The other day a conservative political analyst said something to the effect of, “You know what I like about Obama? Nothing.”
Now I didn’t vote for our current president, but he is still our president and should receive just as much prayer and respect as a president for whom I did vote. Some people love Obama and some people hate him, but regardless of feeling, is this extremism impractical and unbiblical? I think both are true. Here’s my take.
1.) Men are created in the image of God. All men. Yes all men and women are messed up and capable of so much evil, but are also the pinnacle of creation (Psalm 8). This is called the paradox of man, and Pascal really captured it well here. Can it be that there is nothing commendable about Obama? What about his drive, confidence, boldness? Can it be that there is nothing commendable about your neighbor or co-worker? If Acts 17 depicts Paul commending the Athenians for being religious (b/c they had many idols), we can certainly find commendable traits about presidents, neighbors, co-workers. Give it a shot.
2.) Extreme statements which overlook any hint of God’s image on men/women (sometimes called Common Grace) also negate any hope of dialog. Who will listen to this man except those who already listen to him? Will he ever endear himself to others who disagree with him? Will he ever have an opportunity to be heard by someone other than his present audience? I really think that in Acts 17, Paul endears himself to his hearers, who possess a radically different worldview, and so gains a platform upon which to stand.
I can sometimes be an extremist. Not politically, but certainly in other areas, and so this became a challenge to me in how I view those who hold radically differing theological positions.