Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama Drama Rama

The airwaves have been jammed with all the comments and punditry surrounding Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright, and Obama’s recent speech on race in America. It’s a fascinating time to be an American or to be interested in American politics.

But amid the din of so many voices and digital transmissions, something profound is about to happen… or not happen.

What did we see on Tuesday morning when Obama gave his speech? What did we hear? No, I mean in ourselves. What did we see and hear in ourselves?
Did we feel anything? Was it disgust, trust, anger, or pride? Were we overcome with hope or doubt? Were we led by our sinful natures or by the Spirit of God if we’re Christians?

Galatians 5 tells us the difference between the Spirit’s response and the sinful nature’s response. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious… hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy….” On the other hand, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

What did you see when Obama spoke? What have you seen in yourself since the speech?

Think carefully. Has your sinful nature or the Spirit been in control of your passions and desires, your acts and reactions?

On Tuesday March 18th, in my opinion, the most eloquent public address on race or race-related issues since the Gettysburg Address was offered the American people. (What do you see in yourself reading that statement? Is it the Spirit or the flesh?)

A moment never-before-seen in American history happened before our eyes and listening ears. An American stood poised with the attention of the entire nation and for 37 minutes discussed the complexities involved in ethnic identity and the subterranean lava pits of anger and resentment that threaten to explode every time “race” is the topic. From the country’s history with slavery to the candidates own grandmother, this thing called “race” was opened up before us that we might see ourselves and forever be different.

I’m not a romantic. I just recognize a good opportunity when I see one. I’m the kind of man that shops for a suit or a pair of shoes for 6 months to a year, even though I saw the suit or shoes I wanted the first Saturday I went to the stores. Most of my friends think I’m sober, if not downright intense at times. I’m not generally gullible. I have other faults—serious ones—but that’s not one of them.

When I watched Obama’s speech and reflected on what he said, I saw an opportunity of great importance. For the first time in the country’s history we have an opportunity to have a national public reflection and discussion of who we are without being needlessly bogged down with the old paradigms and stereotypes regarding “race.” It’s not the first time a national discussion was offered. You may remember that the Clinton administration had a presidential commission race chaired by John Hope Franklin, the respected African American historian. Or, maybe you don’t remember that commission. If you don’t, that’s likely because nothing substantially different occupied the thinking of that group. It was the same old framework, with the same old laments, leading to the same old outcome—nothing.

For most of our lives, most all of us have lived with the assumption that “race” is real… and inescapable. We have lived with the assumed corollary that the meaning and prescribed limits of “race” were intractable. On Tuesday morning, a young man significantly post-Civil Rights in time and attitude, and self-consciously post “race,” stood before flashing lights, television cameras, and a row of American flags and announced that a new day of racial understanding is possibly upon us. The fact that he could even say such a thing—defying all the orthodoxy of race—black and white—was itself tangible evidence that the country could possibly be in a new place. Possibly.

“In the most important matters a man has always been free to ruin himself if he chose” (G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong with the World, p. 118).

Chesterton may be prophetic. Again. For sure enough, in many op-eds and tv shows we’ve had the full display of man’s stellar propensity at ruining himself. Professed Christians often have been the most ruinous and the least optimistic. How is that possible given Who we love?

There has come from some quarters a quick and relentless effort following the Wright videos to say, “Aha! We knew it! The old racial paradigm does still hold!” I’m fascinated—and saddened—at the constant effort to make Barack Obama “an angry black man.” If Obama won’t give us the evidence we need, we’ll argue that his pastor is a good enough proxy, and his pastor’s association with men like Farrakhan will do just the same. Never mind that Obama himself has until Tuesday been the one man in America to participate in this election steadfastly determined not to inject “race” into the discussion.

“It’s a contradiction!” we’re told. Of course it is. When has “race” been anything but a contradiction, a confused and confusing mess? Are we really more clear-eyed than Barack Obama? Are we really so astute at playing the “race” game that we can judge Obama quickly and summarily for his contradictions? Do we really have so much integrity that we can be the first one to cast a stone at this man? I have enough of my own contradictions to work through without pretending his are more egregious. They are now more public, but I fear that for most of us they are not any more problematic and deep-seated than our own fears, questions, doubts, anger, and pride regarding “race.”

Here’s why it’s all contradictory. And here’s why Obama’s speech was one idea short of perfect. “Race” does not exist. We’re engaged in a collective delusion. We are like men in the woods of Alabama sitting in a tree waiting to shoot the next unicorn that comes along (no offense to Alabamians). We’re certifiable. The only thing that keeps us out of the institution is that we’ve agreed, contrary to God’s word (Acts 17:26), that we like this strong delusion called “race.” We think it’s useful. And we may be on the verge of agreeing that we’d rather sleep with the devil we know (“race” and all its entailments) than hazard a new world where this most basic assumption about ourselves is brought into the light, questioned, re-examined, and re-defined.

Here is precisely where Christians should be of the most help to this discussion. We're the ones who are supposed to know that all men are descended from Adam, made in God's image, may be re-made in the image through faith in and union with Christ, and in Christ are free of the old creation boundaries of the flesh. We should be rushing in to provide the theological discernment and ballast that Obama's speech (as good as it was) lacked.

But finding out you’re not who you thought you were is a very scary thing. We’re scared.

Part of the brilliance of Obama’s speech is that he dared put his finger on the fact that black and white, Hispanic and Asian, we’re all afraid… and resentful. One outrageous pundit wants to know: "How long must we all marinate in the angry resentment of black people?" Contrary to what we tell ourselves, our sinful anger and resentment and lack of forgiveness and grace are cut from the same tattered cloth. Despite our protests that Obama’s grandmother (the Lord bless her) is not like Jeremiah Wright, she most certainly is. The same root system of depravity that sprung up in the flower of her stereotypical views of Blacks is the same root system that produced the poisonous vines of Wright’s comments. Have we forgotten that the “innocent” or “mild” discomfort of white women historically has led to the brutal beatings and murders of black men? Remember Emmett Till? And sometimes those “innocent” little attitudes have led to massacres of entire towns. Remember Rosewood?

We’re an angry and afraid people--Americans, that is. And we need the collective call to repentance and forgiveness that Obama’s speech opens the door for.

As I’ve written before, I am a delivered racist. I know how racism works in its black and white varieties. What most of us have not yet recognized is that racism is only possible where “race” is admitted. The difference between holding to a view that “race” exists and being a “racist” is a matter of degree, not kind. Most of us just haven’t gone as far as Wright or Farrakhan or Duke or Thurmond. But in holding onto the unbiblical and unreal notion of race, we have everything we need in our depraved hearts to get there.

A while back, I suggested that Obama’s association with Trinity would hurt him (here). Honestly, I didn’t think he would be to respond as admirably as he did. Also, I didn’t anticipate that in God’s providence Obama’s response would become a yardstick for measuring how far all the rest of us have come (or not) on “race.” But it has. And we have an opportunity. Something major could happen… or not.

What did you see and think when watching Obama’s speech? Do you need to re-view and re-think the speech? It might be good if we all prayed and watched again, asking the Lord to grant us grace and victory in these difficult issues and sins.

21 comments:

Celucien L. Joseph said...

This is a courageous post! Thanks for sharing your heart with us.
To me, Obama's speech was powerful and effective; to the extent that the Lord used it in my life to convict me of my own flaws and shortcomings. Yet, the greatest challenge in the speech comes to this question: what are going to do as a people and evangelical Christians to make racial harmony a reality in America, particularly in our churches.

wwdunc said...

I haven't had a chance (yet) to hear Barack Obama's speech, but I did read the entire text later that day. I was genuinely impressed, and grateful, for what Obama said. I think he did a masterful job addressing an enormously difficult subject.

On the other hand, reading the outright attacks on Obama and Wright, that I've seen over the past several days at Christian blogs, has left me alternately angered and disheartened. It is because of self-righteous, mean-spirited and (in my opinion) racist attitudes like those that the "Black Church" exists in the first place! It's enough to make one want to throw in the towel, give up any hope of racial reconciliation, and go back to "your own kind".

Thank you so much for writing this; it is so refreshing to read. And I thank God for giving you the ability to say and write what you do in the manner in which it needs to be said.

Nevergall said...

Thank you for providing a Christian perspective. I can't even begin to pretend I know what it's like to be a black man (or woman) in America, but I do know of one thing we all have in common. Sin. Racism is a byproduct of our fallen nature and we all (Wright, Obama, Ferraro, Dog, grandma's, me, etc...) all need to ask God to speak to our hearts and create in us the necessary changes associated with maturing and being conformed to the image of His Son.

I"m also not going to pretend that racism is going to end this side of eternity, but I will say that the Church (not the political arena) should be the place change is most encouraged and embraced.

Thank you for being fair & balanced with this issue and keeping Christ at the center of the solution.

rees said...

Very fair analysis and thanks to you. I recieve your 'latest from Pure Church' through my email box and on a number of occassions, I have tried to write to you by hitting the reply button but have failed to get through. How do I write directly if I wanted to?

God bless

Stephen Ley said...

I'm in wholehearted agreement with your analysis of the speech and the larger issue for the church. The only categories of people that ultimately matter are "in Christ" or "in Adam". I enjoyed your article in Modern Reformation on this subject using Ephesians.

plukevdh said...

Amen brother! Thank you for encouraging the people of God to be thoughtful of the things said and what needs to be done, rather than simply criticizing due to political associations. Much needed...

Alex Chediak said...

Thabiti,

I appreciate your challenge on the very notion of race. I totally agree with you in that regard.

However, with regard to Obama's speech, its great eloquence notwithstanding, I agree with Charles Krauthammer that it had two weaknesses:

1. The moral equivalence logic doesn't work. It is not fair to cast Jeremiah Wright and Geraldine Ferraro as two "ends of the spectrum." Likewise, Wright's public offenses and the privately expressed fears of Obama's grandma are like "apples and oranges."

2. Obama plays on white guilt to try to put Wright's rage into perspective -- as if it were now understandable? Excusable? It comes across as if he is trying to have his cake and eat it too.

Obama claims to have moved beyond the racial identity politics of yesterday, yet is deeply associated with a church that is characterized by vitriolic, incendiary racist diatribes. I don't think that works. And I think Clinton gaining ground on Obama in upcoming primary states (even since The Speech) suggests that this observation is perhaps shared by left-leaning voters.

Respectfully in Christ,
Alex

FellowElder said...

Hi Alex,
Good to hear from you, bro. Obviously, I would disagree with both of your points.

As for point 1, the difference between Ferraro and Obama's grandmother and Wright is the difference between lust and adultery, hate and murder. Sure, they are not equivalent acts. But they spring from the same defect in our sinful nature.

To your second point, I'm afraid I don't recall how Obama played on white guilt. Certainly he didn't do it in the conventional way, which would be "white people did x and therefore black people should have y." Or, "white people are guilty of x and therefore they cannot say or do y." As far as I can recall, he actually created space for white people to admit resentment, hurt, and anger of their own. We can't pretend that's not there for some (many?) white people. It's even had its own full-length major motion pictures (from the 1957 classic "12 Angry Men" to a few more recent flicks). I'm not evaluating or judging the anger and resentment, just saying it's there. And Obama's mentioning it isn't "playing on white guilt." It's honest; perhaps painfully so.

But what we need most is honesty... especially the kind that begins with ourselves and worries less about politics. After all, we're talking about how we treat and think about people made in the image of God (James 3:9-10).

With love,
Thabiti

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Muslims Against Sharia call on Senators McCain and Obama to cut all ties with their racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic supporters.

McCain: http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/03/mccains-spiritual-guide-destroy-islam.html
Obama: http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/03/racist-congregation-cheering-racist.html

Chris Davis said...

Thabiti,

Add my name to the list of brothers who are thankful to read how you are processing these events as they unfold before us. These do seem to be historic times, and I am thankful for my sake and my children's sake that Obama is setting up the conversation with an even hand and a level head.

Above all, thank you for keeping Christ and his gospel in their supreme place.

Blessings, brother.

Chris Davis
web.mac.com/simpleman52

Hayden said...

Look forward to hearing you preach at Together for the Gospel.

I enjoyed this article in many ways and also thought aspects of Barak Obama's speech were good in discussing issues of 'race', but I do take some issue with his solutions as well.

First of all, BO wants to transcend 'race' (his words) but then belongs to a church that has vilified 'white people'. That doesn't ring true to me. Then he goes on to say things like 'I'm sure you have heard some of the same things from your pastor priest or rabbi.' in response to the highly offensive things his pastor has said. When was the last time that you personally said anything resembling Rev Wright's statements?

I am not saying that there are not many people that agree with Rev. Wright, I am saying that the moral equivalence is sickening and not helpful. (He said something bad, I'm sure you have too scenario. reminds me of the deflections of Gen 3:12,13))

Let me give you a little bit of my background. I grew up (before high school) mostly in the suburbs of New York State, but when I hit High School my parents divorced and I attended a school that was 80% black in the inner city of Rochester. On the first day, I was shocked and scared because I was never in a school where I was the 'minority'.

The school became the 'gem' of the school system and even the first president Bush came to visit. This school in the inner city held its students to high standards of academic excellence and behavior.

I remember in my African American studies class (where I was 1 of 2 white students) watching a video by Louis Farakan (sp?). The interesting thing is that many of my classmates dissected his crazy views with sound logic and were not caught up in the rhetoric. Many of those students went on to prestigious colleges and performed well because they were well prepared to think critically. (just so no one says it, you're right I have no idea what it means to be a black man in America. When I left the school I was still a young white man)

All this to say, that it is great to have a discussion of 'race' in America but it is difficult when one or either side is painting the other side as the enemy. Rev Wright did this which is a clear violation of how we are all 'one in Christ' (Gal 5:15-26) and I am sure that there are other churches ('black' & 'white') that are doing it as well.

The fact that BO wants to have this discussion now is not courageous but politically expedient. If this was going to be a cornerstone in his campaign why wait until now when he is most certainly going to win the party nomination? why wait until the 'media' brought it up?

I appreciate his speech because it does cause us all to examine our own sin-sick hearts (Jer. 17:9) but am a bit skeptical as to its timing.

The question for us as Christians is not so much, how are we going to make things right but "How are we going to preach the Gospel, which is the only thing that can break down the walls of 'racism'?" No government program, social program, or political speech can do that. Only a life changed by Jesus Christ can! That would have been great to hear BO say, but alas, we can still dream can't we?

jjbrock said...

Great post and I enjoyed reading the comments. It was so what hurtful to go to some Christian sites and see what they were saying about the speech it was sad all that hate. Some of the blog owner and the comments was down right scary.

Anonymous said...

The speech was Historic!

It also was expedient. His choice to affiliate with TUCC, was for political reasons.

As He is now pursuing the White house, it must come back to haunt him.

The two messages are conflicting.

What He seeks to do, and what he has heard for 20yrs, cannot go uncontested. Remember, He is a politician.

And much like His pastor set forth the generality that governments lie, governments are made of politicians.

In all, I am thankful for His God ordained calling at this time, because it allows all of us another chance, to learn how to use discernment, and civility, especially as believers, in addresing the most core and divisive issues of our country!

And again, to the host of this cite, You represent!

By Grace Alone.

eggiman said...

I found it fascinating that you think this was "the most eloquent public address on race or race-related issues since the Gettysburg Address was offered the American people." What drew you to this conclusion? Were there not speeches by MLK, Stokely Charmichael, JFK, RFK, LBJ (pardon the acronyms) and others that were equal in their eloquence and perhaps greater in importance? Just curious to hear your expanded thoughts on this, overall great post.

FellowElder said...

Hi Eggiman,
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good question.

I guess it comes down to a couple of somewhat subjective things:
(a) being alive to hear the speech and to appreciate this moment in American history (on that score, I'm sure folks who heard to "I Have a Dream" speech could say the same);

(b) appreciation for something Obama did that none of the other people you mention (to my knowledge) ever did--that is, attempt to put anger and resentment of all shades on equal footing. Carmichael would have been filled with pure anger if not hatred and calls to violence, which were futile and unhelpful. King was masterful at explaining justice and urgency, but I can't recall him attempting to enter into the anger and resentment of others; of course, his was a very different social context where even attempting to do so would have been viewed as significantly over-stepping bounds by most segregationist whites.

(c) finally, suggesting and pointing to a post-racial understanding of ourselves and urging us to take the opportunity. That certainly has antecedants in King and some others. But in our day, where "race" is taken as a given, we need more voices sounding that trumpet.

(d) ok, really "finally," he didn't have to give that speech. Pundits have said he was "forced" to. No, he wasn't. Others have said it was "expedient" or "convenient." But it's never ever ever been expedient or convenient to talk about "race," and much less to do it as an aspiring president. The convenient, expedient, conventionally wise thing to do would have been to resigned his church membership immediately, repudiate both Wright's comments and friendship, and declare mea culpas for about a five minute press interview. He took on far more than that, held forth for nearly 40 minutes in the choppiest waters, and attempted to elevate the conversation well above the myopic view of Wright's comments.

So, I appreciated those things about the speech and found it the most eloquent since Lincoln. More eloquent than King because of the effort to "get inside" the feelings of others. And only less eloquent than Lincoln because Lincoln did a bit more theology than Obama (who did none; which for a Christian is the speech's greatest failing, imho).

Hope that helps,
T-

Jonathan said...

Thabiti,

I am excited you are going to be at Ligonier next year!

I suspect that you're not too big a fan of Rush Limbaugh. Neither am I. However, I think that he had some very insightful remarks on the speech. You can read the transcript here.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_031808/content/01125106.guest.html

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Latisha Grady said...

Hi Thabiti:

My name is Tish. I've been following your thoughts (in good measure) since I saw your article at boundless.org on fathers. I was making my rounds and came across your comments on Obama and find myself agreeing with you completely. So much so, I want to quote you and link back to your Obama quote. I just started a new blog called "in a few words" where I'm challenging myself to speak meaningfully in 500 words or less (this is huge I'm a woman). I will be sharing personal insights from a Christian worldview all the way to politics. I want it to be a place where believers can come and be inspired and encouraged and unbelievers can come and be intrigued to take another step toward Jesus. Would you mind if I quote you and link back to your site? Also would you mind giving me feedback on my content? I'm really seeking to improve as a writer and would like to know if you think I have the makings of accomplishing the goal I just articulated? I look forward to your feedback. You may see my blog here: http://fewwordsfromtish.blogspot.com/

P.S. I'm also inspired to spin off your insight in this quote: "But finding out you’re not who you thought you were is a very scary thing. We’re scared." I will take this in another direction--though--it hit home.

FellowElder said...

Tish,
Praying the Lord gives you great fruit from your writing efforts. Feel free to quote and link anything you like (or don't like as the case may be :-)). Grace and peace,
Thabiti

Alex Chediak said...

Thabiti,

Thank you for the gracious and fair manner in which you have been facilitating this discussion. I appreciate your most recent response to Eggiman as it articulates a premise that I think lies behind part of our disagreement.

I do think Obama made the speech because he needed to. The polls show he was sliding significantly in approval ratings both nationally and even more so in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. People were assuming the worst and he had to respond. Of course, as a Christian, I wholeheartedly agree with your previous response to me that what we “need most is honesty... especially the kind that begins with ourselves and worries less about politics.” But let’s remember that Obama is not our fellow church member, or even an Internet buddy. He is a very ambitious young man making an unprecedented run for the highest office in America (and raising over a million dollars a day, blowing away all records). What we’re doing on your blog is a friendly discussion; what Obama is doing with America is politics.

I also agree with you that it has never been easy to discuss race relations in America -- especially for politicians seeking the Presidency. Hence Obama's avoidance of this speech for so long, even though a handful of conservatives were harping on his church association long before the videos of Jeremiah Wright started being popping up all over the Internet. And yes, Obama "held forth for nearly 40 minutes in the choppiest waters." But let's consider what you suggested was his "expedient" alternative: "resign his church membership immediately, repudiate both Wright's comments and friendship, and declare mea culpas for about a five minute press interview." I find it very illuminating that you think this would have been "convenient" and "expedient" and even "conventionally wise." Herein may lie the heart of our disagreement.

1. If Obama had pursued your “expedient” alternative, he would have lost favor with a very significant bloc of his supporters (African Americans who respect or admire Wright, even though they may not agree with all the “I hate America” rhetoric). His candidacy may have been fatally wounded. I base this view on exit poll voting patterns – and I believe that many full-time “pundits” on the right and left are making statistical arguments of this sort. I suppose the experts could be wrong -- they sometimes are. But again, this is politics. Obama's advisors are savvy; they have their pulse on the trends.

2. Secondly, I’m not sure a brief mea culpa would have satisfied the concern. Voters may have responded: That’s it? A five-minute apology for a twenty year relationship with the Pastor who did your wedding and baptized your children? No, once the political vultures (aka – Hillary’s staff) had this admission, they would have pounded Obama mercilessly for his lack of judgment. (And he has already agreed to Presidential visits to Iran, Cuba, etc.?) Remember, politicians are almost always reluctant to talk about their mistakes – even when they are plain as day to everyone else. Case in point: George W. Bush.

3. Thirdly, and this may be the deepest and yet most subtle issue, Obama seems to have a psychological need to “be black” in the racialist sense of the word. Shelby Steele masterfully explains this in his new book, A Bound Man, tracing the theme back through Obama’s first book, Dreams From My Father.

I think Steele helpfully explains why Obama is doing so well, even though he is only a few years out from being a mere state senator. Obama’s campaign began with a wonkish flavor; the constitutional law professor delving into details at town hall meetings. That didn’t engage voters, and Hillary stayed 20 points ahead. Then Obama changed his game: less focus on specifics and policy proposals and more on the “aura” or “mood” he elicits on the basis of who he is (coupled with a strong rhetorical eloquence and repeated, albeit contentless, calls for “change”). Obama’s support skyrocketed and then stayed high as he dominated most primaries and caucuses. Steele’s argument is consistent with this observation.

In short, Steele’s argument is that Obama needs to hold together a coalition of two types of voters: those who have an affinity for “being black” (in the racialist sense) – whom he would have alienated had he blasted Jeremiah Wright—and a predominantly white audience that is tired of the traditional forms of “white guilt” levied by Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and their associates. [In his speech, Obama took a more subtle tack. He said, “We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country.” And then he proceeded to...recite that history. Segregated schools, legalized discrimination, lack of economic opportunity. Clearly, all would agree that these overt expressions of racism are harmful and wrong. What is subtle is the misguided insinuation that mainstream culture today must bear the ultimate responsibility for black uplift today. The notion is unhelpful, since the data (IMHO) seems to suggest that only black responsibility will make the difference. ]

I have tremendous respect for you, Thabiti. I enjoy being challenged by you and learning from you. Thank you for sharpening me through your blog.

With much love in our Savior,
Alex Chediak

FellowElder said...

hi Alex,

Thanks for the comments, brother. Just a couple response and then I'll yield to you the final word.

1. I don't Obama would have lost favor with AA voters at all. That's the conventional wisdom. But who else are those voters going to vote for? Not McCain. And Hillary's play of the race card has already lost her any chance of making inroads in that block. What Obama needed to do (in politically expedient terms) was continue above the racial fray by continuing to run a campaign that was not about race... and to do that all he needed to say was, "I repudiate those comments. They don't represent me." Etc. It wouldn't have cost him much at all because the voters in question perceive themselves to have nowhere else to go. He didn't need to worry about his political detractors because no matter what he does they're going to be his detractors. Witness so many of the pundits and surrogates droning on about this.

2. Fundamentally, I think Steele's premise in this book (as I understand from interviews I've seen and read) betrays his own life's work on these issues. I wouldn't encourage an understanding of Obama that imposes old racial stereotypes and broad coping strategies onto him. It's anachronistic for Steele to read those paradigms from a Jim Crow and slavery era onto Obama today. And if Steele wanted to delve into the psychological makeup of an African American conflicted about race, it might be suggested that he start with himself. Don't rest too much on Steele, as brilliant as he is. Read wider and varying perspectives.

3. Finally (for me), my interest is not in the politics. Yes, Obama is a poltician. Yes, he wants to be president. But I think it's incumbent upon Christians to view this from the vantage point of what Carson calls a "world Christian" (final chapter, The Cross and Christian Ministry). Our loyalty must overwhelming be to the Lord and His Kingdom. Our opportunity is to represent that kingdom not just in our profession but in our thinking and our strategizing about how to respond to this situation. We needn't spend inordinate amounts of time evaluating Obama's "judgment." Truth be told, most of us have already made up our minds on that and who we're voting for. We need to invest that energy in figuring out how we might forcefully advance the kingdom for our Lord. That's my greatest interest in all of this. Politics and American citizenry and elections and patriotism are vastly secondary when compared to the kingdom.

With mutual respect,
T-

chuck said...

"If we are to be a city on a hill, we must be a diverse city"
-Toby Mac
"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
We must be a people of the future glory and be radically fixated on such a hope. Highlighting our likenesses and displaying our love for one another to the world is the way we "roll" in God's kingdom brothers.
in His Love
Chuck