Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wisdom now that the worst has happened

A fellow blogger has written a post leading to Al Mohler's post telling us to respect Obama as president and pray for him. I have some thoughts on that article. First, he says,

For others, the night was magical and momentous. Young and old cried tears of amazement and victory as America elected its first African-American President -- and elected him overwhelmingly. Just forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, an African-American stood to claim victory as President-Elect of the nation. As Sen. Obama assured the crowd in Chicago and the watching nation, "We will get there. We will get there." No one hearing those words could fail to hear the refrain of plaintive words spoken in Memphis four decades ago. President-Elect Obama would stand upon the mountaintop that Dr. King had foreseen.

That victory is a hallmark moment in history for all Americans -- not just for those who voted for Sen. Obama. As a nation, we will never think of ourselves the same way again. Americans rich and poor, black and white, old and young, will look to an African-American man and know him as President of the United States. The President. The only President. The elected President. Our President.

Every American should be moved by the sight of young African-Americans who -- for the first time -- now believe that they have a purchase in American democracy. Old men and old women, grandsons and granddaughters of slaves and slaveholders, will look to an African-American as President.


I just thought that we already had proven that we were beyond proving that we would support a black president. I feel no elation whatsoever over Obama because he is black. We have already had others such as Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice (both black and female) in high positions of authority, and I thought it was a foregone conclusion that a black president would be no problem. The real issue was character, what Martin Luther King, Jr. said a man should be judged for, and not the color of his skin, and Obama lacks that.

And black people already had a purchase in American democracy, long before this - come on!

Then in another part he says:

Beyond this, we must commit ourselves to pray for this new President, for his wife and family, for his administration, and for the nation. We are commanded to pray for rulers, and this new President faces challenges that are not only daunting but potentially disastrous. May God grant him wisdom. He and his family will face new challenges and the pressures of this office. May God protect them, give them joy in their family life, and hold them close together.

We must pray that God will protect this nation even as the new President settles into his role as Commander in Chief, and that God will grant peace as he leads the nation through times of trial and international conflict and tension.

We must pray that God would change President-Elect Obama's mind and heart on issues of our crucial concern. May God change his heart and open his eyes to see abortion as the murder of the innocent unborn, to see marriage as an institution to be defended, and to see a host of issues in a new light. We must pray this from this day until the day he leaves office. God is sovereign, after all.


He says we must pray that God would grant him wisdom, that God would open his mind and heart on certain issues. God can't just grant wisdom to a man who is an enemy of God. First we must begin with prayer for a man to come to repentance and a beginning with God. He must first turn to God for salvation and find the beginnings of wisdom: the fear of the Lord. This is why we have dreaded his becoming president. He has shown such a lack of the fear of the Lord. You can't pray, "Lord, I pray that elephant will walk lightly and not trample everything in its sight." It won't happen.

What I am going to do is feel sorry for Obama because I know that the people will be turning on him when they realize he can't deliver as he has promised. I will also be praying for his salvation. But I will not embrace and respect him as a feared leader. He is six years younger than me and has a cultish hold on people similar to a man of the ghetto has on young women who he pimps. I am familiar with this type of man from past experience, from the wild days of my youth (I wasn't a prostitute but I have still had first hand experience.) I just can't respect this man. I will view him with the utmost scrutiny and trepidation, and certainly not with hate, but not like any president we have ever had during my lifetime.

10 comments:

Kim and Chris said...

I understand what you are saying, Gabrielle. I too will be praying for Obama's salvation.

I think Mr. Mohler is merely reminding us of the scriptural command to respect and pray for our earthly leaders (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17, 1 Timothy 2:1-2), whether they are godly people or not. We are to respect those in authority, not because the person is deserving, but because of the position that they hold. (And yes, sometimes that's hard to do!)

From my own standpoint, this is one of those situations where I am just having to trust God because I cannot, on the face of it, see anything good. I know, however, that God is ultimately in control. I have eternal hope in Him alone. So, I can't hold too tightly to the comfort of 'life as we know it.' Life here may very well become much harder, but as Christians we know God will always be with us and that no one can snatch us from His hand. We are not to fear any man, because our Lord has conquered all, even death.

--Kim

Livingsword said...

I agree with you on the concept that for me also it was a forgone conclusion that a black candidate would be assessed by merit and not skin color, however there were many that voted for him because of his skin color with no concern as to merit. Also many are surprised at his victory because they have over rated the amount of racism that would be brought to bear upon Obama…who is also half white…

The media has a love in with Obama but I would hardly blame that on him he is not the entire Obama mad media…they see him as an excellent source of footage over his term…

As for prayer I completely support praying for Obama and all leaders as per the following Biblical texts….(note that the kings and leaders spoken of were all pagans at the time of the Scripture being written some of whom violently persecuted the church, I have not included the many ties in the Old Testament that God used pagan rulers on Israel)…

1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
- - 1 Timothy 2:1-4 TNIV

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of the foolish. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love your fellow believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
- - 1 Peter 2:13-17 TNIV

1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
- - Romans 13:1-7 TNIV

Gabrielle Eden said...

Kim, THAT was an excellent comment - better than what Mohler wrote.

Livingsword - you always have a good command of scripture and I appreciate that.

Livingsword said...

Hi Gabrielle….

Thanks….Scripture has a transformative living power….

It is always a pleasure to talk with you…

Gabrielle Eden said...

OK, but now, I have to add after thinking about it, what about evil authority? What were people supposed to do in the case of Hitler? We didn't just pray for him, we defeated him. And now it's us, the "free" world. We're no longer going to be free. As was said at the breakfast table this morning, I wonder if the new free place is going to be China, with the burgeoning of Christianity there.

Livingsword said...

Hi Gabrielle…

Great question….

Those verses of Scripture were written when the people were under the foot of pagan Emperors. Persecution of early Jesus followers was often rampant. Jesus had no real rights as He was not even a true citizen of Rome. Paul was a citizen but we know how he was persecuted don’t we? Peter was not a citizen and look at how he suffered…Yet we are told to be the very best citizens….

Jesus does not call us to be Democrats or Republicans, socialists or conservatives, Americans or Canadians, politically free or slaves…Freedom in Christ is not the same as freedom in a nation state…Being an American is not the same as being a Christian…

The rights and the responsibilities of a nation state are not the same as that of individuals…

To compare the election of Obama to Nazi Germany is preposterous.

I am hopeful about the Church in China also but if you feel they hold so much promise under a Fascist government such as China (they are no longer truly Communist as they have embraced Capitalism so this now makes them Fascist) then I would hope you would recognize the magnificent freedoms you still have in the United States…

In democracies elections replace civil war you are not always going to be happy a bout the outcome…God does not promise you will always be happy about your government…neither are we told that the Church will be at its best when it agrees with the government…

I recommend living those verses I listed…there are other things involved beyond prayer..

I recommend living a life of exuberant humility, love, compassion, faith, and grace for all of us…our mission is to glorify God …and it will grow friends and since elections are also popularity contests it is helpful to grow friends…

Gabrielle Eden said...

Livingsword,

I'm not saying that Obama is Hitler, I'm talking about a majority of democraats who have a liberal agenda, and evil agendas that are God-hating. And we see that and it breaks the heart of God. That is the same as having an evil dictator. It's beyond our control in many ways - it's out of control. It feels out of control. AAnd in a small way it's like having a Hitler, because it's someone whose agenda is against God. That's all I'm saying.

And you are way ahead of me because I was just about to do a post about how I'm a Christian first and a conservative second. Don't underestimate me. I'm not putting politics before my faith. I'm not putting politicians before God. I'm saying that we can't just sit by and watch evil take over, we have to act responsibly, and stand up against it where we can, in addition to prayer and fasting, and in addition to examining our own hearts.

Gabrielle Eden said...

Livingsword,

let me just add this to my last comment. I really appreciate you commenting here. God puts someone in place to humble me when I need it, and in this case you. I have just been going through numerous changes in my thinking and in my spirit regarding this whole issue, of Obama becoming president.

But the thing about Hitler is simply the idea that when people feel overwhelmed by an evil agenda, (and believe me, that's how some of us feel, with a congress overrun by liberal Democrats and the most liberal senator as president, with evil agendas coming up - you can't imagine how we are feeling!!)how do we respond? There is anger, there is resistance to reality (denial), there is the desire to feel hate and un-forgiveness (all manner of ungodly feelings) and the need to overcome evil with good - triumph with the weapons of the Spirit.

I mean, sin will be compounded now - abortion will increase instead of decrease, etc. and we are sick about it, and this is not easy. Prayer is more important than ever, but the need is there for action too.

Livingsword said...

Hi Gabrielle…

My friend I am not trying to humble you I hear where you are coming from…I also understand the situation in the US extremely well, I am very informed thru many types of media including US talk radio I get all the top conservative talk radio programs right here from Washington state etc…

Yet I of course am also on the outside looking in and that is perhaps also a benefit…I have a wider perspective and it is less personal in a sense (although as a neighbour of the US and its major trading partner Canadians are the mouse at the feet of the elephant… :)

Most of what I said in my comments were not directed personally at you but at the situation…your feelings are typical and palpable at many other similar blogs I visit..

I encourage you to see this as an opportunity for the Church….also as Bush was not as bad as the left vociferates Obama is also not the worst of leaders elected in the free world (the US does not always have to be on point)…God can work miracles lets pray…love…have faith…grow grace…and live transforming lives…we are brothers and sisters across boarders…the Church…lets live or mission..

Gabrielle Eden said...

Hi Livingsword,

Actually, I didn't mean that you were humbling me - I meant that God was using you to humble me, so I meant it in a good sense. I need to be humbled.

Amen, let's do those things you mentioned.

Obama may surprise us, yet. Although I fear that we will find ourselves in deep trouble. And, we will be forced to make decisions to act in ways that will be difficult. And this is where we need to have wisdom - to act on a political level but to put on the character of Christ.

You have said some good things about that. This is the difficult balance - to put on love, yet to be tough against evil.

Peace:)