Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Thoughts

A couple of things on my mind and heart as we contemplate Barack Obama's victory.

1) Our calling is clear as Christians and citizens. We are to pray for President Obama. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Notice Paul even says we should pray, intercede and give thanks for President Obama.

2) Please. Please. Please. Be very careful about any rhetoric that says Barack Obama's election is God's judgement on our country. I would even say repudiate it. Think about our black brothers and sisters who are rejoicing this day in seeing an African-American raised to the highest position of leadership in our country. And they should rejoice. In 40 or so years we have moved from entrenched, Jim Crow discrimination to an African-American President. Do we call this judgement when so many of our black brothers and sisters call it a blessing? Such talk will come across as racist and hateful.

In addition reading or interpreting providence apart from God's special revelation is just plain dangerous. Most of us know that prosperity is not necessarily a sign of God's blessing. We also know that affliction is not necessarily a sign of God's displeasure (see the Book of Job). So what does the election of Barack Obama mean? How do we interpret it? Is this God's blessing of America or his judgement? My answer: I have no idea and neither does anyone else.

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