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Is Obama the Antichrist?

Monday, August 10th, 2009

The nonsense that circulates around the Internet never ceases to amaze me.  A friend recently forwarded this YouTube clip on President Obama.  Below is the clip, followed by my observations.

With a little imagination you can connect just about anybody to anything. But finding a connection doesn’t always prove the conclusion. Barack Obama is not the Antichrist.  Here’s why:

1.  The video starts by admitting that Jesus would have spoken in Aramaic, and then cites Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary to get Barack’s name. Why not go to an Aramaic dictionary? Aramaic and Hebrew may be in the same family, but they are two very different languages. I don’t know Aramaic, but I doubt that you would get “Barack Obama” from translating “lightning from heaven” into Aramaic.

2. The conspiracy theorist who put this together had to go to Isaiah 14 for some reason to get “bama.” He argued that this is where Christians get their concept of Satan, or Lucifer.  One problem: Isaiah 14 is not about Satan. Anybody who would take the time to read the whole chapter would see that in verse 4 the “king of Babylon” is named as the object of the oracle.

3. Isaiah 14 is often connected with Luke 10:18 because both passages speak of evil people falling from heaven. But these passages are really unrelated. “Fall from heaven” was a common figure of speech used among Jewish people to describe anyone who loses his rank.

4. In the video, the Hebrew contraction waw is transliterated first to “u,” then twisted into an “o” to make “Obama.” This shows that the people behind this video will do anything to reach their foregone conclusion, even if it means making changes to the Hebrew language.

5. Finally, we are not waiting on the Antichrist. He’s been around for centuries. The apostle John wrote, “And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already” (1 Jn. 4:3; cf. 2:18).

So it looks like the Bible is neutral on Cap and Trade and Healthcare Reform. Those who want Obama out of the Oval Office will have to rely on good old-fashioned democracy.

What Is More Important to Obama than the Economy?

Monday, January 26th, 2009

ObamaAbortion, it seems.

In a move signaling more to come in the Obama presidency, the President signed legislation lifting a ban dating back to the Reagan era on federal funding of international abortions.  The Wall Street Journal reports:

President Barack Obama quietly overturned the “global gag rule” Friday, allowing U.S. foreign-aid dollars to flow again to international family-planning programs that offer abortion or advocate for abortion rights.

He also said he would work to restore funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which pays for similar family-planning programs in a wider range of countries. And he vowed to search for common ground between people on both sides of the issue.

In related news, Obama’s $825 billion-dollar economic stimulus package includes “hundreds of millions of dollars” for contraceptives, according to Senator John Boehner.

So America’s in a recession, and instead of talking about cuts in spending, President Obama is making it a priority to fund abortions in other countries and buy contraceptives to encourage young people to have “safe sex.”  All of this is paid for with our tax dollars.

God help us.

The Day After

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

When I got home last night after teaching a class at the little college just over the mountain from my home, a glance at the television set told me that the votes had been counted and that Barack Obama would be the 44th president of the United States.

I didn’t vote for Barack Obama.  I couldn’t in good conscience pull the lever for a man that advocates abortion and promotes homosexual lifestyles.  I disagree with the idea that the answer to America’s economic woes is to spread the wealth around.  I’m nervous about Mr. Obama’s lack of experience and the path that he took to get to where he is today.

However, I believe in democracy.  America voted yesterday, and a transfer of power is coming January 20th not by force or tyranny, but by the will of the people.  That is the way it ought to be.

John Adams said, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”  I’m not sure what he meant by that, but perhaps he feared that America would forget what life was like under Great Britain when they were not free.  A democracy commits suicide when it quits believing in itself and refuses to accept the results of a general election.  If we let that happen, America dies.

Even Christians who are opposed to the liberal social agenda can find something to appreciate in an Obama presidency.  Barack Obama is this country’s first black president.  Forty years ago the idea of a black president was unthinkable.  Obama’s presidency is a sign that we’ve entered a post-racial age.  This has come not a day too early.  Christians worship a God who does not respect persons, one who created all men equal, as the Declaration of Independence explains.  Barack Obama may not end the sin of abortion or homosexuality, but maybe he symbolizes the end of a great sin that is often overlooked in our churches–the sin of racism.

This morning I was driving along, enjoying the beautiful fall foliage, when my eye caught a McCain-Palin sign, above which someone had posted another, larger sign with bold black lettering that read, “Don’t Blame Me!”  I don’t know who lives in the house where this sign is posted, but whoever he is, he needs to step back from politics and take a deep breath.

I’m reminded of a poem by Yeats:

How can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
On Roman or on Russian
Or on Spanish politics?

There’s more to life than politics.  We may have a new president come January, and he will certainly wield an influence over this country, but our lives will continue for the most part the way they always have.  We still have our careers and the bills and the kids’ homework and errands to run.  There will be weekends with friends, holidays with family, and church services with brothers and sisters in Christ.

For Christians there is a higher mission.  Obama ran on change, but the political arena changes little.  The gospel is God’s power for change.  Now that the election is over, let’s refocus and do our work as ambassadors for Christ.

Election Day

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

By tonight we will know which presidential candidate will be leading our nation for the next four years.  Every presidential election is a pivotal moment in American history, and this one is no exception.  No matter who wins, we will be breaking new ground, either with America’s first black president or her first female vice president.  On top of that, America is facing multiple crises–a bad economy and a global war against terrorism to name two of them.

I have been talking to Christians about the election for several months now, and what I have learned has been surprising.  Not everybody is voting based on the candidates’ positions on abortion and homosexuality.  Many Christians, several of them young voters, feel that war, poverty, immigration, and discrimination are moral issues on an equal level with abortion and homosexuality.  In the past, Christians have voted Republican for the most part, but this year a number of Christians will be pulling the lever for Barack Obama.

I’m not shy about my opposition to Obama.  I have some serious ideological problems with him on a number of issues like abortion and homosexuality.  John McCain, on the other hand, is a staunch advocate for the unborn.  When that is included with his long years of service to our country, his courage in the face of grave challenges, and his proven leadership, he emerges as the better candidate in my opinion.

Not everybody agrees.  In fact, the polls say that most people disagree with me.  As a Christian, what should I do if my candidate does not win, and a new man moves into the Oval Office with extremely liberal positions on social and political issues?  Here are some suggestions:

1.  I should be thankful for the privilege of casting my vote. I’ve been shocked by the number of Christians who have told me, “Neither candidate impresses me, so I’m staying home.”  Many people have become disillusioned by politics and have taken their freedoms for granted.

I wonder what the people of Burma would say about that attitude.  Burma was a democracy until 1962, when a coup de etat turned the government into a military junta.  Any protests since then have been met with violent governmental force.  In September of 2007, hundreds of Buddhist monks staged a protest and were confronted by a vicious military crackdown that led to several deaths.  Internet access was cut off, and journalists were warned not to report on the protests.  The following month the military forced the people to march in a government rally.  Factories were told to produce at least 50 marchers for the rally or suffer a fine.

Voting is a privilege and a duty.  I may only have one voice, but at least I have that.  America is still an amazing place.  No other nation enjoys such radical and yet peaceful transfers of power.  This is possible because it is in the hands of the people.

2.  I should respect the President, whoever he may be.  Throughout the Bible, we find examples of God’s people submitting to cruel tyrants in leadership positions.  As Esther prepared to confront King Ahasuerus about Haman’s plot to kill the Jews, she was ready to accept whatever fate he decided: “If I perish, I perish” (Est. 4:16).  Nebuchadnezzar was a vilent, bloodthirsty ruler who was filled with pride and worshiped idols.  Yet before Daniel interpreted a dream to the king which foretold a certain disaster that would befall him, Daniel said, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies” (Dan. 4:19).  Over and above all these examples, we see the picture of Jesus standing silent in the halls of Pilate.

Paul tells us to make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings “for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Tim. 2:1-2).  His reason for this is “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”  Anarchy is good for nobody.  Peace and order are impossible without a civilized government in charge.

In another place, Paul urged submission to the government, calling it an institution appointed by God that bears the sword to punish evildoers and reward those who do good (Rom. 13:1-4).

Peter also gave this advice, telling his readers to “honor the emperor” (1 Pet. 2:13-17).  The emperor at this time was the insane demagogue Nero, who was especially notorious for his wickedness and his cruelty to Christians.  Nero would send Christians to fight the lions in the coliseum or use them for fuel to light his gardens.  Yet Peter said to honor him.  His reasoning is clear: “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.”  When he wrote those words, many unfair rumors circulated around Rome about Christians.  Peter’s point was the Christians should not invite criticism but dispel it with their good behavior.

Of course, there is a biblical principle that says Christians must rebel when the government interferes with their religion and seeks to destroy their faith (Acts 5:29).  But we live in a country that allows us to do that while maintaining our respect for the highest office.

3.  I should know that politics will not change the world. Many Christians get worked up about an election and give into despair if their candidate does not win.  They needn’t worry.  Politics do not change the world.

The gospel is God’s power to change the world (Rom. 1:16).  Christians are the salt of the earth (Mt. 5:13), the light of the world (Mt. 5:14-16), and the leaven in the lump (Mt. 13:33).  The gospel is change we can believe in because it transforms people from the inside.

In the words of Charles Swindoll, “The believer was not put on earth to overthrow governments but to establish in the human heart a kingdom not of this world.”

It is not certain who will be our next president.  What is certain is that the next president will be someone that a lot of Americans did not vote for.  Christians will support, pray for, and respect him, whoever he is.