Of course, if one believes in the doctrine of the complete sovereignty of God, as I do, it is not difficult to come to the conclusion that Barack Obama's presidency was ordained. The real question that many Christians are right now having a challenging time answering is whether or not Obama is God's choice for America. That is to say, if God were choosing the best person to right now lead America - would Obama be it?
The difficulty in that question lies in the unfolding of what we think God's will is for the nation and the people. Jim Bramlett's article in InJesus.com comes to the conclusion that Barack Obama may be a Saul - handsome, debonair, a looker, but ultimately not the king God would choose.
I take a different track. The track I take is based on the belief that God will permit evil to flourish in a godly nation in order to cause them to turn back to Him in repentence. That is to say, God will actively cause havoc to reign to bring about both His immediate and long-term purposes. I firmly believe God is an "actor" in the world today, as He was yesterday, and as He ill be at the end of the Age.
Exhibit "A" would be the nation of Israel in the Book of Judges. The "five-fold cycle" in Judges was something like this:
1. Israel forgot God's promises and turned to idolatry (forgetfulness and idolatry)
2. God gave them into the hands of their enemies (oppression)
3. They cried out to God for deliverance (outcry and promise to repent)
4. God raised up a judge to deliver them (deliverance by God)
5. When that judge died, they would return to idolatry (recidivism)
Martin Luther offered this point with regard to the raging problem of his day - militant Islam: "As a religion Islam is either a scourge sent by the devil - or worse - sent from God." In Luther's view God used Islam as a "rod" to both chasten and judge his Christian people. This is to say that God does raise up people, nations, and individuals for purposes that are not apparently good to those believers who suffer at their hands.
So it follows then that when the peace, safety, comfort, ease, and finances of God's people are disrupted - and we yet abide in and tolerate gross sin in our midst - we may most assuredly conclude that God is behind the disruption.
Whether it is...
- if you do "X" - then the dreadful consequences of doing "X" follow
If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land: But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it. (Isa. 1)
- I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things"(Isa. 45:7)
- Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD (Amos; Jer.)
I believe God raised up the Pharisees, the advocates of zeal for god's Law - so that His Son may be glorified in teaching Israel - and us - about His love and grace.
I believe God raised up and chose Herod the Great, a king committed to the transformation of Israel into a Rome of their day - a move that only incensed and stirred the Jewish people into rebellion against the Romans leading to and culminating in the Jewish War which saw the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD. A fall that God had prophesied in the book of Jeremiah.
I also believe God raised up Adolf Hitler. Suffice it to say on this very sensitive subject that without the worldwide scourge of the wicked Third Reich, the conditions for the creation of the modern nation of Israel would most certainly not have existed - and thus Israel, a modern miracle - would not have been born.
Barack Obama may quite possibly have been raised up for the nation's good - in that peace and prosperity will arrive with him and the nation is blessed. Then we may know for sure that God is with him and us. Only time will tell.
But the problem with this line of thinking - and there are many who think this way - is that there are clear violations of God's moral laws in the positions that Barack Obama has either endorsed or defended. Issues related to -
- the sanctity of Human Life
- Religious worship
But it follows, conversely, that if the people of God, i.e., "His nation" suffer and are waylaid as a result of Obama's (or the liberal Democratic Party's) policies, practices, affections, or rule, we may rightly say that Obama was sent by God to scourge and chasten the people. It may be for our ultimate good that these sufferings will drive us to God; but of course, such things are never pleasant. It is a foreboding of bad times to come.
An additional problem confounding the matter is that we cannot say for sure what God is doing in the life of Barack Obama, the man. Is he even saved? If not, what makes anyone believe that God is with him? Do we even know if the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his pastor of 20 years, is saved? If he is not, then Obama certainly is not. We do know that Black Liberation theology is hardly Christian. It is fringe Christianity. It is Liberal Christianity. And because liberal theologians like to play footsie with so much that is not sound doctrine, I think it's fair to call into question basic issues of salvation with them, like we do with the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormoms. There is so much we don't know about Obama the sojourner, now President-elect.
The question for me then, isn't whether or not Obama is God's choice, the question is for what purpose has God raised him up to lead us? To heal or to scourge? To gather or to scatter?
"He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad."
C.S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”