To those for whom Jesus Christ no longer suffices as a credible Lord and Messiah, John Pavlovitz offers up Barack Obama:
Seriously, I get the “No drama Obama” thing. Unlike Trump, who can’t seem to let a moment get by him without reacting childishly to something or other, Obama managed to keep his cool, even in the face of heated criticism. But, that’s less a sign of good character, in my mind, than it is a personality type. As for being a man of high character, I’m not buying it. Barack Obama ignored the Constitution and connived, obfuscated and flat out lied to the American people so often that one wonders if we’ll know what it feels like to have a president actually tell the truth again when, or if, it happens. (No, I’m not expecting that from Trump, or much of anything else, frankly, but I’m open and even eager to be pleasantly surprised!).
As for policy, President Obama was a disaster. Yes, I think he was sincere in his policies. He did or tried to do what he sincerely thought was best. But, being at heart a statist who believes that the state is the institution that ought to be first and foremost at the center of every citizen’s life (as opposed to, say, the family or one’s business or the Church), his domestic policies were a failure. And, being one who arrogantly believes that he knows best about what the world needs, while at the same time being naive about the state of the world, his foreign policies were a failure.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not happy that Obama was a failed president. I’m terribly disheartened by it. His failures mean that we’ve still got a miserable economic situation to climb out of, we still have a miserable jobs situation to climb out of, our individual rights, especially religious liberty, are threatened today more than any time I can recall, our city streets are war-zones, and our reputation around the world is of a nation that is toothless in the face of our enemies (ie: Russia), while ready to pounce and destroy our most loyal allies (ie: Israel).
We are in desperate need of a good president. I would love to have a great president, but at this point I’ll settle for good. Yet, for the next four years, at least, the White House will be occupied by Donald Trump. I have friends and loved ones who voted for Trump. Some are convinced he’s exactly what the country needs. Some voted for him because he isn’t Hillary Clinton. Some voted for him on policy matters, hopeful that the checks and balances written into our Constitution will prevent some of his more extreme positions from taking fruit. No one that I know who voted for Trump did so because he or she is a misogynist, a racist, a white supremacist, or a useful idiot for Putin. They want what we all want, what those who voted for Clinton want: a great nation that can stand tall and accomplish great things. We can pray for that, of course, but we can also do what we can at our local level. Can we make it happen?
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.