Thursday, November 29, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Following is my first letter to Obama since the Nov. 2012 election.
Dear Mr. President
Ralph M. Petersen
Dear Mr. President
Election Day is history. To say that you were not my choice is an understatement. In fact I believe that you will do serious harm to this country’s economy and our constitution. But regardless of how I feel about the outcome, the legitimacy of your eligibility, or even the honesty of the votes, you are, once again, the president and we now must endure your administration until the next election. Like it or not, God's Word charges Christians to pray for all those in positions of leadership and authority over us. That especially includes you. “Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior” ( I Tim. 2:2-3)
Today (Sunday, November 18, 2012) on your trip to Bangkok, you jokingly suggested that you could use some prayer. You have no idea how right you are. The problem is that prayer is not a joking matter. You also quipped, "I always believe in prayer. If a Buddhist monk is wishing me well, I'm going to take whatever good vibes he can give me to try to deal with some challenges back home."
Well Mr. President, you have declared yourself to be a Christian and have professed faith in Jesus Christ. If that is true, you should know that “good vibes from a Buddhist monk” are worthless if not blasphemous; the Only One and True God is the only God who can help you.
If, on the other hand, your profession of Christian faith is without substance, I must tell you that the Lord God will not hear any prayer from you except the prayer of repentance from sin and a cry unto the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you and save you. Many Christians I know are praying that He would reveal Himself to you to that end, that you might be saved.
As for your recognition that you are standing in need of prayer and in response to your asking for it, I hereby confess that I have failed to do what God expects of me regarding your presiding over the affairs of this country. So over the next four years, I will endeavor to regularly hold you up in prayer. Here are several specific ways that I, and many other Christians, will be praying for you:
1. I pray that you will realize your inadequacies for the responsibilities you face and that you will recognize your personal sinfulness.
2. I pray that you will truly depend upon God for the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and courage needed for leadership.
3. I pray that you will reject all the counsel and advice of others that violates biblical principles.
4. I pray that God would enable you to resist temptations and pressures to violate your conscience.
5. I pray that you will set aside your own personal ambitions for the sake of the best interest of the people, the good of their precincts, and the work of God.
6. I pray that you would be quick to seek God and rely on His Word as the source of your strength and the key to real success.
7. I pray that you will act carefully to maintain trustworthiness and righteousness in your office and that you will strive to guard the dignity, honor, and reputation of your position.
8. I pray that you will be a good example to others in your speech and conduct while carrying out your responsibilities.
9. I pray that you will remember that you will be held personally accountable to God for your attitudes, actions, and motives while serving your constituents.
10. And finally, I pray that you will seek the Lord while He may be found and turn to Him for the salvation of your soul.
Ralph M. Petersen
Sunday, November 4, 2012
I am stunned by the number of professing Christians who DON’T VOTE! What’s wrong with you?
Not too many years ago, in another presidential election, a Christian friend and fellow church member DIDN’T VOTE. I was stunned by his laziness and foolish, irrational and irresponsible behavior. His excuse went something like this: “I don’t waste my time with politics; God’s in control and there’s nothing we can do about it anyway.”
Underlying that statement was his belief that God was on a predetermined course of action in this world that He foretold in Scripture. My friend is looking forward to “the Rapture of the Church” and so by his failure to vote, he believed he was helping God to bring about the evil dictator (antichrist) who will rise to rule the world during seven years of tribulation after which, the Lord will return to take His throne and judge the world.
We are just a little over one day away from election day and I don’t have time to craft this post so that it can be palatable. So I am going to make a few statements here that may be hard to swallow and you may get angry with me but they need to be said.
Sometimes it is WRONG to try to help God accomplish His will. He expects you to do right even if His will seems to be in contradistinction to your actions. I know that seems paradoxical but God’s ways are not our ways and He does what He pleases for His glory. And He doesn’t need our help; if He did, He would not be omnipotent and He would be obligated to share His glory with us. That’s not going to happen.
Is it right to do wrong in order to do God’s will? NO! God will accomplish His purposes; we must do right and you will NOT get a free pass for neglecting to do right, even if God is doing something else. When God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for the sins of the world, it was His will and His plan for good. Yet it would be foolishness to suggest that those who actually beat Him, and nailed Him to the cross were doing right.
In this election we Christians have a duty to do right at the polls. Our choices should be determined by our biblical values. In our representative republic, our leaders are selected, and appointed by us as our agents. Look, I don’t know how to say this any clearer; if you vote for an ungodly leader who does immoral things, YOU ARE GUILTY OF HIS SINS. He is your agent. You engaged him and empowered him. When your representatives legalize baby killing, YOU legalized baby killing. When your representatives destroy the institution of marriage between one man and one woman, YOU support queer marriage. You cannot remain innocent of the wrongdoing of your representatives any more than if you hired a hit man to kill your neighbor and then plead not guilty to murder because you didn’t pull the trigger. That’s absurd. God will not be mocked. He will bring judgment on those leaders who abuse power but don't be surprised when He brings judgment on those who empower and enable them.
And by the way, you don’t get a pass for sitting it out either. By most analyses, if most professing Christians actually voted, we would elect conservative candidates. So it follows that, since far too many Christians don't vote, we are getting the leadership we deserve. Christians are to be salt and light in this present world. If your light is out or if you salt has lost its flavor, you are kinda worthless.
Get up off your backside and go VOTE RIGHT.