For the past few days I’ve heard a lot of feedback about the election from many different news organizations, colleagues, family, and friends. They range from, “We lost,” to “We won,” to “HA! It didn’t matter anyway.” From many perspectives I cannot speak, however I would like to say something about the Christian response.
Overall, it appears that many Christians, at least the ones within my sphere, are disappointed with the outcome of the election. Consequently, many of the responses I have observed call for prayer for the President even if it is for the candidate many did not support. To that call for action, I give my wholehearted agreement.
My neighbor who lives down the road at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave carries the burden of millions everyday. The problems that are brought to his daily attention and the people who act in the background to carry out his decisions all could use some intense daily prayer.
There are things that happen in this nation and towards this nation everyday that the military and US government public servants quell to prevent disaster from occurring. Unfortunately because of the back biting, the toxic political discourse, and an eager media, everyone knows when there is a screw up, but when people do their job right, which is much of the time, nothing ever comes to light. That’s the way the system works and that’s what the President deals with on a daily basis. Imagine going to a job everyday where many of your accomplishments are quietly lauded among a few and all your mistakes are advertised on the side of the building. That any man should willingly take on such a monumental responsibility under such conditions is amazing to me.
So does the President need prayer? You’d better believe it. Now let’s talk about gratitude.
How would it make you feel if every word from your significant other was a nag. You give them a present and they criticize the gift. You plan a special event, and they deride your choice of activity. You don’t like to go to church, but every time you make the effort, you get an ear full about what you’re wearing. How would it make you feel? Would it encourage you to get better? You probably would do just the opposite. Maybe you’re not good at any of the things listed above, but constant criticism would not help.
Now what if you were thanked each time you did a little better? What if you were encouraged for each step you took in the right direction? When is the last time you saw a positive post about the President from a “Christian” or from the Christian community? So, with prayer let’s add a healthy dose of encouragement and thankfulness.
Finally, I would like to address a disturbing trend I’ve seen lately among the Christian community. The trend involves people posting comments that equate the reelection of President Obama to being a sign that our country is in moral decline. To me many times I see these as excuses for the Christian community to place blame on the moral decline of the country on someone other than themselves. Here’s a few issues for consideration.
- Abortion – It is no mystery that the current President supports the right for a woman to choose to have an abortion. However, did you know that 37% of women who have abortions consider themselves to be Protestant while 28% affiliate themselves with the Catholic church. Twenty-five percent of women obtaining an abortion attend church at least once a month. Ronald Reagan’s adopted son once said to church groups, “Why are you looking to the government to pass a law to stop your daughters from getting abortions,” and then added “our daughters are more fearful of telling us they are pregnant than they are of the abortionists.”
- Healthcare – There’s been a lot of opposition towards the President’s national healthcare strategy. The Bible says that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” I recently talked to a friend of mine who was on the board of directors at his church. He said he hit major opposition when he suggested rerouting church funds and effort towards outreach to help others instead of just trying to pay for an over-sized building and the overly staffed institution. He is no longer on the board. I know it sounds harsh but are we to be about the business of making institutions or followers of Christ?
- Prayer – Growing up in a small a private school, I was not barred from praying in school. Many are mad at the government and its leaders because prayer was taken out of public schools many years ago. Many of us support prayer in schools, but, if we have kids, do we pray with them before they go out the door. For that matter do we pray before we go to work every morning?
All of this is to say one thing:
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
As a community of believers I don’t believe we need to change the President, instead we need to change ourselves. If we, as believers, will focus more on following Jesus, which includes loving God and loving people (Matt 22:37-39), instead of the “moral decline of America” or anything else for that matter, God will forgive us and heal our land. It’s a promise and it’s not contingent on those who don’t believe. Say what you will about the President, but the moral decline of America can be measured by looking at ourselves, the church.
Thanks for progressing through this long article with me. It’s not often I walk into the political arena, but as this blog is my artistic outlet, I felt the time was right. These personal realizations were terribly convicting and have shown me areas where I need to change. I am eager to here your responses. I welcome your comments, complaints and correction. Thanks again.