No, Mr. Pastor, I Did Not Rejoice

I remember back in January when everybody was in a big, media-induced, thoughtlessly-comatose locust-storm over the inauguration of the U.S.’s “first African-American President,” I could understand why the world (over against the church) could feel such a way.  I mean, it is always a historic moment when a minority leader is elected by a majority populace.  This we know.

What I failed to understand is why Christian leaders such as Pastor Rick Warren (to a greater degree) and Pastor John Piper (to a lesser degree) could find anything positive to say about Mr. Obama.  Warren, of course, agreed to pray at the President’s inauguration, and Piper here says he “rejoiced” and “wept for joy” over the new President.

You see, it’s not, by the sheer grace of God, that I am a racist “Christian” bigot.  I’m not.  It’s that theology – what someone believes about God – matters, flat-out, over all other considerations.  A man’s skin color does not excuse him or commend him before God or before truth-loving men.

What such statements sadly portray is the far-reaching effects of our suffocating American culture on the church that is freed to breathe the Spirit’s air.  Ironically, what these pastors are saying, whether implicitly or explicitly, is that the man’s skin color and position matter more than his stated beliefs. 

These statements show that we are still allowing the world to dictate how we see and understand such events.  We effectually say, “Oh, it doesn’t matter that much that the President hates unborn children and wants to work to have more of them killed, at least he has an African heritage and knows how to use it to his advantage.”  It’s ridiculous, and I’ve grown tired of seeing and reading too many Christian leaders bowing to the world in the name of cultural relevance. 

It’s the choking winds of post-modernism that say, “Beliefs don’t matter; just go with appearances.  President Obama looks nice enough.”  But Christ says that by speaking the truth in love we grow up into all things into Him who is the head.  We neither honor Jesus nor love anyone when we ignore the truth.

You may say, “Oh, at least when we show applaud the President then the world will  respect us.”  To which I would respond, “No, then they won’t, because we’ll look just like them – clapping and bowing to a man who hates everything we stand for.”

So, no, Revs. Warren and Piper, I did not rejoice.  While my friends watched the inauguration, I could barely stomach my lunch.


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

2 Responses to No, Mr. Pastor, I Did Not Rejoice

  1. Gary says:

    “Ironically, what these pastors are saying, whether implicitly or explicitly, is that the man’s skin color and position matter more than his stated beliefs.”

    I’m almost certain that is not what Piper means. Given Piper’s larger body of work and his other statements on the matter, I think he is likely rejoicing in an evidence of God’s common grace to this country through the reduction in racism. God, has graciously removed much of the racism in this country, and the current president is a testimony of that grace.

    But, it does beg the question — if one evil (racism) is replaced by another (abortion), is there still room for rejoicing at the removal of the first? Is that really a grace?

    • B Treece says:

      You’re right – that’s probably not what Piper means. But I’m tired of giving any kind of (albeit tiny) lip service to this kind of hypocrite.

      You raise the best question, though, is the removal of one evil for another really a common grace? Or a head-fake?

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