Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Results - What Does it Mean for the Church?

The results are in, the president of the United States will be Barack Obama for the next 4 years. What can we glean from this historic event? As Christians we need to measure what is going on in the world against the measure of the Word of God.

1 Corinthians 2:15-16 "The spiritual man makes judgments about all things." He does not judge others in such a way that we curse them. However; we do need to measure things against the commands of Scripture. My view is that many biblical principals were at work in this election.

First, regardless of how we voted, God is sovereign and uses everything to accomplish His will to bring the age of salvation to those that have faith, while judging those that don't. That is the the reality of the Gospel in a nut shell. The work of the Gospel in a nut shell is, love one another as I have loved you.

Romans 13:1 Let EVERY person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God's appointment.

I love and hate this verse. First, I don't like it when Christians are not at the helm. But it also allows ungodly men and woman to be in office with God's approval. It does remind me of how Joseph was blessed in the house of Pharaoh and Daniel was spared from the lion's den under an evil king. There are others too, Moses, Esther, Nehemiah and even Paul were given favor under ungodly rulers. And because of salvation, public figures like Chuck Colson can get saved and be a voice for Jesus that they never could have been had it not been for their ascension to public office. Then you have the George W. Bush's who nearly 80% of Americans don't think much of, and then equate Christianity with it.

There were all kinds of barbs and arguments made about both candidates. I am sure that some of them are valid, and others are just vitriol. But once the dust settles what do we have left?

Let's start with the basics. (I am not counting John McCain's stance because it no longer matters.)

Obama said that he was saved because of his faith in Jesus. Provided it is heartfelt, that is biblical, and now between him and God.

Obama said in the same interview, that there were many roads to Heaven. Not biblical, Jesus said He was the only way. It makes me doubt my first point.

Obama voted for partial birth abortion. In his interview with Rick Warren, he said that judging when conception takes place in both biblically and scientifically were above his pay grade. Christians still debate this, but the Bible doesn't.

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.

I am curious what degree President Elect Obama thinks he needs to understand the biblical moment of conception? Scientifically the embryo has brainwaves by 6 weeks and 2 days! Again, regardless of the educational degree required, I found this on the Internet. A week later they have feet, little ones, but recognizable feet. I am doubtful that you need a PHd to get it.

Although America as founded by Christians with God's blessings, it doesn't look like the environment will remain hospitable for us in the public square forever. Our new president is hopeful to include churches under the same employment guides as US corporations, therefore not allowing churches to hire "believers" without fear of breaking laws protecting citizens from discrimination. It is already illegal for a church to promote a candidate under the 501C(3) regulations. It is possible that this will get worse. In the end, we'll need to follow Jesus, not kowtow to the regime. Read Daniel again.

The age of persecution will probably not fall on us in a day or a week, or even in four years. But societies view of religion is slowly eroding. Separation of church and state used to mean that the government would not participate in the affairs of the church. Now it is construed to mean that the name of Jesus is outlawed in any public place.

So what is the bright side of all this? God is still God, and He never changes. The Gospel is just as relevant under Obama as it was under G. W. Bush and Adolf Hitler. Many Christians in history have prevailed under horrific regimes, kings and rulers. Yes, and many died. That's what we signed up for.

Will God use Obama for good? Well, he wants to feed the poor (something the church should be doing). He wants to make sure the elderly are cared for (something else the church should be doing, especially widows) and he intends to do good things for the environment. Those are good things. He proposes to end the war, hopefully responsibly. And I am sure there are other things too. He even said that he would fund faith based initiatives that support the needy.

What happens if he goes off the deep end? There are still loads of folks in states that can vote locally to promote biblical principals. In this election, 3 more states added marriage amendments. Those types of things promote kingdom principals. But remember, Roe of Roe vs. Wade became a Christian many years after the abortion decision and God uses her as a minster to woman facing the same predicament. Romans 8:28

As a church, we need to pray for this, and all leaders. We need to stay out of the name calling, partisan insanity and work towards advancing the Kingdom and preaching the Gospel with love and power, not changing specifically America for the sake of change. When the Kingdom of God advances, cities, towns, countries and churches will be changed. Amen.

1 comment:

Tevet said...

Very cool blog. Im gonna fwd this to a few friends.
I have stated to many people, espescially those that arent Christians, that the government is merely filling the void that the Church has created by not ministering to the less fortunate.
It bothers me greatly when I drive by dozens of empty church buildings that are rarely used other than Wed evenings and Sun mornings. Think of the $ that is being spent on the vanity of a congregation instead of being spent into the community.

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