This is a letter from Rich Nathan, senior pastor of the Vineyard Church of Columbus, to president-elect Obama. Over the past months and years I've talked, ruminated, considered civilly and ranted uncivilly about what a true biblical engagement in the political arena might look like. For the incivility, I apologize. This letter won't resolve the argument, either, but I'd still maintain that it's a pretty good outline that we would do well to follow, individually and collectively.
(h/t to John)
President Obama, on behalf of the Vineyard Church of Columbus, I offer our sincerest congratulations and encouragement as you assume the awesome task of providing leadership for our country and our world. As a Jewish-Christian pastor of a congregation that includes blacks and whites, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans, the able-bodied and the disabled, old and young, rich and poor, Republican and Democrat, we come together now to support you as our president. We pledge to pray for you. Without God’s help we cannot succeed; with God’s help we cannot fail.
The greatness of our nation will continue to be measured by our treatment of the least and the last. In our country the least and the last surely include the unborn and their mothers, immigrants, the medically uninsured, and those who still go to bed hungry in this land of abundance. Our congregation urges you to fulfill your commitment to reduce the number of abortions in our nation. Around the world, America is our brothers’ keeper of those suffering in the Darfur and the Congo. Please work on behalf of those enslaved by global sex trafficking, the billion people who live on less than $2 a day, and those who are the victims of religious persecution. As you lead, remember Jesus’ words: “As you have done to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me.”
America has an extraordinary capacity to reinvent herself, rarely more so than in this election. We remain the screen upon which the world projects its greatest hopes and its most noble aspirations. Live a life worthy of our hopes. Be a reconciler. Be a peacemaker. May God bless you and your family. And may America bless God and the world.