Tuesday, January 08, 2008
The recently concluded Iowa caucuses have crowned (for now) two new front runners for this year’s presidential campaign. From what I hear and read it appears that many Christian conservatives are cautiously optimistic about Gov. Mike Huckabee’s showing and hope that he will eventually secure the Republican parties nomination. The Democratic winner in Iowa, Sen. Barack Obama surprised more than a few by boasting around 37 or 38% of the democratic tally. This is in a state sits squarely in America’s heartland and is 90% white. Though much of black America is still wondering if Barack is black enough, it seems his message of change, hope and unity is hitting home with many of those who make up ‘white’ America.
Both however would agree that there is a long way to go and a whole lot can happen within the next couple of weeks. Now that we’re waist deep into the next presidential election I’d like to offer a few thoughts (just thoughts no endorsements) for those who swear allegiance to the Lord of lords and King of kings, Jesus Christ. These thoughts stem from Sen. Obama’s showing which could indicate that a great many folks regardless of age, ethnicity and political leanings want change even if they don’t know what it means. One could posit that if Sen. Obama could do that well in Iowa he could easily carry most of the western, southwestern, mid-western and northeastern states in a general election. In fact he might even pick off a southern state or two. It could be that by this time next year the United States of America may be preparing to swear in its first African-American president who was elected largely on the notions of hope, change and unity.
Should that be the case I wonder how bible believing Christians would respond? Will the election of Sen. Obama send us into a state of lament and woe as we await (and perhaps secretly hope for) God’s judgment on the nation for making such a ‘bad’ choice? Will we consider checking out of the political process, circling our wagons and try and wait it out until 2012? Will evangelicals respond by joining the vitriolic conservative media army and take every opportunity to disrespect, insult and demean the man? And how might we respond to those who voted for Sen. Obama? Will we write and circulate caustic articles challenging the faith of anyone who dared to cast a ballot for him? Will we let it be known that neither President Obama, his wife, his children, those who support him and anyone deceived enough to vote for him are welcome in our churches? Instead of genuinely praying for the man and his administration will be waste our time hoping for his demise and impeachment? Should Sen. Obama win largely because people truly believe he’s an agent for hope and unity will we take that as a sign that God has finally forsaken America and absolutely refuse to have anything to do with him, our neighbors (yes I mean our democratic ones) and this country?
Sound far fetched you say? Bible believing evangelicals would never do such things you say? Believers who are committed to inerrancy and authority of scripture would never disrespect their leaders? Evangelicals who claim that God has revealed truth that is absolute and thus binding for all people at all times would always seek to do good and even treat those who oppose us with respect and dignity? Really now? Well here’s a little test. For those old enough to remember recall the last time a liberal democrat was elected to the nation’s highest office. Did you read and pass on any disrespecting jokes about President Clinton and his wife? Would those who voted for him felt welcome in your church’s coffee hour after worship? Was he and his administration the subject of our prayers or more the object of our scorn and derision? Having lived among and served with an evangelical church during President Clinton’s time in office I can only pray that we’ve grown more humble and more godly. I hope and pray that we put our belief in God’s sovereignty and goodness into practice by seeking to be agents of unity and peace in our community. And if we do not. If we decide to treat President Obama much the way we treated President Clinton then maybe evangelical conservatives should just drop the label and just call ourselves conservatives. Maybe we should accept what we are which is simply another political power bloc concerned only with getting our guys in office so that we can get what we want and willing to use anything including religion to achieve our ultimate purpose.
To Him Who Loves Us…