Yesterday was a historic day for the United States of America. Senator Barack Obama was elected to be President of this great nation.
As the first ever African American to hold this high office of public service, it is an exciting hurdle to cross and a day to be remembered for all of American history! Praise God that someone from a people group once so oppressed and deprived of opportunity has achieved the high honor of serving as President of the United States!
Though I disagree with many of Obama’s views (most notably his views on abortion) I am excited by the historic nature of his achievement and hope that it will help to unify Americans from all ethnicities to see that this nation really is a place for all. The historic nature of this achievement should be celebrated, even if you didn’t vote for Obama and even if you disagree with his political views. To have a Black man in the white house is a huge milestone to cross in this nation!
Furthermore, I recognize the sovereign hand of God in the events of history. God raises up and deposes kings and rulers at His choosing, not ours (this still applies in a democracy, in case you were wondering). During the election season some Christians seemed to almost “know” who God’s choice was. To their credit, they assessed where the candidates stood on various issues and tried to determine which one best represented the values they found in their Bibles. This is good. It’s exactly what I did, and I think what Christians ought to do. We have an obligation to study God’s word, pray and to vote in alignment with those convictions.
However, God’s sovereign decisions may or may not match your vote. He does not always do what we think He should do. After all, that’s part of what makes Him God, and us human. He doesn’t have to ask our permission before He makes a decision. He uses selfish and corrupt leaders as well as noble and righteous leaders to accomplish His purposes for a nation. But to say that is not to say that one of the candidates was entirely selfish and the other was entirely noble in their perspectives on federal government either. Presidential candidates, like all people, have a blend of Biblical, and unBiblical world-view in their thinking.
During Roman times the Caesars were outspokenly anti-Christian (they started this policy when they murdered Christ). And yet God placed these authorities in place to accomplish his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 13:1 makes it plain that “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” As it relates to our current scenario in the U.S., God ordained that Barack Obama would be elected president.
Beyond that, we are not only called to submit, but to pray with thanksgiving for those leaders: “I urge, then, first of all that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2)
At the beginning of John McCain’s concession speech, many people were booing when McCain said that he had called Barack Obama and conceded. Taking into consideration the verses above, booing the President-Elect is not the right course. Christians should not follow this example. Instead, we need to submit to our leaders and pray for them with thankfulness whether we voted for them or not. The race is over, let’s put the rhetoric behind us and move forward.