04 November 2008

How to Live as a Christian, Post-Election

A Christian Response to the 2008 Presidential Election
I have to admit to a bit of sadness over the response of Christians to the election of Barack Obama. I consider myself an independent, and more often than not during my political experience I have voted against a candidate rather than for. That too makes me sad.

I have a couple of observations that I want to comment on.
1. Election Rhetoric.

It struck me that much of what republicans and democrats are saying about this election is much the same as what came out of the mouths of republicans and democrats in 2000 and 2004. Only this time, the remarks have switched parties. For example, republican friends say that a large majority of the country do not agree with the views of the new president (The democrats said this in 2000 and 2004), while on the other hand, democratic friends are saying that the election returns give Obama a mandate for change; again, something that the republicans said in 2000 and 2004.

2. Many of my Christian friends prayed fervently for this election.
Obama won. Did God not answer their prayers?

Or, did God answer their prayers?

God is known to work out his will despite his people. If God did answer these prayers, what does that do to our theology? Still more, what does this say about our support for Barack Obama? I don't want to be put into the situation of second guessing God. My guess is that there is a lot of change in the air, and we have to decide for whom the church will be a handmaid. What if Obama is the gate through which we need to walk in order to bring change to this country and stave off judgment?

3. Election Issues.
There are a lot more issues in this presidential election that are as important as abortion and homosexuality, but evangelicals are shy to address. For example, approximately 30,000 people die of starvation, waterborne diseases and AIDS each day, deaths which are viewed as preventable, yet I am only now beginning to see organizations such as Feed My Starving Children gain visibility. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we better be certain that we don't react to what God is doing when Rhoda comes to tell us that Peter is at the door (Acts 12:12-17).

4. I am astonished at the amount of negativity coming from the mouths of Christians!

Come on people, we are people of hope. The elections are important, but let's focus, okay?

Having said all this, the point of this post is this: We need to stop moaning and beefing about who won the presidency, and pray just as hard for the success of this man in God's will as we did for the whom we thought God wanted as president during this election campaign.

Here are two parts of a post by by Mark Roberts that speaks to the issue of how to pray for the election and the new president (here and here). I like what he says in his first point:

We Should Act Upon the Call of Jesus to Peacemaking in the Way We Relate to Our Fellow Citizens.

There are other blogs that have shown up today (see this one by Randy Alcorn), which encourages me to believe that we will ultimately do the right thing, as soon as we stop focusing on why it was wrong to trust in Obama/McCain and not Jesus.

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  1. Jesus said, in the world you will have the poor. Yes, there is stavation and other things bad in this world, but that is a way of life according to Jesus. To say that there is any other issue that is as sinful as abortion needs to be rethought. Man killing unborn babies in a supposedly civilized society is about as bad as it gets and Obama is ultra pro-abortion.

    We do not put men in power, God does; read Romans 13:1. For a Christian or anyone else to vote for a pro-abortion candidate is saying I also promote your agenda and your cause to keep killing unborn babies also.

    There is no other isssue for the Christian. God will supply all our needs, not the government. God sactioned more wars than the USA has ever been involved in. We are not to judge as in the case of homosexuality - God will take care of that on Judgement Day. But to see innocent unborns being killed daily and to turn a blind eye to it and even vote for the person whose platform condones it means God is putting a person in power to tell us something, and that something I believe is that judgement is coming to America and the world very soon.


  2. Hi George. Thanks for the comment. If I may, I would like to comment on a couple of things you mention.

    "Jesus said, in the world you will have the poor. Yes, there is stavation (sic) and other things bad in this world, but that is a way of life according to Jesus."

    May I suggest that you revisit that passage and look at it in its context? Jesus is not implying that its okay if people are poor, that's just way life is.

    What he is saying is that in the exigencies of that specific point in time, and not a reshuffling of priorities. The woman came into the house where Jesus was and poured out the ointment on Jesus' head, anointing him for his forthcoming burial. He is not telling us that we can focus on other priorities.

    If you do a simple word search on scripture, there are quite a few references to justice (the social aspect of holiness) AND righteousness (the personal aspect of holiness). One of God's main concern is the widow, the orphan and the stranger in the land.

    "We are not to judge as in the case of homosexuality - God will take care of that on Judgement Day." From your comment I believe that you say that it is a moral decision that that people make. How much more is the decision of the woman to have an abortion? How do we pass judgment on one issue and pass on the other? Can we make a double standard out of this?

    Which brings to this point: If these are moral choice and issues, legislating them does not make these people righteous or innocent, does it? And is certainly doesn't prevent people from making wrong choices. I believe that all moral issues involve making choices and decisions, and they are liable to God first for the justification of their actions.

    Finally, I do NOT consider abortion a minor issue, I think it is something that we do need to address, but, when I read scripture, I do not see one or two issues as the only thing on which we focus . I believe in the whole counsel of scripture.

    Someone who is strong on the issue of abortion but weak in other areas does not automatically qualify someone for office. We can see this in the current administration, and what happens when politicians use the magic words, but then cause no end of suffering by their greed and arrogance. But that's enough on that.

    Thanks again, George, I appreciate your conversation and comments. But please, don't put people in a box based on one or more criteria, and be open to the whole span of what Scripture says.

  3. I've heard it said that Christians believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth. Apparently fetuses are innocent but the birth process somehow turns us into sinful human beings.

    To say that there is "no other issue" than abortion for the Christian is to ignore Matthew 25. Really? NO OTHER ISSUE. Think about that. Think about the absurdity of that statement.

    30,000 children dying every day of starvation or easily curable diseases is a non-issue? Spending hundreds of billions on a war based on false pretences is a non-issue? AIDS, poverty, sex trafficing, lack of drinking water, genocide... non-issues. George is right about one thing.

    Luckily, George is right. God puts men into power. Now he's given us Obama. Maybe God will have to use the government to supply for these needs since so many Christians consider them to be non-issues.