Many of my evangelical friends have fretted over how Obama received support from Christians in the recent election. One of our blog readers, Kay, has mentioned her dismay about this many times and asked how we, as Christians, should respond.
Before I say just a few words about our response, I wanted to give you the facts about how religious groups voted in the previous election. This chart comes from an article in a March 2009 First Things magazine, written by John C. Green.
After a quick perusal of the chart, you can see which groups shifted support to the Democrat, Obama. Evangelicals, as a whole did not support Obama, and there was no significant move from the 2004 election. The two groups that registered significant changes from the 2004 election were conservative Catholics, who swung 17 points from 2004, and ethnic Protestants (primarily Hispanics) who swung 27 points from 2004.
Read the First Things article for some insight into these shifts, but conservative Catholics and Hispanic Protestants were the two major changes from the 2004 election. They helped Obama win the election.
Now, how should we respond? I believe we are to respect the office of the President and we are to love and pray for the President. God has placed him in authority over our nation, and as Christians, we are to respect the authority of those placed over us.
However, where he promotes ideas that are clearly unbiblical, we are to oppose him. The ultimate authority to whom we answer is God, and where Obama disagrees with God’s word in the Bible, we are to align with God, not Obama. I fear that the many Christians who voted for the pro-abortion Obama will have some serious explaining to do when they face God.
Our disagreements with Obama must be carried out within the current legal system. The only time Christians should actually break laws in civil disobedience is when the following four criteria are met:
- When the laws are clearly counter to God’s word
- When the laws command us to do evil
- When the laws negate freedom
- When the laws are religiously oppressive
When we engage in civil disobedience, we must refuse to obey the law in a nonviolent way and we must accept the consequences of our disobedience.
Now, not all Christians agree with this viewpoint on civil disobedience, but I think that the Bible supports this position. If you have a differing viewpoint, let us know, and we can discuss.