Pressing On with Faith in God!

 

Pressing On with Faith in God!

(After the Presidential Election)

The Barack Obama win for the presidency is now with us.  Much to the dismay of conservative professing Christians, we are faced with four years (or even eight) under an ultra-liberal leader.  Barack Obama is now the President of the United States of America.

The battle lines were drawn a year ago as Barack Obama and John McCain campaigned for this highest office of the nation.  Generally speaking, those of a more conservative perspective favored McCain—not because they agreed with all of his views or past record, but because he represented at least some principles that they would agree on (such as respect for unborn babies and respect for heterosexual marriage).  Conservative Catholics, conservative Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Mormons, and others joined together to defeat Obama at the polls.  Their earnest efforts were finally futile.

On the other hand, more liberal Protestants and Catholics, along with secularists of many different forms, homosexuals, feminists, abortionists, along with the majority of blacks, united together to elect a president that is as liberal or even more liberal than was former President Bill Clinton.  They contributed huge amounts of money for the contest, turned out in record numbers, and achieved their goal in the election.  Interestingly, reports are that even large numbers of younger Evangelicals favored Obama, while older  Evangelicals largely favored McCain.

Barack Obama with his Ultra-liberal Pastor

Surely John McCain must have thought that choosing Sarah Palin, a devoted Evangelical, as his running mate would help his bid for the presidency.  It is true that most Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, and other conservative “Christians” were highly impressed with this vocal Evangelical woman and thereby voted for McCain, this was not enough to change the popularity that the more liberal Obama had over a majority of the American voting public.

Professing Christians are now assessing the events of the past months and the nightmare of living with a new president, along with a Democratic platform, that violates key Biblical principles.  His stated agenda is favorable to the perpetuation of killing unborn babies (a total of about 50 million infants have been killed since abortion was made legal in 1973), to homosexual unions, to the teaching of the evolution falsehood in the classroom, and many other anti-God positions.  How do we face the future like this?

Granted, God-fearing people of various persuasions are reeling under the overthrow of righteous principles in this once-favored nation.  We must look at this situation with wisdom, understanding, and Scriptural perception.

Let me share a few points that come to mind.  First, God is neither Republican nor Democrat!  And neither is the “other-worldly” Christian a political partisan that unthinkingly belongs to any political party.  Jesus stated, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).  The Christian is one whose citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20-21), and he can live in any nation of the world—even the most anti-Christian.

While we would want to live in a nation that respects life and is God-fearing (as this nation was—to an extent—during the first century after its founding), we must realize that God is more than the political process and the U.S. presidency.  The true Scriptural Christian is above nationalistic fervor.

Second, we must realize that God is overruling history.  He knew before the foundation of the world that the United States, from its inception in 1776 to the present time, would follow a certain course of history.  He knew who would become president at any given time.  He knew every fact, every event, and every ruler in advance.  The present debacle did not catch Him by surprise.  He knew the unprecedented problems that the United States is facing. 

Paul told the Athenians, “[God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17:26).  He has determined the “appointed times” of America, and He is still in control, regardless of the evils into which this country has sunk.  This present fiasco may be the beginning of the end of this nation and its principles, but God is still the unseen Ruler!

Third, God can work through Barack Obama (just as He could have worked through John McCain).  In fact, the Lord will work through the new president, even if Obama thinks that he makes autonomous decisions.  Let’s remember that God used evil rulers for His purposes in the past.  He called Nebuchadnezzar, the pagan Babylonian king, His “servant” (Jeremiah 25:9; 27:6).  He said, “Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden, and he will spread his canopy over them” (Jeremiah 43:10). 

God also called Cyrus, the pagan Persian king, for His purposes—even calling Cyrus His “shepherd” and His “anointed” one (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1).  We all know that God used the evil Pharaoh, ruler of Egypt, for His own purposes: “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed through the whole earth” (Romans 9:17; cf. Exodus 9:16).

Fourth, even in the New Testament period, God uses governmental authorities for His purposes.  Those who have studied history are aware that the Roman emperors were among the most despicable, evil, and sometimes perverted men alive.  Paul lived under one of the most perverse of them—Nero!  Yet the apostle wrote, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.  Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Romans 13:1-2).  The Roman ruler is called “a minister of God” and a “servant of God” (cf. vv. 4, 6).  From this we can conclude that God even works through wicked rulers to carry out His secret will.

Fifth, regardless of how we might look at the results of the American election of 2008, we must realize that God is still the ultimate Ruler of heaven and earth.  He warns us to even “honor” the president (cf. 1 Peter 2:17).  While we know that rulers who do not have the Spirit of God live in a dishonorable way, we are to “honor” them and respect them because of their office.  Further, we are to submit to their authority (1 Peter 2:13-14), and not resist their governmental authority (Romans 13:1-5).  If we do resist, we oppose the ordinance of God, and “they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (v. 2).  We can humbly and respectfully submit to national rulers, presidents, and congressmen even if they are unbelievers and live unrighteous lives.

Sixth, it is good to know that God is Almighty over the rulers of the earth—whether that be in America, “the land of the free,” or China, where the citizens are living in virtual slavery under an autocratic Communistic regime.  Nebuchadnezzar, the pagan and ruthless ruler of Babylon, learned that God was over him.  “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; cf. vv. 25, 34-35; 5:18, 21).  

Jesus said to Pilate, the Roman governor, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11).  Although professing Christians may realize the disastrous and calamitous effects of having an ungodly ruler in the country, we can take confidence in the assurance that God knows what He is doing—and He will do all things well.

Seventh, the Christian must keep in mind that all national rulers are in some way used by Satan.  John the apostle warns, “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).  Although one secular political ruler may be more God-fearing than another, and one party’s platform may be more in harmony with the principles of Scripture, we must never assume that political rulers are going to govern according to the radical demands of Jesus Christ.  Years ago, I wrote a booklet entitled, “A Christian as President?”  (This is temporarily unavailable.)  In the booklet, I noted many reasons why a true, uncompromising follower of Jesus Christ would never, never, never have the possibility of running for the presidency, much less be elected as president!  Although many professing Christians somehow think that a Christian could become ruler and they earnestly pray for this to happen, it just could not happen in reality.  The way of Christ is diametrically opposed to the compromising ways of the world found in politics.

Eighth, if you are like me, you may be somewhat ashamed to consider yourself an American at this point, in light of the outcome of this election.  We now see that the majority of Americans are more interested in economic progress (so they would say) than they are devoted to righteous principles.  They are more interested in jobs, higher income, health care, and other political decisions, than they are the immoral principles enunciated by Barack Obama.  These are our friends and neighbors—ones you may have considered true Americans who would stand for moral principles—but we may feel betrayed and we may think that America was betrayed at the hands of its own citizens. 

Let us not deceive ourselves with these false or half-false thoughts.  This country has never been a thoroughly and genuinely “Christian” nation, if we mean by that a nation that is composed of truly saved, forgiven, and regenerated men and women.  Even though the Bible was once regarded as the objective truth, and evolution was barred from the secular classroom, and a general morality prevailed in some respects, under all of this was a largely unregenerate populace. 

At the same time, we must acknowledge that many moral issues were trampled underfoot during this election.  When a majority of people say they are willing to extend the murder of even more millions of unborn babies, when a majority have stated that they want to accept a presidency who is favorable to sodomite unions, and when a majority say that they are willing to accept a host of other anti-God issues, we must lament the direction this nation is going—and with no end in sight!  Somehow it just feels that the “narrow way” of righteousness has become even more narrow!

Ninth, we must always realize that our ultimate allegiance is not to a political party, a party platform, and the presidency, but our total devotion must be to Almighty God, the Ruler of heaven and earth!  Although we must submit to earthly rulers and earthly laws (Romans 13:1-2), we must give uncompromising allegiance only to God and Jesus Christ our Lord.  If there is ever a conflict between what the government demands and what God requires, we must answer as did Peter: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29; cf. 4:19-20). 

Friend, you may be lamenting the outcome of the presidential election in the United States.  You may be concerned about the future of America and think that the morals will continue to deteriorate, the religious organizations will continue to apostatize, the marriages will continue to disintegrate, the families will continue to collapse, the debt will continue to escalate, the killing of babies will increase, sexual perversion will become more wicked, Godless evolution will deceive more of the children and young people—yet, let us not lose heart! 

Although Barack Obama has already stated the many immoral and godless programs, policies, and positions he plans to implement—along with the support of the Democrats of both houses of congress who are in the majority—we will not give up!  God is still working!  God will use this sad state of affairs for His good and glory!  As I’ve stated above, God is neither Republican nor Democrat, and neither is the Christian a loyalist to either the Republican or the Democratic party!  There are compromises in both parties, although it seems clear that there are many more moral compromises in Democratic party platform.  The Christian must not alienate the Democrats by pledging allegiance to a Republican party or Republican candidate that is not thoroughly Christian, but neither should he alienate the Republicans by pledging allegiance to the Democratic party or Democratic candidate that is not thoroughly Christian!  The follower of Jesus is non-political and not nationalistic.  We are part of a trans-national fellowship of people whose citizenship is in heaven!

Let us never forget that in the darkest night, light will shine all the brighter!  As darkness descends on this once God-fearing nation, determine to let your light shine before your family, your friends, your neighbors, your fellow-workers, and to all!  “Let your light shine before men” (Matthew 5:16).  Do not give up but trust in the Lord, then use this opportunity to live before others in a Godly, righteous, and Christ-centered way.  The darker the night, the brighter the light!

Richard Hollerman

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