I realized this morning I wrote this a while back and forgot to publish it
I was sitting on the couch reading a book a few months ago when my wife told me Neil Armstrong died. I can’t say that it affected me emotionally, because I clearly didn’t know him. I was one year old when he and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon’s powdery surface.
I took to the interwebs to find more info, and I saw a link from Eric Metaxas (the author of Bonhoeffer and Amazing Grace) on Twitter about the lunar landing, and it caught my interest because it wasn’t about the typical “One small step for man…” speech.
What I found out was Armstrong took communion on the moon, and that blew my mind. As Metaxas pointed out, some of the first words spoken on the moon were the words of Jesus Christ.
They weren’t broadcast over the radio, though Armstrong was prepared to. At the last minute he was told not to do it because of the legal battle NASA was already fighting over some scripture the Apollo 8 crew read from Genesis.
Yet Armstrong nonetheless took communion, and read from the scripture. On the surface of the moon, before they stepped out of the lander. That’s pretty amazing.
The President is not the anti-christ. He’s not the savior, either. He’s just a man. He gets up in the morning, and he goes to bed at night. By all accounts he loves his family in the same way you love yours. He eats, drinks, and goes to the bathroom.
He’s a man.
I think that’s part of the problem. The President is so beloved by the largely liberally slanted media and the Hollywood “lobby” that he’s been almost deified, in a sense. He was elected because his promises appealed to more people than the other guy. Twice. This is the way of elections. President Obama won fair and square both times. Move on.
When I saw this clip on YouTube:
of Jamie Foxx calling the President “our Lord and savior,” I wasn’t particularly offended as a believer because I recognized the statement for what it was: a clearly misspoken and probably taken out of context remark that was likely meant with at least some irony by mssr Foxx. At least I hope so. It’s difficult to imagine anyone actually believing President Obama is anyone’s savior. Yet I do think Foxx’s words, spoken casually, are symptomatic of a larger problem.
This morning I saw a representation of this painting online, called “The Truth.”
The artist, Michael D’Antuono, has said his intent with the painting was to provoke political dialogue and that he meant to display the painting in a mock voting booth.
I can only speak for myself, of course, but to me this isn’t so much about the artist having the constitutional right to say whatever he wants: he has that right. I think he knew exactly the kind of reaction a painting of this nature would provoke in the “religious right,” and painted it with that in mind. He got the reaction he wanted, along with a large bowl of controversy. I’d imagine he probably sold a few tickets to art exhibits as well.
Back to my original point: President Obama is a man. He’s not the savior. He’d certainly acknowledge that himself. He’s not a hero, either. Most people aren’t. His election (both times) was certainly ground-breaking and showed how far our country has come.
Yet as I mentioned earlier, The President was elected based on what he said he would do. He was also elected based on who he was and what he represented.
The media and Hollywood has created this…cult of personality around him. We allowed that to happen. We encouraged it. We still do.
He’s a man, people. A smart and gifted one, but he can’t fly or lift cars over his head. He can’t save anyone, maybe not even the country. Salvation (and deliverance) lies elsewhere, and we as a people have to be careful of the burdens and expectations we place on our public servants.
Still, I look at the crown of thorns in D’Antuono’s painting and what I feel is not so much outrage as sorrow. He clearly does not understand what it represents. I wonder if he truly understands what his painting represents?
It’s not just oil and pigment. If there are actually people out there who believe the President to be something he is not (such as a savior), they are worshipping at an altar they want no real part of.
Just because the constitution gives people the right to say (and paint) stupid things does not mean they should. Casual blasphemy is still blasphemy, and whether or not you believe it does not matter. Think of the outrage if Muhammed had been mocked depicted instead of Jesus.
Then again, no one really thinks twice about offending Christians.
John 15:18 says, “remember if the world hates you that it hated me first.”
I read this commentary about the above verse, and I thought it was interesting:
If the world hates you – As the followers of Christ were to be exposed to the hatred of the world, it was no small consolation to them to know that that hatred would be only in proportion to their faith and holiness; and that, consequently, instead of being troubled at the prospect of persecution, they should rejoice, because that should always be a proof to them that they were in the very path in which Jesus himself had trod. Dr. Lardner thinks that πρωτον is a substantive, or at least an adjective used substantively, and this clause of the text should be translated thus: If the world hate you, know that it hated me, your Chief. It is no wonder that the world should hate you, when it hated me, your Lord and Master, whose lips were without guile, and whose conduct was irreproachable….
I think we need to expect mockery, and much worse. I think the world is changing, and quite obviously turning away from God.
It makes me sad, but also resolved. There is much work to do, and we as believers have much responsibility.
Politics and the rhetoric that comes with them really don’t matter in the end.