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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Prayers for Obama

I have a bit of a rant today, I guess. It's a politics and religion one, so it may rub some people the wrong way. I've been noticing this inconsistency since, oh... around January 20.

James's thoughts on what exactly is pro-life could have inspired this, but since I find myself in the minority among another minority here, I suppose it is always on my mind.

Let me just say first that I am all for praying for the President, the country, the world, etc. Thank God for our freedoms every day. These are all good things and I am all for it. There just seems to be some differences in how this is applied while Democrats vs Republicans are in office and I think that shouldn't be the case. The other problem is when some folks say we should pray for the President, you can read from context and tone of voice that what they mean is- pray that that heathen Democrat you people elected to kill babies and glorify homosexuality doesn't do too much damage before we get another righteous Republican in office. Ok, that's a bit extreme, but you know what I'm saying. We've all heard it. No party has a monopoly on Godliness; all are made up of individuals who will fail from time to time and both parties deal with corruption and the like. Not one of our Presidents was sent from God... any more than any other world leader, that is. And if that is scripturally false, someone please correct me.

These groups were formed on Facebook (some just after the election, it seems):

Millions of Christ Followers Praying for the United States

Stop the Silencing of God-
This country was founded on Christian values
Separation of church and state means the government doesn't restrict my rights as a Christian
If we don't get God back in our country we will collapse

I keep hearing very frequently now about how we need to pray for the President, they're taking God out of schools, things aren't as good as they used to be, pray for the direction of our nation, etc. People seem to be giving the impression that now that Obama's president, the burden of sin is pressing so hard, it will soon envelop and suffocate us all. There wasn't nearly the urgency and frequency of calls to pray for our nation and President. When GWB was President, I occasionally would hear a reminder to pray for our leader and the troops, but other than that, it seemed people thought he didn't need prayers or he was from God so people didn't feel they had to pray the nation back on track (???).

And people, you really need to stop and think what the implication of more church in the state ("going back to our religious roots") means in this country before you ask God for it continually. Do we really want to go back to a time when one denomination ruled and if you weren't a part of that, then you couldn't hold public office or other things and probably would get thrown in prison for preaching anything else?? Or would we like such laws as:

"Settlers who failed to observe the Sabbath lost provisions for a week (first offense), received a whipping (second offense), or were executed (third offense). "
(From Steven Waldman's book, Founding Faith)

You have to remember that putting church in the state will also put state in the church.

I think rather than pushing for public communal prayers in schools, events, etc, we should embrace our freedom of speech and assembly. Perhaps we should think of it another way. If God isn't mentioned much anymore, maybe it's our fault. Maybe we don't use our freedoms to the extent we could. Do we really need the state to "bring God back" ?

Another thing I don't get is that many a Republican will say how they are against government hand outs in monetary form and yet they are up in arms that government isn't handing out religion. They want all these obstacles in the way of government aid to individuals, they are against welfare, and government programs to help the poor which I would think Christians would be in favor of. To be fair, they do often say that the individual Christian should be giving to the church and community instead of the government (which doesn't distribute wisely, etc?). I can understand that to some extent. But, that being said, why criticize Democrats for "taking God out of schools" and public life? In the same vein, shouldn't the individual rather than government be the one to put God in various places (free speech)? If you think the government can't distribute the money to the poor properly, what is it going to do to the Bible and God???

Just seems kind of odd to be ok with the individual tending to the poor (rather than the government) but to turn around and call the other party Godless for applying the same principle to religion.

It also seems that if you value your freedom of religion (freedom to practice as you see fit) that you'd want the church and state separate... maybe that's just me.

And after 4 sessions, I think that's all I've got for now...

1 comment:

  1. yep.

    I dont care how someone prefaces their critiques of Obama with spiritual lingo ("I know Im supposed to pray for the man", "I love his soul", "Im sure he has an honest heart"), the standard being used to grade the nation by the above groups cannot be the Bible I am using every day. The Bible I use spends a lot of time on vengeance, resentment... Read More, slavery, care for the poor, idolatry (which included the sacrifices of people's children -- older than infants, too), etc. God hated all of it because it was a reflection of how far their hearts were from Him. The sins were a far cry from the selfless love God intended for us to have for one another.

    Hey, Bush did some good thing. Im sure Obama will do some good things. They have both done things that I morally do not agree with. However, if I grade the nation, what will we use as a scale? Some are grading the country on a curve. If the administration does x, y, and z of what I agree with, then we are closer to God even if we are not doing a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,and w.

    God will judge our actions in light of the blood of Christ. However, his blood is applied to those that are faithful, not sinless. Faithfulness does not excuse turning a blind eye to sin just because it does not seem as deadly as another sin. Faithfulness trusts God's way enough... Read More that they believe all sin hurts, regardless of what it is. Faithfulness has the attitude to do what he can, trusting God every step of the way.

    The US is not the kingdom of God. Our nation did not become the great power it is today based on godly actions. Regardless of how much God's name is used on our national monuments and documents, it does not mean that His way was followed. The Pharisees were not God's people just because they were circumcised or wore their tassles. They were his people if they brought their actions in line with God's ways. Our country's actions have not fallen in line with God's ways. We have used God's commands when we believed we could do it. When God's wisdom did not appear to be a viable option, then the US used the kingdoms of men philosophy.

    Okay, there's my twenty-two cents to add to the rant.