The re-election of President Barack Obama shows we need the prophetic voice more than the shrill of the prognosticators.
Dick Morris, Newt Gingrich, and even Charles Krauthammer, the high priest of conservative punditry, along with many others, foretold that Mitt Romney would win by collecting anywhere from 303 to 330 electoral votes.
Following the election, the Romney-leaning forecasters were tap dancing around their failed predictions like a weather reporter who told everybody to go to the beach and failed to see an approaching winter storm.
Balaam's donkey did better.
There's only one thing to say to the mis-prognosticators and the folk who prayed earnestly and fervently for Obama's defeat: Barack Obama is the President of the United States, and he is the chosen of God for that high office in this period of our history.
Obama is not chosen like the Apostles, but chosen like Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whose insane capriciousness enlarged the voice of godly prophet Daniel in the midst of a godless culture. Obama is chosen like Cyrus the Persian, a power-worshipper who had no idea he would be the instrument of God to issue a decree that would lead to the restoration of Jerusalem and the Temple.
Neither of them were conscious they were being used by the living God to shape history and advance the Kingdom of God – the Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. Politicians who try to see their place in history always miss the full picture.
When God is ready to unfold the Revelation vision through aging John on Patmos, the Spirit invites the Apostle to "come up here." The only way we can truly see history is from "up here," through God's eyes in the "highest heaven." Politicians' eyes are so earthbound they tend to be as shortsighted as Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus. Prophets focus on Heaven, and that's why they're able to pierce earth's delusion with truth.
Thank God in everything, says the Apostle Paul, and "everything" means the results of the November 6 election. For Obama's supporters that will be easy. For his opponents, gratitude will be an act of obedient faith.
Thousands of churches and tens of thousands of Christians met for weeks prior to the election, praying for God's will. Jesus said if we asked anything in His name we would have it; therefore, Barack Obama is the answer to our prayers.
It's time to quit singing the dirge and sound the prophetic voice. May the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church continue with their push-back against an administration seeing the First Amendment as but one more of the obstacles to societal control that must be knocked out of the way.
May evangelical churches step into the high calling of God to serve the culture as prophet, not a patsy for a political party or movement. May all of us who have placed far too much of our hope in political outcomes put our focus where it needs to be – on the Kingdom of God and its advance.
May we confess and repent of the sin of tower-worship. When we in the church look to the partisan Babels raised on the barren landscape of the political terrain we are no better than those who worshipped at the base of the ziggurats looming over the deserts of ancient Mesopotamia.
In fact, when Christians stake their hope primarily on political outcomes we are perilously close to embracing a tenet of Humanist Manifesto II – "no deity will save us; we must save ourselves."
Without the presence and courage of the prophetic community, there is no one to tell society when it is on a trail headed for a cliff, and no one to guide it back to truth and safety.
In the current context, "prophecy" is just a step above (if that) fortune-telling and prosperity-hawking. The prophetic voice the church must discover is more like that of Isaiah, lamenting the "unclean lips" of himself and his society, or Jeremiah, broken-hearted and weeping over the sins of his nation, or Ezekiel, grieving over the pollution that has crept into the holy place, or Daniel, dumbstruck at the vision of sin's horror.
Such authentic prophecy won't fill stadiums, but it might help save a nation.
May we all preach the true hope, not Romneyism or Obamaism or any other humanism. May we comprehend that to place our ultimate hope on human leaders is to make us vulnerable to the antichrist spirit. May we denounce that spirit with all our hearts, and fall at the feet of the true Christ.