As I drove my 14 year old son to school this morning he asked me, "Dad, do you think the world is coming to an end?" Yesterday was my son's first experience with Presidential elections in terms of his own personal interest, being of the age that he is beginning to pay attention to the future of our United States. I asked him what he meant by his question and he explained that he had heard several Christians say that Obama's election is a sign of the end of the world. I would have laughed had I not read similar statements by Southern Baptists on the internet. For instance, Big Daddy Weaver points out that one Southern Baptist pastor has written:
Obama is the most dangerous man in America. He is a greater threat to this nation than is Bin Laden....Obama will kill this country as we have lived free in it like no other before.... We must defeat the Obamas, Carters, Clintons . . . or they will destroy this nation.
I thought that the statements above were hyperbole until the author of them, when asked by other Southern Baptists if he actually wrote them, stated "I made those statements and many more like them. I stand by them for they are true." Then, he asks us to pray for Bin Laden, er, Barack Obama.
At some point we Southern Baptists need to realize that extremist statements like the above only do damage to our Convention's reputation, our country, and our stature in the evangelical community. Not to mention the fact that the Bible specifically teaches that all governmental leaders are "ordained" (i.e. "appointed") by God (Romans 13), and in fact, God calls them His "servants," so to "fight" against them is to fight against God. Barack Obama is our President, and the notion that he is worse for our nation than the man who masterminded 9/11 passes the boundary of Christian civility and moral decency.
I told my son, "No, son, the world is not coming to an end. God has given us Barack Obama to be our President. He is called God's servant in the Bible, and we trust that God will direct Him for the ultimate good of our nation to fulfill God's purposes for our world." I then encouraged my son to lift up Barack Obama and his family, to pray for them and their protection, and to do his part to speak a kind word about our next leader. He got out of the car, with a spring in his step, now believing that the world is not coming to an end, but more importantly, committed to show others that it is possible for Southern Baptist Christians to know and believe that President Barack Obama is precisely who God intended to be our next President, and to commit to pray for him, support him, and to show kindness toward him in the days to come. Would to God some of our Southern Baptist pastors would know and show this as well.
In His Grace,