Daily Wisdom

November 07, 2008

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!"

20 Comments:

At 11/08/2008 12:18 PM , Blogger Beerme said...

I believe he might have been ordained by Chris Matthews and MSNBC!
That's as far as I can go, though...

Seriously, though, evil or wickedness is the almost inevitable result when any group of people join together without God or at least a fairly autonomic system to restrain those wicked impulses that are tempted by greed, power and other sins (a system like our government of laws or the Capitalist market, for example).

Let's remain hopeful but speak out against tyranny and injustice if (or when) the Libs start their stuff. I'm still confident there are enough people of conscience and reason to choose wisely-if a wise enough choice is presented to them...

 
At 11/08/2008 12:40 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Beerme,
You mean Chris "tingly legs" Matthews? I hope you're right about enough people of "conscience and reason" to still choose wisely. Clearly, the election results show that more people voted without using any sense of "reason"... just their "feelings". And that's pretty dumb.

Best regards...

 
At 11/08/2008 1:18 PM , Blogger Ms RightWing's Ink said...

Okay, now I know (maybe) that it was a coincidence beyond the magnitude of my imagination that the Pick Three Lottery number in Illinois the day OB1 was nominated was 666.

This was not an urban legend

 
At 11/08/2008 1:23 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Ms RW,
Cue Twilight Zone music... doo, doo, doo, doo...

(:D) Best regards!

 
At 11/08/2008 6:43 PM , Blogger mindknumbed kid said...

I do believe that we have a generation of Americans that does not know God. I fear that we have an educational system that has turned their minds against God. This generation has grown up with the idea of a woman's "right to chose", and now the efforts we are finally making to undo this selfish and Godless act are being viewed as attacks on women. Now they think it is hate to deny homosexuals the right to marry, and that it is discriminatory to do so. When we kicked God out of the classroom, we also kicked out the opportunity to teach what is right or wrong within a society. As we move to eliminate the teachings of the 10 commandments we are entering into an era in which we will be incapable of keeping biblical morality as the basis in the rule of law and order. I believe we are seeing the beginnings in the creation of "hate crimes". Soon we dare not speak out against whatever anyone does in an effort to change their behavior. The idea of "you can't judge me" is nothing more than that person saying "you can't tell me what I can or can't do", if and when that kind of thinking gets into the legal system chaos will result. Freedom isn't license to do anything you wish, but that seems to be where we are headed.

 
At 11/08/2008 8:02 PM , Anonymous R.A.M. said...

Most of the day today, either GOD TV or the WORD TV have been broadcasting the "Rainbow PUSH" conference, although if you watch, it can easily be confused for, "The Barack Obama Coronation"!

When will the REAL people of GOD stand up and DEMAND the "other side" abide by the same rules we have to follow, such as the "supposed" separation of Church and State?

You KNOE I do not believe there is any such thing in the Constitution, yet there are Christian Pastors RIGHT NOW being charged with saying they are for a Conservative candidate and facing losing tax exempt status, yet Rainbow/PUSH, and the likes of Rev Wright, etc. go untouched and free to state their choice of "messiah"!

 
At 11/08/2008 9:16 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

MKK,
Right on target. Those godless liberals have been working to destroy our way of life for 50 years, and they are succeeding... a little bit at a time. We are dying the death of a thousand paper cuts.

Best regards...

 
At 11/08/2008 9:34 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

R.A.M.,
I wish I knew. Some classes of people in this country apparently have rights that others do not. Blacks have freedom of speech to use the "N" word, but whites do not. Jeremiah Wright, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Father Phleger can talk politics all they want from the pulpit, but a white, conservative preacher cannot. You know the routine: Do as I say, not as I do. Jesus had a few things to say about such people...

"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves... You blind fools!... Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity... Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity... You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?" --Matthew 23

I say, Amen to that!

Best regards...

 
At 11/09/2008 10:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe you've done a pretty credible job of explaining how God ordains governments, Hawkeye.

Of course the overriding consideration is the rather transparent fact that God has bequeath mankind the power of making free moral choices. The fact that humankind is flawed with sin and often makes very bad free moral choices certainly plays into the equation of governments and their efficacy.

The most salient point you make is actually two-pronged, at least under our system of government self-interested people do choose to elect a person or persons whom they view would be most competent in the conduct of governoring. That is, people assume the best about a particular politician or party.

However, there are tens of thousands of decisions that government leaders must make, some naive, some based on political calculation, some based on flawed information or a flawed worldview and some for the good of the people. Because God has ordained man to exercise free moral choices, He has restrained Himself from interferring every step of the way to essentially "save us from ourselves." That is, there are natural consequences for bad or ill-advised decisions and even when it impacts other people or nations, God is not going to arbitrarily step in and make the wrong right. That's why miracles are considered unique. Of course the biggest intrustion into history made by a trascendent, loving God was when God the Son became flesh, hence our understanding that God intruded into human history vis a vis the incarnation of Messiah Jesus. But still a lot of bad things happened surrounding the life, death and resurrecton of Messiah, yet Messiah Himself was without sin

I doubt even Adolf Hitler had evil, full-blown designs on the world when he came into power in 1930s Germany. There probably was a certain level of a sincere desire on his part to address the plight of the German people. However, as his power grew so did his meglo-mania and arrogance and the German people on the whole were so focused on improving their conditions by either hook or crook that it eventually led to the scapegoating of the German Jews and then a more outward imperialism which was originally justified by Germany availing itself of what it thought was its rightful claim to lands it had previously lost. And the rest, as they say, is history.

It would take an entire book to plumb the depths of this topic, but the Bible is quite plain, where God means something for good, man has the unerring ability to use it for bad. Like the American founders, we are left to judge governments not by how they were necessarily instituted but how government is executed by those in whom we've entrusted to rule righteously for the people. God is not to blame for bad government but rather man is since human government is a distillation of all the good and bad choices made by those who participate in said power.

It does seem, however, that there is no divine form of human government since it will be the government of the Prince of Peace Himself that will lead to a thousand years of peace and prosperity the likes of which this world has never seen. So, the entire tapestry of human history seems to be an object lesson to mankind, when we are left to our own devices and self-interests, all forms of government are destined to fail once God is excluded.

One of the great object lessons in the Bible was the children of Israel's whine to have a king like all the other nations. God patiently reminds them if they would allow Him to be their King and lead their country from glory to glory, and earthly prince would not be necessary. But the Israelites continued to desire their own earthly king, God gave them the desire of their hearts and once again we see human and governmental tragedy unfold as Israel suffers, with few exceptions, under one bad king after another.

The Bible makes it plain how we are to judge governments, if government bears the sword against evildoers and brings order, stability and prosperity to its people, it is a good and faithful minister of God. If government causes fear in its law-abiding citizenry, causes social instability and sees its citizens as merely subjects to be fleeced like so many sheep, then it has stepped outside of God's original ordination and should be overturned by any human means possible.

Sic Semper Tyrannis!

Hankmeister

 
At 11/09/2008 10:26 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Hankmeister,
Thanks for your kind words, and thanks for your outstanding comments. I'm not quite ready to overturn our government yet, but it does seem to be heading in a frightening direction, does it not? We can only hope that Obama fails to: a) live up to his promises, b) share the wealth, c) destroy our economy, and d) submit to our enemies.

Yikes! What a mess we could be in for.

(:I) Best regards...

 
At 11/10/2008 1:36 AM , Anonymous camojack said...

To expand on ms rightwing's comment, not only did the Illinois number come out to 666, 6+6+6=18...the number of letters in Barack Hussein Obama. Coincidence? Maybe.

Oh yeah, and: ELEVENTEEN!!!

 
At 11/10/2008 7:28 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Camo,
Twelve-TEEN!

(:D) Best regards...

 
At 11/10/2008 8:23 AM , Blogger boberin said...

Yikes!


Yikes!


'nough said...

 
At 11/10/2008 4:29 PM , Blogger mig said...

I am sure that Obama has no intention of doing anything 'American'. We can be sure that he will be altering everything that we know. We have made a huge stride towards socialism and 52% of the people either don't care or don't know or worse desire it.

 
At 11/10/2008 7:31 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Boberin,
What are you "Yikes!-ing" about? Gotta at least gimme a clue...

(:X) Best regards...

 
At 11/10/2008 7:36 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Mig,
You may be right, but don't give up yet. Let's at least wait to see what he does. He might be more moderate than any of us might have hoped for. Then again... Well let's just pray.

(:I) Best regards...

 
At 11/10/2008 7:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll tell you now that your comments are accurate and appreciated. Thanks for defining the difference between God's will and the people's errant will. John and I are fighting fear over the possibilities that come with this past election's results. If the majority of America is choosing the wide and wicked road, what does it all mean in light of Revelation and the end times? I pray Christ comes soon and snatches us out of this mayhem. Seems the Democrats may have a reprobate mind; they don't see with spiritual eyes but with blinded, carnal eyes. Righteousness has no value to them and America stands to lose the right to claim that we are still the "land of the free and the home of the brave." We have become the land of many diverse cultures, each seeking self enrichment at the expense of our nation's welfare. How utterly devastating.

 
At 11/10/2008 7:57 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for your kind words. As I said to Mig above, don't give up yet. Let's at least wait to see what he does... and keep praying.

Since you are not completely "Anonymous" to me, God's blessings on you, John and the whole family.

(:D) Best regards...

 
At 11/11/2008 10:46 AM , Blogger mig said...

From Hugh Hewitt, looks like moderate isn't in the American dictionary anymore. It is one among many that is banned...

Let me see if I understand this whole hope and change thing.

In roughly 48 hours, we've learned that President-elect Obama is going to close Guantanamo Bay, bring terrorists onto United States soil to face trial with whatever trial judge they get, as if they stole a car.

We've learned that the favors to the abortion lobby will be paid off first as executive orders banning fetal stem cell research, or in other words, growing babies for the purpose of killing them and harvesting them for possible spare parts, are going to be overturned.

We've learned that instead of young, fresh faces surrounding Barack Obama, he's raiding the Clinton White House team for a reprise in 2009, the same team that collectively brought you the metastasizing of al Qaeda into the global threat it is today.

And all this without even taking the oath yet. Sounds like a fun four years ahead, huh?

 
At 11/11/2008 8:58 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Mig,
Yeah, sounds like "fun"... sigh!

(:<) Best regards...

 

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