Thursday, November 06, 2008

The State Of The New Union

Hello All,

In visiting a neighboring blog, I came across this cogent piece of material written by Dr. Al Mohler about our new President and the state of issues that continue to press in upon evangelicals. I felt that he wrote it better than I could have and felt that there were many who would benefit from what I feel is a very mature treatment of the subject at hand. I hope that you find it as insightful as I did.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

by Dr. Al Mohler
The election of Sen. Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States came as a bang, not a whimper. The tremors had been perceptible for days, maybe even weeks. On Tuesday, America experienced nothing less than a political and cultural earthquake.

The margin of victory for the Democratic ticket was clear. Americans voted in record numbers and with tangible enthusiasm. By the end of the day, it was clear that Barack Obama would be elected with a majority of the popular vote and a near landslide in the Electoral College. When President-Elect Obama greeted the throngs of his supporters in Chicago's Grant Park, he basked in the glory of electoral energy.

For many of us, the end of the night brought disappointment. In this case, the disappointment is compounded by the sense that the issues that did not allow us to support Sen. Obama are matters of life and death -- not just political issues of heated debate. Furthermore, the margin of victory and sense of a shift in the political landscape point to greater disappointments ahead. We all knew that so much was at stake.

For others, the night was magical and momentous. Young and old cried tears of amazement and victory as America elected its first African-American President -- and elected him overwhelmingly. Just forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, an African-American stood to claim victory as President-Elect of the nation. As Sen. Obama assured the crowd in Chicago and the watching nation, "We will get there. We will get there." No one hearing those words could fail to hear the refrain of plaintive words spoken in Memphis four decades ago. President-Elect Obama would stand upon the mountaintop that Dr. King had foreseen.

That victory is a hallmark moment in history for all Americans -- not just for those who voted for Sen. Obama. As a nation, we will never think of ourselves the same way again. Americans rich and poor, black and white, old and young, will look to an African-American man and know him as President of the United States. The President. The only President. The elected President. Our President.

Every American should be moved by the sight of young African-Americans who -- for the first time -- now believe that they have a purchase in American democracy. Old men and old women, grandsons and granddaughters of slaves and slaveholders, will look to an African-American as President.

Regardless of politics, could anyone remain unmoved by the sight of Jesse Jackson crying alone amidst the crowd in Chicago? This dimension of Election Day transcends politics and touches the heart of the American people.

Yet, the issues and the politics remain. Given the scale of the Democratic victory, the political landscape will be completely reshaped. The fight for the dignity and sanctity of unborn human beings has been set back by a great loss, and by the election of a President who has announced his intention to sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law. The struggle to protect marriage against its destruction by redefinition is now complicated by the election of a President who has declared his aim to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. On issue after issue, we face a longer, harder, and more protracted struggle than ever before.

Still, we must press on as advocates for the unborn, for the elderly, for the infirm, and for the vulnerable. We must redouble our efforts to defend marriage and the integrity of the family. We must be vigilant to protect religious liberty and the freedom of the pulpit. We face awesome battles ahead.

At the same time, we must be honest and recognize that the political maps are being redrawn before our eyes. Will the Republican Party decide that conservative Christians are just too troublesome for the party and see the pro-life movement as a liability? There is the real danger that the Republicans, stung by this defeat, will adopt a libertarian approach to divisive moral issues and show conservative Christians the door.

Others will declare these struggles over, arguing that the election of Sen. Obama means that Americans in general -- and many younger Evangelicals in particular -- are ready to "move on" to other issues. This is no time for surrender or the abandonment of our core principles. We face a much harder struggle ahead, but we have no right to abandon the struggle.

We should look for opportunities to work with the new President and his administration where we can. We must hope that he will lead and govern as the bridge-builder he claimed to be in his campaign. We must confront and oppose the Obama administration where conscience demands, but work together where conscience allows.

Evangelical Christians face another challenge with the election of Sen. Obama, and a failure to rise to this challenge will bring disrepute upon the Gospel, as well as upon ourselves. There must be absolutely no denial of the legitimacy of President-Elect Obama's election and no failure to accord this new President the respect and honor due to anyone elected to that high office. Failure in this responsibility is disobedience to a clear biblical command.

Beyond this, we must commit ourselves to pray for this new President, for his wife and family, for his administration, and for the nation. We are commanded to pray for rulers, and this new President faces challenges that are not only daunting but potentially disastrous. May God grant him wisdom. He and his family will face new challenges and the pressures of this office. May God protect them, give them joy in their family life, and hold them close together.

We must pray that God will protect this nation even as the new President settles into his role as Commander in Chief, and that God will grant peace as he leads the nation through times of trial and international conflict and tension.

We must pray that God would change President-Elect Obama's mind and heart on issues of our crucial concern. May God change his heart and open his eyes to see abortion as the murder of the innocent unborn, to see marriage as an institution to be defended, and to see a host of issues in a new light. We must pray this from this day until the day he leaves office. God is sovereign, after all.

Without doubt, we face hard days ahead. Realistically, we must expect to be frustrated and disappointed. We may find ourselves to be defeated and discouraged. We must keep ever in mind that it is God who raises up nations and pulls them down, and who judges both nations and rulers. We must not act or think as unbelievers, or as those who do not trust God.

America has chosen a President. President-Elect Barack Obama is that choice, and he faces a breathtaking array of challenges and choices in days ahead. This is the time for Christians to begin praying in earnest for our new President. There is no time to lose.


Patty said...

Great article and I agree on every point accept one. I do not believe that Martin Luther King would be proud of the choice that our country has made by electing Sen. Obama. King says that he lived for the day that a man would be judged by his character and not by the color of his skin. I believe our country got so caught up in the color of Sen. Obama's skin that they didn't see his lack of character as it pertains to the qualifications for the office of President of the United States. I find my comfort in knowing that God's hand is in this. From what I can tell, the U.S. is not a super-power in the end times and even though I do not believe as others do that Obama is the anit-Chirst (that's just silly) I do believe that he is going to be instrumental in helping to remove the U.S. from its super-power status. I am very sad and worried about our state of affairs but excited at the same time. Does that make any sense?

mhcowen said...

...I sure hope that Christians continue to take a stand in regards to the things that would grieve the heart of the Lord and not decide that they are issues that cannot be won in regards to gov't. That wouuld make us luke warm and definitely not salt...sure to be spued out of the Lord's mouth. May we always stand for the things of the Lord...even if it means that in gov't we are looked down upon. I could never stand before the Lord and say to Him that the issues dear to Him are not worth fighting for. I have thought about this for a few days...and desperately needed to get it off my chest.

Anonymous said...

That's a tough article to read on some points for me. I realize that God is in control, I'm just so so disappointed in our country for the reasons behind their choice. I too feel that most were more concerned with getting on the "history making bandwagon" and too quickly put up a man who although he claims to be Christian, intends to implement the type of "change" that will surely grieve the Spirit. I didn't personally feel the elation of having overcome racism by electing this man, probably because he stands for so much that I oppose. I suppose that's selfish because he wasn't the type of "black" candidate I would have preferred. This must be the area I'll need to grow in. I wish no harm or malice to him or his family but he will most definitely have to win my respect.

Frank And Lela said...

Let me say that I agree with you guys entirely. On a macro level, I am in NO WAY endorsing President Elect Obama. And I am in NO WAY endorsing a Christianity that does not stand for it's beliefs. I certainly would never suggest such a thing. However, I felt that the tenor of Mohler's statements led us to understand the historicity of this moment and the opportunity to pray for and seek to work with, if possible, this new administration.

If nothing else, I pray that we will all be able to look back and see a thread of our prayers from this moment to 2012. Perhaps we will note some discernible change that a Big God, who we believe in for most things, can bring about. Perhaps, nothing will have changed at all, except for the closeness that such desperate hearts experience in their relationships to their God!

If just that happens, then I will be satisfied, for the change that we want to see has to happen in our hearts FIRST!

Now, let's pray...