President Barack Obama is taking advantage of the government shutdown to send us all a very clear message.
This land is his land. This country is his country. None of it belongs to us.
Of course, he doesn’t say it that way. As is usually the case in politics, you have to look behind the rhetoric to the actions.
The actions are dictatorial and totalitarian. They aren’t what you would expect to see in our country. Even those who bought into the president’s hope and change sales pitch certainly could not have imagined all of that hope and change leading to a group of senior citizens being held hostage by armed park rangers. No one imagined World War II veterans being locked out of a privately funded memorial in their honor.
Maybe I shouldn’t say that no one saw that coming. Some saw it and were so loud about it that they were tuned out. Others saw it and put their heads in the sand. The church is a perfect example of this dichotomy.
After the president was elected, just as you would expect, there were those within evangelical ranks who made every effort to tell us that Obama was, in fact, the AntiChrist. The conversation would go something like this.
“Barack Obama is the AntiChrist.”
“Wow. That’s a bold statement. What makes you think that?”
“Hello! His name is Barack Obama. Doesn’t that sound AntiChristish to you?”
As if they were trying a little too hard not to be lumped in with that group, other Christians seemed to give the president a free pass on most anything he did. They were hiding behind Romans 13, just like he wanted them to.
But what those Christians forgot was that the president is just as much subject to the law as the citizens are. Romans 13 applies to both groups. And they forgot that it is possible to pray for your leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3) while at the same time opposing, even disobeying them (Acts 5:29).
Too many Christians are assuming that the president really wants what is best for our country but that he only disagrees with us on a few points. But would someone who wants what is best for our country use military force, and extra money, to keep citizens from what is rightfully theirs? Would a president who wants what is best for our country use bully tactics and fiscal recklessness to tear away the fundamental fibers of our country?
Sure, there is plenty of room for blame on both sides of the aisle for what led to the government shutdown. But only one branch of our government has any say in what parts of the government gets shutdown. That would be the executive branch.
Senior citizen tourists at national parks? Shut them down and lock them out.
Grocery stores on military bases? Shut them down. Let them eat cake.
All the while it’s business as usual at Planned Parenthood and the government printing press that gives us crisp, new, worthless 100 dollar bills.
It’s time to stop with the naive assumptions that we’ll get through this or that our leaders are operating from pure motives and start accepting reality. A reality where the leader of our nation does not have our best interests in mind. A reality where our freely elected president and those around him see our freedom as a threat to their rule. As Ben Swann has noted, “Regardless of political party, opinion of Obamacare or who you blame for the shutdown, a government that intentionally makes life harder for its citizens is no longer of, by or for the people.”
As it currently functions, our government is not for us. This cannot be debated. But what should we do about it? Will we do anything about it?
A decade ago, my wife and I spent our honeymoon at a resort in Jamaica. All-inclusive. We had about a two hour drive from the airport to our resort. That two hour drive took us through some of the darkest places I have ever seen. I felt guilty as I drove by the poverty while thinking about the all-inclusive paradise that was awaiting me. Eventually, I stopped looking out the bus window. I definitely never did anything to help those I saw. Instead, I just enjoyed the finer parts of their country before hurrying back to mine.
I’m afraid that too many American Christians are having the same reaction to the bleak nature of our government’s situation. Keep your head down. Don’t say anything. There’s a better home awaiting.
Yes. Yes there is.
But even tourists have an obligation to make a stand against evil.
What is happening to our country is not normal. It’s not harmless, petty politics that will all go away in a few days. It is a threat to our freedom. A threat from the same men and women who swore to protect us. The president has taken drastic measures to prove to us that this land is his, not ours. And now he has control of our healthcare. This should not sit well with us.
I don’t know what the future holds for what is left of our freedom. But if it all goes away tomorrow, may it never be said that the church turned her head, enjoying the finer parts of this land while awaiting our better home in the sky.
May we be remembered for taking a stand.
A stand for a country that was given to us as a gift from God.
A stand against those who pretend to be gods by taking that gift from us.