POTUS

president obamaWhen I was a kid, I wanted to be president of the United States. In school, we learned about George Washington and the cherry tree. We learned about Honest Abe and Old Hickory. Presidents were patriots. Ronald Reagan was my hero.

But then something happened as I got older. I learned that not all presidents were heroes. I read about President Nixon and Watergate. I found out about President Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. I watched on live TV as the Monica Lewinsky scandal unraveled.

Today, like many Americans, I am somewhat jaded when it comes to our political system. I have heard the promises and seen the corruption. I have watched the chasm between red states and blue states grow into a canyon.

Suffice it to say, I no longer want to be president of the United States.

The world of politics today is all about sound bites and talking points, Fox News and CNN – pundits and politicians screaming at the top of their lungs. Sincere passion has turned to pride and prejudice. Our world has lost the ability to respectfully disagree.

Sadly many Christians fall into that category.

The Apostle Paul lived during the time of the Roman Emperor Nero. Emperor Nero was a scumbag. He murdered his own mother. He poisoned his stepbrother Britannicus. He purportedly played his fiddle while the city of Rome burned. Then he blamed the Christians. Nero is the first Roman emperor to begin a statewide persecution of Christians. Peter and Paul were supposedly martyred in Rome during his reign.

It was during Nero’s reign of terror that Paul wrote a letter to the Christians in the city of Rome. Even as they lived under the rule of a tyrannical and corrupt government, Paul told them, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established … Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:1,7).

Nero was emperor because God had given him that position of power. Did God condone Nero’s wickedness? By no means. Yet, he used it as a part of his plan of love for his people. Paul’s point was that whether a government is good or not, God wants us to honor and obey it out of love and respect for him.

When we respect the authorities he has placed over us, we are respecting God.

Does that mean you have to agree with everything the president of the United States says and does? Of course not. But as Christians we respectfully disagree. We do not deride or defame our president. We don’t call him a jerk or other more crass expletives.

We don’t even call him Obama. We call him President Obama. We pray for him. We ask God to bless him and us through him. When he acts in a way that is contrary to God’s will and Word, we ask God to forgive him. We speak up. We let him and the world know we disagree, but we do so respectfully.

Because by honoring him, we honor our God who placed him over us. By respecting our president, we respect our Creator God who has given us everything we have and made us everything we are. By obeying our government, we are living for our Savior who lived and died for us.

God bless our president and God bless America.

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  7 comments for “POTUS

  1. Louise Kerley
    February 16, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Pastor Andy…I respect and honor the Office of the President. As a sinner my old Adam is disrespecting the one who holds the office because of some of his ideals and beliefs. I pray for God to use him though to bring us back to a loving and Christian nation and I pray for my country. I am so grateful God placed me in this country. God Bless America and our Presidents.

  2. Laura Charron
    February 17, 2015 at 8:01 am

    President is the one thing I can’t call him. I know God put him where he is which makes it even harder. I pray to restrain my disrespect for him and this government because I know there is worse out there and worse to come here. I served in the military. My husband made it a career. It’s very hard for both of us.

  3. March 10, 2015 at 10:51 am

    We covered this recently in Bible study, looking at I Peter 2. Man, that was a tough class for most of us, I have to say. We ‘knew’ the right answers to the questions asked but it was galling to have to convict ourselves when we saw what God says through Peter (and Paul, and Moses…) about respecting our leaders. Thanks for the reminder once more.

  4. James Fait
    March 10, 2015 at 11:53 am

    God sets ’em up; God takes ’em down. (In this case, he can’t take him down soon enough!)

  5. Edith Schallert
    March 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    It gets more difficult every day

  6. Marietta Paap
    February 15, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Of course we as Christians and Americans obey the laws of the land and the Constitution. I also respect the Office of the Presidency. Because of that, I admit to my struggle to honor a President who seems NOT to respect the Constitution, who attempts to circumvent the Division/Balance of Powers, and who sometimes appears to represent himself, rather than the People of the Nation, abroad. I honor and respect the Office. There are times over the years where I have had difficulty respecting the MAN who holds it. For this I ask God’s forgiveness and His help in changing my attitude.

  7. February 15, 2016 at 11:02 am

    I respect the constitutionally defined office of president of the USA. I wish the person who holds that office currently did the same.

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