Can We Still Be Friends?

This blog comes with a warning: You may not like what I have to say. You may get angry with me. I hope we can still be friends.

This blog also comes with a disclaimer: I did not vote for Barack Obama in 2008, and I will not vote for him in 2012. But neither did I vote for McCain in 2008 and I will not for Romney or Gingrich in 2012. I did vote in 2008 and I will vote in 2012…it’s my civic duty.

This blog is about my continued frustration with what I see, hear, and read Christians say about President Obama. I do not support most of his policies, and I disagree with lots of his theology, but he is the President, he professes to be a Christian, and he is a human being created in the image of God.

President Obama is not evil. He is not the devil reincarnate. He is not the anti-Christ. He is not the final imam. He is a fallible human being…just like you and me.

So, can we please stop the vitriol? It doesn’t do our country any good. More importantly, when the hatred comes from people claiming to be Christians, it gives Christ a bad name.

Reject the President’s policies. Debate his agenda. Try to vote him out of office. But please, be civil, rational, respectful, and prayerful.

I think what pushed me over the edge was all the attacks toward the President last week because he took Luke 12:48 out of context during a speech at a prayer breakfast. Yes, his comments were out of context, but while people complain about his bad eisegesis,  I have not heard anyone complain about the bumper stickers and facebook posts taking Psalm 109:8 out of context. In context, Psalm 109 is calling for someone to die! In context, Luke 12 is about watching and working as you are waiting for Christ’s return. (Sidenote: I have heard several sermons on tithing/giving where preachers use Luke 12:48 in a similar way as Obama. Every minister I know has been guilty of eisegesis at least once in their ministry. Furthermore, I hear over and over again that I am supposed to overlook Romney’s theology because we are, and I quote, “electing a commander in chief, not a pastor in chief.” Why doesn’t the same standard apply to President Obama?)

If I have not made you angry yet, I am about to with the following statement: Even though I do not support Obama, I believe him to be a person of integrity. What he believes and what he does is integrated. He walks what he talks. He does what he says he is going to do (or at least he tries to).

Think about it:

From all appearances, President Obama loves his wife and has been faithful to her. There hasn’t even been a hint of infidelity on his part. Furthermore, it seems he truly loves his children and his wife and children love him. He is a family man. A true sign of integrity is when those who know you best, love you most.

If you look over the things President Obama has said and written through the years, very little has changed. He has not changed his opinion on key political issues. He has not wavered on his core principles. Whether you agree with him or not, he has been consistent.  (Yes, he did change his mind on the Iraq war and the need for more troops and the closing down of Guantanamo, but I think that has more to do with the reality he discovered once in office. However, he has done what he said he would do about troop withdrawal in Iraq.)

Barack Obama is like every other politician. He has an ideology and he wants to remain in power and he desires to compromise as little of his ideology as possible to remain in power.

What I am trying to say is as a follower of Jesus Christ my citizenship is in the kingdom of God. This world is not my home. I am an alien in a strange land. This world is coming to an end regardless of who is in office. My first allegiance is to Christ. My hope is in His sovereignty.  God has called me, and all believers, to advance His kingdom in this world. Part of what that means is that I am to be involved in politics to the degree that it advances that kingdom. I am to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. I am to view politics as ordained by God to maintain social order. I need to be involved in the political process, but I don’t need to be so consumed by the process that I forget the place of my true loyalty. I don’t need to be so consumed by the process that I forget to allow the fruit of the Spirit to be manifest in my life and conversations.

So, educate yourself. Get involved. Aggressively debate the issues. Vote. But keep it civil.

The kingdom of God depends on it.

Can we still be friends?

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14 thoughts on “Can We Still Be Friends?

  1. Thank you so much for this post!! It was spot on! I have been so troubled by people claiming to be Christian and acting just the opposite towards the President. I am going to share this on Facebook with your permission.

  2. Right on target, Kevin. Please say more. My thinking is that if all the people who rail against our President would pray for him and our elected leaders, our government would be much improved.

  3. Great article. Two things I would disagree with. The evil thing and the integrity. But you have to realize I think all politicians have problems with both those things. The process as it has evolved in our election process has almost made it impossible for people to not sacrifice some of their integrity to get elected. And if you sacrifice integrity that is an evil thing. My brother who is a DA in Alabama ,which is an elected position, says I am jaundiced on the whole thing. He is right. I am very concerned with the whole process as it stands now.
    I think you are right on target though. He said if we wanted to know who he was to look at those he surrounds himself with. When looking at the many communist and radical leftist with which he has surrounded himself with and after reading some of what he has written I would have to agree he has stayed true to his ideology. He was somewhat honest about that in the last election. If people listened closely they would have seen that.
    The points you made where very good. 1>We should always act as Christ would act when dealing with people, especially those we disagree with. 2>We should always act with honesty and integrity not matter who does not. 3>Our top priority is the kingdom of heaven not earthly politics. (Number three is the trump card here. I will vote in the election as well. But my real concern is not with the United States government but the Kingdom of God.)
    Excellent article and yes we are still friends, Good friends.

  4. Funny, I was just thinking this weekend as I was listening to some of the wrangling going on over the Florida primary and kinda thinking about he who is without sin casting the first stone. I thought if the Republicans are looking for a stellar perfect family man to vote for, it may be they will have to vote for Obama.

    There is close to no politics that I can agree with regarding Mr Obama, but I certainly agree that we are to respect the office. I would not vote for him because of my pro life views and will stand firm on that whomever I actually vote for. I am not secure with any of the candidates in the political field. It is February, I don’t vote until November, so maybe, by then, I will have enough info to put my vote of confidence in someone.

    Meanwhile, there are many possible indiscretions that could be unveiled. The thing about them is the persons involved cannot change them. They are in the past. They can change how they react to their revelation and how this has changed their thought processes now. Attacking other persons and refusing to just take responsibility for your own indiscretions does not get it. It is this kind of thinking that will help me decide what name I will press in November, or whose I will have to write in. Integrity is so necessary when the leadership of so many nations these days need to know where we stand.

    I agree with Kevin that ultimately I serve a King and belong to a kingdom. My future is not dependent on the outcome of this election. That being said. I am a citizen of this country and my mortal loyalties lie solely with it. As a citizen, I realize the high price many paid for me to express my freedom. I WILL vote. I WILL also pray. Ultimately, I am not responsible for what a leader does, but I am responsible to make sure I have walked into that voting booth prepared to make the best choice possible. I cannot believe I will be privileged to vote for someone with whom I TOTALLY agree and COMPLETELY respect, I also do not want to be haunted by passing along disinformation and false information about any candidate. One way to start is to check all pass along emails and FB entries to make sure they are accurate first and secondly that they are truly helpful.

    Kevin, we are certainly friends. Edna Folley

  5. We are required to pray for our leaders…. that we may be able to follow the Lord in peace, leading quiet lives, as Paul said. So yes, you are definitely right. However, speaking out against policies without speaking out against the one claiming credit and glory for them is difficult, for he takes credit for them in himself, which attaches his own character to their intent. He also is negatively outspoken about PEOPLE (not policies) who hold on to what the Bible says (along with their guns). I’m not omniscient, but am pretty sure, however, that in the near future, nearer than we think, we’d better be reading up on those who have faced difficult choices about whether to speak out with OFFICIAL consequences, or quietly take their medicine. WWDBD may face us in my lifetime, and I’m already an old man. Obama is not to blame. He is not a creator, but a product, of a decadent system that has reached critical mass, and will ultimately implode. I would love to see Santorum in the white house, but he doesn’t offer selfish voters in a self-centered culture enough personal return. But I digress. Your post is well taken, and we find difficulty in living for a different Kingdom, while still called to speak up (and out) by the very nature of the design of our political system. It’s a tough balance.

  6. Pingback: I Have “Evolved” :) « revkev43

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