Did God Exalt Obama to the Presidency?
If you're a believer who takes the Bible seriously, you have asked yourself this question many times. I have. It has baffled me.
Maybe a quick look at the Bible -- specifically, the Torah -- can clarify matters.
Let me say right off -- America does not replace ancient Israel. And we certainly should not bring back old rituals and regulations. But we can look for general principles, just as our founders did.
Basic biblical theology says God is sovereign over nations. However, the Bible is filled with examples of leaders who are condemned and others who are praised. (Think of Saul in 1 Samuel and the other kings in 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles). God sent prophets to challenge the bad leaders and to encourage the good ones.
God did not ordain that ineffective leaders should have political power over people (but see below for a possible exception). That's why he sent prophets to rebuke the leaders. So apparently people have freewill (Deut. 30:19), and how they use it depends on their knowledge or ignorance (Deut. 31:11-13).
In a democracy, if people understand the basics, they will vote for good leaders. If they don't understand, bad leaders will emerge.
Prosperity is a key biblical principle. God blesses a nation with it (Deut. 8:10-20; 28:1-14), while a move or trend towards poverty is a sign that something has gone wrong in the nation (Deut. 28:15-68).
Morality is another one. The Bible connects moral development with the economic health of a nation (Deut. 5:1-21).
Freedom is a third (Lev. 25:10). Overregulation hinders the free flow of commerce and therefore prosperity.
Let's see how things measure up today.
1. Obama increased government spending by 25.3%.
That's a record in the past 30 years. As we shall see, deficit spending on steroids does not indicate a healthy economy.
This trend towards big government crowds out the private sector, which reduces prosperity. This spending threatens it for us and future generations.
2. Obama's yearly budgets are record-breaking.
Here's a summary of a fact-check analysis:
The correct figure to use is the CBO's analysis of the president's 2013 budget, which clocks in at $3.72 trillion.
So this is what we end up with:
2008: $2.98 trillion
2009: $3.27 trillion
2010: $3.46 trillion
2011: $3.60 trillion
2012: $3.65 trillion
2013: $3.72 trillion
Under these figures, and using this calculator, with 2008 as the base year and ending with 2012, the compound annual growth rate for Obama's spending starting in 2009 is 5.2 percent.
That is way over budget. Apparently, if you believe that a small amount of deficit spending is harmless, then any amount of deficit spending will do no harm.
3. Obama's deficit-to-GDP ratio is huge.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is our national income. It is true that the Bush administration and his party spent too much money, but Obama's record makes Bush's overspending look like child's play.
George W. Bush
*Fiscal 2012 ends Sept. 30, 2012, so this figure is estimated.
This ratio signals an unhealthy economy.
4. Obama added a record-breaking debt in just four years.
Our national income (GDP) is about $15 trillion, and now our debt is over $16 trillion. The Obama administration added between $5-6 trillion in four years, an historic record. No other president has done that in such a short time span (Bush added $4.9 trillion in eight years).
This budgetary reality threatens prosperity for us and future generations.
5. The Senate, still controlled by Democrats, voted unanimously against Obama's 2012 and 2013 budget proposals.
They voted 0-97 against his 2012 proposal.
They voted 0-99 against his 2013 proposal. For good measure, the House voted against it 0-414.
6. The median annual income has dropped.
Using constant 2012 dollars (to adjust for inflation), the median annual income of American households was $53,718 as of June 2009, the last month of the recession. Now, after 38 months of this "recovery," it has fallen to $50,678 - a drop of $3,040 per household.
That link says minority groups have been hit even harder. We're heading in the wrong direction -- poverty.
7. ObamaCare will degrade health care over time.
Under Medicare and Medicaid, doctors get paid for a fraction of the work they put in. The same will happen under ObamaCare. When people don't get paid adequately, the quality of their work suffers over the long haul. The best and brightest would-be doctors won't sign up for med school when they figure out they won't get paid enough. Remember the recent replacement refs for the NFL? The NFL went downhill, and the fans booed and demanded a change. Imagine replacement doctors in our medical care.
Further, twenty-one ticking tax bombs are built into ObamaCare, which will slow down sectors of our economy.
ObamaCare imposes penalties for noncompliance, courtesy of the IRS: "$695 per individual and up to three times that amount for a family or a percentage of income in excess of the filing threshold (2.5 percent of income)" (p. 3, footnote 5).
Also, the Independent Payment Advisory Board's cost-cutting measures will ration medical care, which will involve life-and-death decisions at the end of the bureaucratic process. Elderly, go home and take a pill. Others might be malnourished and euthanized in the hospital.
8. Overregulation hinders economic growth and personal liberty.
However, heavy-handed regulations that have grown rapidly under the Obama administration, all imposed by a central bureaucracy, are bad for everyone but the central planners. Worse, we have to pay for the overregulation of our freedoms.
9. Unemployment is still the worst under Obama.
That link has a list of the 30 worst months. Obama's record is much worse than Bush's (Reagan inherited a very bad economy, but he turned it around rapidly).
Here's a comparative recap of the unemployment numbers:
The worst non-Obama month in the past 25 years was December 2008, when the employment-population ratio was 61.0 percent under George W. Bush. Comparatively, Obama's best month to date (not counting January 2009, when he entered midstream) was his first, February 2009, when the employment-population ratio was 60.3 percent. In other words, over the past 25 years, the worst month under any other president has beaten the best month under Obama.
Certain minority groups have been hit even harder by unemployment.
10. Welfare is now a trillion-dollar outlay.
11. Dependence on welfare undermines a nation's character.
Fifty percent of people get federal benefits. Soon the workers will no longer be able to subsidize the non-workers. Not only does that ratio threaten the free-market economy, but this dependency also ruins our national character in the final analysis.
12. Same-sex marriage fundamentally redefines the essence of marriage.
There are many reasons to oppose redefining marriage, like its restricting religious liberty, but this is a big one. If same-sex marriage is permitted, there is no logical reason why other people advocating nonconformist relationships can be denied marriage.
However, not only does Obama endorse same-sex marriage, but his administration refuses to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In his inauguration speech, he says the same-sex marriage fight is like the civil rights battle of yesteryear.
Do we need to discuss what the Bible, honestly interpreted, says about this behavior?
13. The Democratic Party rejected God by a voice vote.
That happened at their convention in 2012. Then the chairman had to outflank them. It may be true that apparently Obama requested putting God back in the platform, but how did things deteriorate so far?
In any event, God was dropped at the inaugural prayer.
Fighting like this about God does not inspire confidence.
The U.S. has performed 54 million abortions since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
God condemns sacrificing babies to Molech (Lev. 18:21). Granted, those babies referenced in Leviticus had already been born, but Obama is pushing the boundaries when he has voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions.
We'll never be able to completely reconcile or figure out the interaction between divine sovereignty and human free will.
But at least it is now clear -- or it should be -- why many Christians who voted against Obama are baffled as to why their fellow believers voted for him.
A certain percentage of voters do not understand (or chose to ignore) those economic and moral fundamentals. Using their freewill, they imposed on us a very defective leader, unfortunately.
However, there may be an unexpected reason why God could have ordained (or at least is using) Obama's election and re-election. It's the possible exception I alluded to above.
I don't have prophetic powers, but some who seem to have them tell us there will be shaking. They quote these verses:
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.' The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken-that is, created things-so that what cannot be shaken may remain (Hebrews 12:26-27).
Why the shaking? The passage continues: "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe" (v. 28).
God could be using this extraordinarily and unusually ineffective president -- as he did some bad leaders in the Bible -- to get our attention.