Obama and the IHS

I Corinthians 15:3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

There seems to be a growing political and religious controversy brewing over whether or not the Whitehouse asked for the Christian letters “IHS” to be covered over when the President made a speech at Georgetown University. I personally hope that wasn’t the case because it would offend some Christian people. The controversy however, has become a great teaching tool about those mysterious letters which are usually adorned in every church sanctuary. Through this incident, I hope more people will seek to find out what the letters actually mean.

When I was growing up, I thought that the letters stood for “In His Service.” It seemed perfectly natural to me for that to be the case because we are all meant to serve Christ in the church. At other times, I’ve heard people who were displeased with the minister’s preaching to take the letters to mean, “It’s His Sermon,” but it’s certainly not mine!

No matter what we think, the letters originate in the Roman Church for they actually represent three Latin words – Iesus = Jesus; Hominum = Of Men; and Salvator = Savior. So the three mysterious letters abbreviate an ancient title of Christ – Jesus, the Savior of Mankind. I hope that many people who hear or read about Tuesday’s incident at Georgetown take time to research what the letters mean. It may remind them of who Jesus actually is and hopefully it will bring them closer to Him.

As Paul points out in his letter to the Corinthians, this is of first importance to our faith: that Christ died for our sins. This is what makes Jesus our Savior, and this is what attracts us to becoming Christians in the first place.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Savior of Humanity, the Sacred One who died for all of our sins. You have saved us from the wrath of God and restored to His everlasting love and favor. We rejoice in Your Sovereignty over sin and salvation of humankind. We praise Your Name for ever and ever. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment upon today’s message, please send him an email to pastor@erinpresbyterian.org.

About Stushie

I'm originally from Scotland and have been a Presbyterian pastor for over thirty years. I live in Knoxville, TN. I enjoy art as a means of therapy, but also as a creative way to strengthen my spiritual connection to God.
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5 Responses to Obama and the IHS

  1. tina says:

    Some people have argued that Obama does not want to use religion to further a political ideology. However, Obama did
    evoke the Sermon on the Mount, at this Georgetown appearance, to further his economic agenda. Although Obama failed to mention Jesus Christ by name for the Sermon on the Mount.

    “There is a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells a story of two men…‘the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house…it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock,’” Obama said.

    “We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand,” he added. “We must build our house upon a rock.”

    The last statement is particularly ironic since building your house upon a ‘ROCK‘ means to build your house with Christ as the foundation. Obama decided to blot out the real foundation from the timeless parable.

    See the hi-res pictures:

  2. Christian says:

    Personally I think he had it covered as a political statement of power. He went to the oldest Catholic University in the country and covered up Jesus. He went into the oldest Mosque in Turkey and took off his shoes. Why? Check out more at http://www.madnessletters.com if you’re interested.

  3. haber says:

    Maybe Obame is a muslim

  4. pd says:

    IHS is not in fact a christian symbol. It was adopted from Paganism, and ancient Egypt. It stands for Isis, Horus, Seb. IHS is not listed anywhere in The Bible.
    Maybe President Obama is smart enough to know this and he or someone close to him asked for it to be covered during his visit there.

    • stushie says:

      Somehow I think you’ve been reading pagan propaganda or eating a bologna sandwich this morning. Nice try.

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