Dateline: 12 November 2008
I do not watch television. I do not read news magazines. I get some national news from the radio and internet. Only a couple days ago did I see the following pictures:
I was astounded to see those pictures with crowds of 100,000+ people (a veritable sea of humanity) gathered to hear Barack Obama speak when he was running for the office of President of the United States of America.
More than astounded, I was frightened by what those scenes represent. Why did so many people come together to see and hear this one man? Had he done some heroic deed that warranted the adulation of such masses. No. He is just a skilled politician, and a political demagogue.
dem-a-gogue: a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.
Demagoguery is what politicians do. Barack Obama did it very well. His story is remarkable. He has an incredible ability to influence people with his rhetoric. He is so good that he has become a demigod (a person so outstanding that he seems to approach the divine). What Obama has done is truly amazing.
There are many positive things I could say about the new president elect of the United States. And there are many negative things I could say. But this essay is less about him and more about all those people—the masses who have so willingly bought into his rhetoric.
Today I heard on the radio that 72 percent of Americans believe Barack Obama will solve the current economic crisis. I looked up the story on the internet. Here is an excerpt:
In one of the economy's darkest hours in decades, it looks as if people are taking Barack Obama up on his exhortations for hope and change.
Seven in 10, or 72 percent, voice confidence the president-elect will make the changes needed to revive the stalling economy, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Tuesday. Underscoring how widely the public is counting on its new leader, 44 percent of Republicans joined nearly all Democrats and most independents in expressing that belief.
The poll shows that faith in Obama is even broader, at least for now. Sixty-eight percent said they think that when he takes office in January, the new president will be able to enact the policies he pushed during his presidential campaign.
Methinks this is another case of "irrational exuberance," much like what America experienced during the dotcom bubble. You know, before it popped.
All of which makes it clear to me that America is a nation in rebellion against God. As a result, we are in the midst of judgment. The afflictions of our current economic crisis are but one facet of Divine judgement.
It has come to the point that if you say something like that in public (that our problems are a result of God's judgement), most people think you are a kook. So be it.
America has turned its back on the righteous standards of Biblical law. Other gods and other standards of law have been embraced. That which is good in God’s eyes is now called bad and that which is bad in His eyes is now called good. We have strayed so far from where we once were as a people. We have strayed so far that, for all practical purposes, God's law is lost and forgotten in America today.
The proper response of a nation in times of judgment is humility and repentance before God. That is not happening. America has, instead, chosen Obama to lead them out of the despair. America looks to Obama. America hopes in Obama. This man has become the long awaited savior of America. He will lead us to victory over our circumstances. He has said so much himself.
Unfortunately, such misplaced hope is an invitation to further despair, and even worse judgement.
Which brings me to the solution. God’s solution. Most Christians are well aware of this key Bible verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14...
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Last week in church the pastor quoted that verse and made an offhand comment that God doesn’t say to “seek my hand.”
That is what so many Christians in America have done. They have sought God’s hand of provision and material blessing more than anything. They have looked to Him to bless them with riches and stuff. They have desired to be and act like the heathen nation around them. I know this because I have been guilty of it. And when you’re guilty of it, you can see it clear as day in everyone else.
When Christians desire to be like the pagan civilization around them, they are fully engaged in the "wicked ways" mentioned in that verse. So many modern Christians think that "wicked ways" are just abominations like abortion and homosexuality. But syncretism is just as loathsome to God.
Where so many now see hope, in the person of this mere man, Barack Obama, I see foolishness and danger.
Clearly, these are epic, and very serious times we live in.
P.S. Last April I wrote an essay titled Hope For America. I recommend it to you.