious beliefs. I believe that as a Christian that's how I should treat all individuals ...
Sanders: You think your statement that you put into that publication, they do not know God because they rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned, do you think that's respectful of other religions?
Vought: Senator, I wrote a post based on being a Christian and attending a Christian school that has a statement of faith that speaks clearly in regard to the centrality of Jesus Christ in salvation.
Sanders: I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.(1)
This is a scary statement. Senator Sanders just said that any Christian holding to the tenants of the faith, is not fit for this country.