I went down to Independence Mall last Friday night and stood perhaps 60 feet from the mike in the preferred "blue" section to hear Barack Obama in person. Two hours packed like sardines in a crowd of 35,000. Everyone nice and understanding. White, black, Asian - interracial couples and families like ourselves wanting to meet this new phenom. The concept of Barack Obama is very appealing. Someone who is white and black at the same time would appear to have more chance of abetting healing long-standing divisions in our country than anyone else, especially when one considers the smoke-filled rooms, the constantly changing positions, and racial politics of his opponent. Hillary Clinton hired an EVANGELICAL CONSULTANT (good grief). Barack Obama obviously hasn't. No matter, neither one at the Compassion Forum at Messiah College had ANY clue about what followers of Jesus are really about nor did they understand what a relationship with God consisted of. Hillary's careful wordsmithing has gained her much support in the evangelical community, particularly among those who are more concerned about the economy than the moral issues which have long made her a pariah among pro-lifers and pro-marriage advocates. The liberal wing of evangelical Christianity is much larger than in days gone by - votes follow convictions, and many evangelicals today abort, divorce, remarry, watch R-rated entertainment, have premarital sex and tolerate homosexuality in much the same way many non-evangelical middle-Americans do. It is not just evangelicals - Catholics by and large do not rigorously support the positions of their church either.
The paradox is that despite Obama's multi-cultural appeal and apparently kindly manner, not to mention his personna (much more evident in person than on TV), his positions are even MORE extreme than Hillary's STATED ones. Anyone could guess if there is a hill of beans of difference on the war, the economy, or on moral issues if you could hear them off the record comparing notes, but all we can go on is how they have voted. Obama's 100% perfect liberal voting record is more liberal than Hillary's. Is that a bad thing? Not if what he voted for was right. I mean, true Christianity goes beyond liberal and conservative. It goes beyond most legislation that is written with more regard for lobbyists, special interests, and political IOU's than any unequivocal moral principal.
It was nice not to have any political grandstanding at that rally - no Senator Casey - just one young girl introducing the man of the hour. However, Obama's obligatory trashing of President Bush is out-of-line with a healing message, especially since President Bush followed principle above politics in doing what was right against terrorism and the human rights crimes of Saddam Hussein. Even dismissing the anti-Bush embarrassing rhetoric as a political necessity, , Obama's voting record is disappointing at best, doctrinaire at worst. How can someone who SEEMS to be understanding and committed to the healing God demands of our society be so strictly partisan and divisive in terms of his votes, his church affiliation, and his personal relationships? He chose a wife who is a bitter partisan - you should read her thesis from Princeton University which wasn't much different from the rhetoric of Malcolm X. She sounds the SAME today in 2008 so one cannot dismiss that as simply part of a more radical college career. And she wrote this seven years BEFORE Barack married her. Actually, at the time, Barack didn't much believe in marriage - he believed in feelings. Michelle wanted marriage. Barack acquiesed. The paradox of preaching and claiming moral authority while at the same time not believing in moral absolutes is troubling. It leaves the moral authority in the hands of the person - i.e., Barack Obama - rather than in an external source, i.e. God and his word, the Holy Bible. I believe it is not wise to put your trust in any man who is not submitted to higher authority.
Much prayer is needed in this election - all of the candidates are secular, and the stakes were never higher. It is not the time to be led by emotion, but by the Spirit of God.