Obama: Ordained By God?
As a Christian, I have been contemplating for some time now certain scripture passages as they relate to the American electoral system. Romans 13 tells us...
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. --Romans 13:1-2
Now, one can feel confident that God has instituted the "governing authorities" when a righteous, God-fearing person is at the helm, but it is much harder to do so when an evil (or perhaps even a merely 'sleazy') person is in control. Does God actually "institute" governments of wicked people? It seems contradictory to His nature and a frightening possibility to imagine. I thought perhaps there might be some subtle meaning of the word 'institute' that I had not grasped, but when I looked at the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word 'institute' literally means:
1: to establish in a position or office
2a: to originate and get established; organize
2b: to set going; inaugurate
Thus, it would appear then that there can be no question as to the meaning of this scripture passage. God it would seem, "establishes" or "organizes" or "inaugurates" ALL governing authorities -- even those that may be wicked. "For there is no authority except FROM GOD". But for what purpose would God institute a wicked government? Does this mean then that God approves of wickedness? Hardly. We can get a sense of why God institutes human governments from the next few verses of Romans 13...
For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer. --Romans 13:3-4
The primary purpose of government then, according to this passage, is to maintain civil order. Human governments have been "instituted" by God in order to enforce justice by executing "wrath on the wrongdoer". Governments are necessary in order to insure "good conduct" among the populace. The assumption then, is that governments operate according to a set of laws designed to prevent humans from descending into a state of total chaos and anarchy or unrestrained crime. God does NOT institute governments for the purpose of terrorizing or subjugating the populace.
And while I have not done any research on the subject, it occurs to me that most human governments that have arisen in history were not "wicked" at the start. Most often I think, governments were established initially for the perceived "good" of the governed. That power corrupts is clearly obvious, and there are plenty of examples where rulers and governments BECAME wicked -- sometimes very quickly. If you can think of a government that was initially founded for the purpose of being wicked, please enlighten me.
This would be especially true of our American government. While imperfect, our government was established by Christians, for Christians. It was founded on Judeo-Christian principles for the good of those governed. It has been better than many others that have come and gone, before and after it. That it may now be changing into something else is another story.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, a Mrs. Powel anxiously awaited the results, and as Benjamin Franklin emerged she asked him directly: "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin replied, "A republic, if you can keep it". History has shown us that it is a difficult task to maintain a republic, and it will be further threatened in the coming months and years.
Barack Obama and many of those on the Left dislike what our Founding Fathers created. Hence, their emphasis on the need for "change". They do not like that our Framers established a government which provides opportunity for the "pursuit" of happiness, they want a government which "provides" happiness. They do not want a country where all are equal in the eyes of God, but where all are equal in terms of income. Hence, their emphasis on the need for "sharing the wealth".
Some have asked whether the election of Obama means that God has "ordained" his presidency. They look at passages like Romans 13:1-2 and ask whether or not God has "instituted" him as the "governing authority". Nothing could be further from the truth. Barack Obama was elected by the American people through a "popular vote". And let's not quibble about the Electoral College. The "electors" merely reflect the will of the people in their particular state (in theory anyway). So let's not confuse "the will of the people" with "the will of God".
But this begs the question then, is God still in control if humans elect whom they wish? Of course He is. God can use any human or any government to accomplish His purposes, and He does so regularly. I am reminded of the Biblical prophecies about the Antichrist who will rise to power at the end of the age.
God will not "ordain" the Antichrist, his government or his wickedness, but He will use them to accomplish His own ends. God will use the Antichrist to divide the people of earth into two camps -- those who are for God, and those who are against God. Some will "elect" to follow the Antichrist, and some will "elect" to follow God. It is the people themselves who will make the choice. And their choice will make it that much easier for God to pour out His unbridled wrath on those who choose wickedness. In the book of Revelation, the Antichrist is referred to as the "beast"...
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea... --Revelation 13:1a
The "sea" here represents humanity. The book of Revelation uses water repeatedly to symbolize many people. Large masses of people are represented as a "sea", a "river" and a "flood", among others. If the waters are calm "like glass", it represents a tranquil humanity. If the seas are stormy, it represents humanity in turmoil.
Thus, the image here is one of the Antichrist rising out of the sea of humanity. He rides in on a "wave" of popularity (pun intended) the way Barack Obama did. Now don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting that Barack Obama is the Antichrist of Biblical prophecy. Nevertheless, Obama may be a foreshadowing or 'type' of antichrist...
Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come... --1John 2:18a
Barack Obama rose from almost total obscurity to the presidency in a matter of a few short years. Louis Farrakhan has referred to him as the "messiah". Others have spoken of him the same way, even if they did not use that particular word. If Obama is a "messiah", then he can only be a false messiah, because we know that the true Messiah -- Jesus Christ -- will return "on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory".
God confronts us with choices routinely. On a personal level, He confronts us with choices about sinfulness or righteousness. For my part, I have made many bad choices. I can only ask God to forgive me, and try to do better. On a national level, God confronts us with choices as well. In this last election we had a clear choice...
On the one hand, we had a true American hero who was pro-life and pro-family; married to a woman who gave freely of her time to many good causes; alongside a running mate who was a small-town, God-fearing Christian and hockey-mom. On the other hand, we had a slick, lying community organizer who favored abortion, infanticide, and same-sex unions; married to a woman who was "never proud" of her country during her entire adult life; alongside a dopey running mate who was a gaffe-machine, and who wanted to partition Iraq into 3 separate countries.
I am reminded of the line from the movie 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' -- "You have chosen...poorly!"