Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Imprecatory Incitement

Today I saw Pastor Steven Anderson from Phoenix, Arizona says he is praying for Obama's death.

My first thought was that's sick, but it's still pretty funny. Not funny in the sense that he wants someone dead, but that a "spiritual leader" would be so immature as to voice this opinion in an attempt to get media attention.

Here we have a pastor that has not learned to pray properly. Luke 18 is pretty clear on which person (the Pharisee or the publican) had the better prayer. Christ said the Pharisee that prayed in the middle of the temple (and was condescending of others and their sinful lifestyles) was not "justified" and He went on to say that "every one that exalteth himself shall be abased."

Biblically, I don't have a problem with the man's prayer; only in his application and publication. In looking for Biblical examples of prayer, most people got to Psalm 23 and the Lord's prayer, but never examine those examples closely, or even look at the Imprecatory Psalms (specifically, Psalm 58 and 109) which clearly are prayers of cursing against those that oppress God's people, or are extremely sinful (this President does fit those qualifications).

Just before what is called "The Lord's Prayer" we find these verses on how to pray:
Mat 6:1-6
        Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
        Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
        But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
        That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
        And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
        But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
That's about as clear as you can get on the publication and application sides of prayer. Moving further to the Lord's Prayer we find how we should pray:
Mat 6:9-13
        After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
        Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
        Give us this day our daily bread.
        And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
        And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
I'm sure you're wondering why -- from these verses -- that I have no problem with the prayer against the President's life. It's from the second verse (v. 10b), "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."

Obviously, praying that God's will be done is Biblical. Furthermore, nowhere in the Bible does God approve of the killing of innocent children or those that condone those actions. By simply allowing pro-abortion agendas to proceed unhindered, the President can be said to be obstructing the will of God. So I don't see any problem with the man praying against Obama; I do see a problem with shouting it from the housetops -- not Biblical.

Also, I do NOT approve of reciprocity in the form of murder -- that is equally wrong. That is a battle best left to God (Rom 12:19b "...for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord").

David (in 1 Samuel 24:6) put it best when he said, "The LORD forbid that I should ... stretch forth mine hand against ... the anointed of the LORD."

Additionally, if one is going to pray an imprecatory prayer against the President for his stance on abortion, then to be perfectly just, that prayer must extend to all of the others that promote the same pro-abortion position. Many Congressmen, judges, and activists hold the same opinion and are furthering that agenda far more than the President.

Finally, just praying for the death of the President is futile. If his death were to happen (for any reason), there is a prescribed line of succession that would place other individuals with equally bad (or worse) ethics into the same office. All of those people should also be prayed for... that their hearts and minds are changed.

So, if you really feel like you need to increase your prayer life, here is that (most uninspiring) list of succession to the Presidency of the United States--

Veep:    Joe Biden
Spkr of the House:    Nancy Pelosi
Pres Pro Temp of the Senate:    Robert Byrd
Sec State:    Hillary Clinton
Sec Treas:    Tim Geithner
Sec Def:    Robert Gates
AG:    Eric Holder  
Sec Interior:    Ken Salazar
Sec Ag:    Tom Vilsack
Sec Commerce:    Gary Locke
Sec Labor:    Hilda Solis
Sec Health & Human Svcs:    Kathleen Sebelius
Sec HUD:    Shaun Donovan
Sec Transportation:    Ray LaHood
Sec Energy:    Stephen Chu
Sec Ed:    Arne Duncan
Sec VA:    Eric Shinseki
Sec Homeland Security:    Janet Napolitano

[EDIT: Not really sure why the table dropped so far down from the rest of the post; there isn't any whitespace in the code.]

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