Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Obama Vote

Ok. So, now we need to flip the coin. There is still a large segment of the Christian population that is going to vote for Obama this November. Most of them are returning Obama fans in that they voted for him in 2008. Unlike Romney, Obama doesn't have that murky cult thing to worry about, but that doesn't mean voting for him becomes instantly easier.

The largest thing I gained politically over the last 12 months is a much broader and deeper understanding of what the Bible says about those who would hold office in the civil magistrate (government). I didn't talk a whole lot about it in the Romney post because it was mostly a non-issue since Romney doesn't claim to be a Christian. Obama does.

That, being the case, opens Obama up to a whole list of standards. Now, there is no way I can do an exhaustive study on a blog about this issue. Nor can I hope to answer all the standard objections people raise about trying to look at the government of Biblical Israel vs. the government of the USA. So I won't try. All I will say is that in principle you can make direct parallels in both the right to choose your leaders, the character qualities God lays out for those in office, and the responsibilities of those in office and those being "led" by those elected/appointed.

These character qualities are important. Some deal with being able to handle money correctly, not be enticed to take bribes and be swayed by money, defending the cause of the innocent, protecting and honoring life, being a person of conviction, and being willing to make the hard choices (just to name a few).

Then there is the faith component. They should know the Lord, be growing in the Lord, are submitted to the Lord, understand that they are appointed by and answer to the Lord. They should bear the responsibility of being God's agent in the civil magistrate with humility and reliance upon the God who made them.

Again, these are only some of the details from Scripture about this topic. So, if you are at all like me, the list is overwhelming. Who could possibly live up to this kind of list? Well, perfectly? Other than Jesus? None of us. But with the help of and dependence on the Holy Spirit of God? Most disciples of Jesus could do a fair job of living up to this high calling. That bring us back to the question:

Has self-proclaimed christian Barack Obama shown us over the last 4 years that he is committed to the above ideals and requirements? (Notice I didn't go back to 2008....that is over, let it go) We have had four years to evaluate his character, see what is important to him, watch the way he has governed, and see what matters most to him. Do our observations confirm and support the above listed characteristics and qualities or do they show massive failings and differences?

I believe he has failed to even come close to meeting them. I say this with frustration because, although I did not and do not agree with many "policy" related views of Obama, I wanted him to do well as a President. I wanted him to lead well. Bring a measure of hope and change to the tone and fighting in Washington. To try and bring some unity to our country. I also was extremely glad to have the first black President. I thought it was a wonderful move forward for our country to break the race barrier. But with all that said, the last four years have not shown a man committed to living up to Biblical principles and requirements.

I am going to resit the urge to validate my last point by listing what I consider the failings of Obama. I am resisting because I believe that if any Christian were to evaluate Obama's last four years as President in light of the things I listed at the beginning of this blog they would come to the same conclusion as I have. I am also resisting because 1 Peter tells us we should honor those in office. Honor. So, I will not rip apart our President, but just because I am not attacking him doesn't mean I do not have the right to evaluate his call to govern in light of Biblical standards.

See, this isn't about whether you or I think Obama is or isn't the right man for the job. It isn't about certain issues. It is about the Biblical guidelines that qualify or disqualify someone from office. On just those, Obama doesn't pass the bar (sorry for the pun). Can things drift into topics like marriage, abortion, and the national debt? Sure they can. But I want us to be better than that. I want us to see the heart of the matter not the way the heart fleshes itself out.

I am sure this post is woefully incomplete for most of you and for that I apologize. I would challenge you to do this. Read about the civil leaders in the Bible. Look at their character. Look for places where God lays out qualifications. You will see what I see. If we are going to be a people that claim the Bible guides the way we live in and understand the world around us, then, we need to include this area. We can't just vote by issue or preference. We have to be better than that!

With a Peace the Surpasses all Understanding,