Posted by: JennyRain | September 27, 2009

Obama Praise and Worship: Soundoff!

Are you kidding me?

This week I learned that a group of school children in a New Jersey school were taught by their teacher some songs to welcome Barak Obama as he visited the school. Not such a big deal, right?

Perhaps not, until you learn that the songs these kids were taught were versions of  “Jesus loves the little children” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” with the word “Jesus” replaced with “Obama” and the entire Battle Hymn of the Republic replaced with a worship tune to President Obama.

I had a hard time finding this on any of the major newspapers in Google, but found this Fox Video that shows footage of this “momentous” event.

Now, I am all about respecting our President and deferring to his leadership.

I believe in praying for the President and his co-leaders. Regardless of the political persuasion I may subscribe to – as a follower of Christ – part of my service to our nation is praying for and respecting my leaders. For example, the book of Timothy says:

  • I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2: 1-3)
  • Hebrews says to us: Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17)

As followers of Christ, we do not have a choice – these are commands given to us by our Holy God to pray for and show respect to our leaders, whether we like them or not.

But offering praise and worship to a president?  I take issue with this.

I take issue because God also teaches us that:

  • Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matthew 4:10
  • For you must not bow down to another god, because Jehovah is exclusively devoted to his name. He is a God exacting exclusive devotion. Exodus 34.14 (NWT)
  • I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; Do not have any other gods before me. Exodus 20.20-3

If we are worshipping our leaders – is that not tantamount to displacing God from His rightful place in our worship with a human entity?

Though I did not have a chance to see President Obama’s reaction to this – he too – like the rest of us is made “in the image of” God our Creator. Being made in that image should mean that there is some part of us that would react negatively to things being “out of order” in our world, right? And if our President is a follower of Christ, which he professes to be, that also means he is a “new creation in Christ” (2 Cor 5.17) and should have an internal compass that would result in his spirit being highly offended at this egregious displacement of God.

Today, I choose to give our President the benefit of the doubt. I am not so sure that I will extend that same belief to the teacher who masterminded this debacle, but to our President – I will extend the olive branch. I only hope that extending some grace, in this case, is warranted.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6.33

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