looking for opportunities to “honor the king”

09Oct09

How are we, as Christians, supposed to respond to Obama winning the Noble Peace prize?

Are we supposed to respond with comments like, “It looks like you don’t have to do anything to get the Peace Prize anymore,” or, “They’ll give those awards to just about anybody these days.”  (Note: these quotations do not reflect specific comments from particular individuals, rather I have heard a lot of comments like these today).  Our president is honored with, perhaps the most internationally esteemed award, and rather than give him a congratulations we say, “It’s a paper weight, and it don’t mean nothing!”  I am not trying to say that we are to esteem the things that the world esteems… no.  We boast only in the cross, and in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  However, we must be careful not to shame or mock our president.  When we make comments that belittle or dishonor our president, we are in reality dishonoring God.  Let us remember to, “Fear God, and honor the king,” as Peter exhorted us to (1 Peter 2:17). Let us look for ways to honor God by honoring our President.

This doesn’t mean you must believe President Obama deserves the Noble Peace Prize.  Rather, you must not, as a Christian, state your opinion in a way that mocks our president.  Let us be motivated biblically, not politically.  We have at this time, an awesome opportunity to honor our president.

Here is a related post I wrote on November 5th, 2008.

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5 Responses to “looking for opportunities to “honor the king””

  1. 1 Daniel Mims

    Obama sucks, just kidding…..NOT! Good point though.

  2. 2 threegirldad

    In order to be eligible to win this award, President Obama had to be nominated by no later than February 1. He took office on January 20. So, according to the Nobel Committee, President Obama is being recognized “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” all of which he accomplished in no more than 12 days’ time. Utterly…preposterous (which, by the way, is also The Times of London’s term of choice).

    I mock and ridicule the Nobel Committee for this farce, without apology; it turns the award into a joke. Yet making that observation doesn’t automatically equate to me calling President Obama a joke.

    I furthermore question — and questioning isn’t the same as mocking — President Obama’s judgment for refusing the award on the grounds that he didn’t deserve it. Le Duc Tho did that very thing in 1973, and his selection was orders of magnitude more legitimate.

    • threegirldad,

      Thanks for choosing to interact here.

      I think you make two good observations here, and support them both with compelling evidence. I certainly see the strength in your first point. Like many things, it appears that the standards and criteria are changing for the Nobel Peace Prize… and the standards are certainly not getting more stringent!

      Before I go any further, I would like to say, I do not believe that anything in your comment mocks or slanders our president, and therefore, the heart of my blog-post is not relevant to your situation. It is good for me to recognize that there are probably many like you, who are walking that line of questioning the veracity and the legatimacy of such a transaction, while refusing to make comments that would belittle our president. There are however, those, who are making opportunity of this situation to belittle, mock, and slander our president, for receiving this reward.

      I do go further in my post, to commend the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to our president as an opportunity for the rest of us to honor him (despite whether we would chosen the same recipient of such an award), in keeping with the biblical command. But certainly the thrust of my argument is a corrective against the type of thinking that is employed in direct opposition to the command, working to bring shame to our president.

      Now to your second point, which questions Obama’s judgment in accepting the award. If it were the case that Le Duc Tho did not accept the award because of his lack of personal achievement, your point would be better supported. It appears, though I am no expert by any means (evidenced by the fact that I had to look up Le Duc Tho to find out who he was!), that Le Duc Tho refused the award on political grounds… as a kind of political statement. He refused the Nobel PEACE Prize, because there was not yet PEACE in his country, Vietnam. Moreso, even if he did reject the award on the grounds of lack of personal achievement, I would not fault someone else for graciously accepting the award, even if they feel under-qualified for it – which in Obama’s case appears to be the predicament, evidenced by his own confession (though we cannot know for certain the authenticity of his confession… we hope).

      As reported by the Associated Press, Obama said, “To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize.”

      When someone offers me something, even when I feel I don’t deserve it, I graciously and humbly accept it. I don’t think that is wrong. If I thought it was wrong to act in this way, I wouldn’t be a Christian. God has freely given me something that I do not deserve. I did not earn it by my own merit, and I am wholly unworthy of it. But the heavenly committee (the 3 in 1) has bestowed upon me the most awesome privilege ever to be received by a human. I am deeply humbled by it, and I know that I do not deserve it, but I will not reject it.

      It makes me think of the footwashing of the disciples. The King of Glory bows down to wash the disciples feet. It was difficult for Peter to have his feet washed by Jesus, yet as Jesus told him, it was necessary that he receive this undeserved privilege.

      It is not my intention to defend the motives of Obama, to compare him to Peter, or equate the Nobel Prize as a gift anywhere near the stature of Salvation (by any means!). Yet, I do want to indicate that there is precedent for someone who is undeserving to receive a reward that someone wishes to grant them with. In my opinion, it would be more arrogant to reject the award than it would be to humbly receive it with thankfulness. (I’m not insinuating anything about Le Duc Tho by this final sentence, considering all the uniqueness of his circumstance.)

      • 4 threegirldad

        First, thanks for the gracious reply. Second, sorry that my schedule doesn’t allow for more timely discussion. I have a few more comments to make before this subject grows too stale (if it hasn’t already).

        Yes, there is the intentional mockery and ridicule of the man, just as there is the intentional hero worship of the man. Partisan detractors on one side, partisan supporters on the other. I take it from one of your comments that you are equally opposed to both (“Let us be motivated biblically, not politically.”). And if I’m right in that, I think (I think) that the difference between us is largely, though not entirely, one of focus. You’re speaking primarly to the detractors; I’m speaking primarily to the supporters.

        Your concern is looking for opportunities to honor President Obama. In this case, the honor is hollow, and has already caused him more harm than good. This isn’t simply a matter of “Guns-and-Religion rednecks” scoffing, either. Have you noticed some of the reactions from other parts of the world? Many leaders are questioning the President’s judgment, not just the Committee’s judgment. They say plainly that he has lost some level of credibility for accepting the award.

        Yes, indeed, Le Duc Tho refused on the grounds that the accomplishment for which he was being honored hadn’t been realized. The same thing, frankly, is true of the President. The parallel seems straightforward enough.

        Regarding the gift of Salvation, and the example of foot-washing, I just don’t see how they apply. I don’t see how there can be any possible correlation between this and God’s condescension to Man. And regarding foot-washing, the Nobel Committee isn’t humbling itself by granting this award; it’s doing exactly the opposite! Yes, both of those things are examples of receiving in humility what we don’t deserve, but they’re in a different category.

        It remains unclear to me why the President would by definition be arrogant for refusing it. Are you insisting that every person must accept every award offered in order to display true humility?

        Blessings,
        David

  3. threegirldad,

    You Say:
    Yes, there is the intentional mockery and ridicule of the man, just as there is the intentional hero worship of the man. Partisan detractors on one side, partisan supporters on the other. I take it from one of your comments that you are equally opposed to both (”Let us be motivated biblically, not politically.”). And if I’m right in that, I think (I think) that the difference between us is largely, though not entirely, one of focus. You’re speaking primarily to the detractors; I’m speaking primarily to the supporters.
    This certainly seems to be the case! For this reason, I think it would be unreasonable for me to try and refute your case.

    For clarity, I would like to emphasize one thing I formerly said. The reception of the Noble Peace Prize and the reception of Salvation (or the foot washing of the disciples) are ENTIRELY different. My point is, that there is biblical precedent for receiving things graciously, with thankfulness, though we do not deserve it. I would not go as far as saying that this is the way we should act in ALL cases. I would just be very careful in faulting someone for graciously receiving a reward that they had not chosen for themselves. At very least, I can concede to you the following point. It certainly seems that many people around the world would have been more pleased with Obama if he would have refused the award.

    Again, I cherish these interactions, and hope you will find it valuable to visit here more often.

    In Christ,
    Jeff


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