Monday, August 31, 2009

Pastor Anderson: The Unfortunate Flip Side of Reverend Wright

No sooner does the Watchman advocate that conservatives rally behind an increase in Secret Service protection for President Obama, than a pastor in Arizona preaches a sermon calling for God to strike him dead.

Let's take this in two parts:  political and spiritual.

To advocate that God strike Obama down is politically stupid for two reasons.  First it's mean spirited and Americans don't cotton to mean-spiritedness.  Obama is on the wrong track, sure -- a terribly wrong track.  But isn't it enough that we oppose him by every political means possible?  Isn't it enough to protest at every town hall meeting in America and on the steps of the Capitol in Washington?.  No, let's tell the whole world that we're calling on the almighty to be our hit man.  Yeah, that'll get the people on our side... the CRAZIES!  And the reasonable, rational, limited government lovers will cringe in the corners.

Second, like Obi-Wan Kenobi before him, Obama would be legislatively more powerful in death than in life.  I pointed this out yesterday.  He's already losing the battle in the marketplace of ideas.  So let him lose.  When a lib is self-destructing, leave him alone.  Pull up a chair, pop some popcorn and enjoy the show, but leave him alone!

From a spiritual perspective, Pastor Anderson is on the thinest of ice. He's broken with the teaching of his Baptist denomination.  I'd like to know what he believes is the biblical instruction that tells him to pray for the death of the President of the United States -- his own leader.

I can give him two passage of scripture that fly directly in the face of the pastor's actions:
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. -- 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. -- 1 Peter 2:17
If these very specific instructions about prayer and respect for leaders are not enough, then consider this general command on how we are to respond to our enemies.
You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. -- Matthew 5:43-45
Make no mistake. there's nothing unbiblical about disagreeing with your leaders in our form of government.  It's not wrong to pray for their minds and hearts to be changed.  It's not even wrong to pray that God will give us new leaders.  But to cross over into asking God to strike your leader with brain cancer and death, is very wrong indeed.

There are kooks on both sides, of course. Let's police our own by rebuking comments like those from Pastor Anderson.  And please write your representative in Congress exhorting them to increase Secret Service protection for President Obama.

[If you would like to read other Watchman thoughts on religion and government health care, go here]

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