Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God and Country

I have been cautious of nationalism for all of my adult life. This was reinforced early on as I began to understand the implications of ultimate loyalty to the kingdom of God, which is now trans-national and ultimately will be the one enduring order once the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of God and of his Christ. My “national anthem” is Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

This means I am skeptical of politics. I stop just short of seeing politics as a necessary evil. I wrestle over a decision to vote, and usually when I do I have a keen consciousness that I am choosing between the best of two poor options.

There was much about Obama that caused me to think he was a poor option. His position on abortion, alone, was a major disqualifier for my support. I find it very troubling that he, as President, may appoint one or several justices to the Supreme Court who likely will be chosen from among people who have no commitment to law that is built on Truth.

Yet in spite of all this (and I could say more, but that is not my motivation for this post), I was thrilled and moved as I watched the inauguration today. What “got” me was one of the things which has been most controversial in the past few weeks; it was the prayer by Pastor Rick Warren. Specifically, it was the way he ended the prayer.... as a Christian.

I commend his sensitivity with his phrasing of the One “who has changed my life....” (recognizing that not all who heard his words are Christians). But as he began to speak the different words that diverse people groups use for our Lord, tears of joy came to my eyes knowing that I live in a land where the name of Jesus can be spoken so explicitly in such a public and politically-charged setting. For all the other things that were said on this day, the Name of the King of kings and Lord of lords was exalted.

When Obama’s term of office is concluded (and may God grant him physical protection and a wisdom beyond his own abilities), the kingdom of God will continue to be the one thing that is sure. That’s where I give my allegiance.

No comments:

Site Meter