Monday, January 4

Cut the president some slack

A Christian Post article "Obama Returns from Church-Less Christmas Vacation" is a not so subtle blast at the president's religious background and his failure to attend church services this Christmas.

Ahhh... I'd venture to say that most Americans didn't put in a church appearance at Christmas. Even "mature" card-carrying evangelicals often miss Christmas services if they aren't convenient enough. (A couple of years ago several prominent mega-churches even canceled their Christmas day services so people could be with their families.) I'm not saying that this is a good thing -- just that it is the reality of our era. The cultural expectation that even nominally Christian people are supposed to attend church on Christmas evaporated sometime in the mid-70's. If we're going to have a gospel impact in our era we need to adjust to the current state of the world and quit acting like we're in such shock that the 1950's are over.

The fact is that no one voted for Barak Obama because he claimed to be some kind of always-consistent super Christian. And the reality is that his life is more complicated than that of most of us.

It is okay to think that his health care plan is for the birds or that his handling of the economy hasn't been so stellar. But regardless, of our opinions Christians need to live up to their name and cut the guy some slack. We need to quit looking for ways to demonize him.

We don't have to agree with him in order to act kindly and graciously toward him. Isn't that the point? If we're only kind toward the people with whom we agree then we're no different than anyone else (Matthew 5:43-48) -- and we aren't exercising grace -- which means that we are the people who have failed to truly show up for Christmas.


Unknown said...

People who want to find things to criticize can always do so, about anyone. I would agree on giving them a break. Imagine the disruption of the First Family showing up at a church they do not usually attend; not exactly conducive to people's attention to worship.
They went to see Avatar and had the theater to themselves for security reasons, because they can't just walk into a public place.

Jeff Berg said...

Joan, I was just going to say the same thing. Obama going to church would make it difficult for everyone else to celebrate the birth of Christ - something about a metal detector and silent night just don't go together.

My guess is that the folks who were hard on him for not going would be hard on him for disrupting others worship.