“Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
1 Peter 2:17
First, a bit of a confession; just like millions of other Millennials, I watch the Daily Show. If you are unfamiliar with the show, it is hosted by John Stewart and deals in a comedic take on the news. There are two reasons I watch – I enjoy the show – particularly Stewart’s ability to call both political parties to the carpet for inconsistency and second for the very reason stated earlier – millions from my generation watch the show – thus I have a bit of a missiological motivation for watching the show. In fact, I think that pastors should tune into what is popular, within reason, considering we are charged with protecting our flocks. However, I can’t recommend that you watch the Daily Show because it can be profane.
All this is to say that the other night John Stewart interviewed the conservative stalwart Bill O’Reilly. What struck me about the interview was O’Reilly’s contempt for President Obama. The contempt manifested as disrespect when O’Reilly repeatedly called President Obama “Mr. Obama.”
I don’t know a thing about Bill O’Reilly’s faith – I have no idea if he is a Bible-believing Christian, a nominal believer or whatnot. I do know that there are many in my faith community who love Jesus, love God’s word, but share the same contempt for President Obama as Bill O’Reilly.
According to 1 Peter 2:17 those of us who love Jesus must honor President Obama, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” Respect is a great synonym with honor. As a Bible-believing Christian, I need to respect President Obama.
This does not mean we have to agree with him. In fact, there are many policies that President Obama espouses that I disagree with; I have the right to criticize his policies. However, just because I have the right as an American to free speech this right doesn’t trump my obligation as a Christian to respect the President – not just the office of the President but also the President himself. To claim that you respect the office of the President without respecting the President himself is a claim that rings hollow.
This does not mean that I have to vote for him – in fact I do not plan to vote for President Obama in November. In fact, unlike millions of other Millenials I do plan to vote.
When George W. Bush was president many in my faith community were aghast at the lack of respect that was shown President Bush. Unfortunately, many of these same people treat President Obama with the same scorn.
Honor everyone – including those we disagree with.
Love the brotherhood – including those who vote for the “wrong” candidate
Fear God – remember no matter who occupies the Oval Office, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will”
Honor the emperor – including President Obama