The Invocation

This coming Tuesday, January 20, will be a historic moment for the whole world. Barrack Obama will take his oath as the 44th president of the United States of America, the first Afro-American to do so. However, Obama stirred the proverbial hornet’s nest with his choice of evangelical Dr. Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation. There are those who want to muzzle Warren from even mentioning the name of our Lord Jesus in his prayer. Then, there are the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) advocacy groups who felt betrayed that Obama chose Warren who opposed same-sex marriage. He also campaigned for Proposition 8 in California, which restricted the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

These people must keep in mind that Obama will become the president of every American citizen, not just of the atheists or the LGBTs. These people forgot Obama’s promise in his victory speech, “I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.” Though pro-gay marriage himself, Democratic attorney Larry Davis praised Obama for his “willingness to stand up against the intolerant wing of his own supporters who call themselves liberals on the blogosphere…but who indeed, walk, talk, and act like their intolerant counterparts on the extreme religious right.” (Quoted in Politico, Yahoo! News)

People do become what they hate. Sadly, this reaction is to some extent the fruit of hate crimes done in the name of Christianity. But those who did it do not in any way represent Christianity as a whole.
The Jesus I knew reached out to those that society condemned during His time. He touched lepers. He ate with tax collectors. He did not throw a stone at an adulterous woman. He forgave sinners. We are called to represent this Jesus to all people. “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:15-16, NIV) We should be concerned not only with the content of the Gospel but also its communication, not just with what we say but how we say it.

Brethren, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)


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