Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Remember...

I remember people thinking that Jimmy Carter would be a great President because he was a born-again Christian.

I remember people wringing their hands in despair, convinced that Ronald Reagan would get us into World War III.

I remember people thinking that George H. W. Bush would not raise taxes.

I remember people thinking that Bill Clinton would neither balance the budget, nor pursue welfare reform.

I remember people believing that George W. Bush would reign in big government, and be fiscally conservative.

It's both funny and sad how often people fail to meet expectations (whether good or bad), but that's what happens when you put too much confidence in flawed, fallen human beings.

Why do people expect more from their government than they do from their friends, their neighbors, or their selves? We want a government that is fiscally responsible – but, too often, we are not fiscally responsible ourselves. We want honesty and integrity in our elected officials, but we often don't exhibit those virtues in our own lives. Elected officials are generally a reflection of the people who elected them. In other words: we get the government we deserve (even if we don't vote).

It's as if Christians in America have developed spiritual dyslexia. Jesus said to "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s." But the excessive pessimism and optimism, about exactly how President Obama will govern, seem to indicate that far too many professed Christians are rendering unto Caesar the things that are God's – namely, the faith that our ultimate prosperity or poverty are dependent on government legislation.

I'm not saying that getting involved in politics (or social causes) is pointless or wrong. But if you find yourself in a state of hopelessness or despair, because your candidate didn't win – or just the opposite, because your's did – then perhaps your political or social cause has become your religion.

Whether he is a success or a failure as Commander-in-Chief, only time will tell. But one thing is certain: he's neither the Messiah, nor the Anti-Christ. And those who think he's one or the other are bound to be disappointed, either way.

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