Does President Bush Need Agreeable "Evangelicals" in His Presence, or an Elijah, a Micaiah, or a John the Baptist?
or an Elijah, a Micaiah, or a John the Baptist?
Hello there -- Theo here -- I am CDH's (alias the Circuit Rider) Administrative Assistant on the Range. The below comments were written at the beginning of 2003, some time before the BIG year of 2004 -- a year filled with all kind of activity -- especially the political kind! It was reported that the total cost of the 2004 presidential election would come to over 600 million dollars, or possibly even moving up closer to the 1 billion mark! Is that obscene or what, considering critical needs which need to be addressed and the relief of suffering on the part of a number of human beings of all ages. Perhaps the more disturbing thing is that politicians, aware of their abuse of finances in the scramble for power and prestige, will still get a rather peaceful night's sleep!
A few tons of discussion in the aftermath of election 2004 centered on the "evangelical" vote or "born again Christian" voting and how huge numbers of those so identified voted for president this time around. Among those who profess to be "evangelical" in their religious persuasion there is a real great "feel good" outlook about all this. And the president has been known to be "evangelical" in his view of things from a religious perspective. The question asked below raises the issue of what sort of religious folk should the president have in his presence.
It has been circulating for a while via email -- a reported meeting of President Bush with a select group of individuals who share the label known as "evangelical."
One of these who is a prolific author and quite well known in "evangelical" circles reported a few details of the get together. It was a very positive report and it appears that everyone left the meeting very upbeat and with a powerful "feel good" attitude.
I guess when you have been invited to participate in a group meeting with the president of the United States that you would want to be very careful as to what you would say and it is practically a given that you allow the president to be in charge as to which direction the conversation goes and what subjects are discussed!
It has been pretty well established that the president is quite popular with those who profess to wear the "evangelical" label. The term "evangelical" is not easy to define these days. Basically it used to mean a person who has totally repented of sin, accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and in so doing has been born again by a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit.
Further, such an individual held the conviction that the holy Scriptures were infallibly inspired by the Holy Spirit and were the absolute authority in all matters having to do with faith and the expression of that faith in every day life as one relates to God and one's fellow human beings.
Another conviction held was that Christianity is the only true faith -- that all other religions are false and all persons who have not accepted Jesus Christ are eternally lost without hope -- and that Jesus Christ gave the command for His followers to take the message of His sacrifice for all human sin and His literal resurrection from the dead following His crucifixion into all the world so that all persons might have the opportunity to repent and believe on Him as Savior and Lord.
But over time the core truths shared by those identified as "evangelicals" began to be compromised a bit here and there with one of the major ones being the question as to whether Jesus Christ is exclusively the way of salvation or whether other religious expressions such as Islam have legitimate claims when it comes to how humans experience forgiveness of sins and the hope of salvation -- that is, however they may spell out their idea as to what salvation is.
And there is increased quibbling over the accuracy and reliability of the many translations of the Scriptures -- this can almost become a knock down - drag out situation!
So then, does President Bush really need to have these "evangelicals" coming to meet with him periodically or would it be better for all concerned to have an Elijah, a Micaiah, or a John the Baptist type spend some time in the Oval Office with him?
Elijah at one point was confronted by King Ahab and was accused of being a trouble maker in the northern kingdom of Israel which was ruled by Ahab and his infamous wife, Jezebel. Elijah's response was that it was not he but rather Ahab and his people who were the real problem in that they had rejected God's standards and had become idolaters -- details as to how Ahab and his domineering wife, Jezebel, had taken the kingdom to unprecedented depths morally and spiritually can be found in 1 Kings 17 through 1 Kings 22.
The fact is that Elijah challenged the establishment and denounced it for its practices of the most ungodly types. As one might expect he was not the most popular preacher around in the northern kingdom of Israel.
Likewise it was the same with Micaiah who was committed to telling Ahab the truth which was in stark contrast to what a gang of false prophets was telling Ahab and Jehoshaphat of Judah regarding a military campaign which was being considered. Micaiah paid a price for telling the truth which Ahab found totally unacceptable -- the king's complaint was that Micaiah never had anything good to say about him! Details are at 1 Kings 22.
And then there was that radical prophet known as John the Baptist who lived in the first century. He wasn't popular with the religious leaders of the time and he aroused the ire of the political ruler of the day -- one named Herod. John confronted him concerning the fact that he had taken his brother's wife as his own wife and that was an immoral situation. There was no telling the king that his immorality was his own private affair and so long as he did his duty as ruler everything was just fine -- what he did in private was nobody's business but his own! For telling the truth about sin in the life of a public official, John was eventually executed! It is interesting how this all came about -- see details at Matthew 14.
So when the president meets with that select group known as "evangelical" do you suppose any issues are raised such as:
why there is no aggressive agenda being pursued to stop the slaughter of the unborn as there is in the "war on terrorism?" Our record as we entered the new year of 2003 had passed 42 million unborn children who have been exterminated since this country has lived under the "blessing" of Roe v. Wade as of January 1973!
And if you compare our record of brutality against the unborn just since March 19, 2003, when we invaded Iraq, to the record of alleged victims who suffered at the hands of Saddam Hussein & Sons you quickly discover that we have more than doubled the Hussein record of murdered victims! Best estimate for Saddam's victims is about 1 million!
why sodomites are being appointed to high level government positions even as "evangelicals" claim that sodomy is an abominable moral wrong which God condemns? Well, at least a few "evangelicals" still claim it is wrong but may waver a bit when it comes to those increasingly popular "dialog" sessions going on just about everywhere in church circles these days!
why there is not more aggressive action being taken to curb a pornography industry which is at the pandemic stage throughout the country at various outlets and on the internet?
These are just some glaring examples for starters -- reminders that this country stands in need of massive in depth repentance at all levels in its national life and existence! Certainly much more could be said regarding the spiritual, moral, and ethical shortcomings of our nation -- for further help on this, just search and study in the section of the Bible known as the "prophets" and see how up to date they are when it comes to addressing the needs of a culture.
But it is highly unlikely that any "evangelical" will raise such issues as those mentioned -- it's better to not disturb the president and leave a meeting with him with an upbeat outlook and a great "feel good" attitude, even if the nation is teetering on the brink of judgment at the hands of a God Who commands a people who profess to live in a "nation under God" to be holy because He is the living God Who is holy.
Do we dare to pray that God will raise up some prophets across this land in the same spirit as that of an Elijah, a Micaiah, or a John the Baptist? That could not only make the president uncomfortable, but the majority of us citizens as well -- right?
O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds.
Habbakuk 1:2-4 (NKJV)
January 4, 2003
Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection
Western PA Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church
and presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
For further reference see:
Mr. President, We Need to Get Our Own House in Order First!
Imploding a Culture by Destroying the Young!
Popular Deities of American Culture!
How to Dismantle a Culture in 3 Easy Steps!
God Bless America? Really Now, Why Should He?
Trashing Sacred Gifts -- 21st Century Style!
President Bush Failing to Factor in the Keystone for Homeland Security!
"But doctor, I feel good and people say I look great!
Atrocities? Well, It Depends on Your Definition of What Is or Isn't!
United States Holocaust Gallery!
A National Rage Against Violence, BUT Not Always!
USA's Hidden Horrors!
Hold It, Mr. President -- About That Statement, "We respect life."
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