For the uniformed, Joseph Farah is the Editor in Chief for the uber-conservative World Net Daily. For the most part I peruse right by the trash normally associated with this website but today something caught my eye. It was an “exclusive commentary” by Farah entitled, “Pray Obama Fails.” The link is here:
Many American Christians believe, as an article of faith, that we are to pray for the success of our leaders. It has become a sort of conventional wisdom among soft-minded believers.
Soft minded believers? How about all believers who have a clear understanding of Scripture? But we see the strawman starting to take shape. We are not to pray for the success of the leaders, we are to pray for the leaders themselves. Mr. Farah is already displaying a poor understanding of Scripture.
The biblical proof-text for this misguided way of thinking is Romans 13:1-4:
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."
What could be more clear-cut? At face value, it would seem the Bible is telling us government is a God-ordained good and that we are not to resist its terrors.Uhm, no. That is not what it says. It says that if you are good and obey the law then the rulers will not be a terror unto you. But here is another strawman argument. These verses are not the verses generally used for discussion about praying for our leaders. Remember, his article is calling for PRAYER for Obama to fail. His discussion therefore should be about prayer. These verses have to do with being subject to higher powers. If there is a government in place, God put it in place so follow the laws basically. That does not mean that you have to agree with everything but that you do not rebel. There are more appropriate verses for prayer for our leaders, primarily: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. – 1Timothy 2:1-2Please note that we are to pray for our leaders so that we might live in peace, godly and holy. If the leader ends up not exhibiting those qualities, and none have in this country’s history, that does not change the instruction to pray for them. Mr. Farah seems to think that he can judge the heart of Obama and pray against the will of God and against His word explicitly.
Many a coward has been bolstered in his conviction against challenging tyranny by not reading too deeply into the Scriptures. Yet, nowhere does the Bible ever suggest evil rulers are to be obeyed. When the rule of men conflicts with the commands of God, the Bible leaves no doubt about where we should stand.Soft-minded and cowards, nice message. Now the strawman is nearly complete. Notice Farah does not provide any verses to support his strawman. He simply lays out an overly simplistic premise that if “the rule of men” which he will soon conflate with Obama, conflicts with the commands of God then we must side with God, right? Never mind the pesky Scripture he already quoted which clearly stated that we are not to rebel, his humanistic argument is that he can properly discern that Obama is anti-God, thus we must pray against him. Let’s continue…
That's why I do not hesitate today in calling on godly Americans to pray that Barack Hussein Obama fail in his efforts to change our country from one anchored on self-governance and constitutional republicanism to one based on the raw and unlimited power of the central state.What? So is Farah saying that it is against the will of God to have a government with a strong central government? Was that in Leviticus and I missed it? Moving past the Scriptural absurdity of this comment what about the lack of reality? The past eight years has seen the worst president in our history at this very subject. This is someone who thought the office of Vice President was a fourth branch of Government. He willingly said that he would not adhere to over 1000 laws he signed with signing statements. Bush was the ultimate president for the theory of the unitary executive. Now, Farah would have us believe that the past eight years never happened and that Obama is really going to do what Bush tried so hard to accomplish. Worse still though, he uses God to try and make the point and he is failing miserably.
It would be folly to pray for his success in such an evil campaign.Based on what??? Your word? Farah has presented zero evidence of this dreaded plot to turn the government into a centralized force. He also has presented zero Scriptural evidence as to why any Christian should disobey God and pray for the failure of a world leader.
I want Obama to fail because his agenda is 100 percent at odds with God's. Pretending it is not simply makes a mockery of God's straightforward Commandments.Here is the hypocrisy of Mr. Farah. He runs a website that has supported everything George W. Bush has ever done. The truth is that no secular leader is ever going to not be at odds with God. George Bush did more to impoverish the poor and middle class than any president in history. The number one topic in the Bible is taking care of the neediest in society. What about how Bush destroyed the environment, God’s creation? How about approving torture? How about lying us into a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people? Any of this ringing as bell for Farah? Of course not because Mr. Farah does not truly care about the cause of Christ – he only cares about the cause of the GOP. This article is not Christian; it is political – using Christ.
So you will not see me joining in the ritual of affirming Obama and his mission in public or private prayer this week – or any other week. Instead, I uphold the words of Jesus in Matthew 15:14: "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
You see, when you make it up as you go along, your own words betray you. This is a poor understanding of Scripture. Mr. Farah leaves out the context of Matthew 15:14. This was when Jesus was speaking against the Pharisees and their legalistic approach. Specifically, he was speaking to the fact that the Pharisees like to appear righteous, but on the inside they are unclean. They talk about God better than they live. Sounds a bit like Mr. Farah.
And I take warning from Isaiah 9:16: "For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed."Continuing in the misunderstanding of Scripture, Mr. Farah doesn’t seem to understand that this portion of Isaiah is a prophecy against Israel and the leaders of Israel.
And please don't tell me about "rendering unto Caesar."