Hailing the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., as only nominally Christian, Newsweek "On Religion" moderator Sally Quinn declared the Episcopal Church U.S.A. (ECUSA) facility a perfect house of worship for President-elect Obama and his family when in residence at the White House in her Nov. 22 Washington Post op-ed.
Sadly either Ms. Quinn misses the point of church attendance for the Christian or she concludes that the religious inclinations of the Obama family is far from the historic, orthodox faith centered on the exclusive messianic claims of Jesus Christ, and salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Him alone (John 3:16-21; 14:1-6).
Trumpeting the merits of the National Cathedral, Quinn admired the institution's "programs on interfaith dialogue" and concluded satisfied that the "most pluralistic of the places of worship" she'd been to would be a "wonderful" message to Americans that President Obama would weekly worship "at a place most likely to welcome all Americans and all people of the world alike."
I've no doubt that the decidedly liberal National Cathedral is very welcoming, both of warm bodies in worship and cold hard cash in its coffers, but it seems Ms. Quinn is confusing lack of theological spine with warmth of welcome.
Biblically orthodox churches warmly welcome all people of all nations and backgrounds, because the church is God's instrumental means of declaring the Gospel to sinners the world over, declaring God's just and holy wrath against sin and His one and only provision for mercy in the substitutionary death of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Granted, this warm welcome is one that challenges everyone to see themselves as the Bible shows them, not as our deceptive hearts distort us (Jer. 17:9). Granted, the pure, undiluted preaching of the Gospel is foolishness to those who reject its strong warnings, but the power of God unto salvation for those who believe (I Cor. 1:18-25). It's that salvation that opens the door to the greatest, warmest welcome, that of God the Father welcoming redeemed sinners into His presence because of the atoning death and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Ms. Quinn should be lauded for hoping that President-elect Obama's choice of a church in D.C. would be an inspiration not only to Americans but people all over the world. I just submit that the greatest inspiration he could bring in this matter is by worshiping at a church that joins the heavenly chorus of saints in singing of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.” [Rev. 5:9-10]