Born Again Presidents

by E. Terfa Ula-Lisa Esq

It seems like the world is about to tolerate a philandering President, a whisky-swigging drunk, a foul-mouthed blasphemer a gay-loving leader but not a leader “who wears his faith on his sleeve” or a Born-Again Christian who thinks people should be held accountable to the higher moral law of the Bible. One of the easier explanations for this phenomenon is the fact that people are more likely to choose as leader one who reflects their values. A leader who swigs hard liquor would have at his receptions and parties, generous amounts of spirits in tall glasses. A born again Christian would be very interested in public prayer at functions and would dare draw analogy in some of his speeches from scriptures. The irreverent may find this offensive, but conveniently forget that the good Christian bears his torment gracefully when blasphemers swear and curse, taking the name of the Lord God in vain. There are a few “good men” who are not born again but all Born Again persons are expected to be “good men”. The irreverent, however, think it their duty to curtail the “Holy-Rollers” and put them in their place, outside the sphere of governmental influence.

Brother Presidents

In Nigeria and the USA are two Presidents who openly profess to being Born Again. What is meant by being Born Again? It is being born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. It is when by the act of receiving Jesus Christ and believing in His name, the person is given the power to become a child of God (paraphrasing John 1:12-13). The co-incidence that at this time in history the President of the most influential nation on earth and the most important African country are both by their own confession Born Again Christians. The irreligious caution against mixing religion with politics. Church folk, ever so circumspect, having tolerated the quirks of a long line of heathen Presidents without comment, join to warn about advertising one’s faith in public as if one ever sins in secret. To both groups the scripture speaks:

The earth is the LORD’S and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Psalm 24:1

If the earth is the Lord’s in the above scriptures, surely He can determine who rules it or alternatively control the heart of the ruler (The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it withersoever he will – Proverbs 21:1). If the people obey The Lord, He answers their prayers and rewards them with good leaders. The reverse is also the case. This is because the scripture further says:

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
(Proverbs 14:34)

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn.
Proverbs 29:2

Because God is infinitely good, it is His desire at all times to bless all His people and to prosper them with good governments. We reiterate that the government is a reflection of the moral conduct of the people. A morally bankrupt people, except in exceptional cases, would surely have as leader one that is morally bankrupt.

Separation of Church and State Argument

There are those whose concept of separation of Church and State is simple, do not elect any Born Again Christian to public office. Be tolerant of all shades of opinion and other religions except committed Born Again Christians. Currently it is not politically correct to mention faith in God in public discourse except if irreverently as a swear- or cuss-word. There are also the misguided Christians who feel that since the business of government is so worldly, no serious Christian can venture there and not be corrupted, as a result of which all Christians are discouraged from vying for political office. The Christian separatists quickly quote “render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” as they complain from the pulpit. While God does not need our electoral systems to bless us individually, in line with His interest in the number of hairs on our head, He still has more than a passing interest in the affairs of our governance.

For example, regarding the “virtuous woman” God gives a qualification;

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
Proverbs 31:23

As reward, the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 has a husband who sits as an elder at the Parliament of the Elders where decisions are taken concerning the city where they live. So holding political office cannot be wrong.

Again, a person lacking in morality would bring his beliefs to the office whether we are conscious of it or not. A person who cheats or lies at random and has no moral compunction regarding any issue is likely to bring that mindset to his job as President. Everyone, including the very irreverent believe that Born Again Christians live (or ought to live) by a higher standard of morality. This is the very reason the crooked politicians would do anything to stop them from acceding to leadership positions – it would not be business as usual. The true Christians on the other hand, expect more accountability, more compassion, more justice and equity from believers in leadership positions. Boldness is required because even in a permissive society, while not popular, morality can never be wrong. The ethos of the Christian faith should make the Presidents better, not worse regarding social issues. If the Presidents want to lead their respective nations in sincere fasting and prayer back to God, this would not be the first time.

Social Concerns:

The regime of the Christian President ought to be the best time for all because the nation gets not only a good man, but one with, according to scriptures, the “mind of Christ”; a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, charity. That is why the people rejoice when the righteous rule. Also a leader can do pretty much whatever he sets out to do. The leader does this by the type of advisers and deputies he appoints. A permissive fellow would rarely appoint into office persons for their integrity or strength of character. Devout Born Again Christians from the White Slave-owning class in England and the USA against all odds started the Abolitionist Movement and also at great risk to life and property organized the Underground Railway which ferried escaped slaves from the southern states of the US to Canada. It is no co-incidence that it was the same President who made A Proclamation for a Day of National Humiliation Fasting and Prayer was also the one who issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed all the slaves in the USA.

Prophets, sycophants and Court Jesters

From the time of recorded history, leaders have always sought divine wisdom regarding complex issues. God’s people always heard the voice of God from the prophets while the devil gives his people the counterfeit in diviners, sorcerers and modern-day psychics and horoscope readers. World Leaders now seek to circumvent the supernatural by devising a scientific method of analysis from courtiers now properly called “Special Advisers”. However, to satisfy spiritual hunger for information not otherwise available, the leaders do so discreetly, mostly secretly consult their seers. That is why most world leaders that are not born again Christians belong to secret societies. [If you were a member of one of those secret societies before you became born again, you need to renounce your secret covenant publicly; what has light to do with darkness]. The devil desires not just the title of the “god of this world” but truly to rule in the affairs of men. As a result, he carves out territory on God’s earth and like the bully that he is, coerces the weak and ignorant to make deals with him. He even tried that trick on Jesus after his forty day fast (Luke 4:5-7).

There are those who like Ahab would remonstrate with the word of God and blame his prophets because the Prophet refused to be sycophantic.

>And it came to pass when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and thou hast followed Ba’alim.
1 Kings 18:17-18

As a result of the demand of leaders for a favorable report, there have always been false prophets, sycophants and plain court jesters around world leaders. In Nigeria for a long while, those who walked the corridors of power waited until after the Juma’a prayer to lobby the leaders. A certain dubious dictator was known to interject his policy statements with “Insha Allah” while he lied to the nation. Many a President was known for his marabouts and another’s spouse was known for her consultation with psychics and astrologers. Now it is claimed that OBJ sermonizes too much and that George Bush makes too frequent references to the Bible in his speeches. My only grief is that the poor are not rejoicing on their watch.

In the USA, where the Johnnie-Come-lately Atheists and Humanist would have you believe that we never had God in the White House, Capitol Hill or the Halls of Justice, here is poignant example from History:

The following proclamation is preserved in the library of Congress as Appendix no. 19 in volume 12 of the United States at Large. It was initiated by a resolution of the United States Senate, and was officially declared by President Lincoln on March 30, 1863.

By The President of the United States of America:
A Proclamation
For A Day of National Humiliation fasting And Prayer

Whereas, The Senate of the United States devoutly reconignizing the supreme Authority and Just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation:

And whereas, it is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sin and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon: and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord:

And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations, like individuals are subjected to punishment and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sin, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People?. We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity.

We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessing were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request and fully concurring in the view of the Senate, I do, by his proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863 as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. And I do herby request all the People to abstain on that day from their ordinary secular pursuit, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than pardon of our national sins, and restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to the affixed.

Done of the city of Washington this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of the eighty-seventh.

Abraham Lincoln
By the president
William H. Seward, Secretary of the state

Looking Forward

While Brother Obasanjo is squirming with credibility issues, Brother Bush with a brand new four year term in looking forward to the New Year needs to chart a new direction in all respects. Both need to call a national day of Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting, so we may publicly humble ourselves and corporately seek forgiveness from the Almighty Merciful God. That is real leadership. Prayer and acts of piety should not be only condoned in public officers when there is a monumental disaster after the fact; it should be encouraged to avert the disasters. The earth-quakes and Tidal waves that occurred in South East Asia could have struck any part of the world. There are scientific explanations to nature, but that does not rule out the spiritual. A nation puts the Almighty God on the back-burner in their affairs to their own peril. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. He who has an ear let him hear.

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