As a seminary graduate with a Master's degree, I have been mulling over Senator Bernie Sanders' comments for quite some time. The first question which should be asked is how does a man's religious beliefs which align with orthodox Christianity have any bearing on how he will serve as the head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)? Senator Sanders was out of line for even asking such a question.
Before I go any further, I would like to clarify that this piece is not meant to proselytize or force anyone into the Christian faith, for no one can simply "become" a Christian by their own will. In Christianity, one must be regenerated by the Holy Spirit of God to understand the Gospel of salvation. This piece, therefore, is merely meant to express what the Christian faith is all about. After all, this is supposed to be a land of religious liberty, though increasingly Christians are being forced to either reject core tenets of their beliefs or else be ostracized from society.
Such ostracization is evident in Sanders' interrogation of Vought in which he says, "are you suggesting that all [Muslim Americans] stand condemned? What about Jews, they stand condemned too?"
The point that Sanders is missing is that it doesn't matter what any particular person "wants to believe" about Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc. The Lord Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, and that no man comes to the Father but by Me" (John 14:6). Personally, I would love to believe that there is no hell and that everyone will eventually be okay and make it to heaven. That would make living life so much easier on me. Yet my Lord Whom I am bound to obey has stated otherwise and given me the Great Commission in which He said, "Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that REPENTANCE and remission of sins should be PREACHED IN HIS NAME AMONG ALL NATIONS, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things" (Luke 24:46-48).
Sanders has a very deficient understanding of biblical Christianity and even of being Jewish, which ethnically he is. Yet, there was another person who was also Jewish, that person being my Lord and Savior Yeshua (Jesus), the promised Messiah in the Old Testament for the Jews and the whole world. Truthfully, there is nothing more Jewish for a Jew than to believe in Yeshua as the Messiah, and happily, we are living in a time period when many Jews are beginning to see the light of Messiah and come to Him in repentance and faith. If you doubt that, watch this worship session from the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel (MJAI) (click here) and Sarah Liberman's Hebrew translation cover of Hillsong's "Stronger" (click here) who is a worship leader with the Kehilat HaCarmel congregation in Israel.