The Fraud Running for President

celebrity-986838_1280There I was, watching the Donald Trump rally (not really by choice, but I was watching CNN and they cut to the rally). At the rally, The Donald was kicking out protesters left and right. Then he said something odd. He said that the people protesting were infringing on his freedom of speech, and that he was going to say what he had to say.

That was odd to me because, while the Bill of Rights does talk about the freedom of speech, it does NOT do it in the way Mr. Trump was using it. The 1st Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

revolution-30590_1280Did you see the part about the freedom of speech there in the middle? The words are there, yes, but they have nothing to do with Donald forcibly removing dissenters from his rallies. What the 1st Amendment is talking about is how the GOVERNMENT cannot censor someone (and even then there are some places where freedom of speech is not an absolute). What Donald Trump is doing falls under the line about right to peaceably assemble (although that’s debatable, as his rallies more and more resemble gathering from dark days in our world’s past and not some peaceable assembly) and NOT about the freedom of speech. The government is not abridging his freedom of speech – individual dissenters are voicing opposition.

I recognize that The Donald is not a Constitutional scholar, but this misunderstanding of a basic freedom granted by the 1st Amendment just goes to show one glaring truth: Donald Trump is a fraud. He’s a poser. He’s a huckster. He’s a con man.

He has no real grasp of the Constitution or American freedoms. He has no real policy or position on any issues. There is no depth or substance. There is only hollow rhetoric. It fires up the masses, to be sure, but that’s all it does. To use a common catchphrase, Mr. Trump is just going to “fake it til he makes it.”

He does it with the Constitution. He does it with the Bible. He does it with every.single.issue of substance people ask him about. He’s a political cheerleader. And there is nothing Xian about any of it, so don’t play the Evangelical/Conservative Xian card here. It’s not about faith. Not one bit. Jesus isn’t in any of it.

Make America Great Again!
Build a wall!
Kick out illegal immigrants!
Make America Great Again! (wait, did I already say that one? Yep, The Donald is repeating himself again.)

Empty rhetoric to stir the base nature within us.

God have mercy on us all if we don’t wake up.

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Hitler Has Been Reincarnated…

  • Our country used to be great. I will make it great again!
  • No, we don’t hate those people. They hate us even though we haven’t done anything!
  • We have a labor problem in our country – I will put people to work!
  • Many of our problems come from those people who are here in our country. THEY are to blame!

Sound familiar? So you tell me.

Donald Trump?

Or Adolf Hitler?

adolf-hitler-147179_1280“I consider Bolshevism the most malignant poison that can be given to a people. And therefor I do not want my own people to come into contact with this teaching. As a citizen of this nation I myself shall not do what I should have to condemn my fellow-citizens for doing. I demand from every German workman that he shall not have any relations with these international mischief-makers and he shall never see me clinking glasses or rubbing shoulders with them. Moreover, any further treaty connections with the present Bolshevik Russia would be completely worthless for us. It is out of the question to think that National Socialist Germany should ever be bound to protect Bolshevism or that we, on our side, should ever agree to accept the assistance of a Bolshevik State. For I fear that the moment any nation should agree to accept such assistance, it would thereby seal its own doom.” ~ Adolf Hitler, 1937

 “The German people did not feel any kind of hate against the French or the British. The French people, the British people – the German people wanted only to live in friendship and peace with them…. The German people has never learned to carry on hate. Then in Britain, certain circles began their impertinent, intolerable assaults. And then came the moment when I had to say to myself: I cannot watch this anymore, I have to answer to this agitation. For we do not educate the German people to hate the British. We do not educate it to hate the French, while in France and Britain the agitators day after day bait the British and French peoples, through the press and at rallies, to hate against the Germans.” ~ Adolf Hitler, 1939

“And our enemies, today they cry: ‘Germany shall fail!’ And Germany can give only one answer. Germany will live, and therefore Germany will emerge victorious!” ~ Adolf Hitler, 1939

And then some verbal gold from The Donald…

celebrity-986838_1280“Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don’t have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say, China in a trade deal?….

When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists….

I will tell you this, and I said it very strongly, years ago, I said — and I love the military, and I want to have the strongest military that we’ve ever had, and we need it more now than ever…. Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger by the way, and we as a country are getting weaker….

I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again. It can happen. Our country has tremendous potential. We have tremendous people. We have people that aren’t working. We have people that have no incentive to work. But they’re going to have incentive to work, because the greatest social program is a job. And they’ll be proud, and they’ll love it, and they’ll make much more than they would’ve ever made, and they’ll be — they’ll be doing so well, and we’re going to be thriving as a country, thriving. It can happen. ~ Donald Trump, 2016

Xians need to wake up. We should not stand for this kind of rhetoric. It is dangerous. We’ve seen where it can take the world….

Spread the word….

America Embarrasses Jesus

Okay, you’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t seen SOME of the hullabaloo about Mr. Obama suggesting that America open its doors to some 10,000 Syrian refugees. And, in great American fashion, American Christians have rallied to PREVENT refugees from coming within our sacred, God-ordained borders.

We have to protect ourselves, you see, and welcoming Syrian refugees would be allowing the terrorists free access to our country.
You wouldn’t invite a murderer in through the front door of your house, would you?

Yes, that’s actually an argument I’ve seen a LOT over the last few days. Never mind the fact that we’re not talking about hypothetical people in need – we’re talking about REAL people who are displaced by war and violence. Where are the Xians who care to take care of those who can’t help themselves?

Oh, those poor refugees! I wish there was something we could do. And by “we” I mean someone not me. And by “do” I mean nothing that will cost me anything. Oh, those poor refugees! ~ Murica

You see, we like the IDEA of helping people, but not when it’s actually going to cost us anything. We like the IDEA of helping, but we must have our priorities in order.

PRIORITY #1 – American Safety

If you let in thousands of refugees you’ll welcome who knows how many who want to do us harm! When I pointed out that America was founded by refugees who were seeking freedom from persecution, I was told:

“And the natives welcomed them with open arms and now we have this great Navajo nation! Oh wait! Great analogy. Exactly why we can’t take them.”

That’s the spirit, Xian people! Look how we screwed others. We gotta make sure nobody treats us the way we treat them! I read in the Bible somewhere:

And Jesus saith unto them, “Mess people over before they have a chance to mess with you.”

At least I’m pretty sure it went something like that. But forget about safety for a minute. Even if the refugees were vetted (which they WOULD be), we’ve got so many other problems here in America. That brings us to:

PRIORITY #2 – Our own people

I was told:

“We MUST take care of our own widows, orphans, elderly, ill, Veterans, etc, etc, first, and foremost, at this time…..NO more refugees from anywhere is my personal opinion”

Sure, I acknowledge that we’ve got a problem with poverty, homelessness, and myriad other issues in our nation. Focusing on those issues IS important. Those are things we should address and people we should be helping. But think about it in terms of trauma and an emergency room. It’s a basic case of triage. When you look at all the people you can help/save, those with a greater urgency get handled first. That doesn’t mean the others aren’t important. It means we understand that the others can hold off a little while longer while we take care of the crisis now.

And let’s not kid ourselves – we’d rather help our own people than help people of another ethnic background and another nation. Today I actually saw a Xian woman (wife of a church elder) share this:

Inbred Savages

That brings us to:

PRIORITY #3 – The Practical Considerations

This priority comes from Xians who want to seem like they care about the issue but want you to know that you haven’t really considered all of the ramifications of allowing refugees into the country. For example, I was told:

“Where are they going to live? Who is paying for this? Are they going to work? Who is going to give them a job? Do they speak English? How can you find out who they are if they don’t have papers or any info on them?”

Um…do they speak English?

Since when is that a requirement for being A REFUGEE?!? No, they probably DON’T speak English. Are we now holding back our Xian compassion for those who speak the same language?

HOLD EVERYTHING! WE GET TO CANCEL OUR FOREIGN MISSIONS BUDGET NOW, FOLKS. WE’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING THAT BENEFITS PEOPLE WHO DON’T SPEAK OUR LANGUAGE!

Ridiculous.

Let’s be real. I’m not saying that allowing all Syrian refugees access to America is the best policy. It’s not a black-and-white deal – it’s highly nuanced. What I AM saying is that Christians ought to be the first to seek out helping people rather than outright turning them away because of the FEAR of possibilities and potential outcomes.

It SEEMS (that means my perspective, folks) that conservative Christians are jumping on the “don’t trust Muslims” bandwagon and are quick to say, “Our nation won’t help displaced people” without even giving a THOUGHT about the issue and the real people involved.

Yes, America –

You embarrass Jesus.

 

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If you want to share a thought, it’s okay to disagree. Just keep it civil. And share the post with all your friends 😉

Forced Gay Part II—My Hypocrisy

Permit me to get on my soap box. I waited a few days, debating whether or not I should even bring this up again. But the firestorm that I caused in my circles only solidifies in my head that we need to be talking about this…

If you had told me a year or two ago that I’d be arguing against Evangelical Christians in support of civil rights for same-sex couples I would’ve told you that you were nuts. Yet here we are.

A few days ago I wrote a post about Xians refusing to provide services for a same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court of New Mexico ruled that some photographers had violated a same-sex couple’s civil rights – and the Evangelical Xian community roared.

After a lot of thought about it and an eventual change in my own position, I publicly stated that I think the photographers were wrong to discriminate against the couple and that all Xians should think twice about refusing service to same-sex couples (I’ll post the link to my full post below).

I knew that my position would clash with mainstream Evangelical thought, but I never expected the backlash I saw. And, not being one to back down from a verbal sparring, I’m going to write about it some more. I’m convinced more than ever that the Church has got to make some changes in how it approaches the LGBT community – for Christ’s sake. So…here we go.

I am a conservative Evangelical Xian (at least I thought so). I believe that God designed sexuality to be between one man and one woman who are married to each other. This means that adulterous relationships, fornication, and same-sex relationships are not part of God’s intended design. I believe that the Bible makes this case. I believe that nature and human physiology itself bear this out.

At the same time I believe that the Church should not be party to mistreating and discriminating against people – any people. I believe that the Church has been complicit in such discrimination. In my last post I compared the photographers’ behavior to establishments in the south that used to post “Whites Only” signs out front. I received criticism from Christians who told me that I cannot compare the racially charged civil rights movement with same-sex issues. I was told that the gay marriage issue is different from REAL civil rights.

To me it’s not an issue of gay marriage, racial equality, or any other issue. The topic at hand is about businesses refusing to serve certain elements of the public because of a personal disagreement with that element. Who gets to decide who is worthy of service or not? If conservative Xians can refuse to serve the LGBT community, who’s to say that racist business owners can’t refuse to serve other races?

I know, I know. “Racism is different.” That’s what I was told by other pastors. “You can’t compare racism with LGBT discrimination because racists distort the Bible for their own ends while we understand that the Bible is clearly against homosexuality.”

Excuse me?!?

Do you understand what was just said? “It’s wrong for racists to discriminate because they believe the wrong thing. It’s okay for us to discriminate because we believe correctly.” This infuriates me. The whole idea of freedom of religion is that we don’t hold another person’s private beliefs against him. You can believe anything you want and I can believe anything I want and we still come together as citizens in the same nation.

You can’t claim that your discrimination is okay because you read the Bible correctly and say another person’s discrimination is wrong because they misread it. So the civil rights laws step in and say, “We’re going to make sure that all people are treated the same no matter what their status or what your personal beliefs may be.”

If you have a business that serves the public you are not allowed to say, “Well…I won’t serve THOSE people.” I was told by other Xians that vendors ought to be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples because a gay marriage might violate the vendor’s idea of marriage as a covenant between the couple and God. I agree that marriage is designed to be a covenant between the husband and wife and between the couple and God. But being a vendor does not endorse the views of the couple.

A baker can bake a wedding cake without endorsing the couple. The florist can arrange flowers without endorsing the couple. A Xian waiter can wait tables if it were an engagement party for a gay couple.

A Christian owner of a candle store doesn’t vet her customers to make sure that no Wiccans buy candles. “Excuse me, are you Wiccan? Because I won’t sell these candles to you if you’re going to go conjure up spirits with them.”

In all honesty, I sincerely doubt that Xian wedding vendors are performing background checks to make sure that every couple they serve fits the biblical model of marriage. Would the vendor refuse to provide services for a man who divorced his wife so that he could marry his mistress? They never even ask that question. At least I was never asked about my relationship background when my fiancée and I visited vendors. No one double-checked to make sure it wasn’t an adulterous relationship.

Rather than pretending that we care about God’s ideal for marriage, we should simply admit that we’re picking a particular segment of society to discriminate against. It’s the thing to do. Gay relationships offend our sensibilities more than an adulterous relationship. It’s become socially acceptable within the Church to single out the LGBT community for condemnation.

The natural follow-up question I received: “If you believe this way would you marry a same-sex couple?” And without hesitation I answer all who ask, “No, I would not.” As I said, I believe that God’s design for sexuality is for one man and one woman who are married to each other. It was at this point that I was called a hypocrite, putting myself and other pastors up on a pedestal while calling out non-clergy Xians.

I don’t see it as hypocritical. I genuinely see a difference between a wedding vendor and a pastor. I was told by one Xian that there is no difference between a pastor and any other vendor or justice of the peace. Am I not obligated being licensed by the state to perform same-sex marriages?

Let me clarify in case you did not know: pastors are not licensed by the state. I have never been nor will I ever be licensed by the state. I am ordained by the church. The state merely recognizes the church’s endorsement of the clergy. I am not a vendor – I am a pastor and spiritual care-giver. I do not claim to serve the public through my service. Pastors are not the same as vendors. We’re not the same as a justice of the peace. When I marry a couple it is more than a ceremony. I pastor them – talk to them about what marriage looks like from a biblical point of view. I talk to them about God’s ideal for healthy relationships. I read Scripture to them. I’m not a vendor, I’m a pastor. That might not make a difference to you – it makes a difference to me.A friend commented to me that any issue combining civil issues and moral issues is messy. It is messy. There is no easy solution or answer to this stuff. But I see too many Xians behaving poorly. We’re not acting like Jesus.

There were several times in Jesus’ public life that he encountered “sinners”. In these encounters we see him acting the same way. He talks to them. He touches them. He cares for them. He loves them. THEN he tells them to go and stop sinning. Not so much the Church today. Our attitude is often, “Go and stop sinning. Then come back so we can love you.”

I’m ready for the Church to lead the way in loving people. Too many Xians think that loving people means encouraging and allowing sin. I’m not for a soft-sell faith. I’m not for white-washing Jesus. I still believe in the Jesus of the Gospels who proclaims, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” But we forget that he loved first, called for change second. And, honestly, I think most people in the LGBT community know my position as an Evangelical pastor. I don’t have to beat people over the head with my view of the Bible. I can love them in spite of our differences.

So…call me hypocrite. Quote Proverbs to me. Tell me you think I’m going against sound judgment. Tell me that you can’t believe I’ve fallen away.

Me? I can’t believe the Church has become so coldhearted. We don’t have to stop preaching righteousness. We don’t have to stop talking about Jesus, the cross, and forgiveness of sin. But we don’t have to discriminate, no matter what our differences may be.

We can still love people, no matter who they are or their type of sin. At least – I think that’s what Jesus would do.

So I’m off my soap box. Please feel free to share this with CNN. Or Oprah. It would be kind of cool to be quoted as the Evangelical pastor who is against gay marriage but for civil rights. But keep it away from Fox News – I don’t want to be crucified… 😉

Related Posts:
~ Forced Gay: The Battle for Straight Xian Rights

Forced Gay – The Battle for Straight Xian Rights

I originally wrote this when the battle between Evangelicals and the LGBT community erupted over business service. It’s just as appropriate today with what’s happening with Arizona’s SB1062.

If you haven’t heard by now let me tell you. New Mexico is a hot mess. Just recently there was a State Supreme Court decision that a Christian-owned photography studio violated a gay couple’s human rights when the studio declined to do the couple’s wedding pictures.

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog says:

Under the New Mexico Human Rights Act, it’s unlawful for a public accommodation to refuse to offer its services to someone because of the person’s sexual orientation. The same law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry and gender.

The phrase “public accommodation” generally means public and private places (even retail establishments) used by the public.

As a business used by the public, the New Mexico Supreme Court says that the Christian couple needed to accommodate the same-sex couple with their services. I’ve seen a lot of Evangelicals (my own camp of Christendom – and yes, I know Christendom is an historically loaded word, for all of you theologians and church historians) get their noses bent out of shape about this New Mexico case.

But before we jump on the bandwagon of martyrdom and outrage at the persecution of Christians let’s think through the whole thing. Ready? Thinking caps ON!

The whole idea of disallowing businesses to refuse service to people is actually a good thing. It was a critical piece of the civil rights movement. It’s the piece of the puzzle that tells restaurants, ”You cannot refuse service to colored people.” It’s the piece that says landlords cannot refuse housing to someone based on a personal agenda. It’s a good thing…until we feel it is working against our own beliefs.

When we get called on violating someone else, rather than respond with humility and an apology, we get all in a huff. HOW DARE YOU TREAD ON MY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS! Slow down, turbo. Think about it. Let’s ponder the case of the photographer.

The business didn’t want to be seen as supporting a cause they disagreed with. I understand that – I really do. But I have a hard time believing that they only serve good Christian folk. Would they take pictures of an atheist wedding? Would they take pictures at a reception where people would be getting hammered? Do you really mean to tell me that this business weeds out all sinners and only serves the perfect elect?

Hi there. Welcome back to earth. I really don’t see that happening.

It doesn’t matter that the couple was able to find another photographer. If my wife and I tried to eat in a restaurant and were denied service because we’re a mixed-race couple IT DOESN’T MATTER IF WE CAN EAT AT THE SUBWAY DOWN THE STREET – IT’S WRONG! Was I clear about that? Unfortunately it still happens. As recently as 2004, Cracker Barrel was discriminating against brown people (segregated seating and giving colored people poorer service). This is not the stuff of theory – this is too true in our “modern” society.

On the flip side, the law also protects Christians. It means that we can’t be denied service from an atheist shop owner/operator simply because we’re Christian. The law is geared to protect ALL people. We don’t get to pick and choose to apply it to some people and then exclude others. Otherwise any shop can turn down anyone for any “belief” the owner has. And there are some crazy beliefs out there. We don’t want personal beliefs dictating service.

So let’s get off our moral high horses and recognize that we goofed this time. If you can’t do it, then I’ll do it for us.

To everyone who has been denied service from an Evangelical Christian, I am saddened that you were treated in such a manner. You did not deserve to bear the brunt of discrimination.

To the rest of us – we can do better. Jesus said that we’re to treat people the way we want to be treated (that thingy called the Golden Rule?). We don’t get to treat people based on whether or not they fit our preferred profile.

So like this post and share this post with the world (shameless plug, yes?) because there are too many of us out there that think we can pick and choose who we will be decent to; who we will serve or cast aside.

And that’s really not Christ-like, you know?

How about you? Have you had to face discrimination for any reason? Anything you are able to talk about?

The Rebellious American Spirit

In case there was any doubt in your mind, yes – Americans have a rebellious spirit. You can see this most evidently in political diatribes on social media. We love to stick it to each other. We rail against the horrible policies of our opponents and those of differing agendas and parties.

In extreme cases, I’ve seen people call for Soldiers to openly rise up and seize the White House and remove the President from power. In less extreme cases, I’ve seen people call all sorts of horrible names and level all sorts of wicked accusations against politicians with whom the accusers disagree. It seems that there is no such thing as civil discourse any more.

What really saddens me is how quickly Christians jump on board with this kind of behavior. It’s as though we are giving in to our basest nature and forgetting the Godly nature that is supposed to now guide us. We justify our behavior and our language in all sorts of ways – trying to find an excuse for why we’re calling Senator So-and-So a poo-poo head or linking the President to Hitler.

It’s like we revel in seeing ourselves as the Rebellion and anyone who disagrees as the Empire.

The simple fact is this – I don’t see any cause in the Bible for treating people like this. The Apostle Paul seems pretty straightforward:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.

Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Romans 13:1-7)

Of course, Paul’s “governing authorities” were not the duly elected officials of our era. We’re talking about the Emperor and his governors. You know…the ones who put Christians to death. And still Paul calls us to surrender our rebellious spirit to God and to subject ourselves to the authorities. If God is really in control of this world, then even the authorities we despise are part of his plan.

Politically minded Christians are the worst, because we tend to justify our behavior with the God-card – trying to mix our politics and faith. Missiologist Ed Stetzer once wrote: When you mix politics and religion you get politics.

Even when we disagree with the policies and decisions of the elected officials, let us make sure that we are not embracing a sinful rebellious spirit but can submit; Republican, Democrat, Independent, whomever.

No matter what happens in the country, this world is not our home. Our ultimate allegiance is not to the flag but to our God. Eventually you will get jerked around by government and organizations – it’s the nature of the beast (yes, pun intended). But take it with a measure of grace and know that God’s got bigger plans than American health care, or gay marriage, ____________ (insert the issue of your choosing).

No matter what happens God is still God.

Is Barack Obama the Antichrist?

ANTICHRIST

 

No.

 

He is not.

 

This is one of those conversations I wish we didn’t even need to be having. Yet here we are. I can’t believe the amount of hatred I’ve seen directed against President Obama. And yes, I’ve seen many accuse him of being the Antichrist.

But he’s not. In fact, the Bible barely makes mention of any single person being a mega-villain, end of the world, apocalyptic Antichrist. There is one paragraph in 2 Thessalonians that refers to the “man of lawlessness” but it is vague in typical apocalyptic style and is not even close to a description of President Obama.

For the most part, the supervillain antichrist is the stuff of Christian fiction (that means it’s made up out of a writer’s imagination as opposed to non-fiction which is literature that is true, like history, biography, science, etc.). It’s not even good Christian fiction at that. It gives us this image of Nicolae, a super-evil dude who is the epitome of all things evil who ushers in the end of the world and the eventual reign of Christ.

Fiction.

Not real.

The Bible does talk more about antichrist, but probably not in the way you think:

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist – he denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:18, 22)

John did not consider there to be a single cataclysmic figure, but established that many who oppose Christ are already in the world. Rather than a personal villain, John sees the antichrist as anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ (Anointed One or Messiah). If that’s our criteria for antichrist then John was right – many antichrists have come. And I’m sure many more will come. John continues:

Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. (1 John 4:3)

We don’t have to wait for the antichrist to come. It’s not some far-off distant event. John said nearly 2000 years ago that the spirit was already in the world. Stop waiting for that apocalyptic, Hollywood villain.

Now as to Mr. Obama specifically – he has publically declared that he is a Christian, a believer in Jesus. If he is not denying that Jesus is Christ then Mr. Obama cannot be the antichrist. It seems like pretty clear logic to me.

So what is our beef with Mr. Obama? It seems that we’ve taken our political animosity and clothed it in religious terms and ideas. We’re not happy with how he runs the government. We’re not content with his direction and vision for the future. So we take our political unrest and couch it in apocalyptic language. This is detrimental on several levels:

1. It does not allow for genuine political discourse. Any time someone uses the God-card it immediately shuts down conversation. I knew a guy one time who told me that God told him that he was supposed to leave our college and move to the northwest. What can you say to that? “No, God didn’t tell you that.” The God-card is a conversation ender. It’s used by angry, political Christians. Instead, let’s actually talk about ideas and policies. Let’s use our words to express why we are upset about the vision and direction of the government. Then let’s use our citizenship to affect change through our voting.

2. It perpetuates bad theology. The Bible barely talks about a single antichrist villain. In all the text of Scripture this mega-villain of the apocalypse isn’t a major theme. A professor of mine once drilled into me this idea:

When the Bible speaks strongly, we speak strongly. When the Bible speaks quietly, we speak quietly. When the Bible is silent, you had better shut your mouth!

The idea that there is one big baddie who is the binary opposite to Jesus is bad theology. There is no power that is equal to God. The idea of polar opposites is dualism. It’s not Christian faith. Instead of looking for one person to usher in the end of the world, let’s focus on living kingdom lives here and now. Jesus preached, “Change your way of thinking, for the kingdom of heaven is here and now.”

3. It damages Christian credibility in this world. How can people take us seriously if we’re running off at the mouth putting spiritual villain labels on any politician we don’t like?
We have to take Mr. Obama at his word when he says that he is a Christian. Who are we to disagree? We don’t know his heart or his relationship with God. Stop using faith as a catapult for your political ammo.

Is Barack Obama the antichrist.

No. He is not.