The President of the United States is very charming and has a great smile. Like most politicians, he will often say things he does not mean or cannot really do. I am praying that is the case this week. Last Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast, the President tried to make a moral connection between incidents in history and the atrocities of the day.
This is not a political blog. I will not critique elected officials on this site for their decisions. This is a small and calculated response to a comment which at its base seems to imply we have no right to call out evil based on our not being perfect either.
The exact quote is: “Humanity,” Obama said, “has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
At the very least, this is a misunderstanding of history and a choice to ignore many facts along the way. At the most it is a direct attack on the Christian faith of many in this country the day after Mr. Obama had a closed meeting with the Islamic community in the White House.
Dr. Russell Moore (President Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) has chimed in as well as many other scholars and commentators. In the blogs on this site, we do not attack other beliefs, we promote Christ and His Truth and desire for our lives.
In The New Testament, Paul warned us in a letter to Timothy, to be prepared for this kind of rhetoric. It should not surprise us.
2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NASB) I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
There are other venues to vent and opine about what the President said. I would like to “rebuke and reprove” what was said with some grace. My tongue is bleeding as I bite it right now. I know there are millions in our country who agree with his every word, however there seem to be several misrepresentations in the speech. (These are my original thoughts and if they are similar to others expressed elsewhere, I did not use them as a source of inspiration.)I have much I would like to say – but here are my top three responses.
- He is the President of the United States of America. The Crusades and Inquisition are not part of this country’s history. Should Christians still hold Italy accountable for Nero burning us on stakes to light the streets in Rome?
- Many Christians died in this country to abolish slavery – namely The President of the United States, not to mention the hundreds of thousands buried at Gettysburg and elsewhere. Slavery was not a invented by this country, nor was it promoted in the name of Christ, but it was abolished by this country in the name of Christ.
- The Christian – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr led many other Christians in an effort to obtain equal access and rights for all.
If you want your ears tickled, believe whatever and whoever you want. I recommend you read the Gospel of John if you want to know the Truth. To minimize and deflect the horrors being undertaken today, by making a moral equivalence to things in history no Christian I know would support or agree with is a sophomoric debate tactic.
Perhaps our challenge is not that we are on our “High Horse”, but that we have not mounted our noble steed at all. We should be more prepared than ever to speak truth in love and grace and understand when The Tickler is up to his old tricks. I for one am not laughing.