Earlier today, my wife mused aloud, wondering what those “prophetic types” are saying about Barack Obama being elected in the USA. I thought Grace choking on her scone in response to an appalling snippet of conversation concerning the rise to power of Barack Obama, “almost exactly like the Left Behind books.” No wonder she choked on her scone. I mentioned this “end times” idea to my wife as a suggestion of what these prophetic types might be saying. She made a mental note to ask a friend who tends to get told these things by people who thinks she cares. At least, that’s how my wife put it. So a few hours ago, Frank Viola tweeted a link that brought this whole question up again. Now by the way, Frank’s blog post today not only offered his view on the recent presidential election, he also named who he considers the top six Christian bloggers around, including yours truly. I’m not sure if I’m actually that good or if Frank’s a little deranged, but I figure it’s best not to press to far, just in case I don’t like the answer.
Back to the link, which was to Dutch Sheets’ website, which is presently displaying an image of the text of his response to the presidential election. (For those who may not catch it, this is something that anyone who builds websites will cringe at utterly: one image, 800x330px, just text.) Based on the response-tweets that followed, the words were pronounced generally hard to read — not just because of the white text casting a shadow on a purple background, but because of the content as well. Preceding one bullet-point list is the question, “What are some of the judgments we can expect on our nation from this election?” You can see where this is going — he attacks people “who aligned themselves with pro-abortion forces” and promises judgment: he’s confident that Obama was not God’s will. Under the heading, “How Did This Happen?” he writes:
But still yet, since God is usually willing to work through a remnant, I thought we had enough prayer. Obviously, God decided otherwise. There comes a time when he will not forgive or bless the majority based on the prayers or actions of only a few. America rejected God and asked for a king; I believe we now have our Saul (see 1 Samuel 8:5-7)–a man who does not have God’s heart for America but his own. Like Israel in scripture, our nation believes it can turn from God and still be blessed. In His mercy and justice He will show us otherwise.
Wow. I guess God really is a Republican, and Obama’s election is, as he puts it, “a tragedy.” As for Sarah Palin, he writes, “I believe she is an Esther, a Deborah, with a huge mantle from God for reformation. God has a great destiny for her related to this nation if she chooses to continue down this path.”
My first reaction was that this is the reason I’m a post-charismatic. Past that, I don’t quite know where to begin… but how about with the observation that the entire thing hinges on the proper performance of the church to pray enough or do enough good that the “right” president will be elected and that judgment will be averted. Meanwhile, the church labours without knowing if it will be enough, if it will be acceptable to God. It sounds like God is quite the taskmaster in this particular cosmological view. I wonder sometimes if people like this are never happy unless they’re proclaiming judgment and noting all that’s wrong in the world. It’s more important for them to pray against something than for something… they’ll sometimes pray against demons more readily than they’ll pray for the blessing of others. My advice? Don’t be too quick to try and interpret events like this, one way or another. There will be plenty of time to reflect, understand, and discern. And really don’t go off rushing to find someone else to interpret them for you.
But when I read Sheets’ response, I had to think back to Saul, and David’s attitude toward him. Saul, despite his shortcomings, was God’s anointed, and David loved and respected him as such. I like to quip that it’s good to vote because it buys you the right to complain later. The fact of the matter is that once elected, a leader becomes God’s man for the term ahead. Like it or lump it, as they say. Is that point not made in Romans 13, after all? Get some more from the iMonk.
And there you have it. As far as I can tell, this is not a harbinger of the end times, nor a labeling of “Ichabod” with promises of pestilence and judgment, nor is it the dawn of the Antichrist himself. Sure, it’s a change, but really, It’s just the election of an African-American Democrat to the country’s highest office, that’s all. I figure God will be no more for or against the USA than he was last month… and you can make of that what you will.