Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I...Can't...Resist...Any...Longer.

Okay - I have so far resisted talking about politics. I don't like bringing politics into the church. It's not like God is on the Republicans side - there are plenty of corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle. Championing anyone from the pulpit seems beneath what the pulpit represents.

With that said, I can't help myself a week out from the election, to have some fun with some thoughts about it. So, I present to you....(the anticipation builds)....

"9 Reasons Why an Obama Presidency Might not be the End of the World"

1. It will force us to be less materialistic. Hey, if he taxes more of our income, there won’t be any money left over for those fancy toys that make us prideful (look what I’ve got!) and take time and money away from Kingdom issues! Thanks, Barry! Of course, it might also keep you from buying extras like, food, water, electricity and medicine – but let’s not be glass half-empty people, okay? Consider this verse:

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
(1 Timothy 6:10 NLT)

In other words, the love of, and the pursuit of money has been many people’s downfall. Let’s face it, many of us have never had to live at the level of “having nothing but the Lord” financially. We obsess over the next pay raise, the better paying job, paying this or that bill off to give ourselves more room in the budget, it really never ends. And it can seriously, sometimes fatally, affect your spiritual life.

What if all that was taken from you? Do you think you would be more devoted to Christ, or less? Would you have more or less stress? What would you do differently with your life? Would you spend more time with your family? Volunteer more? Enter the ministry? (shoot, if you aren’t going to have any money anyway – why not?)

2. We will be able to eliminate one more name off the list of guys who might be the Antichrist.

I have heard a lot of that rumbling lately, and I heard the same thing when Bill Clinton won the presidency. Sometimes we can’t put things to rest like that until we see the person in action. Turns out Bill just didn’t have any character.
The Bible doesn’t mention any countries that are involved in end times events that resemble America, so it’s doubtful that the Antichrist would come from here. Although, I think Barack is campaigning hard for the job.

3. We can finally drop the illusion that America is a Christian nation.

America may have been founded on Christian principles, but that does not make it a Christian nation. The very definition of democracy and freedom means we cannot declare ourselves to hold any religion above any other. Freedom of religion is great for people who want to be free to worship who they choose, but if I’m not mistaken in the Bible they call that idolatry. Can you imagine God saying in the O.T. that the Israelites could worship whichever god suited their fancy because he wanted them to be free? Ahh, no.

Sure, Christians have benefited from freedom of religion, but so have a bunch of false religions. Isn’t any country that allows the worship of false gods doomed to fail?

Barack Obama is not an exception to the American rule. He is exactly what America has become and what every democracy becomes if you give it enough time. One author said it this way:

“There is a moral law that teaches that if men and women are left to the consequences of their own freely chosen course of action, they will go from bad to worse-unless this tendency is reversed by divine grace.”

That has happened to every democracy that has ever existed and it is happening to us. I look around and I don’t see any reason why God would bless us, except maybe our support for Israel. The author goes on:

“So we read these words of doom, “God…gave them up,” “God gave them up,” God gave them over” (Romans 1:24,26,28 KJV)

There are a lot of things you can call America: Land of Opportunity, Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, the Shining City on a hill – but, Christian isn’t one of them. We turned that corner a long time ago.

Okay, that was pretty heavy. On a lighter note…

4. With no money to go anywhere, demand for oil will stay low and so will the gas prices!

“Yeah, mom, I lost my job today because of cutbacks and high capital gains taxes on my employer-but, look how cheap gas is!”

5. It will force us to face our fears.

Many of us are scared of what an ultra liberal will do given the presidency and a democratic congress to go along with him. Hey, maybe having to face this will finally let Amy get over her fear of clowns, and Pastor Keith will get over his fear of short people!

6. It will bring the abortion debate back to the forefront where it belongs.

We haven’t had an eager proponent of abortion in the Whitehouse, probably ever. This will be the first time that the president will be making the case on why you shouldn’t restrict abortion in any case or even save babies who have survived abortion.

He will be signing into law and defending legislation that pushes things that a vast majority of Americans won’t support. In fact, he promised Planned Parenthood that it would be his first order of business. It will bring abortion back into the American conversation in a way that it hasn’t been for a long time.

It seems like America has resigned itself to the reality of abortion. Maybe this will make them take another look at it. I’d like to believe that anyway. Okay, everyone start singing…”When you wish upon a star,”…

7. He might overreach and America will swing back the other direction!

Presidents always seem to have this knack of thinking that, because they won, that gives them a blank check to do whatever they want. If he follows through with all he wants to do, the backlash could be huge which would send most Americans running the other direction.

8. It will guarantee that Alaska will be well run, at least for another 4 years!

And finally...

9. It will drive us to our knees, where we should have been all along.

“If there isn’t a revival in this country of some sort…we’re moving toward a state that would be very much like pagan Rome.” - Stephen F. Olford, Stephen Olford center for Biblical preaching.

The Israelites never seemed to get serious about revival until things got really bad for them. They prayed this during one of those times:

Oh, that You would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in Your presence! As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, Your coming would make the nations tremble. Then Your enemies would learn the reason for Your fame! When You came down long ago, You did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eye has seen a God like You, who works for those who wait for Him!
(Isaiah 64:1-4 NLT)

This is how God answered them:
The LORD says, "I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for Me. I said, 'Here I am, here I am!' to a nation that did not call on My name.
(Isaiah 65:1 NLT)

If this is what God is waiting for, let’s get on with the asking, the looking and the calling! If it takes a Barack Obama presidency to make us desperate for it, I say – Bring it on!

Before you start writing angry letters, understand that I don’t want it to happen. I don’t want him to win for all of the same reasons you don’t want him to. But, it may take that to get American Christians to respond.

Have we ever considered the notion that America doesn’t have to survive? (I know that’s heresy). Patriotism is great and all, but it isn't everything. If somewhere down the line, America bites the dust - Christianity will still thrive and grow, don't ya think? Maybe even stronger than it was because persecution will mature it so that it is not lacking anything (think James). I mean, if it makes you feel better, I don't think that's going to happen in the next 4 years, but if he gets a 2nd term, all bets are off. :)

What do you think?

10 comments:

kat said...

I really enjoyed this post, and I agree with everything you said. Thanks.

Hey, I was listening to a really good sermon on the radio earlier. I was encouraged by it, and because it is a series about pastors/pastoring, I thought I'd give you the link in case you want to listen. It's by a scottish guy with a great accent! :)

http://www.truthforlife.org/

click on listen now (it's the sermon for Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Pulpit: Its Power and Pitfalls, Part A
1 Corinthians 1:18

I hope it encourages you!

david m. said...

Hard to know where to start commenting on this, but I especially like what you wrote under #9.

Here's about where I am on the issue; and that is to not vote for either of the bad choices we've been handed by the major parties.

I'm just coming to the conclusion that the compulsion of too many in the (U.S.) Church to try and change society through politics and the law is missing the mark. Are these the instruments of God for today? Don't we know the culture (world) is going to run counter to God? Media influence aside, our system is, after all, set up so that majority rules. It doesn't make sense to me any more.

Should we accept it as the role of a disciple to react to what the culture offers and select the lesser of the evils? What's that?!

Let the Church not be conflicted, we need to be pursuing justice on Jesus' terms not on the political and judicial systems' terms.

Sorry for the rant... I'm running a slight fever. Everyone should vote as they're (prayerfully) convinced in their own heart.

Gray Barn Ministries said...

Great Presentation!!!

Ginny

John T. said...

I would like to just add no matter what happens around us, as far as earthly things go. I see God's protection for my family and I. He's doing things in our lives that our great, regardless of the mess our country is in. I have a great job,healthy and beautiful family,a home,cars that work,God managed time,a wonderful church(with a great pastor and heavenly friends),money to pay my bills. In short God has been blessing us despite whats going on around us. My focus has been on TRYING to live Gods will my for my life and trust in his love,mercy,grace.

Anonymous said...

good post but ill have to disagree on #3.

America is about to become more christian than it has ever has before...

and doesnt matter who the president is because we dont pray to the president and the president doesnt answer our prayers, we pray to God and God answer our prayers. our God is soverign no matter who is in leadership.

"That has happened to every democracy that has ever existed and it is happening to us. I look around and I don’t see any reason why God would bless us, except maybe our support for Israel."

I would like to point out there is another reason why God has blessed america and why God is about to bless america for a little while longer.

when the Asuza street revival happened, many, many, many, missionaries were sent out all over the world,(and i mean ALL over)and there was much blood spilt for the cause of Christ, and God honors that.

And God is about to delay his wrath on America because the same thing is about to happen, there is going to be another revival, and many, many, many, more missionaries are going to be sent out all over the world.

God has chosen America out of his unmerited grace to be the provider for those risking their lives all over the world for the sake of christ. do we deserve it? no, but thats why its grace, and thats why we should wake up EVERY morning and THANK God we have been blessed to be born in this country out of grace while there is a 10 year old boy in sudan being naled to the wall of a house for his faith in Christ...hmm, maybe we should pray for sudan inbetween tv shows here in america??

but as for #9, i couldnt agree more!!! God has really branded this on my heart.

There have been many visions and dreams and prophecies all over the world, and what God is saying through them is that pretty much it is in God's perfect and pleasing will to bring a revival to this generation unlike any other generation has ever seen, but guess what? this generation is going to have to pray for it unlike any other generation has prayed, to seek God more than any other generation has sought, and knowing that God desires to give it to us should only encourage us to get even more radical in our prayer lifes! bc i dont care what you think, a radical revival is not going to happen with out a radical amount of prayer behind it, plain and simple.

and the enemy knows this. he hates it when we pray, why else do you think its so hard to pray?

but yeah pasta p, good post!

Anonymous said...

and im actually adam, i just have no idea how to make my name show up :/

Anonymous said...

I have to say I am proud to have voted for Obama. And I also would have been happy to have John McCain as President. They both strike me as honest leaders who care for people, and who have stated publicly that they are Christians.

I am proud of our country for transforming from a racist country to one that can elect a black president. This was not even thinkable a few decades ago. That alone was not a reason to vote for him. But that's why it's even more symbolic.

Martin Luther King was a great example for me, and I believe more than any other modern leader exemplified how to be a Christian citizen while under difficult circumstances. Barak Obama is aware of the important historical sacrifices that were made to make it possible for him to be president.

Obama is clearly intelligent, but that does not lead him to be pompous or arrogant. He gives people the benefit of the doubt, and he celebrates even his adversaries good contributions. This recalls for me a sermon on this subject recently.

I am personally worried about many things, but this country will go on, and we as a country may all have something to learn from Obama in the process about caring for each other.

Obama did not create the mess that we're in, however he will have to help us to get out of it. A Christian leader and "community organizer" who actually does care for people, may be just the right person to help people get through this.

This is in God's hands, and we can certainly pray for him just as hard as we would have prayed for any other leader. My prayer is that he can use his position to set a Christian example for our nation.

There may be those who don't consider Obama to be a Christian. I encourage you to watch the debate with him at Saddleback Church. He was pretty clear about his beliefs in Christ as his personal savior and that he prays daily and that he turns to Christ for guidance and comfort.

We as the body of Christ should be praying for him.

Ted Omohundro

Phil said...

Great thoughts everybody! Here are a couple final ones of my own -

Adam, you are right that it doesn't matter who is president. My point on #3 is that we still like to hold America as better than other nations because we are Christian nation. But our actions say otherwise.

you may be right that God is going to use America to reach the world (even though, I would argue other countries are doing better at it than we are), but the decline that America is seeing also happened to Rome and other democratic based countries. Every democracy declines into apathy and complacency and that is where we are now.

Of course, there is a remnant - but I'm speaking of the country as a whole.

Ted,

I see what you are saying. I can see your compassion for people coming through in your vote. Let's pray that President Obama will live up to your perception of him and not mine! :)

Seriously, we should "judge him favorably" and leave it in God's hands. Although, if he comes through on his promise to support abortion without any restrictions, i think the church is obligated to speak out against it.

Anonymous said...

What does Obama really think of the BiBle and Christ?

Go to the website below and watch the video's of Obama telling what he really thinks of the BIble and Christ.

Obama only confirmed my opinion of his Christianity being a requirement to be elected with his answers at Saddleback.

Check out the video's on the site below.

http://www.phforamerica.com

I do not need to vote for a black man to prove I am not a racist.

I vote based on what the persons morales and convictions are and based on that criteria, I could not vote for Obama for city council, much less President!

We will have to agree to disagree, but I still you!

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