As I recently wrote, its been amazing to see the outpouring of admiration and support for Barack Obama. His approval rating has dropped since he actually took office and began leading, but the honeymoon is still in full swing. People are desperate for him to be a great leader.
But even his fans probably wouldn’t want him to be the king of America. They still prefer him to be our president.
I’ve never met a president. My father has - Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. I had the chance to be in the same room with both of those presidents. And I once was in a crowded airport in the presence of the late King Hussein of Jordan.
There’s a difference between a king and a president.
- A president deserves an inauguration
- A king deserves a coronation
- A president governs a democracy
- A king rules a kingdom
- A president is elected when all citizens vote
- A king is voted in office by no one
- A president swears an oath [35 words to be exact]
- A king swears by his family name
- A president governs based on a constitution
- A king rules based on a bloodline
- A president hears the people raise their voice in opinion
- A king sees the people bend the knee and bow the head
The problem with many of us is that we sometimes treat Jesus as our president instead of our king.
We act as if His kingdom is a democracy, as if we get to cast a vote for His leadership, as if we can voice our opinion about His agenda, as if He should adjust His policies based on our wishes.
Our American Christianity has been infected with democracy and capitalism. Those ideas make for a great nation and economic system - but they are not the design of the kingdom of God.
Two scenes show this contrast: John 12 and John 19.
John 12 tells the story of Jesus followers celebrating His Triumphal Entry. He rides on a donkey from Mt.Olives into Jerusalem on a Sunday, fulfilling prophecy [Zechariah 9:9, Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 62:11]. They enthusiastically accompany Him, shaking palm branches and singing Psalms 118, “Hosanna!” They recognize Jesus as their king.
But five days later John 19 shows a violently different picture. Its Friday morning, in Pilate’s courtyard. A religious crowd, including the Jewish leaders, are crying out for Jesus’ crucifixion. “He is not our king!” These religious people - perhaps some of the same ones who at the beginning of the week had considered Jesus their king - were now treating Him like a president. He had disappointed their desires for a political, economic, or military solution to their troubles - and so they were “voting Him out.”
Jesus had threatened their power.
He exposed their sin, hypocrisy.
He ruined their religion.
The honeymoon was over.
Its amazing but true. Over time, passionate followers of King Jesus can subtly become religious voters, citizens who want Him to respond to their lobbying. But Jesus is a king, not a president. So how do we keep proper perspective?
Look back to John 12. The Sunday morning Mt.Olives crowd had these characteristics:
- They knew scripture, and so they recognized the prophecy unfolding in front of them. If I stay focused on God’s Word it will always point my attention to the King.
- They risked scorn or worse from the Romans to worship the King publicly and joyfully. If I practice reckless, passionate worship I will stay focused on the King.
- They followed Jesus down the road towards the Temple. If I practice devout obedience, I will maintain my submission to the King
Where is your allegiance? Is Jesus king, or president of your life?
If you answered the latter, then its time for a Triumphal Entry into your heart.
So today my wife and I had the privilege of eating lunch with a good friend at Wendy's. After we were done eating and had gone to our cars a gentlemen came up to my window and wanted to talk to me. I rolled my window down a bit and he proceeded to tell me his story of how he had lost his job and his car and apartment and just wanted to know if I could get him something to eat or give him some change for bus fair to the Salvation Army. I told him I could get him a cheeseburger. So I drove through the drive-thru got him a burger and came around the other side to give it to him and he was gone. I drove up and down Wards Rd. for a bit looking for him when Kristin called and said she saw him down the road at the bus stop in front of the Cash Advance. I drove out there... and yet again he was gone. I was riding around in my car getting really frustrated, I was trying do the right thing here. I was trying to "Love God. Love People." I was late for a meeting and the time for my next class to start was drawing close. Where did this guy go? It's like he disappeared off the planet. As I drove back to work feeling a bit defeated, I just prayed. "God please get that guy something to eat." I hope he does. I ended up giving the burger to a student who hadn't eaten lunch yet. Maybe it will all work out ok anyway. It's just really cold out... God please take care of that guy. I didn't even get his name.
January 20, 2009
Washington, D.C. – Today, Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States of America. His inauguration is sandwiched between two other important days in American history: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the 36th Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s abortion decision in Roe v. Wade. As this Nation celebrates its progress made in regard to racial equality, the struggle to protect innocent human life just became more intense.
Barack Obama has indicated that a few of his first acts as President will be to rescind the Mexico City Policy, thereby providing federal dollars to fund abortion worldwide, and reversing the policy on funding embryonic stem cell research, thereby providing federal dollars to create and destroy human life. The Mexico City policy was first instituted in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan to stop federal funding of abortion in foreign countries. In 1993 President Clinton reversed the policy, and in 2001 President Bush reinstated the ban on abortion funding. After taking office, President Bush said: “It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion, either here or abroad.”
In 2001 President Bush limited federal funds for medical research using human embryonic stem cells. This policy was reaffirmed by executive order in 2007, when President Bush called for research with pluripotent stem cells derived without creating human embryos for research purposes or destroying or discarding human embryos or fetuses.
The rescission of these two policies by President Obama means that federal taxpayer dollars will be used to destroy innocent human life.
Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “Today we celebrate the Inauguration of Barack Obama as the first black President of the United States. The history that was made today cannot be underestimated in terms of racial equality. Along with the triumph today, there is tragedy. We have taken one step forward for racial equality but two steps backward for life. President Obama promised hope for all Americans. Yet, this does not apply to our most vulnerable. While President Obama condemned the killing of children by terrorists, forcing Americans to fund abortion worldwide will kill more children than Al-Qaeda. President Obama said he wants to hear from the American people, but the unborn have no voice. A president for all the people must also include the unborn.”
I've started going back through some old CD books to rip my CD's to my iPod. This has been a really long process. Not to mention I've done it before... not long ago iTunes freaked out while I was updating my iPod and it erased everything on my 160 GB iPod Classic. I had 150 GB's full at the time... yeah I was ticked. So I'm slowly going through each CD and ripping it to iTunes, finding the album art and dropping it on the pod.