Truth and Power

45e509717184f660So… tonight at Westminster we’ll be talking about truth and power. Main reason? Well, look at where we are.

In case you haven’t heard, Barack Obama’s inauguration is tomorrow. It’s kind of a big deal. You know, history being made, first black president, the day after MLK day. Wow… it really is a historic day.

I’m not going to get into my personal political affiliations… let me restate that… personal political choices b/c I’m not sure I really want to be affiliated completely with anything. Plus, I don’t want people to think my own political choices completely mirror those of the students at Westminster Fellowship. That’s not the case.

But, I have noticed that an awful lot of people are throwing a lot upon Obama’s shoulders, as if he’s the savior of the world (last I checked, we’ve already got one of those). I’ll be the first to say he’s got a lot of charisma and it’s a really interesting time in our nation’s (and our world’s) history. Wherever you stand, I think you have to grant that much.

All of that being said, I remember the night Obama won the election and he was giving his acceptance speech. And there was Oprah Winfrey crying her eyes out and all of these other “VIPs” getting face time on camera. I know it’s a huge moment in the story of America, especially the long and oppressive story of our black brothers and sisters. It really is amazing to see how far we’ve come… and, to be sure, we have a lot of work yet to do.

But… I find myself wondering what the Church’s (more specifically, the Presbyterian Church USA’s) response will be when it comes time to (citing that oft-used phrase) “speak truth to power.” I suppose the reason I say this is because I spent my three years in seminary listening to my peers critique and criticize President Bush for a lot of what he did. Trust me… I’m not slamming those who did so. Bush, like all of us, warranted critique. However, I do wonder whether we, the Presbyterian Church, are ready to step up and critique our next president in much the same way we did Bush.

I don’t want to generalize. By no means is the Church universally prOBama. I just hope that the same people who called out Bush will give Obama the same treatment. I hope that, no matter our political affiliations/choices, we all will have the guts to assume a prophetic role, to speak truth to power… or, as a seminary professor of mine put it, place the Word firmly before the Powers… as we look out for those who are marginalized, oppressed, poor, down and out.


~ by presbytide on January 19, 2009.

One Response to “Truth and Power”

  1. James I’m reading the blog and on the website!!!!! And well put about Obama.

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