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2008 Presidential Race, Barack Obama

>If Obama wins…It is God’s Will

>If Obama wins, God’s plan will not be thwarted, but it will be the plan of divine providence. As much as Bush’s election was seen by him (and many Christians) as “God’s will,” so too Obama’s election will be under God’s purposeful control. Our language of God’s Will needs to include not only the standard of moral actions. Certainly a believer doing sin is never God’s will in an active sense. Yet, we forget that nothing happens apart from the Father (Matt 10:29). Sometimes, God might even fight against us, willing that the side we are on is defeated. We may sit up on election night with the words of Gideon: “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6:13).

This may have happened to us, partly, for our own good. This is because often our slogans are not realities. The American church has fought for a little slogan placed on our money that is rarely ever true in our lives: In God We Trust. Of course we don’t believe it because we think everything is out of control when our preferred tax policy is not enacted or because we see injustice perpetrated by our government. We trust our efforts, our political philosophy, our leaders, our 401(k) (well, maybe not anymore). “In God We Trust” is the hardest reality to believe. The most seemingly false verse in the Bible is Romans 8:28: “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Derek Webb wrote a song playing on this irony and aiming for the ideal. Here, I would like to share his words from his album “Mockingbird”:

“In God We Trust”

in God we trust
and the government is on His shoulders
in God we trust
through democracy and tyranny alike
in God we trust
He uses both good and evil men

in God we trust
so we fight for peace and He fights for us
in God we trust
even when He fights us for someone else
in God we trust
even when He looks like the enemy

in God we trust
even though our hearts are bankrupt
in God we trust
for more than just the value of our dollar bills
in God we trust
but there’s no gold behind these notes of reserve

in God we trust
even through our great presumption
in God we trust
even though He favors no nation-state
in God we trust
even when the blessing is a curse.

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Discussion

11 thoughts on “>If Obama wins…It is God’s Will

  1. >Jeff,I believe that God IS in control. And that as His followers WE should be different. Different how? Different from what? That is the issue. We can talk about the bitter partisanship and sleazy politics. And we should not be participants in that rancor. We should be above the fray but not apart from the process. I am reminded of the examples we have in Joseph and Daniel. They had both their faith and a hostile political environment. Yet they managed to be both of and above the situation. And we must remember that although we know the end of their story they had to experience it. As we must ours.

    Posted by Chris Barnes | October 26, 2008, 5:43 am
  2. >”And yet, nowhere in Scripture are Christians told to hinge their spiritual or physical well-being on which party wins the election! Seriously, why will the world end if a Democrat wins the election? Maybe God is in control!”Hello Hannah. I see where you’re coming from and agree in principle. As a matter of fact, I don’t really think anyone here would disagree with what you’re saying. But I’m not sure what that the implications are of a “calm down, God is in control approach.” Do we not vote? Do we not participate as citizens in our democratic republic? Should we not weigh in on the moral, ethical, philosophical, political, economic, etc. issues of our day that are all effected by elections? Because we have much to say in all of these areas. Or do we participate but act like we don’t really care? God is in control but what should we do differently in light of that?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | October 24, 2008, 4:44 pm
  3. >You know, it is interesting to hear pastors praying publicly during election times–they pray for God’s will to be done, for the Republican candidate to be elected and for God to have mercy on the Democrat’s poor, evil soul. And yet, nowhere in Scripture are Christians told to hinge their spiritual or physical well-being on which party wins the election! Seriously, why will the world end if a Democrat wins the election? Maybe God is in control!

    Posted by mhgood | October 24, 2008, 2:55 pm
  4. >I really enjoy seeing this post and discussion. I myself often wonder at the faith of believers today. When things turn against us we are so quick to proclaim the end of all that is right and good. So quick to play the part of chicken little and declare that the sky is falling. Is God not sovereign? Or rather is our faith so little?And while I don’t believe that Obama is the anti-christ. I do find it very troubling to see the fervent, quasi-religious devotion to the man. Some have even used the label of messiah. I can’t help but think that will be the way we meet the anti-christ.

    Posted by Chris | October 23, 2008, 10:36 pm
  5. >Jared, I didn’t mean to suggest that Obama was the antichrist. I’m noting that EVEN when the antichrist is revealed that will not be because God’s will is being thwarted.And Mark, for me it’s a given that EITHER candidate could effectively be a curse.

    Posted by Jacob (aka. James) | October 23, 2008, 9:33 pm
  6. >That’s waaaaaaaaaaaaay over the top!!! A win by McCain could also effectively be a curse. We just don’t know yet.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | October 22, 2008, 6:57 pm
  7. >Ugh, come on, Obama is not the Antichrist…

    Posted by Jared Nelson | October 22, 2008, 6:27 pm
  8. >When the Antichrist is revealed, it will not be because God’s will is thwarted. If Obama wins it will be part of God’s will, but it may still effectively be a curse.

    Posted by Jacob (aka. James) | October 22, 2008, 5:44 pm
  9. >Well said!

    Posted by Mark Mathews | October 22, 2008, 5:43 pm
  10. >No, God uses sinful men, with or without titles of faith (Christian, etc.). I had typed more about how the Republican party is not the church or the kingdom, but I thought I would leave it short and sweet. There are certain things Republicans stand for that are against God’s moral standards, just as there are certain things that Democrats are for that align better with God’s moral standards. I write this partly thinking about abortion. 4-5 on the Court causes me to mourn this race. To think something would be allowed to happen (Obama choosing Supreme Court justices) that would undermind God’s moral law against murder makes me stop and say: God, You give and you take away. Your ways are unknowable to me. I trust you against my judgments that would criticize your providence in this matter.

    Posted by Jared Nelson | October 22, 2008, 5:26 pm
  11. >Good post Jared.I agree that it is God’s will whoever wins. But does this mean the only way it is God’s will for Obama to win is if it is a curse? I have to disagree with this if that’s the case. Remember, Obama professes to be a Christian much louder than McCain. Are we to meet his profession with such reluctance and assume McCain is a sincere believer just because he is a Republican? Just food for thought!

    Posted by Mark Mathews | October 22, 2008, 4:28 pm

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