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If respect, then respect. If honor, then honor.

Like I said the other day, I'm feeling pretty good about Obama's chances Tuesday but will be pleasantly surprised if he's elected.  That said, it looks like there may be a fantastic opportunity upcoming for many Christians to demonstrate their submission to Christ and the teaching of his apostle Paul to pray for Obama and give him respect and honor.

1 Timothy 2:1-2

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyon - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Romans 13:1-7

1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

I doubt the average Christian had warm, fuzzy feelings for the emperor when Paul wrote those words to the Romans.

Bonus reading material:


Finn (while approaching a house with a McCain sign to trick-or-treat): "Ooh. They have a McCain sign. He's a bad man."

Me: "No, Finn, he's not a bad man. We just like Obama's ideas better."


I completely agree with you. I will be surprised if Obama does not win on Tuesday (his comments today make me wonder what he is thinking), and I think the big outliers are these independents, which could turn the election for McCain.
But that aside, I appreciate you calling Christians to pray for and display honor and respect to Obama, if elected. I agree, and will be calling for the same thing. That doesn't mean I will not challenge his policies, but I will do my best to show him respect.
I said the same thing for eight years while Clinton was president, and many Christians/Republicans were violating the word of God by not showing him respect.
Having said that, I've heard many Christians on the left who haven't gotten around to reading Romans and 1 Timothy, when it comes to George W. Bush. And if McCain wins, I would hope those same believers will take these important passages to heart.
Thanks again.


Yep, I completely agree that there are plenty of left-leaning Christians who do not show GWB the respect his office deserves (and I should have said so in my post). However, (though I certainly could be misjudging) based on my personal experience and what I've been seeing lately, the frequency of occurrence of the two problems (politically conservative Christians who are way out of line disrespecting Obama and politically liberal Christians who are way out of line disrespecting GWB or McCain) appear not to be of the same order of magnitude.

Is this passage (v.4) saying that all rulers/presidents/kings/dictators/ anyone in power in any government are servants of God? Or was this passage talking about the specific government at the time? I find it hard to believe that God considered Hitler one of his servants.

If you're playing along at home, time to take a drink (Godwin's law).


I'm not saying it implies that God, by definition, approves of/endorses every action by every leader of government. I am saying that I think that God does expect his followers to show proper respect and submission for the offices of "all rulers/presidents/kings/dictators/ anyone in power." It's unlikely that Paul's instructions to the Romans could have been understood to only apply to "good" rulers since it is likely that Nero was emperor when Paul wrote that to the Romans.

Excellent response to Lisa--in our limited understanding, we cannot fathom God setting up Nero or Hitler. But His purpose is so much higher than ours, and I think it has little to do with us having lower taxes or smaller government or health care or whatever. It is always about bringing glory and honor to Him. Although I love my country, I am first and foremost a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. I'm not sure people (esp conservative Christian, right wing Republican, straight white American males) get this, but God is not an American, nor is He a member of the GOP.

As for Finn's reaction to the McCain sign, it makes us all take pause to watch what we say about the opposition, and to teach our kids that just because we disagree with people, it doesn't make them bad people. Yesterday, Obama was on the news, and my stepson started yelling at the TV (he is 12, and often uncouth). He was saying that he hated Obama. I corrected him, and told him that he might have to get used to showing respect, should Obama win on Tuesday. In defense of myself, he didn't learn that from me. You might find that hard to believe, but he doesn't read my blog, and I don't talk about politics much around the house. His dad, on the other hand...

Finally, as for your thoughts about the insults on GWB, I think I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure. You're saying that left-leaning believers do not insult Bush as bad as right-leaning Christians insulted Clinton, or will insult Obama, right? If so, I completely agree with you. As for the left in general, I have never heard so many insults against a leader as I have from the current crop of Democrats. Olbermann is the worst, perhaps--he is completely out of control. But then, I wouldn't expect him or others like him to give any credence to the New Testament. I would say that overall, conservative Christians are worse, because they know what they should be doing, and don't do it. At least Olbermann has an excuse, if ignorance and apathy toward the Scriptures is an excuse. We don't have that excuse, or at least, we shouldn't have it.

Yep, what I'm talking about is in the context of believers. If you open it up to the whole population, I agree that as a group liberals are just as bad as conservatives in terms of nastiness and disrespecting the other side (and I object to either side claiming that the other is significantly worse). In terms of believers, there are obviously more conservatives than liberals (at least among the people I know), and I certainly can't remove the effect of that factor on my perception. It's probably that the norm for the Christian population that I know well to the right of center and so it isn't surprising that I come across extreme right more frequently than extreme left in that population. That said, from what I've seen, conservative Christians who think absurd and illogical things about Obama and seem to to think he is just about the worst human specimen possible (and wonder if I'm not too far behind him given that I support him) are much more prevalent than liberals who think and say analogous things about McCain and his supporters.

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