Today I heard a conversation between two people about President Obama. One said that she basically liked the man and the other said "gag me," no uncertain terms for disdain toward the President. It was interesting for me to be a fly on the wall in this conversation because it gave me a chance to just listen and try to figure out where people are coming from in their political convictions.
The woman who seemed to hate the president had reasons such as he "canceled" the National Day of Prayer (I don't know how true that claim really is) and that he's pro-choice, bringing "nothing but condemnation upon this country" for his stance on abortion. I have to say, I couldn't see how canceling the day of prayer was really that big of a deal, so a bunch of politicians stopped faking like they give a rip about God's kingdom, and I couldn't understand what she meant about condemnation... is it a surprise that the U.S. doesn't do things the way God would like them to be done? Overall I felt that she wasn't really looking at the big picture.
The one woman who said she liked the president had reasons too. She said that she watched the way he dealt with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently and she thinks he's working for peace and that he's dealing well with things on an international level. Now, I can't say I "like" the president, I'm just not sure that language would be accurate. He's more educated than our last and seems to care a little more about the poor than most political leaders in the U.S. but he's still in a political office which is, by nature, not free to seek first the Kingdom of God. But besides all that, I have to say I agreed with the woman who defended Obama in the argument. Working for Palestinian state-hood is good and working for peace in the world is supremely more important than the government recognizing a National Day of Prayer.
The two women bantered back and forth for a while, one saying that legislating against abortion won't solve the problem and the other saying that peace was never gonna happen. "Read your Bible," she said arrogantly, "the end of the world is going to come from the Middle East." Wow, what a presumptuous statement... "Read your Bible."
Sometimes I forget that people who think like this exist. She was basically saying that we shouldn't work for peace because it's never going to come... I guess Jesus lied when he told his disciples, "peace be with you" after his resurrection... and I guess Isaiah was kidding when it was written, "They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." And I guess in order for me to disregard these sorts of passages in Scripture I need to "read my Bible"... ironic.
The bottom line is that some people have chosen the path of the Empire and it's ideology has infused itself into their thinking to the point where they've mistaken it for Christianity. They've mistaken assimilation for support, cynicism for faith, militancy for good deeds, and the curse of death for the gospel of peace.
Perhaps we need to go back to basics and remember that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of salvation from a curse not of the destruction of the world through the curse. We, like Jesus, must come out the other side of our temptation as people of hope and peace and not as people who give in to the imagination of sin. We must imagine, and dream as God does, a world where death has lost its' sting. We've truly given in when we can use the bible to claim that there is no hope for peace.
And, P.S., we should all stop reading Joel Rosenberg and Tim LaHaye... just a thought.