Monday, August 30, 2010

Does the President's Faith Really Matter? A Message to Christians

Much is being made about President’s Obama’s faith. According to a recent USA Today survey, ”Nearly one in five Americans incorrectly say President Obama is a Muslim, up from 11% last year, according to a Pew Research Center poll released today.

In the survey, about one-third of Americans correctly say Obama is a Christian, down from 48% who said so last year. In all, 43% say they do not know what religion Obama practices.” Of course what one thinks of the President’s faith has no bearing on the Presidents heart.

But for many professing Christians there is concern that The President should be a Christian. And that if he does not hold their views, then the President should be subjected to criticism. Such a negative bias against the President is contrary to biblical teaching.

The New Testament was written under Roman rule. The Caesars saw themselves as divine. Pagan idolatry was the state’s religion. But under these circumstances, the earliest apostles of the faith exhorted the early church to respect and honor the government. In Paul’s Letter to the Church in Rome, He writes, Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. (Romans 13:1-7NLT)

The elected authorities are God’s servants whether they are Christian or not! If Paul can say this about a pagan ruler, then why is there so much disrespect for the President of the United States? Every government official takes an oath to uphold the Constitution. President Obama is doing this within the constraints of his office. Roman rulers were dictators. A government of checks and balances is far superior to a dictatorship. The United States of America should count her blessings. Perhaps Christians today should read more of the Bible and pray for their leaders. After all, a government is only as good as its citizenry! Who knows who the next president will be and what he or she will do!