This week brings the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama to an end. Historians will likely view President Obama's organizing ability as his greatest skill. On the public stage, he brimmed with charisma, cool, and charm, all adding to his appeal. Obama's gifting, the ability to marshal political combatants at the grassroots, precinct-level, is worthy of study by evangelical pastors and leaders looking to stem the tide of godless secularism in America.
Obama helped pioneer the social media explosion in America. As Pew Research noted: "Apple released its first iPhone during Obama's 2007 campaign, and he announced his vice- presidential pick—Joe Biden—on a two-year-old platform called Twitter. Today, use of smartphones and social media has become the norm in U.S. society, not the exception."
Nevertheless, even with oodles of talent and cutting edge technology, Mr. Obama's legacy will be ephemeral. It is of no use to travel fast if we are not on the right road. Why? Because of his willingness to violate God's divine moral order, compounded by a character flaw of dishonesty, lying and deceiving the American public. As A.W. Pink noted in An Exposition of Hebrews, "A cause is known by its effects, a tree by its fruits."
For example, in 2008 when Pastor Rick Warren asked candidate Obama's position on abortion, he responded: "Well, you know, I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."
Warren then asked, "Define marriage." Obama said: "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian—for me—for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix."
But once inaugurated, President Obama walked point for same-sex intercourse and marriage and vetoed the bill defunding Planned Parenthood. This shows a deceitful heart, saying one thing to get elected but doing something entirely different once in office.
In addition, President Obama refused to call Muslim terrorists, "terrorists" and foisted transgender bathrooms on public schools. If this wasn't enough, Obama became the high priest of syncretism, dispensing the holy sacraments for the false religion of multiculturalism, political correctness, and secularism. All three in violation of the First Commandment—"Thou shalt have no other gods before me"—which brings judgment upon a nation.
To illustrate, last February President Obama addressed the Christian National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. He told a story of a Muslim man in Chicago who was afraid to lay down his prayer rug and pray at a public park the day following the murder of 14 innocent people by Muslim terrorists in San Bernardino, California. Obama offered, "I can't imagine a clearer expression of Jesus' teachings. I can't imagine a better expression of the peaceful spirit of Islam than when a Muslim father filled with fear drew from the example of a Baptist preacher and a Jewish rabbi to teach his children what God demands."
For gospel clarity, the blood of Jesus Christ procures the Christian's right of entrance to stand, unstained, before a righteous God.
But that story epitomizes how President Obama evolved into the leading evangelist for syncretism in America. Syncretism works to unite different and often contradictory beliefs, melding together practices of various schools of thoughts and religion. The Bible strictly forbids syncretistic worship, the mingling of biblical and pagan religions in violation of the First Commandment. What happened at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, was not just unholy, but an abomination.
Like a sand castle in high tide, Obama's fleeting impact on the nation will be undone in short order by the same systematic process he used in imposing his agenda: executive orders and presidential memorandums. Instead of doing the hard work of legislation, travailing through the House and Senate, President Obama took the easy route. His campaign promises: 1. fix the economy, 2. improve race relations and 3. bring about universal healthcare—disappeared up in smoke.
Sean Hannity succinctly fleshed out Obama's economic legacy:
The last eight years have brought the lowest labor participation rates since the 1970s, with 95 million Americans out of the labor force. The so-called recovery has been the weakest one since the 1940s. We have the lowest home ownership rate in 51 years – despite mortgage rates artificially kept at record lows. Over 11 million more Americans are on food stamps since he became president and more than 43 million Americans now live in poverty. One of every six men between 18 and 34 are either in prison or out of work.
And by the time he leaves office, President Obama will have added more to our national debt that all the other presidents before him combined. When President Obama finally leaves office, the national debt will be almost $20 trillion. Prior to taking office, the man who has tacked on $9.3 trillion to what our children and grandchildren owe once said the then $9 trillion national debt was "unpatriotic."
The world pulled for Obama in 2008. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded him the honor in 2009, before he had gotten out of the starting blocks. Geir Lundestad, a 25-year director at the Nobel Institute, "The committee had unanimously decided to grant the award to Mr. Obama just after his election in 2009 more in hopes of aiding the American president to achieve his goals on nuclear disarmament, rather than in recognition of what Mr. Obama had already accomplished." In 2015, Mr. Lundestad said he regretted the committee's decision.
What wins elections? Organizing. Not Sunday sermons, petition drives or church attendance. Christians are called by God to worship Him and gather together under the preaching of the Word. But being faithful in one arena (the church) does not produce fruit or prove faithfulness in the public square. Worship is our chief duty and delight, but it is not the only duty in this present world. So again, what wins elections? The very difficult work of organizing. We are looking to work counterculturally in every arena. We need Christ in the pulpit, the pew, politics and every public square.
Barack Obama is just the latest tyrant to treat Christianity as an antique relic, an ancient form of knowledge, a comfort for the weak-minded, and an impediment to a "diverse and pluralistic society." His Ivy League education apparently skipped that Christians founded America: "Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and the advancement of the Christian faith" (Mayflower Compact).
The question is, if America's Founders wanted to establish Christianity as the official religion of America, why didn't they say so? They did, in the original 13 state constitutions of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. For example, "The 1629 Charter for the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared that winning the country 'to the knowledge and obedience of the only true God and Savior of mankind and the Christian faith ... is the principal end of this plantation [colony]'" (The Founder's Bible).
The good news: Gideons and Rahabs are beginning to stand.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.