Saturday, November 21, 2009

Praying for Obama Bible verses

“Let his days be few; and let another take his office.” --Psalm 109:8

That's the Bible verse being used on bumper stickers and T-shirts as a jab at President Barack Obama. It's meant to be funny, but not everyone is laughing, partly because the next verse reads, “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”

People sporting it on cars, torsos and in e-mails say either they were unaware of the next verse or that they purposely didn't say 109:8-9 because they didn't mean for Obama to die, just leave office.

Still, it's not very Christian. Even if you disagree with everything Obama stands for, using Bible verses to either make fun of spew hatred toward him is, well, unbiblical.

Feel free to criticise his policies. If you believe they are extremely harmful, say so. If you want to be clever equate him with Stalin, Mao or even Hitler. If you think he's the Antichrist, you can say that, too. But to use a verse that was used in the New Testament to refer to Judas, who killed himself, is deplorable.

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God," the Apostle Paul notes in Romans 13:1. That doesn't mean we aren't to criticise our leaders when they are wrong -- especially since God has placed us in a free society in which we are given the right -- and duty -- to vote.

"In 1 Tim 2:1-2, it says to pray for those in authority. Paul the apostle was not talking about a believer in authority," a person purporting to be John Piper notes in the comments section of The Christian Science Monitor story.

The comments section also naturally draws people critical of Christians "exposing themselves for what they really are: mean-spirited, self-righteous hypocrites."

That's true of some. The non-mean-spirited Christians aren't jumping on the Psalm 109 bandwagon.

And, as Jesus noted, not everyone who says to him "Lord, Lord" will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Some of them are, as Kierkegaard noted, merely a "Christian of a sort."

So the thing to do, if you believe Obama is evil, is to pray for his salvation.