Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dear Mr. President-elect...

Could we all agree to pray for our new President regardless of whether we agree with his policies? I hope we can. Here is a thought-provoking statement put out by Sojourners. It is both a commitment to pray for the President-elect and a promise to keep him accountable.

Dear Mr. President-elect Obama:

I want personally to offer you my prayers as you embark on the enormous challenge of leading our country in a time of great crisis and crossroads. While our ultimate hope is our faith in God, we also have high hopes for your administration.

I am one member of a growing movement of Christians and people of faith who support a broad moral agenda that includes a deep concern for poverty, peacemaking, a consistent ethic of life, and care for creation. During the campaign, you said that, if elected, you would face powerful special interests trying to block change. You said you would need a citizen movement to support and push you.

Today, I am pledging to be part of that movement. It will be a movement that will both pray for you and hold you accountable to the things you promised. So I urge you to give high priority to:

- Overcome poverty, both here in our rich nation and globally. Your efforts to resolve the economic crisis must include those at the bottom, the poorest among us. You pledged during the campaign to mobilize the nation to cut domestic poverty in half in ten years and to implement the Millennium Development Goals to cut extreme global poverty in half.

- Find better ways than war to resolve the inevitable conflicts in the world. It is time to end the war in Iraq and emphasize diplomacy over military action in resolving problems in Iran and Afghanistan. We need better and smarter foreign policy that is more consistent with our best national values.

- Promote a consistent ethic of life that addresses all threats to life and dignity. We must end genocide in Darfur, the use of torture, and the death penalty. I urge you to pursue common ground policies which can dramatically reduce abortions in America, and help bring us together on this divisive issue.

- Reverse the effects of climate change on God’s creation. We must learn a new way of living in America to end our dangerous dependence on Middle East oil. We need a spiritual commitment to stewardship and national policies that promote safe, clean, and renewable energy. You spoke of job creation and economic renewal with a new “green economy.”
We need your presidential leadership for this type of societal transformation, but I promise also to do my part.

I will pray for you as you assume the awesome responsibility of leading our nation. To be the best president you can be, you will need both the support and the push of the faith community. I pledge to help build the movement that will keep your administration accountable and faithful.


I like that Sojourners wants to pray for Obama as well as keep him accountable for his actions. I also like that Jim Wallis begins this statement by acknowledging that our ultimate hope is in God and not in a political administration. Maybe you too could join in both praying for Obama and keeping him accountable to having God-honoring political priorities.


At 3:51 PM, Blogger Kristina said...

I agree wholeheartedly with this post. Even if we can't agree on everything we can at least come together to pray.
Also, I think we need to be careful how we pray I guess. I mean I see people "praying for the nations" but honestly it comes across as a little hostile. Like "Oh God have mercy on this nation as we vote for a godless man." I don't feel that this is right. Also, it's an insult to those who did vote for Obama. At the same time, I don't want to adorn him with gold incense and myrrh either. We MUST find a happy medium.

At 5:01 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I think the "happy medium" comes when we realize that our primary identity is not "Democrat" or "Republican" or "Libertarian" or "Independent."

Our primary identity, above all else, is "follower of Christ." With Christ as our primary loyalty, it allows us to critique our own party and respect those of different parties.

Those who don't establish their primary identity in Christ can neither see the bad in their own candidate nor see the good in the other candidate. They are unable to critique their own ideas and are unable to see the good in others' ideas.

At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Those who don't establish their primary identity in Christ can neither see the bad in their own candidate nor see the good in the other candidate. They are unable to critique their own ideas and are unable to see the good in others' ideas."

Prove it.

This is an absolutely untrue and foolish assumption. It seems as though you are the one that cannot critique his own ideas. I'm interested to hear your evidence and experiences that led you to believe such falsehood.

At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

seriously, mark, just because someone is not a christian doesn't mean that they are unable to look at both sides of a story, or are unable to see both the good and bad in their choice of presidential candidate.

being able to see both sides of a story is not limited to just followers of christ.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Please leave your name so that I know who it is that is posting. Thanks.

This conversation was about Christians, not the general population. Christians who only see one side of the political spectrum typically do so because they have not firmly grounded their identity in Christ. Instead, their identity is wrapped up in their political party.


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