You’ve probably seen by now the brouhaha caused recently by Alabama’s new governor.
You see, just after being sworn into office, Robert Bentley made a speech in which he said that Christians are his brothers and sisters in a way that non-Christians are not.
Here is a portion of what he said:
“Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters,” he told parishioners at a Baptist church in Montgomery Monday shortly after being sworn in. “So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”
“There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit,” Bentley also said, according to the Birmingham News. “But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister.”
Bentley later apologized to those who were offended or felt disenfranchised by his words:
“The terminology that I used I believe seemed to disenfranchise other religions and it certainly was not meant to do that,” he said. “And what I would like to do is apologize. Anyone who heard those words and felt disenfranchised I want to say that Iâ€™m sorry. If youâ€™re not a person who can say that youâ€™re sorry than youâ€™re not a very good leader.”
Now, I actually don’t want to discuss Bentley’s words. He was exactly right. As a child of God (assuming he is, of course), then he does have a different relationship with other believers than with unbelievers.
Here are the questions: Should Christian public officials make this distinction or not? Should Bentley have added something to his message to help those who are not Christians understand his beliefs better?