Election Exegesis

by Charles Lyons

Barack Hussein Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States on January 20, 2009. First, let’s all reread Romans 13:1-2. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers for there is no power but of God: The powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” The following verses are similarly instructive.

The election of Obama is huge and historic, both culturally and politically. He certainly is not a true Chicago African-American. He is a transplant. His multi-national roots, cross-cultural upbringing, Ivy League education, and ability to overwhelm the Chicago Democratic machine leave him quite out of step with the parade of black, Chicago Democrat politicians we are accustomed to in Chi-town.

The new White House will reflect a greater reality. The post-moderns (POMOs is what I call them) with their rootless relativism, shallow materialism, and passionate environmentalism have rejected the good ol’ boys. At least they want to think so. A fresh voice of hope and change, a new color touting attractive aspirations brought new and young voters out in droves. They don’t like the world their parents created, one of divorce that brings division far beyond the living room, social despair, and corporate corruption. This guy with the funny name really seems believable. Let’s not kid ourselves. For the same reason this generation has embraced Obama, this generation has left various fundamentalist groups in droves. They’re tired of the bickering, the strange colorlessness, the mindless narrowness, and the failure to engage meaningfully with culture and a world that obviously could use some help and hope.

“Seek ye first the American dream and all its benefits and a little god will be added to you.” The road to the new reality was paved in part by white Christians trying to do better for their kids, fleeing cities, the centers of influence and power, in a non-strategy of retreat, isolate, and insulate. The salt was first taken off the meat and, what do you know, became less and less salty. The light was put under a bushel until it could not even be seen flickering. Our cities, our culture, our politics became less and less influenced by the truths of the gospel. The liberals, the godless, the heathen, the atheists have stepped in quite nicely, thank you.

Get on your computer and find a blue state/red state map. Look at the blue states and the regions they form versus the red states and their regions. Click on any red state that color codes the voting patterns of the state. You will see within the red states that the blue regions are the cities in virtually every case. States that would otherwise be red went blue because of their urban regions. Cities run the states. Urban centers wield disproportionate clout. The urbanization of our culture is one direct result. Newsflash to those escaping down Arkansas back roads or deeper into the backwoods of east Texas or diving deeper into an east Tennessee holler — this trend is not turning around. The irrelevance of the isolationists will only become more intense. The POMO’s amoral, immoral, pluralistic relativism, multiculturalism, and environmentalism are going to continue to become larger than life.

Check this out. American adults who oppose legalizing gay marriage: 61 percent. Twenty-one year olds who believe gay marriage should be legal: 61 percent (New York Times/CBS news poll). That’s as telling a cultural indicator as you’ll find. Gay activism began in the cities. Now it’s marching across the land. In my first “Urban Current,” February 2005, I wrote “You Can Run… but not Far Enough. You Can Hide, but Why?”

It’s a sunny day in our land. The day of a religion that thrives because it is supported by the dominant culture is over. Old Testament prototypes give us great inspiration — Joseph in Pharaoh’s palace, Daniel, Nehemiah, Esther. Happily, New Testament Christianity thrives in the most hostile of environments. First-century Christianity shook the world because it was rooted not in an embracing culture but in the dynamite power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our day presents incredible opportunities to those who understand the times and know what to do.

Here are some things we can all do:

1. Pray for President-elect Obama. The heart of the king is in the hand of God.

2. Pray for revival among God’s people. We need to wake up, shake ourselves, and get back on the frontlines. Don’t fight people. Rescue people. Fight the devil.

3. Pray for and support worthy New Testament church efforts in metropolitan areas at every opportunity.

Let’s go find some big, bad needs, meet them in the name of Jesus, and regain credibility as the answer people.