God’s Political Christians

I received a disturbing e-mail last week regarding a group of Christians, many of whom I know, who have organized a prayer meeting at a rather large church in my community. The primary purpose of this prayer meeting; praying against Barack Obama taking over the White House in January of 2009. The e-mail concerned me greatly for my country and the Christian community as we enter into the election.  

One of the most alarming things to me about the e-mail was when it’s author asked: “Why are we Christians settling and not issuing a battle cry and falling to our knees and taking our country back?”  Taking our country back?  Didn’t we get what we prayed for 8 years ago with George W. Bush?  If we got oour country back then, I guess I’m curios as to what happened? Didn’t it work out for us and solve all the problems we had with Clinton? Guess not but oh how easily we forget that we’ve been down this road before.        

I refuse to make this post a debate about the Bush administration.  We all have our opinions and that’s fine, were allowed to because we live in America.  My issue with this prayer meeting is that it’s primary agenda is to pray “against” a man who will most likely take the presidency and lead our country.  Regardless of your political views shouldn’t we, as followers of Christ, recognize that our prayers simply should be for God’s wisdom and guidance to be with whoever it is that sits in the oval office?  

When did Jesus specifically pray “against” a person in scripture?  If he didn’t pray against the people that nailed him to the cross would he really pray against anyone today, especially a person who might lead a country? Instead of a prayer for wisdom and guidance this groups prayer; that God might stop “this attack on the USA”. Thats scary and it should stop and make us all ask who we are truly placing our faith in?  

Through all of this the real question becomes; when will Christians understand that our faith and our responsibility as followers of Christ does not rise and fall on our political landscape? For those who vote based solely on the issue of life I ask, when was the last time you did something, other than voting, to help meet the needs of the women facing these choices?  And when is the last time you considered the lives of those in Iraq and in Darfur? Aren’t their lives just as valuable as the unborn in the eyes of God?  On the other side, for those who are concerned with issues of social justice when is the last time you volunteered at a shelter or served those in your own community or even aborad?  When did you do more than simply support a cause with your lips and your money?  In America we are great at having an opinion and throwing money around to support those opinions but Christ calls us to a life of action. Our faith and the action that comes from that faith should not be based on our president and we must always pray for not against those who are leaders over us including a president you may not see eye to eye with.

Regardless of who you vote for pray that the next President of the United States  will have God’s wisdom and direction during his term and that our country, through it’s people not just it’s President, will take action and truly become Jesus to the world around us.  That should be our prayer.  

CV    

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10 thoughts on “God’s Political Christians

  1. Jeff Strange says:

    Christopher,

    I was at this “political prayer meeting”, as was our Pastor and yours, Aaron Hines, and your mother as well, Jeannette VanBuskirk, but I didn’t see you.
    How come? Whoever told you we were praying against a specific person was in error. Don’t believe me, ask your mom and pastor. I think you should research your “facts” better before you slam something you obviously don’t understand. Or better yet, try attending the meeting first, before you criticize it publically. I think a recant and/or apology of this blog would be in order.

    Jeff Strange

  2. Mark Pfeifer says:

    Christopher,

    I’m the pastor of the church you mentioned. Of course you know that as does most everybody reading your blog. The next time you choose to write about us, please feel free to use my name and the name of our church. I don’t mind.

    Better yet, why not call me if you have concerns? Getting the facts right BEFORE publishing literature like this is important. Finding the truth should be an important concern for any local pastor and Christian blogger before going public with their views about other people and churches in their community.

    After all, speaking to me personally, if you have concerns like this, is the Biblical approach, not publically denouncing us in a blog, especially when the facts are so blatantly wrong.

    These are the kinds of tactics that have divided the churches in our area for too long. We need to treat one another with love and respect without throwing stones. I am asking you not to continue “bashing” other churches like this in the future. Especially when your facts are wrong.

    I am aware of no e-mails or any publicity we published calling people to “pray against Barak Obama” as you suggest. This was never the purpose of the prayer meeting and no political candidate was ever mentioned by name. The elections were only a small part of the prayer meeting. In fact, I know people who participated in the prayer meeting whom I know will be voting for Barack Obama. No big deal.

    It was a prayer meeting primarily for our state. We prayed against racism, poverty, legalism, adictions, broken homes, homelessness, etc. We even prayed extensively for unity among the churches of our area. Something that is not helped when those with whom we are laboring insist on being critical and judgmental.

    The prayer meeting was sponsored by the Ohio Prayer Network, an organization that plans to have prayer meetings like this in all 88 counties over the next three years. There is nothing political about it.

    Please send me a copy of the e-mail you received telling people to come and “pray against Obama” as you say. I want to talk to the sender in person…

    …and I won’t be writing a blog about it! Thank you.

    MARK

  3. Ricky Hosler says:

    “After all, speaking to me personally, if you have concerns like this, is the Biblical approach, not publically denouncing us in a blog”

    -This is exactly what you just did. Maybe you should heed your own advice and instead of making a public display of your disagreement handle it with the way you decided to tell him to handle it (which i agree is the right way but you must follow your own advice too)…then again i am breaking the same rules too by posting this publicly, but the can of worms has already been open.

  4. Ricky Hosler says:

    Jeff,
    there was absolutly no love directed towards him in that rude post. Whatever your motive is for being so rude, i hope it is worth it.

  5. Ricky Hosler says:

    And interestingly enough the more i read this post the more i come to realize one thing. The entire blog was addressing the email. Not once did the blog “bash” the church or the pastor or whatever offense Mark is feeling. The entire blog was addressing an email which i have personally read myself. I read it and it was exactly was Chris was talking about. So to address that email and its situation is perfectly fine in my opinion. If the facts of the EMAIL were wrong, it doesn’t change the fact that that Christopher’s opinion of the EMAIL was right. So while taking much offense to what he said, maybe anyone who feels that way needs to reread the email. I have no problem with saying “that email was wrong and the facts weren’t right”, but how can you justify saying that Christopher was wrong in addressing that specific email?

  6. Mark Pfeifer says:

    Ricky,

    I agree with you totally on two points…

    First, Christopher addressing the contents of the e-mail is great. He expressed his opinions succinctly and brought up many good issues that Christians need to consider during this election season. Bravo!

    Assuming the attachment of the e-mail he received with the prayer meeting we hosted was the problem.

    For instance, he said, “The primary purpose of this prayer meeting; praying against Barack Obama taking over the White House in January of 2009.”

    This was never the “purpose” of the prayer meeting!

    Later he wrote, “My issue with this prayer meeting is that it’s primary agenda is to pray “against” a man who will most likely take the presidency and lead our country.”

    The “prayer meeting” did no such thing!

    Later in the article he said, “Instead of a prayer for wisdom and guidance this groups prayer; that God might stop ‘this attack on the USA’…”

    Again this did not happen in our “group!”

    So your assumption that the entire article was about the e-mail he received and not about our prayer meeting is inaccurate. The article was about both because he assumed the two were connected.

    Secondly, I agree with your assumption that since the “can of worms” was opened publically, a public reponse is justified. That’s why you wrote your response to me…

    …and that’s why I wrote my resposen to Christopher.

    But I must remind you that Christopher, not me, opened this proverbial can of worms.

    This is why I felt free to address the issues publically that Christopher raised here on this blog. Since he opened the can worms in public, it’s only approporiate for me to answer them publically, just as it was appropriate for you to answer me in the way you did.

    In no way does this bypass Jesus’ commands in Matthew 18:15 where a disagreement was to be settled first in private before it is taken publically. Since Christopher chose to take his views public at the beginning, he bypassed any prvate options for settlement and brought the issue to the open where it needed to be answered in the open.

    As a principle, when an issue is addressed privately, it needs to be answered privately. When an issue is addressed publically, it needs to be answered publically. Since Christopher “opened the can of worms,” as you say on a public blog, it was only right for me (and you) to answer it pubically. Otherwise, people are left to assume that the issues raised in the blog relative to our prayer meeting were true.

    Christopher and I have had conversations concerning the inaccuracy of his discription of our prayer meeting and he assures me that he will print a retraction of these descriptions without changing his opinions concerning the e-mail. This is more than fair.

    He is a fine young man and a credit to our community. His church, no doubt, will reach many people whom more traditional churches can not reach. This is why it’s important for him to walk in accuracy concerning the facts because his future success will put him in a brighter spotlight of criticism. These lessons are easier learned now rather than later.

  7. This blog was designed to generate thoughts and discussion and I am glad this specific post has succeeded in this area. I do think it is important for all of my readers to understand that I personally contacted both Mark and Jeff after their initial comments on my post in an attempt to clarify and explain my thought process.

    After reading the original e-mail I received about the meeting Mark and Jeff seemed to better understand my initial confusion and after I heard how the meeting actually went I understood their desire for me to publicly clarify the real objectives of the meeting.

    I understand our need to discuss and clarify our individual thoughts on this issue but again I think it is important to understand that we all seem to agree that praying “against” any potential President or leader is wrong. This was the primary focus of my post and I hope it can remain everyones focus if we discuss this matter further.

    CV

  8. Jeff Strange says:

    Christopher,

    First of all, I want to publically commend to for your “clarification” and/or
    apology. This shows maturity and growth for you. I’m proud of you for that. Your dad used to say “don’t believe your own press, good or bad”, I think that is sound wisdom. As a leader, you ARE going to take some arrows, as well as shoot some yourself. It is important to be confident in yourself and in your relationship with the Lord, especially when opposition comes (and it will), but equally important to be open to correction from other leaders as well. I think you are well on your way to that. KUDOS !

    Jeff

  9. Ricky says:

    Both of those posts were still “directed” towards the author of the EMAIl..but i understand your purpose to defend your church because people usually always assume the worst no matter who is talking. I probably would have done the same thing…I am glad you are satisfied with CVB’s response.

  10. Mark Pfeifer says:

    Thanks RIcky and CV! Be blessed!

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