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Sad About Obama and Moving to Australia?

November 6, 2008

No I am not moving to Australia.  But I have seen a lot of Christians I know responding to the recent election by threatening to move to Canada/Australia/New Zealand/France, etc.  Stop it.  It was stupid when Alec Baldwin* did it, so don’t join him in it.  It does nothing constructive and actually creates rifts.  For some biblical perspective,  keep reading.

From 1 Peter 2:13-17 we see our calling to be subject to President Elect Barack Obama, congressional leaders, governors and other elected/appointed officials.

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

In addition to our call to be subject to these leaders is the call to not take advantages of the freedoms that we have been given, whether from God or human leaders.  Political systems, economic systems and social systems are not the ultimate arbiters of what is acceptable for Christians, but many find themselves exercising their political, economic and social ‘freedoms’ as cover-ups for evil.  Sure the banker might let you buy that huge house but should you?  Yeah, those new cars smell great and give you some status, but is that where we place our trust and approval?  As for political/social laws or norms, abortion is freely available and relatively safe.  Maybe that is why abortions rates are pretty similar between Christians and non-Christians?

But Paul instructs us how to navigate these things.  ‘Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God.’  After we honor everyone (including political leaders), we are to fear/respect God and love the community of faith, trusting in God and the community to help guide us in a shifting political/economic/social structure.  Live in Caesars world, but be guided by God’s kingdom and reign in your hearts.

But what about moving to Australia?

Let’s look at Acts 17:26-27 for our answer:

“And he (God) made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him.”

It is God who determines where we move to and move from.  If we are so tossed about by political elections and the affairs of man, then we show ourselves to be immature (see Ephesians 4:14) as believers and need the renewal of God’s word, the community of believers and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.   As believers we move from ‘here to there’ under the direction of God and as Spirit-led people in community with other Christian brothers and sisters, and not because your guy didn’t win.

Are you against abortion?  Then help a young girl, or a family, adopt an unwanted child and celebrate God’s view of sex.  Be a consistent advocate for life.

Are you against government handouts to the homeless?  Then try to help one at a time to restoration, or try to help keep a family out of it.

Are you against higher taxes?  Do you think God doesn’t have enough money to bless you and provide?

The Christian answer to any political/economic/social failure is Christ and our generosity with time, money, resources and prayer.  There is no need in the US that the church does not have the solution for if we would apply ourselves to it.

Lastly, we need to stop seeing Jesus as an American Jesus.  Jesus Christ reigns in the hearts of Christians throughout the world and their many political, economic and social structures.  He even manages to thrive and build stronger, more prevailing churches in some of the hardest areas.

So, let’s stop threatening to move to Australia, or elsewhere.  God has placed us here, at this time, to be agents of reconciliation and hope.  To live as Christians who do not use our freedom to cover up evil, but to live counter-cultural lives that trust in Jesus, do justice and walk humbly with our God.

-For more on how to view our trust in God vs. politics, check out Mark Driscoll’s latest post.  It is biblical and clear.

*Alec Baldwin is a genius in 30 Rock.

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