Upon occasion I run across something that needs repeating. A friend of mine Kent Straith recently wrote an open letter entitled "A Plea." I was moved by his comments and thought that all of us would benefit from his thoughts. So with his permission, I have copied his passionate plea for your consideration.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 10:00 pm
As I type this, it has become clear over the last hour that Senator Barack Obama has been elected the 44th President of the United States. Minutes after the polls close on the west coast, there'll be an official call, and later on tonight, there’ll be an acceptance speech in Grant Park in Chicago, and a concession speech at a hotel in Phoenix. What’s on my mind, though, is tomorrow. And the next day, and the day after that. And the appeal I’m about to make is not to everybody on my list…rather, you’re only getting this if I know you to publicly call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ.
After some early promise, this has turned out to be an unpleasant campaign. A wrenching, divisive, long ordeal that makes me wonder what could possibly be on the news now that it’s over. My hope is this: Now that this longest campaign in history exists now only in our history, I hope that followers of Christ…His Church…can come together in a spirit of inclusion and acceptance and humility and be a force for reconciliation in this country. Mark Twain famously said, “a lie can get halfway ‘round the world while the truth is getting its shoes on.” Admittedly, my heart broke a little bit for Christians every time I saw a video posted on Facebook which called Barack Obama a Muslim or a Marxist or questioned if he was an American citizen or compared him to Osama Bin Laden, but there was a contest going on, and politics in this country has become war, and war is hell. But the battle is over, and there is an unarguable winner, and I just pray that we don’t see any more of these videos or see any more of these e-mails. I hope I never see a bumper sticker like the ones which so shamefully declared that President Bush was “Not My President!” Not from us. We have a higher calling.
The Bible promises us that God holds the heart of the king in His Hand, and what happened Tuesday has happened for a specific reason. For believers, we have a simple choice: We can either make our voices heard and hold the President’s feet to the fire on the issues we disagree with him on, and remain respectful and Christ-like in doing so…or we can engage in a whispery, shadowy, sniping, bitter smear campaign over the next several years. We can treat President Obama like we treated President Clinton, and how the other side treated President Bush…or we can follow the advice of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who said tonight, “tomorrow morning, we can all become Americans.”
Eleven weeks from today, the President-elect will stand on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, raise one hand, and place the other on a Bible (not a Qu’ran). He’ll take an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. The United States is a country that has existed in its present form for 220 years, and in those 220 years, been ruled by forty three men, soon to be forty four. Many of those men have been ideological opposites, and many have hated each other personally…but in all of those years, not a single bullet has ever been fired in those transitions of government. This is, indeed, the most magnificent country in history. It’s a country that runs IN to melting skyscrapers. It’s a country that gives to the needy in numbers that leave the rest of the world speechless. We can take this opportunity to raise the level of debate in this country…a country that God we worship clearly has His Hand on. Tomorrow, let’s be better than the campaign we’ve just witnessed. Wednesday morning, and in the days and weeks and months to come, let’s try to make Him proud of us.
Thanks Kent for sharing your thoughts.
At the end of the day we are not only Americans, more importantly we are Kingdom Citizens who are called to advance our King's agenda and not a particular political party.
Horizontally representing Christ to the nation