Saturday, November 10, 2012

God Wanted Barack Obama To Be President?

I hope to say more about all this after tempers have cooled (on both sides) and rational thought is once again operable. But for now I want to pass along this (to me) humorous meme I found on the blog of James McGrath.

Responses, of course, are potentially numerous. The Pat Robertson types would presumably claim that yes, God did want the President to be re-elected, but only to "punish" America for its "departure" from its Christian principles in such matters as abortion and gay marriage (as if the election of a serial-lying, ideologically-amorphous venture capitalist who disdains the poor as "moochers" would be the "Christian" thing to do [!]). Others would say, in direct contradiction to what the Bible says, that God isn't in the business of sovereignly overseeing elections and the transference of worldly political power (e.g., Dan 4:25).

Yes, God is sovereign (and I would argue that he is sovereign in the Calvinistic sense of the term). But, as Luther so often reflected, God's ways are higher than our ways, and we can never determine what the "hidden God" is doing by how he is overseeing the world as we view it. God is not in the business of exalting a temporal nation that lives according to his principles (when did the USA, Britain, or any other great nation in the world ever really do that entirely?). He is in the business of calling a covenant people (the church) to be his instrument to implement the victory won by Jesus in his death and resurrection. As Christians, we must acknowledge that our hope lies in the kingdom of God. It is God's kingdom, not the USA (sorry, Mr. Romney), that is the great hope of humankind. We, as Christians, are to honor our leaders and pray for them, whoever they may be (Rom 13; 1 Tim 2) -- and this applies both to those who are saddened by this week's election results and those who, like I, are somewhat encouraged by them.

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