Who is President: Messiah Jesus or Barack Obama?
Who is President, Barack Obama or Jesus Christ?
Obama? Rising from the dead is above his pay grade. Jesus? Been there, done that, so “King of kings” means “President of presidents,” and Jesus Christ (Jesus, anointed, risen from the dead) outranks President Obama (Obama, inaugurated, live long and prosper).
Hey, dead men stay dead! Yeah, obviously, so when he doesn’t, then pay attention. Atoms don’t usually split, so when atoms do split, as in atomic bomb, watch out. One atom-splitting refutes the theory “atoms never split.” Refutes? Well, at least the whole truth is bigger than the theory, however true the theory may be in some ways. So Jesus died (the Roman army was very, very good at killing people back in the day) and rose up alive; his grave is empty. Can we get a piece of that?
Yes. Jesus Christ still does special things. Not as many as we might like, but my wife is worth 25 years of praying for, and she and her mother have experienced special gifts from God ( a cat was raised from the dead.) If you need something special, talk to Jesus Christ about it. Marx and Mohammed, Gandhi and Buddha, Rockefeller and Rand, died and stayed dead, whatever good they did; but Jesus did special things (“miracles”) on earth, rose up alive from the dead, and still does special things.
But…On earth, rulers make laws, and Jesus Christ President of presidents is no exception. And sometimes rulers have preferences–President Obama’s government would prefer that you get a car with good gas mileage, and stop smoking–that may not be laws, but if it’s what The Man wants, you might want to pay attention, right?
Laws come from what kind of man the boss is. Jesus healed sick people. He told bad people to change and become good, and he’d “forgive their sins” (take care of the bad things they’d done). He told ‘good’ people God didn’t owe them anything at all; God is totally, 100% good and no human but Jesus himself measures up to that. Jesus endured suffering (being beaten to a pulp with what amounts to belt buckles, and then spiked to a “cross” buck naked to die, and speared through the heart to make sure he was dead), so he can empathize with us in our suffering. Being 100% good he was sentenced to death, so he can empathize with us when others misjudge us. Having been killed by the only superpower of those days (Rome), he rose up alive from the dead, overruling the only superpower but without violence.
So when Jesus gathered His people into groups to praise God, learn what God wants, ask God for things, encourage and challenge one another, care for one another as He cares for us, and so on, he’s showing us some of His kind of life (however short these groups fall of what He’d like to see–and being in “church” all my life, I’ve seen a shortfall or two, believe me.) He grouped with His people, and he wants His people to group. Find a group you think He likes, and that works for you to help you love God and love people and take fair care of things.
When God created sex, making Eve to be Adam’s wife, and told His people to run away from all sex outside holy marriage (look up “Genesis 2” and “First Corinthians 6”), He was saying: if you’re worth having sex with you’re worth taking care of all your life. Be a promise, not an experiment. You’re worth it. This is the standard for those who want a piece of the resurrection of Jesus, the standard for God’s people. Christians need to spread the word that God requires this for His people. People who don’t pretend to follow Jesus, people who prefer ‘fornication’ (me-first sex) to Jesus, will then know where they stand.
Jesus and politics, President Jesus and president Obama? Well, Jesus wasn’t eager to take power the way Marx and Mohammed were, and I think Jesus’s politics tend to be His preferences rather than His laws, and we can be people of Jesus without having political power, but when the people of Jesus do get political power and quiet down enough to listen to Him, I think He does have something to say. Most politicians, obviously, are successful people who think a lot of themselves, so they may not listen to Jesus as easily as down-and-outers who realize they need help.
Two things to start with. Jesus was generous himself personally: he loved us enough to come to earth as a man instead of staying comfortable up in Heaven, loved us enough to suffer as we suffer, loved us enough to heal people, loved us enough to put up with dubious people, loved us enough to “die for our sins” (not just die, die for us). He himself paid for his own good ideas. He himself is generous. We cannot top Him for love.
And he’s rather libertarian politically, I think. His lists in the Bible of jobs for the government to do are very short lists (look up “Romans 13” and “First Timothy 2”); the Declaration of Independence’s “to preserve these rights” is a fair paraphrase of what the Bible says (terrorize evildoers so doers of good can live in peace.) His lists of things a government should not, at least by preference, be doing (I Samuel 8, Deuteronomy 17) challenge what most governments do. He himself is generous of himself. The ‘generosity’ of politicians with other peoples’ money is, I think, a bogus, anti-Jesus perversion of generosity. He once remarked, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise authority over them, and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors” (Luke 22). Politicians who tell common people what to do are called “benefactors.” I think He was hinting he could find something else to call them. He told his followers to live differently. So President Obama, like President Bush and most Christian politicians since Constantine, is taking on himself rather more than his Boss would prefer, and some “repentance” (change) is in order; but God’s people can live with it.
Groups of God’s people (“churches”) tend to be a bit short of prayer, and a bit short of teaching God’s orders and preferences, but find one (or more) God and you can live with, and remember God’s people group in many ways. Most groups do better at some things than others; find one that’s good at what you need most (that tells you how you need to change, and helps you?) “The Bible” is God’s book; “baptism” is our official commitment to follow Jesus; “communion” is…another thing new Christians need to learn about and do. Jesus is both God and a man, so I’ve used both “He” and “he” for Jesus. Join us: change and follow Jesus Christ, President of presidents.