On Silver Linings, and Why I Love America

I’ve deliberately kept the election out of my writing here.  I don’t believe that salvation — even political salvation — comes from Washington.  We are Christians; we are citizens of heaven, and we wait for our capital city to descend to earth, a city whose builder and maker is God.  Nothing less will see God’s will done in earth as it is in heaven, and nothing less than that will do.  So I’ve stayed out of it.

As I write this, Barack Obama has won the election, and every conservative I know is probably howling about what an unmitigated disaster this is.

I don’t disagree.  Truth is, I didn’t love the options.  I didn’t vote for anybody in particular; I cast my vote for the only candidates with a prayer of beating Obama/Biden.  The Democrat candidates’ voting records spoke for themselves, and that’s all the information I needed to make up my mind.

That stipulated, there’s some good news here that I want to talk about.

Imagine you take a time machine ride back about 60 years.  You walk up to an average man-on-the-street, and you tell him that within his children’s lifetime, there’s going to be a black president.  He’s gonna look at you like you’re crazy.  Even if he thinks it should be possible — and let’s face it, how likely is that? — he won’t believe it’s going to happen.

Back then, the prevalent attitudes made today’s events unthinkable.  Those attitudes were, and are, deeply evil.  It’s not as if the Bible is in any way unclear on the point.  From human monogenesis in Genesis 1, to when Paul challenged the Athenians’ racism on Mars Hill, right on down to the multitude from every tribe, tongue and nation gathered before God’s throne, the Bible offers every support to racial equality, and no shelter at all to anything less.  When we fall short of the biblical standard, we call it racism, but the Bible has a much simpler way of describing it: hating your brother.

We prided ourselves, back then, on being a Christian nation, and we’re frequently proud now of how Christian we were back then.  But we were a “Christian” nation where a black president was unthinkable just because of the color of his God-given skin.  In other words, because we hated our brothers.

Very Christian, that.

Today, we live in an America that elected a black man president.  By any reasonable yardstick, that’s progress.  Don’t get me wrong: I really wish it was Alan Keyes.  But I’m still so proud and happy I could cry.

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2 Responses to On Silver Linings, and Why I Love America

  1. Gary says:

    Although your point is understandable, pride and happiness seems a bit of a strange response.

    Race aside, this man’s thinking, relationships, and many other things are so far off-base that it can hardly be progress that Americans granted him the office, unless, of course we’re not only viewing it in agreement to the point your are making, but also seeing progress in an eschatological sense.

    Anyway, onward we go while watching the lessons of history accumulate.

  2. Tim Nichols says:

    Gary,

    I don’t disagree with you — it’s the wrong man, and for all the wrong reasons, and I have every expectation that in the course of the next four years, I’ll be beginning a few sermons with the words “This is God’s judgment on our idolatrous nation for choosing a man whose record of public decision-making is decidedly evil….”

    Still and all, the event is also stunning evidence that we, as a nation, are well on our way to giving up the particular sin of hating someone based on his skin color.

    I believe it’s possible to celebrate that.

    His,
    Tim

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