Contend Earnestly: A Christian Response to Obama's Presidency: Trust, Pray, Submit

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Christian Response to Obama's Presidency: Trust, Pray, Submit

Many Christians that I know are going to be very unhappy today, many Christians I know are going to be extremely happy today as well. Both sides are called to do the exact same thing at this point: Trust, Pray and Submit. Whether you voted for Obama, voted for McCain, voted for another party, or did as this author did, which is not vote, we are all called to do the same things in response to last nights victory that was like watching an NFL team beat up on a Junior high football team. What I will say before I continue is that my respect for McCain increased as he gave a very good concession speech and rebuked those who were booing Obama. Way to go McCain.

As far as our response as Christians to the Obama presidency, here is where our response should be:

Trust

We must trust God through this. God is all sovereign and it is overwhelming through the Scriptures that God's will for us was for Obama to be our next President.

For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
Romans 13:1

It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.
Daniel 2:21

“This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers And the decision is a command of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes and sets over it the lowliest of men.”
Daniel 4:17

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
Psalm 118:9

Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
Psalm 146:3


We must not trust that Obama is going to bring the change that we truly need, we must not trust that everything is going to fall apart because of Obama either. No matter which side of the debate you are on, if you look to Obama as great or a disappointment, you are looking in the wrong direction. We must look to God, for he is in control, not Obama.

The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.
Proverbs 21:1

Know that God is in control. Trust in Him, not in Obama or any leader that is put above us.


Pray

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
1 Timothy 2:1-2

Although God is in control, he definitely uses those in authority to accomplish his will. God tells us to continually pray for those in authority and for our "kings" so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness dignity. This is probably prayer that the kings and those in authority will continue to allow us Christians to practice our faith without being persecuted. Paul states that we must pray for them and do so in a way to where we also pray that we would, as Christians, live in a way that is submissive to our authorities and not in a way that is by way of civil disobedience.

Whichever side you are on, again, pray for President Obama. Pray that he would make good decisions for our country, pray for his family, pray for his faith in Jesus, pray that he would know the eternal God. Do not pray "because you have to" but pray because he is God's established ruler for our nation. You have to realize that as my friend David said, Jesus voted for Obama. His will was done. Now we must pray that God's will is lived out in this nation.


Submit

This is going to be tough for a lot of people. But, we now all have to submit to this new presidency. By not submitting to him, we don't submit to God.

Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
Romans 13:2

Whichever side you are on, you will either show God's glory or defame his name in response to the election results. This does not mean that you have to agree with everything the President says or does, but it means that you must trust God and submit to those decisions. This is one of the reasons I think "picketing" is utterly ridiculous. This also doesn't mean that you cannot show your displeasure with the President, but it is in who you put your trust in. If Obama makes bad decisions, or ones you deem as bad, do you trust in him or God? Our response is important here. I have had a tough time with Bush, I think most decisions he made were terrible. But, when I talk to others about him, they know right away that my fate is not in Bush's hands, but in God's. The same is with Obama.

Submit to his policies, knowing that God's will is being done. Remember that nothing is done outside the will of God, including the Presidency.

So, the question isn't, "Was God's will done?" The question is, "Are we going to trust, pray and submit to His will?"

What are my final thoughts on last night's results? I praise God that his will was revealed. I also think it is awesome that we have a black President. I think this says a lot about our nation.

It would also be pretty cool if Obama showed up to all the golf clubs in our nation that don't allow blacks and state, "When is my tee time?"

Because that would be funny.


12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wait...did you not vote?!? I enjoyed reading this, very encouraging and a good reminder, but I am a little distracted with wondering if you didn't vote and why not!

Anonymous said...

While there are many things that I agree with and disagree with in your post, the one I am having the most issue with is the part about not resisting authority.

"Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
Romans 13:2"

How do you reconcile this with the way our country came to be independent from our British authorities? Are our founding fathers then condemned for their actions? Is there really no governing authority throughout history or throughout the world that should not be questioned or resisted? What about dictators like Hitler or Saddam Hussein? Were they also placed in positions of authority by God, and will we be condemned for opposing them?

I think the will of God is much more complex than this, and we should not blindly submit to authority of man if we do not agree. I am not comparing Obama to Hitler, I am just saying, it is difficult to reconcile what you are proposing with these other situations.

Seth McBee said...

So many anonymous people...give names, it helps...unless you are chicken :)

Anon #1: No, I didn't vote, you can read my post Here on why I didn't vote.

Anon #2: Sorry that I didn't answer every single objection. Good question though in this regards. Hopefully you will notice that I did not ever say, "blindly submit." Of course we should never submit to someone or a law that completely disregards God's law. This is why slave safe houses and people like Corrie Ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer are seen as heroes of the faith and not people who showed civil disobedience in regards to the faith.

Good points to bring forth.

Hope that helps with the understanding. If not, fire away again.

Lisa said...

Seth:
Very well said once again. I agree with the parts talking about authority and God's will. However, there are several tyrannical leaders out there that I feel go against God. Did he put them in office? If he did, did he do so as a test to others or because that's who he wanted to lead? I am not suggesting that you insinuated this but it's a fine line to submit versus idolizing. If Obama's ways are against our beliefs as Christians, how do we submit? I think you address this when you remind us that God is in control but wondered what your thoughts are on this.

Seth McBee said...

Lisa.

Good questions.

To be simple...yes, he establishes all thrones, even the most harsh examples. If God established Pilate to murder his own Son, I have to believe that his word still stands when speaking of every other leader.

As far as Obama.

I think it is a case by case basis. Obviously Ceasar and Jesus didn't see eye to eye, yet Christ still paid his tax (from a fish), and encouraged others too as well.

If Obama does something like tell you that you cannot speak against particular sins because it is a hate crime or he takes other liberties from us, we must take a stand and follow God rather than Obama.

I am not sure he will do this, and this would be for any authority or president over us.

NC said...

Well stated.

It may be a hard pill to swallow for some - but believe it or not - better still... 'you'd better believe it', God is sovereignly 'in control', not some particular politician or party. He will use your (USA) and our (Aus) leaders to fulfil His purposes.

Your answers to 'what about' were also spot on.

Unfortunately I stumbled across one of your Theonomist supporters last night who equated Obama with Hitler as far as his stance on abortions goes. Do you have anything to say to the Theonomists within the Reformed movement?

Seth McBee said...

Ahhh...the Theonomists...gotta love those guys.

I find that position very hard to live out because of our nation not being a Christian nation and no nation outside of Israel has ever been fully under God in Theonomy.

It is a very hard position to fully put forth because of this. I also see no command in where we should try and have God's kingdom set up here on earth as an actual nation.

From my experience, you really have to read into many passages to make theonomy fit within today's mission for the church.

As far as putting forth Obama as equal to Hitler, there is a big different. If he is stating that because of policy that Obama is killing millions of babies, the logic doesn't equal out. If this was so, then the President would be responsible for anyone who killed someone with a gun, because we gave them the right to bear arms. Or it would be the president's fault for people choosing the wrong religion because of the freedom of religion...it just doens't add up.

The people who will be held responsible for killing babies, are the parents themselves. Although there will be some responsibility on the doctor, et al.

Hitler was vastly different because it wasn't just policy for him, but he was directing the murdering of millions of Jews. He wasn't giving "choice" to people, it was a direct order to kill.

Now, if any President made it law that you must abort your first baby, then that would be closer to Hitler, but short of that, the differences are too clear to make that claim.

Might I say even making that claim is actually slander? Okay, yes I would. It is slander to say something so extreme as that and that person who is drawing these conclusions will have to deal with God on that note.

Great question NC...

Gillian R said...

Absolutely Fantastic! It took me a long time to come around to realizing that I should not put my faith in men and God's will would be done either way. I did not vote either for the very same reasons as you and I appreciate that you could articulate your response so well. You said everything I wanted to say, but didn't think I would be able to with out starting an argument. Thank you!

Grammy Blick said...

Well stated. You've quoted a couple of scriptures beyond ones I've used, and I appreciate picking those up. Knowing that God uses everyone and everything to fulfill His will is difficult to accept when the answer to so many praying is "No."

Brian Krieger said...

That would be funny.

Yes, that would be!

I had wanted to chime in on the vote/not vote, but I felt I didn't "catch it" in time. I'm glad you issued the question again (as an aside, I appreciate that you are very open and communicative with your comments, too!). I think something that Erik Redmond stated one aspect well:

Second, even if one is seeking to be consistent in humility and holiness individually, to abstain from voting on any matter is to allow the majority to speak for you. That same majority, with a victory, might make trouble for the greater populous by means of the evil(s) of which you sought to distance yourself by abstaining from voting.

Of course I don’t get past the first sub-topic you cite (killing babies v. innocents). The most succinctly I would say this is that McCain’s policy was not to expand war (it was not a tenet of his platform) but to exit Iraq after reasonable stability. Obama’s policy, though, is to expand abortion (as you understand, I’m sure, FOCA being the center of that in addition to elimination of funding for crisis pregnancy centers. Expansion is a tenet of Obama’s platform). I’m sure you’ve read the boundless article on it, but it gives a good comparison.

All of that aside, though, Seth, you hit the nail on the head (Pray, Submit, Trust). The presidency, senate, house, supreme court nominations, etc., etc., should not affect the outworking of our Christian lives one iota.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Seth. I have been trying to find a Christian response about accepting Obama. For some reason my spiriual heart has a difficult time with trusting him. Not because he is President. Not because he is black; or green or purple. But I just can't get past him.

But you slapped my hands, have made me wash with soap and realized that whether I trust Obama or not doesn't matter. Because my responsibility is to TRUST GOD!

How neat - thank you!
blessings,
carole

Seth McBee said...

Carole.
Thanks for the comment and the honest comment on how you have dealt with this. I am also glad that I could point you back to God in your understanding.

Thanks again for your comment, it is very humbling that God would use such an idiot as I.

Seth.

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