Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dear Senator Obama,

I heard you speak for the first time when you spoke at the DNC during Kerry's campaign for the White House. I also just watched your speech about faith and politics on your website.

Let me be upfront: I am a believer in Jesus Christ, and I hold to the inerrancy of Scripture.
You strike me as a sincere idealist who truly believes in what he says and does. I appreciate this. However, you also appear to be completely blind to the fact that you are patronizing us who have a fundamental faith commitment to Jesus Christ.

Fundamentally, you are more committed to pluralism and democracy than you are committed to Jesus Christ. This is idolatry of which you need to repent.

I challenge you to read deeply and meditate on the Word of God. God's truth is total truth. There is no room for any form of "secularism" (philosophically or in practice) when you are dealing with the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is holy, set a part for His own purposes. And He has commanded us: "Be holy, for I am holy."

My faith commitment is not a flimsy emotional commitment; nor is it merely a matter of rhetoric. Rather, I am totally dependent on God to have a proper view of truth and reality. And, whether you realize it or not, so are you. Truth and reality are not subjective; they are objective.

The logical and practical conclusions of these assertions will lead you in a radically different life direction than the one you are taking, but allow me to skip through that and just discuss one important issue.

Abortion. The only question that needs to be asked here is this: Is the unborn baby a human person or not? Note that this is not a scientific question. This is a philosophical and theological question. If the unborn baby is a human person, then we must stand up for his fundamental right to life, just as we do for all other people. For the baby is created in the image of God with dignity and value.

In our history, there was a time when people did not recognize the personhood of African-Americans. Now - thanks be to God - we do. How is it that we hold to the axiom that those who are born deserve to be protected by law, but those who are not born, do not? The wrath of God is being provoked, for we are a nation with blood on her hands. And you, by your pro-choice stance, are approving of murder.

You are a role model for millions and millions of people. You have great rhetorical gifts, and you have the capacity to inspire millions of people. Particularly, in the African-American community, you are a role model and a leader. If you do not repent for your pro-choice stance and stand up for the lives of the unborn, not only do you condemn yourself by your words and deeds, but you will lead millions of others down the road of destruction and death. A culture that does not stand for life will be given over to death. This is the wrath of God. With all due respect, sir, come to the cross of Christ, and have a talk with the God of Scripture, and not with the God-construct that you have invented in your head. Repent.


Blogger Dan said...

I banter occassionally with Steve Holt at Harvest Boston. He has a vision of making disciples and establishing justice in Boston and throughout the earth; yet, he describes himself as a-political. We recently have been bantering about the role that Christians should have in politics. He seems honestly conflicted. So, I've been trying to show him the light. Check it out at harvestboston.net. (Of course, hardly anyone reads my blog, so I don't suppose that many new people will suddenly be reading harvestboston.net. I need to work on my marketing campaign.)

Anyways, we've interacted some through email about Obama as well. And through our interaction, I wrote a prayer for Obama:

God, please speak to Obama, and cause him to seek your face. By your grace, mercy, and love, help him to obey you and to worship you in spirit and in truth. Let everything that he says and does be for your glory, in your Name, and by the power of your Spirit. Bring him to the cross. Humble him completely. May he be completely caught up in worshipping you and living for the glory of your Name. Let him see the depravity and futility of all human activity that is not consecrated to you.

Can I get a witness?

5:47 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'm actually not that conflicted, Dan ... my allegiance is to the Kingdom of God, not any earthly kingdom. I "saw the light" when I finally left behind my shallow political interests and hopes and realized that Jesus is king, not "Caesar."

I've enjoyed our conversation, though! I think you're getting better at this "dialogue" thing, Dan ... it's a lot less like pulling teeth than it used to be.


6:48 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


Your a-political stance makes you a far cry from erring into Option E. (See comment #7 back here: http://harvestboston.net/20070426/jesus-camp/#comments). However, it seems to me that to embrace a completely a-political stance is to be passive.

We are to be praying for our leaders. And we are to pray earnestly, with faith, with perseverance, and according to God's will. This means that we should be desiring our leaders to live and to act in certain ways, and not to live and act in other ways. To be a-political seems to say that we do not care what our leaders are doing. But God clearly says that we are to care and that we are to do.

Let's put it this way: If/when you become a parent (I'm assuming you and your wife are not yet parents), assuming that you are not planning on homeschooling, do you and your wife plan on being involved in PTO meetings, or school board meetings. Such activity is political in nature.

What I'm trying to get at is this: In every organization, there is politics. To back off from all political involvement is to surrender the authority and power to other people - who may or may not be men and women of integrity and honor. You say, "God's kingdom will not be established through political means." Perhaps one of the reasons for this is the fact that millions of Christians refuse to participate.

But, it doesn't even end there. In your "Jesus Camp" thread, you criticize Christians who do seek to be involved in the political process.

Of course, you also never answered my poll question at the "Jesus Camp" thread. Of the options, which do you fall under. Right now, being a-political, you appear to fall into option A.

Somehow, the state has done an amazing job at convincing Christians either not to be involved in politics, or, if you are going to be involved in politics, you must do so on the terms set by secularists.

For the life of me, I don't see how Christians can be so flippant about things that matter. Soldiers in the battlefield are fighting and dying. For what? Our tax money is used to teach children. How are children being taught? What are children being taught?

If Christians are to care about justice, then Christians are to care about bring down the wicked and raising up the righteous - punishing bad behavior and rewarding good behavior. In this way, we vote with our dollars every day when we buy stuff. Indeed, to buy stuff you don't like, and to not buy stuff you like is to engage in politics. You're not completely a-political.

Caring about he welfare of the unborn and the soldiers who are in harm's way is not a "shallow political interest."

9:21 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Well, let me know how your political involvement works out for you. I sincerely hope it creates the model, God-serving society, but I'm not holding my breath.

I'm choosing to serve in simple ways in the lives of my neighbors, my co-workers, the poor around me. There is much to be done, and I will not be waiting for the government to reflect the glory of God. It never will, as long as it is self-protecting and self-glorifying.

Am I passive for choosing flesh-and-blood relationships over the ballot box? It actually takes work to be passive in the political process ... every social queue around me tells me to jump right in with everyone else. But I guess I am naturally skeptical of anything that "everyone" is doing...

I'm probably going to be AWOL from this discussion for a while. Just an FYI. Lotsa work to get done. =)

10:28 AM  
Blogger dan said...

"Am I passive for choosing flesh-and-blood relationships over the ballot box?"

Are you saying it is a time issue? Will your "flesh and blood relationships" suffer if you vote?

But you have time to watch the Red Sox and watch movies once in a while? And you have significant time to cultivate "on-line" fellowship via blogs? There's not much "flesh and blood" online. If you have time to blog about how bad those pro-life Christian activists are, then it seems like you have time to vote.

Not either-or, but and-also.

And of course, I never said to put your hope and faith in governments. I am saying to contend for justice. Big difference.

Anyone who ever gets anything significant done for God's kingdom has to confront situations that are in some way political in nature. Examples? Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Nehemiah, Ezra, Esther, Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter, John, and Paul. Every church has "internal politics." As does every school and every human organization.

To be completely a-political is to either be not human or to be a recluse.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Questions. Trying to understand your stance on the government and Christianity.

Would you agree that the US government is inherently flawed at its roots since it accepts rule by the people (of any faith, or none), instead of being ruled by God as through a king or a populace that is all Christian?

Should all acts of sin be outlawed and if so, what about the most egregious sin, not being a member of God's kingdom.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I just typed a response and then lost it.

Let's make this short an sweet for now. If you like, after you do some reading, we can discuss this further.

There are a bunch of great articles at www.credenda.org under Magistralis.

The U.S. government is certainly flawed at its roots. Do not put your hope in our government or any human government. But contend for justice by preaching the gospel, making disciples, teaching people (including politicians and judges) to obey God (and reject secularism). Without Christ, we can do nothing good. Since God is Savior, we are to do good.

I recently wrote this at Harvest Boston:

"Option A: It is never right to mix faith with politics, and anyone who claims to follow Christ should not be involved in politics of any form ever.

Option B: It is never right to mix faith with politics, but being somewhat involved with politics is okay. Just leave your faith at home.

Option C: It is sometimes right to mix faith with politics.

Option D: It is always right to mix faith with politics, when you are involved with politics. However, we should not be defined by politics.

Option E: It is always right to mix faith with politics, and politics matters above all else.

Depending on how politics is defined, I would put myself somewhere between D and E, but closer to D.

If you choose A, then that means you should never vote, you should never be a part of a Town Meeting. You should never be involved in a school board meeting. You should not be involved in what is happening in the Supreme Court or in Congress. You should not picket. You should not write to your Congressman.

What about praying for your Congressman? Apparently, if you choose A, you can’t do that either. Because then God might get involved in politics due to your prayer - which means that indirectly, you got involved with politics. The fundamental rules of Option A is that we are not to be involved in politics and we are not to mix faith with politics. So, it seems that Option A means we can’t pray for our leaders. (Or if we do, we can only pray that God will influence their “private” lives, and not their “public” lives.)

Clearly, Option A is unbiblical. Scratch that one off the list.

Option B… Do I even need to go through this. “Whatever is not of faith is sin.” If we are to engage in politics at all, we must do justly as God defines justice. We must live for the glory of God. Jesus is Lord of all. etc. If we engage in politics, but leave our faith at home, then we are in sinful idolatry. Scratch B off the list.

Option C. See my analysis of Option B. Christ is Lord of ALL and that ALL the time. We are not allowed to “sometimes” treat God as if He is irrelevant. Scratch it off the list.

Option E. I don’t think anyone here is considering this option - except maybe me - somewhat. Again it depends on how we define “politics.” One can argue that all human interaction is “political” in nature. But let’s just say that some people are addicted to Fox News (or CNN or MSNBC or the New York Times, etc) and they are always ready for a good brawl about politics, but they never spend time in the Bible. They become idealogues, and they have a political - and maybe even a theological - solution for everything, but there is little to no evidence of Christ being lived out in their lives. They are “religious,” but they have lost connection (or never had connection) with Christ. They are not living “incarnationally,” but only theoretically. I confess that I need to stand my guard against this kind of thing.

Option D. We should care about justice for all - justice for the poor, the widow, the orphan, the Sudan, the unborn, the schools, the neighborhoods, the families, the courts, Congress, etc. We are commanded to care about justice and to do justly. To preach the gospel without contending for justice is to fail to preach the full gospel. We desire to live under just laws. How do we discern what laws are just? Justice/righteousness can not be defined accurately a part from Yahweh; thus, we contend (whether or not we get our way) that the law of the land must be based on the truth about Yahweh.

Establishing justice in this manner is a crucial part to the fulfillment of the Great Comission."

Gotta run.

6:46 AM  

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