Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live faithfully...in the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Obama and Isaiah... why He won the prize

"God has placed eternity in the hearts of men..." is one of those mysterious verses in the Bible that is best explained through illustration, by pointing at something and saying, "that's what it means". Now that Obama's been awarded a the Nobel Peace Prize before actually doing much of anything substantive to contribute to world peace, I think we have an example of Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Don't go all "Rush" on me, and scream about liberal conspiracies. Your tirade will cause you to miss something valuable.

Don't preach, either, about how Obama deserves this award, and how his presence at the table as someone who tries negotiating before bombs is enough of a cause for him to triumph over these candidates. He doesn't, and it isn't.

If we step back though, and take a deep breath, we might realize that Obama was granted this award, not for anything he's done, but for what his style represents. Rightly or wrongly, the committee was impressed with the removal of the defense shield, and his willingness to engage in dialogue with enemies with whom the previous administration refused to converse. Did you get that? They were impressed that he was reducing weapons and talking with his enemies.

Why be impressed with that? I'd suggest that the committee was impressed with that because our hearts long for the kind of world that will exist when Christ reigns. He will say, "come let us reason together", and when justice rules perfectly, He's promised that we'll melt our weapons down and turn them into tools of agriculture. Hmmm... Christ's reign looks like what again? Reason and dialogue, and a reduction of weapons. No wonder people like Obama. I'm not defending O's political strategy, nor challenging it. I am saying that people like reducing weapons and talking for a reason, and the reason is because God put it in their hearts to like it - we're made for peace and dialogue.

Oh, and there's a giant warning here too. Humanity's greatest failures have come whenever people have promised the fruits of the kingdom without the reign of the True King. History has shown that there's only One who will be able to bring this about. Like or don't like O's strategy. But don't confuse it for the kingdom - to do so would be disastrous.

PS -- I'm gonna' be moving my blog.. so I'll double post here for a week or two, but the new address is THIS ONE. Check it out, bookmark it, and give me feedback. Thanks much