On Presidential Politics: The Aftermath

It was once told to me that if you have a pastor you don’t like, don’t waste time complaining.  Instead, pray for the one you have that he’ll become the one you want.  This will prevent you from dishonoring Christ, leaving too early or causing problems within the church.  I think that is very good advice.  I also think it applies to the President of the United States.  

If you don’t like the person elected, rather than engaging in UNPRODUCTIVE bad-mouthing, which only divides and brings shame to the name of Christ, spend that time PRODUCTIVELY praying for him to be the kind of president this country needs.  

Look, God is in the business of changing the hearts of man (and he’s changed some much more idealogical than the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave!), so if you think this is the wrong man, then sincerely pray for him.  Every time you’re ready to say something negative or post something cynical, pray instead…at that moment!  

I think it has much less to do with the “man” in office.  God can do whatever He likes with whomever He wills.  Psalm 115:3 says, “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.”  So, engage in spiritual battle for the sake of us all and, if your prayers are in line with the will of God, it will be done.  That’s the only way America will be changed and the only way America will be blessed.

A Deal-Breaker

As a pastor, I don’t officially endorse candidates. I am a registered Independent who makes every attempt to take a biblical approach to issues related to politics.  Though I try to refrain from talking about specific candidates and believe it is wrong to turn a church pulpit into a political “stump”, it is my responsibility to speak truth wherever I see it.

The following is an excerpt of an article I read this morning on the platform being adopted by the Democratic Party at this years convention.  Fiscal issues I may disagree with aside, as a Christ-following political Independent, I can never support a candidate who takes this position:

The 2012 Democratic party will officially adopt an extreme position on the issue of abortion on Tuesday. According to a copy of the party platform, which was released online just before midnight on Monday, “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.”

That last part—“regardless of ability to pay”—is an endorsement of taxpayer-funded abortions, a policy that President Obama has personally endorsed. (WS)

Clearly, there are thousands who agree with this position. That is beside the point.  It is beyond reprehensible to try and force people to pay who do NOT and who consider this practice to be nothing short of the legalized murder of a human being who has done nothing wrong but simply come into existence. I wrote more on the subject here.  

If there really is a desire to cut down on the number of abortions, how about government assistance for adoption instead?  THAT I could support.

On The Election

For the last two weeks at church, we’ve been discussing both the will of God and the Kingdom of God. This week we have a new president. Some are happy about that while others, well, not so much. The question I want to ask is, “Did the will of God occur?” I think the way you answer that will affect what your attitude will be in light of the results. There are basically two possibilities:

If you believe the will of God can be thwarted by man and you were not an Obama supporter, you’re likely to spend the next four years (at least) with a generally bad attitude, over-looking accomplishments and rejoicing with every mistake. The question we then must ask is whether or not that brings honor to Christ.

If, on the other hand, you believe that either God’s prescriptive will (that He ordained Obama’s election for His purpose) or His permissive will (that God allowed it to happen for His purpose) was done, then you will respond very differently, most likely spending time sincerely praying for this president and asking God to fulfill all that He wants to see happen with our Country through this leader.

It seems clear there is a different outcome, depending on your view of God’s will. Now, I understand that there are some who hold that God simply steps out of the way and permits us to do anything we want through a total freedom of our will. Though there is some biblical merit to the ability to disobey God’s directive through our freedom, clearly there are limits and it is a dangerous thing to make Man sovereign and reject both God’s right and ability to over-rule that will when He chooses. To get there, one must ignore a great deal of Scripture that speaks to the contrary. We must remember that “in his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9, NIV). I take great comfort in that! The greatest thing I can offer my children is not absolute freedom, but the assurance that I am in control and will protect them and guide them. I’m glad I have an omnipotent Dad who feels the same way.

I believe in and glory in what Paul said: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1, italics added). Interestingly, Paul made no exceptions and was clear that God holds absolute authority and raises up power according to His purpose (and Paul was speaking within the context and setting of the Roman Empire!). Remember how many times God raised up powers to rule over His people throughout biblical history? Though they may have been ungodly rulers, God had ordained it for His purpose and His people were to respect that authority (because of who they were rather than who the leaders were). Usually, through those rulers, God was determining His people’s steps, driving them back to Himself in spite of their rebellious will . He is a loving, caring, and sovereign Lord. You must decide if you believe that or not, but it will give you great peace and comfort if you do.

Finally, the Kingdom of God comes into play because of our citizenship. Because you are ambassadors for Christ in a world in which you do not belong, I want to encourage you to look at this from a Kingdom perspective. Determine that you are going to be “strangers in a strange land” whose mission is to bring glory to Christ and to reach out in love and compassion to all people, regardless of which side of the political “aisle” they support and pray for this Country, respecting and pray for this President. For some, it may be a difficult assignment, but I believe Christ will be honored.

The President to Attend Worship Service in Chinese Church

I have really found myself burdened for the Chinese people lately.  With the Olympics getting ready to start, you can’t turn on the TV without seeing some kind of show about China and her people.  I know that the Olympics bring a rare opportunity for that country to be open to the Gospel like perhaps no other time for the very simply reason that so many Believers, like Joe Smith who is a part of the Olympic team, have actually been invited into the Country by the Chinese officials.  It’s as if the great spiritual wall of China is beginning to form some pretty big cracks.  So I ask you to join me in praying that the wall will be completely torn down.

What I see as a pretty amazing opportunity is the news that President Bush will be attending a Chinese church while attending the Olympics.  I can’t imagine a better way to spotlight the necessity of human and religious rights for the Chinese people than for the American president to actually attend one of their services.

According to a report on Breitbart.com citing of the President’s top aides, George W. Bush plans to attend church while in China for the opening of the Olympic Games next month, and will speak about freedom of religion. “When he goes to church on Sunday (August 10) he will make a statement afterwards in which he discusses his view on religious freedom in China,” said national security council director of Asian Affairs Dennis Wilder. “You can deliver the message of freedom without politicizing the events of the game,” Wilder said. “The president will have diplomatic meetings with the Chinese leadership that are separate from the games. And in those meetings with the Chinese leaders he will of course bring up these issues.”

Please join me in praying for the President as he carries out these meetings.  Also pray for the opening up of China for the Gospel to spread across that Country and for revival to break out among a people who are blinded to the Truth that salvation comes through no other means than the atoning work of Christ on the cross.

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