September 29, 2020

Christians: What are you saying about the President?

When Mr. Obama was elected, I told some of my friends, “This is going to be difficult for some people.”

And, unfortunately, not only was I right, I was right on the money as to who would have the most difficult time seeing a black Democrat take the office of President.

For the past two months, almost daily, I have listened to too many- not all thankfully, but many- of the evangelical Christians around me say untrue and hateful things about President-elect Barak Obama. As Inauguration Day grows closer, the rhetoric is getting worse.

“I will not support a man who hates our flag and hates our Bible.” This from an educated adult.

“He’s not even a Christian. He’s a Muslim.” I have heard this over and over and continue to hear it.

“He’s not my President.” This from all kinds of people.

“I hate Obama. I’d like to get in his face.” And worse. This from a child.

“We shouldn’t allow our children to watch the inauguration.” From an adult.

“I can’t wait till he’s _________ed.” I’ll skip the word so my blog isn’t sent to some FBI list. This from teenage boys, of course.

I could go on and on and on with these quotes. I hear them and hear of them almost every single day I am around my fellow Christians.

I did not vote Barak Obama. I barely voted for John McCain. The choices this year left me unenthused to say the least.

Obama’s solutions to political, foreign policy, social and economic policy all seem wrong to me, and I’m concerned about his lack of experience.

I’m hopeful that he will be a good president because I think he knows that he is a historic leader coming to power at a critical time. I believe he’s made many good choices for cabinet positions. I think he is smart and I understand he doesn’t suffer fools and divas gladly.

I’ll pray for him.

Scripture tells me to pray for my leaders. They are ordained of God. (Romans 13, I Timothy 2, I Peter 2)

I am to pray for all those in authority. I am to submit to them as authorities established by God. I am to pay my taxes, obey the laws and avoid doing what is illegal.

As much as it depends on me, I am to be a peaceful citizen of this country. Should my President ask me to do what I cannot do without violating the law of God, then I must be faithful to God.

Let me say this again: Scripture is clear that those in authority are to have my obedience, my prayers and my cooperation in all things that do not violate my loyalty to Jesus Christ.

These commands were all written to first century Christians who lived under hostile, pagan, anti-Christian, often actively persecuting Roman governments. No group of Christians in the first three centuries of the church every lived under a Christian ruler. Yet all these Christians took seriously the command to “Honor the King” and to “submit to and pray for” those rulers as much as possible.

If you are an evangelical Christian adult, please hear me out:

You are sinning- badly and boldly- when you publicly denigrate and lie about the President. You have no basis to do this. Surely you know that this is wrong.

You can state your opposition to the President as you choose, but it is wrong to say that a Christian should not watch the Inauguration, pray with Rick Warren and pray for President Obama when he puts his hand on the Lincoln Bible.

You can oppose him in every way, but to speak threatening, hateful, hostile or untrue words is wrong, and it makes Christians appear, once again, to be hateful, hostile, unconcerned with truth and selfish to a fault.

To speak this way in front of children and to pass this kind of rhetoric and attitude on to them is no different from passing on the worst kinds of racial or religious prejudice to our children. Our children trust us and believe what we say. When we say “Obama hates the Bible and hates Christians,” we are brainwashing our kids with untruths and paranoid mythology.

I know that many of you will be firing back at me saying that abortion and gay marriage and other social issues outweigh the Biblical commands to pray for, submit to and obey this particular leader. I agree with you that his policies in these areas should be opposed- legally and without hateful personal attacks and untruths. But I cannot agree with your abandonment of what the Bible clearly teaches. And I deplore your choice to speak these words in front of unbelievers and young people. You need to repent, and if necessary, apologize.

As we approach January 20, please read the Bible’s many commands to Christians regarding our attitude toward the civil government. Remember that these commands were written when everyone knew that Jesus was executed by the government and every government was set against the belief that Jesus, not Caesar, was Lord.

Nero was no friend of Christians in the first century. Neither was Domitian. Today, the commands of scripture apply to Christians in China, in Iraq, and in India. They apply to all Christians living under hostile governments.

Jesus lived under a cruel Roman governor, yet he submitted and obeyed that governor, even to the point of death.

Let us speak the truth in love. Let us love those we may not agree with. Let us leave the right example for children and young people. And let’s not engage in blatant sin, and then excuse it, in the name of politics.

Comments

  1. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    The libs and probably most of those who post on this thread have spent eight years cra–ing on Bush. They have done everything they could to destroy the man, his presidency and this country. — Nabal the Calebite

    No, they’ve cast Bush as The Antichrist for the past eight years and his time in the White House as The Great Tribulation in all but name.

    Naturally Obama stepped into the role of the Coming Christ figure, The One who will now Descend to destroy Bush the Beast and all his works and all who bear his Mark (R) and usher in The Kingdom.

    With about as much resemblance between Obama the man and OBAMA The Myth as between George W Bush the man and Chimpy Dubya Bushitler The Myth; or between John Kennedy the man and JFK The Myth.

    I’ve even heard reports that the Big Name Netizen Obama Worsippers are starting to turn on Him as he preps for his term, revealing that their God is only another man. (Saw the same dynamic with Ross Perot in ’92 and both Huckabee and Ron Paul in ’08.) Nobody can live up to a reputation as a god; either they start believing their own Divine Right or they trigger a backlash among their former worshippers the first time they mess up.

  2. DaveD-

    No, I don’t want government to do everything for me, and if that’s what you think I’m saying, than you misunderstand.

    My point is that there are certain things that I believe both of us believe it is appropriate for the government to restrain via legislation. I am sure you are not troubled by the fact the there are laws that protect your private property. If abortion is or can reasonably be demonstrated to be the willful taking of human life (as many pro-life people believe that it is) then it is appropriate for the government to restrict it via legislation as it does other egregious violations of individual rights.

    The government indeed has the power to make people die en masse. Roe v. Wade and FOCA are and will be proof of that.

    And before we get any more burning building analogies, I think it may be worthwhile to suggest that abortion is not legal in this country because people are too poor to support children. Abortion is legal because people want to have sexual relations without the burden of the natural result of such relations, i.e. children. And it’s not always the women who insist on it.

  3. I agree that abortion is wrong and should be illegal.

    The simple fact of the matter is the Republican party has had the Presidency for 20 of the last 32 years. It had Congress for 12 years. It had both Congress and the Presidency for 6 years. And we still have abortion. They are not going to do away with it. How many people do you know that hated McCain as a candidate, are fed up with Republicans selling us down the river, but still voted Republican because of abortion? What good is the hope of one day over turning abortion when we lose freedoms all along the way?

    So, in order to ensure freedom, maybe we should increase our efforts to decrease abortions through Crisis Pregnancy Centers, stressing adoption, and spreading the gospel . More saved women = fewer unwanted babies. Then we could vote for people who aren’t destroying the country, fast (Dems) or slow (Reps).

    This doesn’t mean when we have the chance to call our Congresscritter we should abdicate. Only that governmental actions should be secondary, not our primary modus operandi.

    DD

  4. DaveD-

    So it turns out you agree with me. Even though you tried to disparage my character for holding the opinion I do about the legality of abortion. I didn’t miss that.

    As to the Republicans and what they did or didn’t do, I won’t go very deep into this because to defend the Republicans in today’s climate is a losing propostion, but suffice it to say that Mr. Obama will come into office with a very large majority, perhaps (I’m not sure of the numbers) a larger majority in both houses than the Republicans ever had under 8 years of Mr. Bush. You can get a whole lot more of what you want passed with a large majority than with a small one, and the Republicans had very small majorities. So if you want to brand the whole Republican party as liars and frauds because they failed to remake the universe according to the Contract With America, please take note of the political realities of the last 8 years before doing so.

    We are about to find out just how effective a President with a large majority can be, especially with a Speaker Of The House who is busily working to change House rules to favor the majority.

    And just for the record, I can’t think of a single freedom that would have been lost had John McCain won the presidency. I can think of a few we may lose during an Obama administration.

  5. Richard Hershberger says

    “You are sinning- badly and boldly- when you publicly denigrate and lie about the President. You have no basis to do this. Surely you know that this is wrong.”

    Well, sure. But why does “about the President” need to be in there? The commandment against bearing false witness doesn’t limit itself this way.

  6. Richard Hershberger says

    “I don’t support gay “marriage.” Civil unions are fine with me. If you want to start a religion that marries people of the same gender, it’s a free country.”

    This is confusing. When you say you don’t support gay ‘marriage’, you seem to mean that you would not officiate over such a ceremony, but if some other clergyman in some other church does so, that is fine? I would characterize such a position as support for gay marriage. After all, no church has to perform any marriage it doesn’t want to. Gay or straight has nothing to do with this.

    For myself, I think the word “marriage” is used in a hopelessly tangled way. To the state it is a legal relationship conferring various rights and obligations on the marriage partners. To the church (pick any you choose to) it is a religious rite, the significance of which depends on the church in question.

    In my perfect world, these would be disentangled. There would be two distinct things: the legal status and the religious status. I really don’t care what we call these. For simplicity’s sake, we can call the legal status “civil union” and the religious status “marriage”. The state would get out of the marriage business entirely. If a couple wants the legal status, they would file the appropriate paperwork with the appropriate agency. If they want the religious status, they would go find a minister.

    I would expect that a religiously married couple would ordinarily obtain the civil union as well, but that would be their business. If the married couple chooses to skip the civil union, this would be no different legally from any other cohabitating non-civilly united couple.

    As for gay civil unions under this scheme, I really don’t see it being my business if two persons of the same sex wish to share stuff like hospital visitation or inheritance rights with one another.

    Call me a dreamer.

  7. dk,

    You still seem to favor politics over religion…THAT’s where I disagree with you. The government is NOT the answer. As far as freedoms lost under McCain, maybe no new ones. He already gutted the 1st Ammendment with McCain Fiengold, he was no friend of gun owners and he called us Christians “evils in the political system”.

    However, your beloved Republicans gave us the greatest socialist movement since FDR, all that in the last 4 months.

    The Republicans have sold you out and you are happy to be sold out. You make excuses for them and continue to vote for a party that promises you what you want to hear, never does it, all the while slowly selling out the country. Get off the George Bush band wagon and actually READ the provisions of the Patriot Act. Look at the Border Patrol agents in jail that he won’t commute the sentences for but he WILL commute/pardon DRUG DEALERS!!! Look at the fact that the last 8 years have seen the biggest EXPANSION of the government in 70 years. He has nationalized the financial institutions and now, by executive fiat, has the Feds hands in the Big Three.

    We can’t withdraw our own money from a bank in whatever denomination we choose without the feds being alerted. We can’t travel to Canada without a passport. Through his “compassionate conservatism, the Feds now have their hands in some Christian charities…a power the new President WILL use if he doesn’t like what they have to say.

    I stand by my opinion of your charecter not because of abortion, but because you sell your vote and your freedoms to men who have flipped you and yours the bird for 12 years and done whatever they wanted instead. You seem to me to be like Pat Robertson who, after being personally attacked by McCain, sold out his convictions for access to power.

    DD

  8. DaveD –

    No, I do not favor politics over religion. That has probably never been less true of me now than in the past. And please do not presume to judge my character. You know virtually nothing about me. I’ve not insulted you personally, yet you feel free to attack me personally again and again. Maybe you’re the one who needs to lay off the politics and concentrate on your religion.

  9. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Might want to close this thread, IMonk.

    Looks like it’s turned into DaveD & DKMonroe going “DID NOT!” “DID SO!” “DID NOT!” “DID SO!” back and forth to each other.

  10. Yeah, I know, I should be more sanguine about being called a sellout. My bad.

  11. I have prayed for President-elect Barack Obama from the day after election day. I will be praying for President Barack Obama nest week atfer he is Persident. I believe we should pray for him and his family daily as well as the Vice-President and his family.

    The President’s first name is in The Bible. I will be prying for our country.

  12. Did you close this?

  13. No. Comments are moderated though, so they won’t appear immediately.

  14. DK and DD:

    This needs to stop or at least lose the personal stuff.

  15. 2 cents from an Obama supporter, voter, Christian, and generally optimistic for the next 4 years (8 maybe), father of three young children. I understand the need for many Christians to place abortion and gay marriage central to their decision in political choices. But! For me this produces an odd detachment from the reality of the world. If a “pro-choice” president actually inacts policies that reduce the number of actual abortions over a “pro-life” president because he can have an realistic policy over sex education, institute policies that support the poor among us better than what is the “right” choice? For example Clinton had lower abortion numbers than Bush. Why do we can rail against gay marriage but not address the cancer of divorce that is destroying families in our churches? I don’t see any protesters at the local court house spewing hate at all the couples filling papers for divorce. I do not agree with Obama on all things. There will never be a candidate that does, but I am excited!

  16. Matt Barron says

    I voted for McCain. What you said is right and true. Though a Conservative/Republican, I am first and foremost a citizen of the kingdom of God. Therefore, it is my duty and privilege to pray for whoever is in office.

  17. sorry, I don’t submit to this. I agree with your outreach, but I don’t agree that most Christians everywhere are being racist and full of hate. None of your example comments were racist at all. It’s just easy to say Christians and repubs are racist because it’s said all the time. Yeah, we don’t agree with Obama, but it is such a minority that “can’t wait until he’s _______ed” . Most Christians are doing exactly what you say to do . Most fair criticisms are perceived as “racist” or “hateful”, but they are just criticisms. You said you could go on and on, but you only gave us 6 comments. Sorry…there will be no civil war with Christians…we know what God has told us to do. The perception, however incorrect, is easy to swallow because we hear it all the time. We immediately think and believe that most Christians are acting this way. Sorry..don’t believe it. If you are reading this, please count how many Christians you know that are acting this way. That’s what I thought.

  18. I think no matter how we voted, we all need an Inauguration day Attitude Check. Where is our hope? Not in government. Yet still, we are called to pray…and submit. Yikes! For a full thoughtful evangelical’s post, check out Red Letter Believers at:

    http://redletterbelievers.blogspot.com/2009/01/inauguration-day-attitude-check.html

  19. John Conant says

    Hi everyone,
    I agree with iMonk, pray for those in authority (1 Tim 2:2). I also agree especially on 1 Peter 2.
    1 Peter 2:23 (see 1 Peter 2:18-24) says of Jesus, ‘and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;’. What an excellent example Jesus Christ left and lived for us! What then shall we put into practice?
    If we suffer momentary light affliction now (2 Cor 4:17) in seeking to follow God the Father’s will (compared to an ETERNITY in HEAVEN) then what is it for us to pray for those in authority?
    AS we Christians take our disappointments and our disagreements and our fears and we pray and we lift them up to God our loving Father, the Creator, we are submitting ourselves NOT for our WILL but for HIS to be done, in awaiting God’s response.
    Thanks, all, for your time on this.
    -jc <

  20. It’s too bad that you didn’t write this when Christians weren’t supporting President Bush.

  21. David Egbert says

    Thank you for the article.

    It is true that we need to pray for our leaders that they make the right choices in these difficult and trying times.

    However, we are in a different situation than the early Christians. In the world and country they lived in, if they spoke out against the tyranny of the government they would likely be killed. They would then be unable to spread the word of Jesus.

    We are at a Critical time in our country where the media congratulates those of moral terpitude thereby encouraging men, women and children to follow the sinful road. You want to make it big like a rock star, cheat on your wife, be promiscuis, cuss, drink and do drugs.

    The people that promoted this president from the very begining are the same people that promote these ideas to our children. They have an agenda and have a large amount of influence on President Obama and his party.

    We as Christian have an obligation to expose this underlying current that flows money and influence into the government.

    We should obey the law. We should also understand (which few people in our counrty do) we are not subjects to a monarchy. The leaders of this country do not rule us. They are our employees. We own the government and should understand that if they are doing something wrong we have an obligation to this country, that God has entrusted us with, to do something about it.

    PRAY, PLEASE PRAY that our new president will hear the word of God speaking to him and lead him on a straight and noble path. If the president starts to step off that path, we need to call him on it in a very loud way.

    Too many people have fought and died for our freedoms to let anyone take them away at once or a little bit at a time.

    Pray and keep your eyes open.

  22. schwarzkopf says

    I don’t know what to say. I really do not even comment on such blogs. I desire the cease to be mundane and vain in such matters, but I am what I am. flesh and blood, like the rest of mankind — squishing about and trying to say something of importance. Although the thought of “saying something” is perhaps profoundly meaningless. I don’t even know that what I would say would have any weight at all — but I will try.

    Apart from all the political issues and opinions on whether one supports or opposes what — what issues are agreed on or not — one thing remains… pounding like a restless hammer in my heart…

    Are we sincerely ready to love our neighbors and get on peacefully? Ready to see those showing up at the doorsteps at the one who does such? It is like the hunger of a little Tiny Tim and his master’s table, begging for more. What do I mean by this? Someone mentioned it so nicely earlier … it is those who are like us, different from us —in varying degrees from a little to starkly so who are our neighbors. We need to try something we have never tried before in order to see any sort of change (and that includes a change in us). Many are afraid of loving boundlessly, because for them it means compromising or losing “the faith”. We are too vain by trying to get everyone to agree with us — see things our way or behave as we would have it. Yet, we do not see the shaky image staring back at us when we look in the mirror (at least, symbolically). We forget about how shameful we feel when we do things or say things in private we would not even dare allowing others to know about. We are addicted to all sorts of sorts and suffer from unhappiness. We too fear death and sorrow. And often are the cause. All of us — have the rage, the strong will, the evil the perversity, and tumultuous, relentless desire for love. We are bored and search for meaning through others and leaders and presidents and “church doctrine”. All these things may be good, but not without sincerity and the desire, at least, to be willing to love boundlessly. It is this love that leaves me speechless and thirsty for life and understanding and an unspeakable acceptance of others — even though it may be those who harm themselves or others or offend my train of thought. The stinky, the poor – the rich — the perv — Pagan. It is the God of this sort of love I seek. I don’t want to live any sort of agenda — only to give my best shot at loving and understanding and eating and drinking in the company of the lovely, rugged, horrific, simple and profound human beings God created for me to cultivate and for me to be cultivated by. I don’t know .. but I believe it will be this sort of untainted love (untainted by personal, political, or other sorts of agendas or evils), which will bring us back to the beginning and the end of Hope.
    Thank you for taking my comment.

  23. Thank you, it is very good! I like it very much