Thursday, November 26, 2009

Please Think Deeply Before You Jump On The Psalm 109:8 Bandwagon

Perhaps you have already started noticing some stuff pop up, such as shirts and bumper stickers that urges prayer for Obama, with the Scripture reference to Psalm 109:8.

The text of this particular verse states, "May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership."

I think many people feel they are being witty, and I'll admit, I enjoy throwing out the occasional proof text for a chuckle. When people ask about the Bible and politics, I get a kick out of quoting Ecclesiastes 10:2.

But when you're going to invoke the Word of God for any purpose, it is only respectful to God to try and use it in the context in which it is intended. And it is for this reason that I would urge my friends to think very hard before jumping on this Psalm 109 campaign.

Psalm 109 is an imprecatory Psalm, which means it is written by an Israelite, begging God to bring vengeance towards an enemy of David and/or Israel. I think God has given us the Psalms to help us know healthy ways to process our full range of emotions, and it isn't any accident that so many of the Psalms are dealing with feelings of fear, sadness, or longing for the presence of God. But in Psalms like this, we see that when we've been betrayed, we give our problems to God, and trust him to do what is best.

But having said all that, let's get back to the issue at hand. I would suggest that if you don't care for President Obama, it is 100% fine to disagree with his policies, to question some of his associations, and to have frustrations over whatever he is doing with which you disagree. But to start invoking Psalm 109, it is important to be sure that you--as a Christian--want to wish these types of things on anyone; much less the President; especially if you are going to put it on your clothing or the bumper of your car, telling others to do the same. The fact that humor is implied makes this a particularly low blow.

The Psalm includes wishes for the person's wife to be widowed, and for his children to be impoverished, homeless beggars whose possessions have all been seized by creditors. Even if you hold Obama in very low esteem, it is still important to remember the way Christ treated us when we deserved to be held by God in very low esteem.

Let's not forget verses like Matthew 7:2:
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

I will readily acknowledge that I have some very strong concerns about our current president. I didn't vote for him, and I'd love to have someone in office who shares my Christian worldview, and who believes in a form of Government more like the vision that I have. I never thought the day would come where I would miss Bill Clinton. I'm not an Obama fan. But I feel like this Psalm 109:8 campaign involves a misuse of Scripture, and shows an attitude that is not becoming of Christians. Christ could forgive the people who crucified him. Can you really say you're trying to live your life in the image of Christ while urging people to pray for God to destroy a man's life and family? Are you prepared for God to use the same measure of judgment on you that you are using for others?

I'm not saying it isn't okay to criticize and disagree, but I think this campaign is going too far. Pray that he will seek God above all else. Pray that he will repent of what he's done wrong. Pray for our nation, and for all nations, that they would turn to God. But don't actively pray to God wishing harm on someone. Don't use the Bible for a source of vicious humor.

There are many people who have absolutely skewered people like George W. Bush and Sarah Palin, and I know it's tempting to give Obama a dose of what we've had to put up with. But really, I'm not interested in getting even. When we resort to this sort of venom, we've become just as low as those to whom we are reacting. I'd rather just leave this sort of speech out of the dialog all together. It can only cause harm, and it reflects badly on Christians who participate. I believe that conservatives have plenty of substantive arguments to make without needing this sort of attack.

Those are my $0.02. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody

I never thought I would see a cover of Bohemian Rhapsody that in any way did it justice, but this was worth watching. "Mama...?"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Help My Friend Leigh Allyn

Rather than make a lengthy post here, I would encourage you to visit the website, where all of the situation is spelled out in detail. But a young lady at my church named Leigh Allyn is far along in her battle with Cystic Fibrosis, and has a couple of reasons for needing extra encouragement right now.

Please stop by the HelpLeeLee website to learn more about how you can be a source of encouragement to her.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Perspicacity for the Day: Aesop (c. 550 B.C.)

- Appearances often are deceiving.
- No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
- Familiarity breeds contempt.
- A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.
- Be content with your own lot; one cannot be first in everything.
- Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.
- The gods help them that help themselves.
- We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.
- The haft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagle's own plumes. We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Perspicacity for the Day: Solon (638-559 B.C.)

- Many evil men are rich, and good men poor, but we shall not exchange with them our excellence for riches.
- Poets tell many lies.
- I grow old ever learning many things.
- Speech is the image of actions.
- Until he is dead, do not yet call a man happy, but only lucky.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Perspicacity for the Day: Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

- Soldiers, from the summit of yonder pyramids forty centuries look down upon you.
- Go, sir, gallop, and don't forget that the world was made in six days. You can ask me for anything you like, except time.
- A form of government that is not the result of a long sequence of shared experiences, efforts, and endeavors can never take root.
- You write to me that it's impossible; the word is not French.
- The bullet that will kill me is not yet cast.
- Madame Montholon having inquired what troops he considered the best, "Those which are victorious, Madame," he replied.