Politics Posts

Is Barack Obama’s Reelection a Sign of the End Times?

barack obama

Before I get to my answer to this question, let me begin by stating why I think we are seeing many Christians ask this question right now. It’s pretty simple: fear. There is a perception among many Christians that we (collectively) just lost. Since we lost we now wonder, what’s next? I can understand this to a certain degree. None of us like to be overwhelmed by fear. So I’ve got great news for you today: you didn’t lose!

You didn’t lose because we never had what we think we had. Put more bluntly, I don’t think America has ever been a “Christian nation,” nor is that even possible. So while the good news is that we didn’t lose I guess the bad news is that we didn’t win (even if you voted for Obama). That’s because putting the primary object of your hope into a government is a very unChristian thing to do.

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The Myth of a Christian Nation

Every now and then I’ll read a book that will so challenge my ideas that it causes me to rethink things that I’ve long ago concluded. I look for these types of books all the time which is why I try and read such a diverse list of books. Greg Boyd has recently become a favorite of mine for this reason. His book The Myth of a Christian Nation articulates a tension that I’ve lived with for years now but have struggled to navigate.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for awhile now and with the election this week it seemed like this was the time to do it. For any Christian in America that wonders how their faith should impact their political involvement, this book is a must-read.

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Mixing Religion and Politics

religion and politics

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” First Amendment

“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” Thomas Jefferson

“The idea that religion and politics don’t mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.” Jerry Falwell

“Nothing could be more dangerous to the existence of this Republic than to introduce religion into politics” Robert Green Ingersoll (American statesman, famed atheist)

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.” Mark Twain

Ever since Jesus walked among us in flesh and bones, people have been responding to the Kingdom of God that He ushered in. This always happens in the midst of a culture and some type of government. In Jesus’ day there were three main Jewish groups with three distinct ways to live out the Kingdom of God. Jesus disagreed with all three. While the names are different for us today, we often fall into one of these same three categories—especially during election season. The question of how to live out our faith in context of politics is something that few Christians can agree on. Below are three ways that the Jewish people responded to government in Jesus day and they offer us a chance for reflection today.

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The Political Agnostic

The Political Agnostic

Do you ever have a moment where you think you are really clever only to suddenly realize you’re not? Like the guy climbing to an untouched mountain only to find a beer can at the top, reality can bring you down sometimes. I was in a conversation with someone recently when I randomly described myself as a political agnostic. Again, I thought I had just brilliantly attributed a spiritual concept and masterfully applied it to politics. Then I looked up the word agnostic in the dictionary and found this:

Definition of AGNOSTIC

1: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

2: a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something <political agnostics>

It was number two that deflated me. There’s that beer can.

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Decision Points

I just finished George W. Bush’s book, Decision Points, and I really enjoyed it. There are 14 chapters that give his back story on why he made key decisions during his presidency. Not that I agreed with everything he says or did but I feel like it is a great premise and I would enjoy if each President wrote a book like this.

I had two dominant reactions to the book:

  1. Being the President of the United States is not a job I would want. The perks don’t seem to match the beatings that you take.
  2. Leadership is harder than most people acknowledge.

Along the lines of reaction #2, there was one quote in the book that really stood out to me. He states:

“That is the nature of the presidency. Perceptions are shaped by the clarity of hindsight. In the moment of decision, you don’t have that advantage.”

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Bin Laden is Dead

As I write this it is currently 8:48pm on Sunday night. I just watched live as the President announced officially that Osama Bin Laden was dead. I was flooded with a sea of emotions as I listened to him talk. At the same time, my twitter feed was running wild on the top right of my screen as people were contributing all sorts of comments in reaction to the news.

The first few made me laugh:

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