Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our Presidential People Problem

How important is picking a president? It all depends on who you are:

1. For some people, picking a president is a moral mission to get the right ethical enforcer in the White House. Because the president is right, the nation will be right.

2. For some people, it is a money matter. Their puppet for president is going to do things that will put more money in their pocket (and/or take less out through taxes).

3. For too many people, it is a tribal thing. Because my family/coworkers/church/neighbors vote elephant or donkey, so do I. How else do you explain the ubiquitous, mindless signs and bumper stickers? They seem to me to be tribal markings to keep people in line by saying, "Stick with the group!"

Followers of Jesus should not be found in any of these trance-like pack of zombies. We obey a King, and "our citizenship is in heaven." Our savior-king is coming from there, not from some November ballot (Philippians 2:20).

But here is what I lament: why do so many thoughtful, churched, trained Christians follow the pack instead of Jesus? There is only one explanation that makes sense to me anymore. It is this. Their thoughts, churches and training have been overrun by culture, and they no longer think the thoughts of the Holy One, nor do they read His Book. When they do, the god of this age has blinded their eyes from seeing what is so clearly written. How else do we explain how materialism has colonized church leaders and church priorities? How else do we explain moral superiority when the Good Book teaches us the humility and equalization of our sinful selves? "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"--we all need a savior.

If your hope is in keeping or changing Obama, you are an idolator. In the days of the Hebrew prophet Hosea, the people were pining for human solutions and visible answers and tangible gods they could trust in. Idolatry. That's what Hosea called it. Thats what it was. Thats what it is.

But God gave Hosea a crystal-ball picture of the solution to the plight of his countrymenand ours. There will come a time when we find ourselves leaderless and rudderless. But hear this. This is not a part of the problem. This is the beginning of God's solution (Hosea 3:4). Because, as a result of our disillusionment, we will turn our hearts again to our real homeland, and find our security and prosperity there: "In the last days they will turn in fear to the Lord, and he will bless them" (verse 5).

Our hope is in heaven alone. If Jesus doesn't show up, we are lost in space.


  1. Brian this is great. Thanks for the words today!

  2. Leaderless and rudderless? Why do you think the boat has been going in circles for years?

  3. I recently read a biography on Bonhoffer, and what really struck me was that prior to Hitler coming to power, Germany was an entirely "Christian" nation. But what opened the door for Hitler was the nation looking for a savior.

    Obama is certainly not Hitler or anything close, but like you said if our hope (as a nation) is in our politicians or anything other than Jesus we are on a very dangerous path.

  4. I agree with the intent of your message, and see the truth in what you say. I tend to be baffled when it comes to presidential elections - am I supposed to know who is the "right" leader for our country? So, I pray for our country and our president, and don't invest very emotionally in the elections.
    I plan to quote you: "If your hope is in keeping or changing Obama, you are an idolator." So true! My one question, however, is as a follower of Christ and a responsible citizen how do I vote? Make an educated guess? Make the "moral" choice?
    I suppose we pray, punch a button, and rest in the assurance that our hope is in Christ, not in our country's leadership.

  5. there are three things i have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the great pumpkin.

  6. ahf--the only scriptural command we have is to pray for our rulers (many of who would have been detestable caesars)--there is no instruction that we should be king-makers (which has become a false-moral obligation for many Christians in our country). Keep praying. And, remember that our citizenship is in heaven, not in America. As long as we are polluted with this disgusting tribal-nationalism, the voice of the King is muted to us. Our prayer is "Your Kingdom come!" not "Send us the right president." :-)