Saturday, February 28, 2009

Praying for President Obama – Not Easy

As a Christian, I must admit that since the inauguration of President Barack Obama I have likely been disobedient to God’s directive to “pray for your leaders”. Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1-2 NIV). Despite this very clear directive in scripture, I am so convinced that Mr. Obama’s ideology and worldview is hostile to God’s tenets that I have a difficult time praying for his leadership. I find myself praying generically for God’s will to be done in relation to the present American government. Not too deep down however, I want God’s will to be to bring this government to its knees. As we have seen one unbiblical political decision after another being enacted by this new government, I find myself often saying “well…this is what the people voted for”.

On Abortions
One of the first presidential decisions made by the Obama administration was to remove a ban on funding abortions overseas! It is bad enough that we do this legally in this country, but to actively seek to encourage the same elsewhere shows the active desire to encourage not discourage abortions wherever they can occur.

President Obama signed an executive order today reversing the ban that prohibits funding to international family planning groups that provide abortions, as first reported by ABC News...It essentially barred recipients of U.S. foreign aid from promoting abortion as a method of family planning – [Obama has eagerly dismissed this policy] - – brackets mine
On Stem Cell Research via Human Embryos
Mr. Obama is evidently preparing to lift the ban on government funding for stem cell research on infant embryos (yes I am using unnecessary duplicate language here for effect). This will allow part of my paycheck to pay for research on unborn human body parts in the name of curing living people’s diseases.

Obama would also overturn President Bush's policy against funding any new embryonic stem cell research. Put in place in August 2001, the policy prevents taxpayers from paying for new embryonic research that involves the destruction of human life. Bush directed most of the public funding for the science to adult stem cells, which are more ethical and have proven more effective than their embryonic counterparts. Embryonic stem cells, in addition to including the destruction of days-old unborn children, has yet to work in humans because of significant problems after they are injected into the body -- ranging from the growth of tumors to immune system rejection issues.-
I wonder how many of these embryos will come from the glut of infant fetuses as a result of abortions being performed?

On Funding for Faith Based Groups
Obama has continued to encourage funding of faith-based groups but with the stipulation that religious groups cannot exclude the hiring of someone that they may disagree with biblically (i.e. homosexuals). To be fair, former President Bush’s administration had much the same policy, but “looked the other way” in the enforcement of the policy. Don’t expect the Obama administration to do the same. I for one say that Christian groups should reject any offering of financial assistance from the Obama government if it subjects them to requirements that are unbiblical. The ends do not justify the means.
As presidential candidate, Obama pledged that faith-based groups receiving federal aid would not "discriminate" in hiring. But as president, he has decided to not rush this complex question, and he did not rescind Bush's hiring guidelines. Instead, he set up a process for hiring review. -

Government Control of Raising Children
Then there is the matter of Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer’s latest passion for America to adopt a UN mandate to allow the government to intrude on the raising of your children.
Sen. Barbara Boxer is urging the U.S. to ratify a United Nations measure meant to expand the rights of children, a move critics are calling a gross assault on parental rights that could rob the U.S. of sovereignty...Critics say the treaty, which creates "the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion" and outlaws the "arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy," intrudes on the family and strips parents of the power to raise their children without government interference...Boxer has made clear her intent to revive the ratification process under the Obama administration, which may be amenable to the move. -
This is simply the latest tool to ensure that the government is authorized to tell religious parents that they cannot “force religion down the throats” of their children. Christian homeschooling parents beware. A very wise Pastor of mine several years ago preached that the devil’s primary targets for subversion are those below the age of 20. If he can undermine them during these earliest stages of life, it will suppress a life of Christian living that could be passed on to the next generation. The statistics back this up as well. Studies have shown that less than 5% of Christians become so past the age of 30. With this proposed bill, the Obama administration will be signing on to do the devil’s bidding via legislation.

On Taking More Land from Israel
Mr. Obama’s Mideast “peace-maker” George Mitchell has recently returned to Israel to ensure that Israel gives up more land for peace.
On Thursday US President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell arrived in Israel for his second visit. Whereas Mitchell's last visit - which took place in the last days of the electoral campaign was touted as a "listening tour," Mitchell made clear that during his current stay, he intends to begin calling shots...His first order of business, we are told, is to pressure the outgoing government to destroy the so-called outpost communities in Judea and Samaria and expel the hundreds of Israeli families who live in them...So if [current Israeli Prime Minister] Olmert leaves office without having sent IDF soldiers to throw women and children from their homes, Mitchell, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will feel free to pressure Netanyahu [incoming Israeli Prime Minister] to take on the task and punish him if he refuses. -
Essentially, Mr. Obama is saying to Israel – give up Judea and Samaria if you want the US’ continued support. But always remember what God says to Israel in the book of Genesis - I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt... (Genesis 12:2-3 NLT)

Ultimately however no leader is raised up except those whom God permits. President Barack Obama is the president because of God’s divine providence. God has His purposes and they will come to fruition. I don’t have to like this presidency and neither does anyone else. However as a Christian I must submit myself to the requirements of the Lord God Almighty. You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? (Matthew 5:43-46 NIV) As such, President Obama I do pray for you. I pray that you will in your heart see and hear the hand of the living God. I pray that you will acknowledge His ways and do His will. I pray success for you in accordance with God’s will. I pray that we as Americans will benefit from your leadership in a way that will glorify the Lord God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray also for you personally Mr. Obama, for your government and for your family. May the light of the Lord shine on you and give you true wisdom. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Unborn Help Saves The Born?

With the question of governmental funding of stem cell reasearch the specter of support for this program casts a spotlight on an issue that forces people, Republican and Democrat to display their true feelings on the "value of life". The abortion issue is somewhat easier for people to take one side or another, particularly if you have never been touched by it personally. This post however takes issue with those who scream "protect the unborn" on the issue of abortion, but who also says that stem-cell research is OK because of the "hope that it gives to save millions of lives". The sanctity of the unborn’s life seems awfully relative in this position. It seems that for these stem-cell supporters, the unborn who can "help save the born" are discardable. The paradox of former President Bush's position was that he took a supposedly "moral stand" by refusing to use federal money to fund stem-cell research, but appeared publicly ambivalent about private sector research. Now we know that politics was probably at play there, but proclamations about the sanctity of life is much greater than political posturing. Writer Mark Davis of the Dallas Morning News captures the quandary of this position perfectly:

The building blocks of life are simply not to be toyed with, no matter how noble the intent, they say. And while my pro-life views don't reach to that extent, I can respect those who differ. What is harder to respect is how anyone who truly views embryonic stem cell research as homicide can tolerate it, even in the private sector. "Take a Stand on Human Life - And Then Stick With It" - Dallas Morning News
The point is, when it comes to the unborn, the life of those living cannot and should not determine the value of those yet to be born. With abortion, pro-lifers says abortion is always wrong (well almost always), but some of these same people are OK to discard embryonic human matter in the hope of finding cures for diseases. Here again, writer Davis captures the point:

This is a close cousin of another strain of moral cowardice, the "no abortion except for rape and incest" gambit. The halls of power are filled with people who are generally pro-life but would fear political death for taking a stand for even an extremely narrow window of time for allowing a pregnancy to be terminated at the mother's discretion. But that is one of only two principled views one can hold on the subject. The other is the opinion that the newly created human life is worthy of protection irrespective of the circumstance of its creation. Rape and incest are horrific things, but the logic accompanying universal protection of the unborn is simple: Such traumas are not the fault of the growing embryo. A choice is required.
Problem is when it gets right down to it, people don't like making hard and unpopular choices. Even when that choice shows Christ (who they say the worship with "holy" hands) that they value his commands above their own conveniences. They like to be able to shift with the wind depending on the circumstances. He (Christ) who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. (Ephesians 4:10-14 NIV parenthesis mine) A "moral" position based on a belief in Christ and the word of God generally does not afford shifting positions depending on human circumstances. Either life begins at conception, and as such is accorded every human right that is decreed by God, or it does not. If so, abortion is OK so that adult's lives can continue "uninterrupted"; unused stem cells can be used in scientific laboratories in the hope of finding cures for cancer and other diseases. As writer Davis outlines above, you can't have it both ways. A choice is required.

For supposed people of God, the choice must be based on His Word, otherwise, we may very well be the hypocrites that the secularists says we are.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Mideast Peace Process Delusion

Another US president, another try at the so-called Mideast Peace Process. Every US President in the last 40 years have come into office with a targeted aim of solving the usual middle-east ‘problem’ of creating a livable peace between Israel and its hostile Muslim brothers. I ask myself each time, if the US President is a professing Christian…as they usually claim to be, what is it about Biblical scripture do they not see? Now that assumes that a) their claim of Christianity is actually real and b) they actually know what is in the Bible. The answers to these two questions may explain much of why all of these so-called ‘leaders of the free world’ keep failing at this stated goal of achieving a ‘lasting’ peace in the Middle East.

Now about those two thorny questions posed above. If the Bible says that there will be no lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors (until the Lord God himself steps in), what’s the point of all of these efforts? A few passages of scripture to illustrate:
  • Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt. I will remove the battle chariots from Israel and the warhorses from Jerusalem. I will destroy all the weapons used in battle, and your king will bring peace to the nations. His realm will stretch from sea to sea and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. (Zechariah 9:9-10 NIV)
  • The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will protect his people, and they will defeat their enemies by hurling great stones... On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How wonderful and beautiful they will be! (Zechariah 9:15-17 truncated NIV)

    The last US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spent a good part of the last 4 years trying to bring about a lasting peace. She professes to be a Christian. Does she not believe the above scripture? The only true peace that Israel (Zion) will receive comes only from her King (the one riding on a donkey – Jesus Christ Himself). The problem in our sick unbiblical world is that if Ms. Rice reads her Bible and believe what it says above, she “could” not in her job as US Secretary of State really say that Israel’s only lasting peace would come from God Himself! She would probably would have been fired from her job by Christian George W. Bush and if not, would certainly have been ridiculed from her job by her Democrat opponents and the rest of the godless political chattering class in the US and the rest of the world. So in lieu of this, she soldiered on in the last farce of a mid-east ‘peace process’.

    So now we have self-professing Christian President Barack Obama, and with him come another peace in the Middle East end game. He is so-serious about this goal, that on Day 1 of his presidency, he named former Northern Ireland peace negotiator George Mitchell to lead the Middle-East peace initiative. Wow. I wonder how much credibility Mr. Obama gives the Bible on this issue. Wait…perhaps this video link below may help answer that question.

    A God who sends people to Hell?