Wednesday, November 5, 2008
It's finally over... whether you like it or not...
Well, it's over and Barack Obama is our new president.
What is my role as a Christian going forward:
1. Barack Obama will be our president now. As such, he deserves the prayer, support and respect due to someone in that office. Paul commands us to honor and serve our rulers as the ministers of God (so far, of course, as conscience allows) Speaking disrespectfully of them is an offense against God and a bad testimony to the name of Christ. (1 Peter 2; Romans 13). He is our president and he has my prayer and respectful support.
2. It is a historical event that happened last night electing the first African American President! We are living in a very historic time.
3. Pray that there will be a peaceable transfer of power, even though opinions on how to govern are at a fever pitch. It will be a tough and very critical couple of years as there are many decisions to be made on the War, Economics, etc.. I pray that our President Elect will choose wise council to help him and ensure our safety as Americans.
4. Abortion is an horrific practice, which, as John Piper says, "the true horrors of which are recognized by very few of us." It is an unmitigated slaughter of the weak, and a worse scourge on our country than was slavery--it is more evil, and just as racist (it affects more African-American children than others. 12 million murdered African-American children since Roe vs Wade in 1973!) Did you know that an old practice called 'Eugenics' which was a foundational belief that led to the killing of numerous Jews under Hitler. Eugenics is about forced sterilization of the 'infirm', 'poor' and unfit to have children. The founder of 'Planned Parenthood' was a very strong believer in this policy. Watch the Movie 'Expelled' for more facts on this...
I am troubled by President Obama's stand on this issue, as up until now he has been the most pro-choice member of Congress most pro-choice candidate to ever run for office. While I am grateful he is committed to reducing the number of abortions, I am troubled that he will not speak with conviction about the full humanity of the unborn baby. I am also troubled by his pledge to ensure that the willful disposal of human life shall remain an option in our culture. I pray Obama will change his heart on this issue.
5. Our citizenship as Christians is not ultimately in the United States of America, but in heaven. Our hopes and our loyalties lie first and foremost there. We should not be caught up in the 'fear' that has spread in one candidate or the other.
The work of the Gospel is not dependent on who is in office. I love our country and I desire her peace and prosperity. But I care more about the spread of the Gospel, and my first prayer about this election has been that it will result in the spiritual prosperity of the churches in America and the promulgation of the healing Gospel of Jesus into all the world. Paul told us to pray for freedom of speech (1 Tim 2:1-4) that we might freely teach the Gospel. Jeremiah tells us to pray for the prosperity of our city (Jer 29:7). I continue to pray for and seek these things from my leaders, regardless of who is in power. If you are one of the ones that was discouraged by this election, don't be. Our true King is always on the throne and His purposes He promises will go ever forward.
A much more eloquent and insightful articulation of these points and many others can be found here, by John Piper. While there are some things in his analysis I might have said differently, or maybe not have said at all, it is full of biblical wisdom. (I love the statement he makes right toward the end: "Christians sometimes talk as if God will judge us as a country if we elect a President who supports gay marriage and abortion. Those things are the judgment of God." Our country's greatest need is not new laws, but to return to humility before God. Church, we must pray that our nation comes back to Jesus so that we might be delivered from these judgments. Abortion alone has been a sign of judgment to us that we must return to Jesus, and that starts first in the church.)