There they go. The Christians! They’re at it again. They’re praying for Obama’s demise.
First — or at least the first I wrote about — it was Reverend Wiley Drake, former vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, who was practicing “imprecatory prayer” or seeking a divine curse that would cause the president to die. Then it was Arizona pastor Steven L. Anderson from the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, who said in a TV interview, “I hope that God strikes Barack Obama with brain cancer so he can die like Ted Kennedy, you know? And I hope it happens today.” And now, it’s not even a specific pastor from any certain church, it’s a wave of bumper stickers, t-shirts, and hats, going around requesting that we pray for Obama, giving the scripture reference, Psalm 109:8. Oh wait… praying for Obama using the scriptures, that’s great, right?
Have you read the scripture? Let’s look at it. Psalm 109:8 says, “May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.”
“Well,” you might say, “that’s not so bad. I mean, what’s wrong with wanting someone else to take his place? Maybe it’s just a jest at hoping it doesn’t get elected to a second term”
And you’re right. Perhaps that’s all it means. After all, there’s really nothing wrong with wishing someone else were in office. But what’s wrong with this idea, is that the scripture wasn’t meant to be used in this way — out of context. Perhaps more importantly, we need to look at the scripture in it’s context, taking into account the surrounding verses. So let’s do just that.
The scripture says, “may his days be few,” but we don’t know who “his” is. Let’s define that, because it’s certainly not Obama that David was referring to here. The “his” in Psalm 109:8 is referring to “wicked and deceitful men” who have opened their mouths against David. They have spoken against him with lying tongues and they’re attacking him without cause. So, while you may not agree with the President, to say that he’s wicked and deceitful is a bit of a stretch. And I don’t think he’s speaking against with a lying tongue, nor is he attacking you for no reason.
Furthermore, when we look at the context from which the scripture was so eloquently ripped, we see that it’s not just that David wishes that his enemy be taken from his place of leadership. Instead, we see that David gives, honestly, a quite impressive list of things he wants done to his enemies. He says, in Psalm 109:9-15, “May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children. May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation. May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.”
All that because you don’t like the President? Verse nine clearly states that we wish him dead — his children being fatherless, and his wife being a window only happens when he dies, right? Oh, but before he dies, we’d like the creditors to seize all of his assets and his estate. Then we’re going to wish that his children — Sasha and Malia — become, “begging street urchins, evicted from their homes.” Then after that, we’re wishing death on all his offspring? Remind me why we’re doing all this? Because that’s what, “he deserves since he was never once kind, [and he] hounded the afflicted and heartbroken to their graves.” Really? President Obama did all that? I occasionally disagree with President Obama, but I wasn’t aware that he hounded the afflicted and brokenhearted and that he was never once kind.
Are you serious, people? I’m sick and tired of having to call out Christians because they wish the President was dead. That’s ridiculous!
Why would you, as a Christian, someone who is supposed to be acting Christ-like, wish death on another human being? How quickly we forget that God commands us to love our enemies. In fact, Christ takes it one step further, when, in Luke 6:35, he says, not only to love your enemies, but also to, “do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.” Does that sound like what’s going on here? I think not. Have we forgotten that Jesus, the one we’re supposed to model our life after, came that we “may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
While I’m embarrassed far too often because of Christians and their foolishness, I’m more embarrassed for them than because of them. I’m embarrassed because they’re embarrassing themselves. And what’s worse, they’re representing my — our — Savior in a rather unsavory light. And that’s ultimately what’s unacceptable to me.
So next time you think about doing something, anything, think about how it represents Christ and the Christians around you and hopefully I won’t have to blog about this topic for quite awhile. But somehow, I feel that won’t be the case.