The voice of change? (long)

January 26, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I realize that there won’t be many who read this and there probably won’t be many who agree either, but this is something that I feel I need to write. Our nation is fawning over its new president, but it seems that there are few people who are listening to what he actually says. Below is a transcript of the inaugural speech given by Barack Obama as well as my response.

 

My fellow citizens:

 

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

 

I wonder if president Obama really understands sacrifice? Does he understand our nation’s history (not the revised version) and the trials they went through to forge this nation? Does he really understand humility? This is the same man who wrote a “private” letter to his daughters that was somehow printed in national newspapers. He thanks the former president that he spent the last two years attacking and that he will again attack in this very speech. What is that all about? Is no one paying attention to the man and not just his words?

 

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

 

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

 

Obama talks about peace, prosperity, and storms. I wonder if he really understands. He talks about the skill and vision of those in “high office”, but when I look around, I see the skill, vision, and morality of the “high office” dwindling at an alarming rate. It is being replaced with shallow people in vacuous positions speaking empty words. I wonder if Obama was trying to subtly refer to himself and those he’s chosen to lead our nation. He claims that “We the People” have been “faithful to the ideals of our forbears”, but the majority of “the People” don’t have any inkling of what our forbears stood for. They don’t know the history of our nation, but have instead mired themselves up to their eyeballs in the revised fairy tale that has very little relation to reality. He says that we’ve remained true to our documents. Coming from someone who is supposed to be versed in Constitutional law, it seems that our new President hasn’t read the documents he’s talking about. Our founding fathers laid out a foundation based on God and morality. They set up the government of this country to be “by the People”. All our president has to do is look at what is going on in our nation (and be honest about the very things that he himself promotes and supports) to see that we’ve fallen away from both our nation’s documents and it’s scriptural foundation. Our judicial branch no longer upholds the law it creates it. The “People” have very little to say in the way our nation is run. President Obama needs to be a little more honest and a little less naïve (or deceitful)…

 

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

 

It would take a complete hermit or idiot to fail to see that we’re in a crisis. The problem is that while we’re in a crisis, no one seems to want to admit or express the reason we’re where we are. We are in the situation we’re in because of the sins of both nation as a whole, and the individual people in it. We are here because we’ve removed morality (Christian morality) from just about every aspect of America. We don’t teach our kids morality in schools, so they fornicate and have babies. Because we don’t teach them how precious life is, they can go down the street and kill the baby inside them. We give them ready-made excuses like they’re not ready or it would be burden to the child. If we really wanted to allow abortions, then why not be truthful about it? Allow the child to be born, clean it up, dress it in it’s first clothes, and then send the mom and/or dad into the room with a knife and tell them not to come out until they’ve aborted their baby. It’s really no different than what’s happening now, but at least this way the mom’s would be a little more honest… We neglect to teach our kids ethics or morality at home. Like the government, our response has become “throw money at it”. So we’ve created a generation of disrespectful, detached kids who are happier and feel more loved with their friends than with their families. We’ve created generations of “fathers” who can impregnate any number of women but have absolutely no idea of the responsibility they have to the lives they’ve helped bring about. We continue to promote “alternative lifestyles” like they are equal to what God has ordained. We have been everything BUT true to what our forbears believed! And we’re too prideful and self-righteous to admit it…

 

Our nation is at war because of what it once was, not because of what it is now. Those who hate us do so because of the Christian morals we used to have. We have fought the war against the “network of hatred” on foreign shores because we had experienced people leading us that knew that it is better to fight the war over there than it is to allow it to come over here. We no longer have that experience. Instead, we have a man who seems sympathetic to our enemies and is more than willing to sit down with them to talk. Our economy is badly weakened by greed – period. Obama seems to want to point the finger at the corporations (while still throwing them money) but I wonder if he includes the government in the “some” whose greed has caused us to be where we are. We wouldn’t need bailouts and stimulus packages if the government actually cared about, represented, and worked for the people who put them into office. Instead, they waste America’s money on ludicrous pork barrel agendas, rarely accomplish anything productive, and still manage to vote themselves a yearly raise in spite of the current economic problems. It is not our collective failure to make hard choices that has gotten us here. It is our failure to make right choices and respect God and His Word and live by it that has gotten us here. The choices really aren’t that hard, but to make them would have to mean choosing to sacrifice our greed and selfishness to see our country return to God. We shouldn’t be trying to prepare our nation for a “new age”. We should be repenting and return to doing what God says we should have been doing all along…

 

Many have lost homes, but it is their own fault. Many of the people who bought homes only to lose them knew they couldn’t afford them in the first place and so did the government. But, in our desire for everyone to live the “American dream”, the government completely botched the entire system and is now paying for it. Jobs have been lost because companies can’t afford the overhead to run their own businesses here anymore. The unions charge an outrageous amount. Businesses can find cheaper work overseas. It’s no one’s fault but our own… Healthcare is costly, but to be honest, I think that it is not the priority that people are making it. Our schools have failed since we’ve removed the Bible and morality from them. We no longer teach kids for them to succeed, we teach them so that our schools can get money. They are being taught by teachers who lack morality like they do. A growing number of teachers can’t pass their own subjects! The way we use energy is another red herring that we are spending too much time and money focusing on. I would love to see biofuels and “green energy”, but without morality in our country, it’s not really going to matter…

 

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

 

I disagree with the president that the “sapping of confidence” is less measurable. It is evident that many wonder about America’s decline, but what should we expect? They lack confidence in our nation because its leaders have consistently shown in recent years that they’re untrustworthy. Worse than that, the “leaders” of our nation have removed the only true hope that America has. They’ve helped mock the One who could heal our nation and they’ve taught generations to do the same. Why should Americans trust the empty words and promises of those who say they have their best interests at heart and then act in ways that show the opposite. The next generation is almost forced to “lower its sights” because our nation has trusted in a new “god”, money, and it’s prophet man. Without something greater than what our “leaders” currently offer us, we can do nothing but decline…

 

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.

 

Duh. The challenges have always been real, but the plans offered to deal with them are fanciful and without any backbone or understanding. The challenges have also always been serious, at least to those truly concerned about our nation. To the rest, they’ve been nuisances, or hazy events on the edges of vision, or political “causes” used to increase one’s status or reputation. America’s problems have never been easily met. President Obama says they’ll be met and that’s what bothers me. They will be met by greedy, inexperienced, shallow men and women who hate God and His Son. They will be met with the best man has to offer and those efforts will ultimately fail. In the meantime, “the People” will be told how wonderfully things are going and, sadly, many will believe it.

 

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

 

President Obama has said that he was elected because America has “chosen hope over fear”, but what hope does he offer? Unless he’s the Messiah (like some profess him to be) his talk of hope is just another example of emotionally charged drivel. If the “hope” that Barack Obama offers is not that of repentance to God and salvation through Jesus Christ so that God will heal our land; then the President doesn’t know the meaning of hope. If we are “unified” for any purpose that is not solely focused on Christ, if we are not focused on our entire nation repenting in sackcloth and ashes, then we will not be unified. The conflict and discord our country faces have come from the fact that everyone is doing what is right is his or her own eyes. We have all gone our own way and, unfortunately, we’re just doing what comes natural to sinners. The president seems to imply that he can somehow erase the conflict and discord. I doubt it…

 

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

 

Who is proclaiming and end to petty grievances and false promises? The government? All of America? Forgive me for sounding skeptical Mr. President, but we’ve heard all this before from people that are much more qualified than you. Which “petty grievances, false promises, worn-out dogmas, and recriminations” are we ending? Could you be more specific? Are you including the newly made ones in this statement? It seems to me that our new president has his focus misplaced. It’s not about what’s strangling our politics. It’s about the sin that has strangled “the People”. Until this is changed, it doesn’t matter what kind of politics we have (like socialism) because it won’t fix the problem…

 

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

 

Up to this point, I’ve rolled my eyes a lot, but this angers me. I wonder if the president knows where his little snippet of scripture from. Ironically, it comes from 1 Corinthians 13. This is the “love” chapter. But, the love that Paul talks about is not the eros (physical) love. It’s not the “fuzzy feelings” love. It is the self-sacrificing, responsible love called agape. This love is more concerned about others than self. Obama calls us a young nation who needs to put away childish things. This sounds awfully funny coming from a man who is playing president and trying to talk tough and compare himself to Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Martin Luther King Jr. because he has no identity of his own. If Obama says we should put away childish things, then he should lead by example. He should stop acting like he knows what he’s doing. He should stop trying to sound intelligent and just admit that he’s in “above his pay grade”. He says that it’s time to reaffirm our enduring spirit. What enduring spirit? While I believe that there are those who have an enduring spirit, I believe many of them are the same people who saw the world wars… In our current time, if we aren’t instantly satisfied in our endeavors, we give up. How is this enduring?

 

He then says that we should choose our better history. How? You can’t choose history because it’s in the past. Unless of course he’s talking about the rewritten history of our nation and which is the best version. He then invokes God again, showing his misunderstanding. He says that all are equal, free, and deserve a “chance to pursue their full measure of happiness”. I disagree with this Mr. President. I agree, in one respect, that all are equal. We are all sinners who deserve to be sent to hell. But, we’re not all equal in the sense that those who have repented of their sins and put their faith in Christ will not go to hell. Second, we are not all free. Not one of us is free. The Bible calls us slaves and we serve one of two masters. We either serve sin or we serve God. Sadly, our nation continues to choose sin over God and I believe that the people that are coming to power in our country are part of His judgment and will encourage the nation’s sin even more. Finally, while I think that we have the opportunity to pursue happiness, that opportunity only extends as far as it doesn’t conflict with God’s law. If that pursuit of happiness includes something that God defines as sin or an abomination, then we have no “right” to pursue it although we have the ability to.

 

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

 

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

 

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

 

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

 

While I love my country, I’m honest enough to say that the greatness of our nation is not what it used to be. We can reaffirm it all we want, but that doesn’t make it true. Our nation was great because the men and women who lead our country were God-fearing and truly understood that God is the reason our nation was even in existence. Greatness is not a given but it is not earned either. God gives it. It is God who raises up kings and brings them low (Daniel 2:21), and He will NOT raise up a nation that so openly rebels against Him.

 

The president says that our “journey” has never been one of short cuts. I disagree. Maybe it wasn’t that way years ago, but today that’s all it’s about. In today’s American society, it’s all about getting everything we can as fast we can. It’s about finding the quickest way to fame, fortune, and your name in lights. I could use the president and his political career as an example of this. He says that our journey has not been the path for the faint-hearted who seek leisure, riches, and fame. Has the president been in hiding? I am truly amazed that he said this while a growing number of corporations are going under because their CEOs and other management have gotten a lion’s share of wealth on the backs of others. And, what’s worse is the government is bailing them out! The government is giving the CEOs more money to put in their pockets without any kind of accountability (which is something that will supposedly change…). Who is the president trying to fool?

 

He says that it is the doers, risk-takers, and makers that have carried us “up the long rugged path to prosperity and freedom”. Is the president that blind or is he just naïve? America as we know it today is neither prosperous nor free. Yes, there are people making money, but our nation has a debt that is trillions of dollars! It is close to the point where there is no way we will ever be able to pay it off! And yet, we seem to have billions of dollars for bailouts, etc. that will supposedly help us. Isn’t the mishandling and poor decision making concerning money one of the things that got us where we are to begin with? How is that going to help us? That’s the definition of insanity! America is no longer free either. The freedoms we once held dear are slowly fading away. They are being replaced by whatever the current government thinks will get them re-elected. Our American rights are no longer inalienable… To say that the people who came here to live did so for us is a farce and misrepresentation of the people. The people that founded our nation did so as a haven for Christians. They didn’t toil for us, they toiled because it was necessary. They understood Scripture, which says if you don’t work you don’t eat. Most today wouldn’t survive if that were implemented here. They were willing to accept the work and the toil because they could openly worship the Lord in a country that didn’t tell them how they could do it.

 

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

 

The men and women who built this nation saw America the way they did because they loved her. They struggled and sacrificed to make this nation what it was because they loved God. Today, those words mean nothing to most Americans. Many wouldn’t know struggle or sacrifice if they saw it. America was greater than individuals because those individuals held to Christian morals and knew that without God they would have nothing. No other religion could have done it. The people of our nation had a “better life” because they gave that life to the Lord in service, trust, and obedience.

 

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

 

Again, I have to disagree. We don’t continue the “journey” of our founders/builders. Honestly, I don’t even think we’re on the same page. Our nation is neither the most prosperous nor the most powerful. We have strong armies, sure, but armies alone don’t make a nation powerful. Our nation is filled with uneducated, immoral, unmotivated people in all levels of leadership. To say that our workers are no less productive is to ignore both the growing unemployment rate and the number of people who refuse to work. Our minds may be just as inventive, but they will not stay that way. We have multitudes of kids graduating high school who can’t even read the diploma they’ve been handed. There are clever people and inventors in America, but they aren’t enough. Our goods and services are mostly handled by the foreign countries we’ve outsourced the work to. Our companies are going out of business, people are losing their jobs and that diminishes capacity. Our president’s solution for the nation is to “remake” America. I don’t think that we need to remake America. We need to REPENT America! We don’t need to remake anything. What we need to do is return to the foundation our country was built on. All the emotional pep talk won’t fix the problem our country faces…

 

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

 

There is always work to be done! The state of the economy and other “issues” are just symptoms of a deeper problem. Without fixing the deeper problem, the symptoms will go away for a while, but they’ll be back. Obama wants to lay a new foundation. I believe that our nation needs to restore the foundation it already has. All the talk in the world about roads, grids, technology, and health care makes for a good speech but that’s all. Obama says that we’re going to do all these things, but how? Where will we get the money? And, how will doing any of these things fix America’s real problem – sin? I also can’t help but wonder what the president thinks that science’s “rightful place” is? Basically what he seems to be saying here is that we’ll be able to snap our fingers and science and technology will somehow save us. It’s done so well so far. It’s done some great things for us like medicine but it’s also done some really ridiculous things. It’s got full-grown men spending all their time listening into space for signs of life. It’s got millions of people believing a fairy tale that we somehow came from nothing billions of years ago when there is no proof of it. I hear what the president is saying and I can’t help but shake my head. All he needs is a couple of dragons and a princess in distress and he’ll have the makings of a great story. Unfortunately, no matter how many times he says it can/will happen, that doesn’t make it so, especially if God has decided something different…

 

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

 

I don’t just question the scale of ambitions I question the ambitions themselves. It seems that the president has forgotten what our country has already done. He seems to only know history as it’s been revised or made up. Our country doesn’t need imagination (wouldn’t that be a “childish thing” that we’re supposed to give up?). What our country needs is for its people, all of them, to take responsibility for it’s sin. We need our nation to own up to the fact that man’s ways don’t work, and realize that the only thing that can save us is God. The thing is, our “system” doesn’t need “big plans”. It only needs one plan.

 

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

 

What cynics is he talking about? If he’s talking about those who are cynical of him and his ideas, I have to ask him what he expects? I’m very cynical of him and his proposals because I don’t think that there is an ounce of truth to them. I see what he’s said and see it’s empty. It’s not about stale political arguments. The ground has not “shifted” beneath anyone. The problems we face today are the same problems we’ve always faced. What’s “shifted” is how we’ve dealt with them. Before, men and women used common sense to make decisions based on the Biblical principles our nation was built on. They took responsibility for their actions and made amends for their mistakes. Today, that doesn’t happen. There is no shame. No matter what is done, no one is ashamed. People buy houses they can’t afford, blame others for their mistakes, and kill their unborn children. The president says that it’s not about whether government is “too big or too small”, but I disagree. If the government is too big, then it’s no longer “by the People”, which would mean that we’re not staying “true to our founding documents”. What the president seems to gloss over is the fact that government isn’t working. It’s not providing jobs, it’s allowing companies to go elsewhere. The wages of many are below average because of the government. The government has tried and failed numerous times to “fix” things or “bail out” companies and it’s not worked. It’s manipulated situations (like real estate) and caused many of the crises we now face. But, like I’ve said already, even if the government could create “millions of jobs” at “decent wages”, or affordable health care, or “dignified retirement” (what exactly does that mean?), it’s not going to fix America.

 

The president continues to push programs, but they won’t work. They haven’t yet. He then says that those of “us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account”. Does this include the government? Will we finally get to see the government held accountable? He says that they will be held accountable to spend wisely. Really? Accountable to whom? Is this the end of pork barrel spending? Is it the end of automatic raises for members of congress? Does the government even know what it means to spend wisely? While this may sound good to some, it seems to me that, like a number of other things the president has said, he’s blowing smoke. He says they’re going to “reform bad habits” too. I think he’s lying. Look at his plans. He’s going to bail out companies who’ve shown they cannot handle money. Does that sound like a good habit? Does it sound like spending wisely? I don’t think so. Without a Biblical understanding, the country’s money problems will continue to grow. But they will pale in comparison to the other problems that we’ll face if we continue to rebel against God. If the president wants to reform things, then he’ll need to put prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments back into prominence. It will take a few generations of school kids to start showing, but it will work. The president also talks about “doing business in the light of day” and transparency. Does that mean that his life and the lives of those in Congress will be an open book? Does it mean that there will be no more secret meetings to try and pass legislation under the public’s radar? Obama wants to restore trust between the People and their government but it doesn’t make a difference what he says. Our nation is comprised of 85% Christians (I personally don’t think it’s that high) and yet the president is taking actions that go directly against what the majority of the nation professes to believe. How exactly does that earn our trust?

 

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

 

Again, we see that America’s “god” is money. The news has been dominated by the economy. I’m not sure I understand why the president is speaking about the market. Have a large number of people been arguing about it? How does the market “expand freedom”? I can’t help but wonder whose watchful eye the president is talking about? His? The person he put in charge (who had difficulties handling his own money)? Mr. Obama clearly doesn’t understand prosperity. The only way a nation can truly prosper is if it fears, reveres, and “favors” God. Scripture is filled with evidence of this. When Israel obeyed God, they prospered (just like He promised!). They were a righteous nation and God blessed them. When they disobeyed God, they suffered in many ways. You can see the same thing in America’s history. Our country was founded in 1776. For 187 years, our nation feared and revered God. The men and women who lead the nation obeyed Him and ordered their lives after His Word. God was first. He was obeyed and our nation was protected and prosperous. In 1963, God, prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments were removed from our schools and many public places. In 36 years, our nation has fallen horribly from where it used to be. We lift up homosexuality as at least equal, if not better than, heterosexuality even though it’s an abomination to God and a sin. We promote the murder of unborn children by their moms as an issue of choice and rights, even though the rights of the child are completely ignored. We pay billions of dollars to produce and watch movies that are full of immorality, blasphemy, and rebellion against God. We continue to flounder and fall behind. The success of our economy has depended solely on our obedience to God, but that shouldn’t be our focus. Our focus should be on the fact that we’ve rebelled against God and that should grieve us. Unless we repent and return to God, we will continue to fall. The surest route to “our common good” is found in Scripture. Any other route is a detour and a lie.

 

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

 

I wonder who said that we have to choose between safety and ideals? In all honesty, our safety will be determined by our ideals. Our founding fathers were faced with perils we can’t imagine (yet), but there are two major differences between them and us. First, the majority of the problems they faced were due to a government that had too much hand in their personal lives. The problems they faced were not of their own making. Today, our problems are totally our own making. Second, the founding fathers trusted in God. They believed in Him and obeyed Him. They understood sacrifice because they understood the cross. They actually knew what agape meant. They “drafted a charter” to assure the rule of God’s law and the rights of man (even the unborn ones). Only the blood of those who understood what they did and believed the same way has expanded this charter. I disagree that the ideals the founding fathers still light the world. To be honest, I believe that they are dimming even in this nation. The ideals that the founding fathers held to were Christian ones. The majority of the world hates God and those who truly follow Him (although they seem to like the squishy compromisers). Even in America, where 85% are supposedly Christian, those ideals are hard to recognize in the “believers”. To make a blanket statement about peace and dignity seems a little proud and presumptuous (at least he’s consistent). America is not, and shouldn’t be, the friend of all those who seek peace for a very good reason. All who seek peace do not do so the same way. Muslims seek peace through the submission of all to the will of Allah. Are we ok with that? I fear that the majority might be, as long as it’s not Christianity… Others seek peace through the death of Christians. Are we friends to them? I wonder how many would still profess Christ if it came down to their lives? Also, the idea that we “are ready to lead once more” is ridiculous. Our nation can’t even handle the majority of the issues in our own borders, how can we lead other nations, especially when many of those nations already have a low view of America?

 

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

 

The president talks about how others faced down communism while he tries to bring it into our borders! The things that our nations “faced down” were done because of the enduring convictions based on Christianity. Our “power” is nothing. It is more of a hindrance than a benefit. I say this because we look to our power as a nation as some sort of indication of how great we are. It supposedly represents how “great” we are. We have ignored the fact that it is God and He alone that gives us strength and protects us. Our power alone is worth nothing. It is God’s power that protects us. And if we continue to rebel against God, that power that once protected us will be brought to bear against us. Our power doesn’t grow because of anything that we do. God grows our power as we continue to humble ourselves before Him and to order our lives and our nation according to His Word. Also, our security comes from God. Our justness of cause is relative unless it’s based on Scripture. If it’s not, then justice will change depending on the whim of those in charge. For instance, it will soon be ok to kill your child because it’s an inconvenience, unless of course it’s already born (well, unless it’s just partially born). It will soon be ok to live a homosexual lifestyle. Many would see this as justice. It’s not, but that’s how many will see this.

 

I wonder what kind of force the president is talking about? And what example? The example of rebellion against God? How forceful can our example be when it diametrically opposes the will of God? I find it ironic that the president talks about humility here but has built his campaign on how he is the agent of change and will bring about the change that America needs. Is that humility? Is walking in humility telling someone that disagrees with you that you won and that will “trump him or her any day”? And who will restrain the president? “the People”? Will they be given the opportunity?

 

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

 

All you have to do is look at our recent history to see that we’ve failed to keep the legacy of those who have come before. We have not been guided by the principles of our forefathers because we’ve ignored them! He talks about greater cooperation and understanding between nations, but many of these nations want to see America destroyed. He talks about old friends and former foes, but what indication do we have that this will be the case? Many of our “old friends” have abandoned us in Iraq and many of our “former foes” still don’t hold us in high regard. Again, the president talks about the nuclear threat and global warming (which is still unproven and unlikely). But he has nothing to show that he’s able to handle these conflicts.

 

What really amazes me is what the president said next. He talks about how we won’t apologize for the way we live (even though it is a stench in God’s nostrils) nor waver in it’s defense. But how will we defend ourselves against God? What will we do when He has finally had enough? Where will the president and the government be when this happens? What kind of measures with they take against the God of the universe? Then, the president has the unmitigated gall to say that those who advance their aims by the slaughtering of innocents will be defeated. I think that the president is right, but I don’t think that he realizes that he’s talking about America… He says that our spirit is stronger, but is it really? We can’t even fight an ongoing war without a majority of people whining about it. We don’t have the spirit, the stomach, or the guts to follow through with what needs to be done and other countries know this. How we will defeat those who are doing the same thing we’re doing (on a lesser scale than we are) is beyond me. Many talk about our war losses. We’ve lost about 4,000 people in 5+ years in Iraq. We kill that many babies in a single day in America. If we’re talking about “innocents”, there can be no one more innocent…

 

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

 

We may have a “patchwork heritage” but until recently, we’ve not had a patchwork foundation. We were once built solely on Christian principles. Now, we’re trying to “remake” our foundation to include conflicting ideas. While we may be a nation of numerous religious and ethnic heritages, we are (by the founders view) a Christian nation. If we change this, then we are doomed. We may see things (inventions, etc.) from people of other religions, but we have been shaped by Christ and Christian doctrine. It is because we were founded on Christianity that other religions have been able to practice their belief system (or lack thereof) freely. No other belief allows this. During the civil war we were led by a president who fully stood firmly on Christian principles. We were still a country that feared God. We are that no longer. During the times of segregation, we still had leaders that feared God and followed Him. We have that no longer. What the president fails to understand is that “old hatreds” have never ceased and, according to Scripture, they won’t. He doesn’t seem to understand that the Bible has already dissolved the “lines of tribe” (although I’m not quite sure I understand the point that he’s trying to make with this statement) by claiming that we are “one blood” (Acts 17:26). And, if the president were to actually pay attention to himself and others on the planet, he would see that our “common humanity” has also been revealed. Scripture says that there is none that is good and that we are all sinners. This is our common humanity and the result of that “common humanity” is death and hell. America can only play a role in a “new era” of peace if it follows the Prince of Peace. This new era of peace will never be global and will not be easy. It will only be permanent when Christ returns to judge the world in righteousness and destroy the enemies of God. To think that we can somehow bring peace without God is a delusion of the highest order and one that the new president prides himself on. I wonder what role the president thinks that America should play to “usher in a new era of peace”?

 

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

 

I am not surprised at this statement at all. I would suspect that even though the president is trying to be all things to all people, he knows that this is a lie. There is nothing common between Islam and Christianity (although this may not be a problem with the America of today). Christians and Muslims don’t have mutual interest or respect for each other and Christian nations should hold the same view for Muslim ones. This will grate on the nerves of many people, but it’s the truth. I’ve already written about why Christianity and Islam are incompatible, but suffice it to say that there is no common ground between people who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and those who deny Him.

 

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

 

What does he mean when he says that the people will judge their leaders on “what you can build not what you destroy”? Those who sow conflict will not care how their people judge them. To point a finger at those who “cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent” when the leaders of this nation do the very same is hypocrisy. To say that they are on the wrong side of history doesn’t make any sense. Is there a side of history? Which side of history is the right one? The one that agrees with you? How does the president determine this? How is he sure that America isn’t on the “wrong side of history”? History is not the determining factor of wrong and right. History is (supposed to be) just a record of what man has already done. The determining factor of right and wrong is God’s truth. If you do not comply with God’s truth, then you are wrong. If you do, you are right. It’s that simple. Also, where is the line drawn that will decide when we “extend a hand” to those who cling to power? What will it take for us to reach out to them? How are we to recognize when they’ve unclenched their fists and who will decide what will be done with the relinquished power? Not only that, but how much silencing of dissention will be done in respect to our new president? How many will be viewed as racist for disagreeing with him?

 

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

 

Again, I can’t help but wonder why the people of “poor nations” would believe our offers of help when we can’t even help ourselves? Will we teach them to throw money at their problems even when they don’t have it? It’s great that we want to help those who some would consider poor, but unless we do it with the right attitude (the Christian one), it means nothing. What will we be feeding the hungry minds? Will it be the same poor material that our children are taught in public schools? Will we try to remove the scriptural foundation that other “poor” countries may have due to the work of Christian missionaries? I wonder whom the president is talking to when he talks about “indifference to suffering”? Unless I’m mistaken, Christians are still the ones who are doing the most to take care of those who are suffering inside and outside our borders. I adamantly disagree with the idea that we need to change with the world. We need to change when and how God tells us to. The world is not going to change that way. The world is not going to change according to God’s will and if we decide to change “with the world” instead of according to the will of God, we will suffer with the world. We need to stand for absolute truth and that’s something that the world will never accept.

 

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

 

The majority of those who lie in Arlington feared God and I believe that the majority of those who protect our nation today also fear God. They tell us that the only real sacrifice was seen on the cross, and those who have given their lives as sacrifices for our nation are just a reflection of that which was shown on the cross.

 

We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

 

Jesus gave us the example of service when the Son of God knelt down before the sinful men He would eventually die for and washed their feet. This is service. When the One who had all authority disregarded His position and gave Himself for those who hated Him, it wasn’t about finding meaning in “something greater” because there was nothing greater. It was about self-sacrifice. It was about selflessness. Those who founded the nation didn’t have the “spirit of service” they had the Spirit of God. This is the Spirit that must inhabit us if we are to be anything other than more of the world.

 

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job, which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

 

But whose faith are we talking about? The faith of the Jews? The faith of the Muslims? The “faith” of the atheists? Or is it the faith of the Biblical Christians? We cannot put our faith in the government. We must put our faith in the God of the Bible and in Him alone. It doesn’t matter how determined we are, if we are against God, we are wrong. The kindness that “takes in a stranger when the levees break” (?) and the selflessness that the president is talking about only come from a Christian worldview. Without the Christian worldview, you won’t have these things. Looking at our nation today, these things are fading and it’s because those who hate God are eroding the foundation that our nation was built on. Without restoring that foundation, we won’t have kindness, selflessness or anything else that we take for granted. It is not courage or willingness to nurture that decide our fate. What decides our fate is whether or not we will choose to fear, respect, and obey God. If we will choose to fear, respect, and obey God then He will keep His promise to protect and help us. He will deliver us from the trials and tribulations that we now face. If we choose not to fear, respect, and obey God then He will keep His promise to bring plagues, disease, and judgment to our nation. THAT is what decides our fate.

 

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

 

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

 

Our challenges are far from new. The “instruments” that we meet them with shouldn’t be either. If we truly want to overcome these challenges, then we will return to Scripture for our answers. I just realized that the president has only talked about meeting the challenges. Anyone can meet the challenges, but so what? The president says that the values of hard work, honesty, courage, fair play (who determines what is fair play?), tolerance (according to whose definition?), curiosity (?), loyalty (to whom?), and patriotism are old. This is somewhat confusing. What he is saying is that he wants a new America based on old Christian values. How exactly does this work? He says they are the truth. But, according to whom? How does he define tolerance? He says that our success depends on these values, but why doesn’t our success depend on the source of those values? He says that we must return to these truths, but how can we without returning to the source of these truths? The president says that a new era of responsibility is required of us. What does that mean? If he’s calling us to take responsibility for our actions then I agree. But how does he define the duties of each American? Where does he draw the line between the person and the government? He says that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit as giving our all to a difficult task. Is that so? Has the president never shared the gospel with someone? Has he never preached the truth of the gospel to someone else? I say that there is nothing so satisfying as preaching the truth and witnessing to someone who is lost. Again, I have to say, it doesn’t matter how much we “give our all” to a task. If the work that we give our all to is work that goes against God, then we may be satisfied in our sorry human emotion and think that it defines our character (which it does, but not how we think), but we deceive ourselves into thinking that we are what we are not. We delude ourselves into thinking that we are somehow accomplishing the things that are most uplifting and righteous because they feel good, when they are most reprehensible to the Lord that sees it all.

 

This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

 

THIS is the source of our confidence? The source of whose confidence? It isn’t the source of my confidence. He says that the source of his confidence is that God has called him to shape an uncertain destiny. If he were a Biblical Christian, then the source of his confidence would be different. The source of confidence for a Christian is the fact that even though they are a filthy sinner they have been saved by a wonderful God who has every right to send them straight to hell but instead showed mercy to them and died for their sins. God doesn’t “call us to shape an uncertain destiny”. He calls us to repent of our sins before Him humbly. He commands us to tell others the same. God is the only one that shapes “destiny” and for Him it is not uncertain. The source of our confidence could also be the fact that while things are falling down around us (due to our rebellion against God) God is still willing to heal our land and restore us if we are willing to repent of our sins.

 

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

 

It was only a matter of time before the president played the race card. It’s great that men and women and children of every race and faith can join together in celebration, but it’s not the answer. It’s great that Barack Obama can take a “most sacred oath” when his father might not have been served at a local restaurant. But, what does this have to do with whether or not he will be able to lead the nation? What does this have to do with whether or not God will once again look on this nation with something other than anger and judgment? What does a number of different people that believe a number of different things coming together in celebration have to do with whether or not this nation will repent and turn back to God? Nothing.

 

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

 

“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

 

If we’re going to remember who we are and how far we’ve traveled, then how about we remember it the way it actually happened? He compares himself to George Washington leading the nation back from the brink of destruction. George Washington was a great Christian man who took the Scripture seriously and ordered his life according to it. Washington’s hope was in Jesus Christ. That is why hope could survive. They came forth to meet the danger of the nation under the hand of God. They knew that they would win if God allowed it. The reason they were united is because they believed in the same God and had the same moral values. They held God in high esteem (like they should have) and they desired to “forge” a nation that was solely dependent on Him. I can’t help but ask why the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration should be marked as a day of remembrance? What makes his inauguration a special day of remembrance? I may be a little jaded but it sounds like the new president is saying that he is the standard bearer for leading us back to a new era… The problem is the new president is not a Christian and doesn’t hold to the same values as the founding fathers did. He doesn’t hold God in high esteem. He doesn’t fear God or obey Him. Why does he think that he will somehow change America for the best? Why does he think that God will use him to restore America when his life and values oppose Him? Unless the president repents and leads this nation to a place of repentance, he will be another in a long line of men who have tried to lead this nation under their own strength. He will be a carbon copy of the Bill Clintons and Jimmy Carters. He will be another man who will do nothing of any significance and America will have wasted another four years putting its hope in man instead of in God.

 

 

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

 

We have “common dangers” because we are a nation. We have a “winter of hardship” because we are sinful and rebellious toward God. The “timeless words” that we are urged to remember are those spoken by a God fearing man who knew that it was only on his knees in prayer that he could stand and lead our nation. It is an attitude long missing from our leadership and our nation at large. We are a nation of complacent sheep who love to be entertained. We have people who play sports, race cars, or pretend to be something other than what they are in movies that make millions of dollars while our nation’s economy continues to fail. We dole out unheard of amounts of money for “childish things” while the things that our country needs continue to go by the way side. We continue to shake our fist at God because He’s not blessing us, instead of weeping because He’s judging us. We look to weak-willed men who have little backbone and no faith to lead our nation back to where it once was when they don’t even know the way. Our country is filled with “Christians” and non-Christians who walk the broad path to destruction and ignore the few voices who still preach the truth. They block out the echoes of sins past by singing their “worship” and following their unimportant and sorry causes. They save animals while they kill their children. They support abominable lifestyles and can’t figure out why their sins are killing them. Our leaders are not leading. They are selfish, self-centered men and women who couldn’t make change for a dollar much less make change for a nation. They hide behind their sturdy oak doors so that the people they are supposed to care about can’t see their latest greed driven debacle. All the while they forget that their sins are laid out before the eyes of the just Judge.

 

There is very little that our nation has to be proud of anymore. We are rewriting our history to erase God at the whim of a few dysfunctional, attention-seeking atheists who have nothing better to do than ridicule and attack those they see as unreasonable and unintelligent. Our country is filled with “churches” that preach lies and deceit to their growing congregations. They entertain their attendees and feed them line after line of doctrines of demons to keep them coming back and giving money. They despise the gospel, mock the death of the One they call Lord, and ignore the warning that God has given them. They teach that all roads lead to heaven, even though the Bible says otherwise. We have little to be proud of, but we have a lot to be ashamed of.

 

It might seem that I don’t like America very much because of the things that I’ve said. On the contrary, it’s because I love my country that I’ve said the things that I have. Unless we start talking honestly, we will never begin to move in the right direction. I’m not proud of where my nation is today. This becomes even more profound when I look at where are nation started from. I still believe that we can see our nation change through repentance, but Barack Obama is not the one to do it. The only One that can help our nation now is God.  The president tells us to keep our eyes “fixed on the horizon”. The Bible says that we should keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). The president tells us that God’s grace is on us, but the Bible says that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

 

I will pray for the president. I will do it not because I like him, or because I agree with anything he says, but because God tells me to. I pray that our nation would stop its decent into sin and darkness. I pray that we would start to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God and lift up the chains of our bondage to the Lord that He might, in His great and gracious mercy break those chains. I would rather have our children say that this generation was the one that turned fully and whole-heartedly back to the Lord. It is not about us and until America realizes that and understands that it only through God and Him alone that we will ever see our country truly change, we are only fooling ourselves. Jesus is our only hope…

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: