Barack Obama quoted Scripture during his appearance at the Alfred E. Smith dinner last week. He didn’t quote from “the holy Quran,” as he has referred to it. He quoted from the Bible – or at least his joke writer did.
In fact, he quoted from the Apostle Paul in Romans 5: “… it’s written in Scripture that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character hope,” said Obama. “This country has fought through some very tough years together. And while we still have a lot of work ahead. We’ve come as far as we have mainly because of the perseverance and character of ordinary Americans. And it says something about who we are as a people that in the middle of a contentious election season, opposing candidates can share the same stage. People from both parties can come together.”
Let me suggest that’s not exactly what Rabbi Shaul, Paul’s real name, had in mind when he strung together something resembling that phrase. He didn’t mean that rough times produce perseverance and perseverance produces character and character produces hope so members of different political parties and ideologies could all get along superficially once in a blue moon.
The hope Shaul was referring to was the hope of eternal salvation.
That’s something much deeper than a quip to be lightly tossed out on gag night.
Here’s the context in the King James Version – verses 1-11: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”
Now that’s heavy stuff.
One thing most Americans have experienced during the Obama years is tribulation.
I knew in 2008 that would be so. I predicted it in an election book I wrote that year called “None of the Above: Why 2008 Is the Year to Cast the Ultimate Protest Vote.” (Yes, it’s still available today for just 99 cents in the WND Superstore – and still worth reading – if I do say so myself.) While many conservatives and Republicans are still angry with me for having written and published that tome, if I had to do it all over, again, I would. In the book I explained that Obama would bring tribulation upon the country – and an understanding that socialism doesn’t work. I suggested, with regret, that it seems every generation needs to learn this lesson for itself.
The tribulation Obama wrought on the nation did, indeed, produce perseverance – and that perseverance renewed character in many and that character gave us hope.
I already knew the hope of salvation in Jesus (Yeshua). But the hope I have today for America is that the tribulation we’ve been experiencing under Obama is coming to an end.
I pray fervently for my fellow Americans, that they have developed the character and the hope for a better America to bring the Obama tribulation to a quick end.
No, not this year is the author of “None of the Above” urging Americans to sit this one out – nor even to vote for a third-party candidate who will only hurt our chances of showing Obama to the exit door of the White House.
If Americans have any chance of restoring “liberty and justice for all” to this nation, there is only one option – vote for Mitt Romney.
He’s not likely to be the political messiah we would like. My hope is his election will simply buy us the time we need to ensure the Obama tribulation does not become more than we can bear.