Alfred Street Baptist Church, a 200-year-old church in Alexandria, Virginia, welcomed President Obama and his family to Easter Sunday services, and already the political blogs are dissecting and analyzing what the appearance says about the president, who has often been derided for the unproven claim among conservatives that he’s actually Muslim.
To give you a clearer idea of the place where the Obamas chose to worship on Sunday, I dropped by the Alfred Street Baptist website to have a look at what they believe so you can decide for yourself as to whether the President’s appearance was worthy of scrutiny.
According to the website, the church endorses a one-path view to salvation, meaning that “Jesus Christ is God incarnate, the Living Word (John 1:1-14), virgin born through the miraculous conception of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:31, 35),” the site states before adding the following.
“He lived a sinless life on earth (Hebrews 7:26, I Peter 2:22), and performed many undeniable miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:22; 10:38). He voluntarily atoned for the sins of men by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice, reconciling men back unto God, and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone (Romans 5:8-11; I Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:21). He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39; I Corinthians 15:4). He was exalted and ascended bodily into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father, where He, and He alone, is the only mediator between God and man, continually making intercession for those who believe in Him (Acts 1:9, 11; 2:33; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3).
“Jesus Christ will come again to the earth, personally, visibly, and bodily to establish His Kingdom. At this time, the dead in Christ shall be resurrected, the believer to eternal joy with the Lord, and the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal suffering (Acts 1:11; I Corinthians 15:51; Hebrews 9:28; I Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 19:20; 20:11-15; 22:6-16; Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48).”
As for social issues of the day, unlike many of the larger, growth-oriented churches, Alfred Street Baptist does draw a line in the sand.
Its pastor, Dr. Howard-John Wesley, is a supporter of the NAACP. In the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin incident, he was firmly on the side of Trayvon, preaching a sermon in his hoodie out of respect for the slain teen.
On the issue of same-sex marriage, Wesley believes it’s a civil rights issue, so he supports the right of LGBT members to marry, but he also supports the right of churches to refuse participation in any kind of ceremonial endorsement.
“There is a difference between marriage in the church and marriage that must be respected in the laws of America,” the pastor says. “I do not believe homosexuality is a God-called lifestyle. I will not in good conscience perform a homosexual wedding. But I believe the two homosexual gay and lesbian individuals of grown age who love each other and want to be married ought to be protected by the laws of this land.”
He then said he didn’t like the Ku Klux Klan, but they “had the right” to march outside his home.
Do you think President Obama should be attending churches like Alfred Street Baptist that appears to condemn other religions, and was his attendance an insult to the gay community in relation to the pastor’s comments.