Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Christian Response to an Obama presidency

Another "Katrina" -- similar to the tragedy that impacted New Orleans
over a year ago -- has, in many minds, struck the shores of American
politics in the last 24 hours... We all knew in our gut that it was
coming, and now that the McCain "levees" have burst, we Conservatives
find ourselves struggling to breathe, struck with more than a
little bit of dismay over the dark days that lie ahead...

... that is, at least, how it feels, and time will tell how much truth
there may be behind those feelings...

If our Hope was tied to American politics, and if our confidence and
security were tied to temporal things that now appear to be at an
unprecedented and grave risk, then we have much to fear by the victory
of perhaps the most Liberal candidate to ever assume the Oval Office...

But if our treasure -- and therefore our hearts -- lies elsewhere,
then we can continue to rest in the Sovereignty of God and our
Great Hope that He will ultimately "wipe every tear" from our eyes.

So how then shall we respond to these discouraging developments?
Here is one Christian's perspective:

Guard our hearts
The Scriptures tell us to "love our enemies" and "pray for those"
who mistreat us. It would be very easy to allow our hearts to descend
into a bitter spiral of negativity, disdain, anger, and even hatred
toward the new president, his staff, his supporters, and every single
person who cast a vote for him. This would be, I'm sure, contrary to
spirit that God would have us harbor, and it would expose in us the
idolatry of an America as we might wish it to be. We don't have to
pretend to "like" Obama (et al), but we do have to remain keenly aware
that God sees our hearts and wants to be pleased with what He finds there...

Pray for Obama
"The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much",
we are told... We can and should pray for Obama, that he might gain wisdom,
and to have a personal revival in his heart, to lead the country effectively,
and to surround himself with people who can advise him with discernment
and a renewed dedication to America. And we know -- so says his new
veep -- that he (and therefore the country) will be "tested", so for
the good of the country, every true patriot should pray for courage and
strength and success for the new administration.

Strengthen our Faith
All indications are that Truth is now in full retreat, and those Christians
who cannot clearly articulate their faith in a way that is engaging and
compelling for non-believers are going to find themselves very much at odds
with those around them who do not share that faith. Now more than ever,
the Love that is supposed to characterize ALL Christians needs to be
obvious AND combined with the willingness and ability to draw the
non-believer into honest, respectful and humble conversations about
World Views and true spirituality. Now more than ever we need to share
the Gospel, winning the hearts and minds of those around us one at a time,
building bridges to Souls who, having said as much with their vote, are
more confused and ungrounded than at perhaps any other time in history.

Try, try again
On a practical level, the only productive way to respond to defeat is to
get back up and try again, and again... We can begin now to look toward
the mid-term elections in 2010, where through personal effort and open
discourse, perhaps each of us can redirect the views of just one or two
around us toward the more fundamental positions that once made America
a great nation: Limited government; Personal Responsibility; Fiscal
Convervativism; a Strong Military, including Border Protection; Lower Taxes;
and a return to the spirit of Self-Reliance and Hard Work that should burn
in the heart of every American. We cannot be silent; we must teach our
children these values, and help others teach them to their children, and
impress upon the nay-sayers that these values are what should define
our unique and shining position in the world.

Listen to what Andrew C. McCarthy, from "National Review" has to say
along these lines:
    Our country has had an election. Our side got trounced.
    We’ve strayed far from our principles. We’ve too often failed
    to make our case even when it was right there for the making.
    If the best we have to offer America is Democrat-lite, Americans
    can’t be blamed for deciding they’d just as soon have the real thing.
    If we operate in stealth and incoherence, abdicating our duty
    to convince our fellow citizens of the rightness of measures taken
    for our security, they can’t be blamed for suspecting we are
    in the wrong.
I said several times during the past few months
that the strengths of the Conservative positions were not being
loudly and firmly and repeatedly declared to the America people,
inspiring them to return to these core values; perhaps our next
Nominee will learn what a dreadful mistake that has been.

But if we fail in any of these areas, then we have truly lost.


Michelle V said...

As one fellow believer and conservative, I awoke at 4 this morning to hear the news of what we've done as a country and I felt nothing short of heartsick. After an hour of hearting pundits and talking heads espouse their thoughts, I longed to hear something from God on the topic. Literally, a google of "christian response to Obama presidency" led me to this blog, and I'm glad it did. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings be yours, fellow conservative and believer!

Greg Kern said...

Hi Michelle:
Thank you very much for taking a moment to post your thoughts.

I knew that it would be very easy for me, personally, to allow myself to react to the election results with a great deal of anger, disgust, and condemnation for the new president and anybody even remotely connected to him... And it's not just a "sour grapes" reaction; I believe, as many do, that this election is going to radically shift the course of our great country toward all the things we have historically fought against: Mammoth, bloated government, personal Dependency (on Nana Sam -- no longer an Uncle but now a Nanny), weakness in the military, etc. etc... And with full Democratic control of Congress, things do look bleak indeed...

So I wrote the post first for myself, to remind myself that we were NEVER, after all, supposed to get comfortable in this life; I needed to remind myself that God's NUMBER ONE (and I might say ONLY) concern is the Redemption of the Human Heart, and that remains true whether Reagan or Obama, or Ghandi or Stalin, rules the land we live in...

This is all easier said that done for those of us who love America with all our hearts; so I'm starting already this morning to ask God to re-orient my thoughts on Him and on our Hope of Glory.

Please take some time to check out some of the other posts here; you might really enjoy some of them.

Have you ever heard of Peter Kreeft? He has a lot of free audio on his web site -- http://www.peterkreeft.com -- that deals with the application of Christian principles to contemporary life...

Blessing to you, Michelle!