I didn't vote for him. But he is our new president. Given the angst so many Christians feel about an Obama presidency, it may be a good idea to take a step back and consider the following . . .
First, this is not the end of the world. It is not even the end of the Republic. Yes, the city of man has lurched hard-left. That happens once in a while. And then over time it drifts back to the center, and then lurches right again. This is what the city of man does. The reality is that the city of man is not any more amenable to Christianity when the lurch is toward the right than it is when it is lurching left. That is the nature of the city of man.
I am old enough to remember a fair bit of this lurching: Kennedy (center-left), Johnson (left), Nixon (right-center), Ford (center-right) Carter (left), Reagan (right), Bush 41 (center-right), Clinton (center-left), Bush 43 (right-center), and now Obama (left? left-center?). Life goes on folks.
Second, since we are simultaneously citizens of two kingdoms (the kingdom of God and the city of man) I certainly hope we find it within ourselves to sincerely wish our new president well, and fervently pray for God's blessing upon him and his new administration (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Our nation is facing a severe economic crisis. We are deeply divided along political and racial lines. There is great resentment about the war in Iraq, and great uncertainty about what to do about Iran and Israel. Our new president faces a daunting task in leading a divided nation in a very uncertain time. He truly needs our prayers. The American presidency is one huge job.
Third, if Obama isn't up to the job, then all of us will suffer. If he is everything that his most ardent supporters claim that he is, he still faces a task which can overwhelm the even greatest of men. So, let us hope and pray that Obama will capably fulfill his office and lead our nation forward through this tough time. There is too much at stake here for the partisans among us to cynically wish that Obama will fail so that Republicans can get the White House back in 2012. Now is the time for partisan politics to go on hiatus. We don't yet know what Obama will do. But we do owe President-Elect Obama the benefit of the doubt for the time being.
Far and away, the worst president of my life-time was Jimmy Carter. He wasn't an ideological leftist or a socialist (although he governed as one). Carter was a nice man (and a professing Christian) who was an inept president. But his ineptitude hurt all Americans--remember gas lines, hostages left in Iran for 444 days, and stagflation? So, I hope Obama is all that is advertised, because I don't want to suffer through that stuff again. It was a horrible time for many Americans.
Fourth, now that we have our first African-American president, let us also hope and pray for real and lasting racial reconciliation. May the Obama presidency heal the wounds that so many African-Americans deeply feel and which white Americans can't truly understand. That said, while there will always be racism in the city of man, I hope African-Americans realize that it was white Americans who elected the first black president. That is huge. Just twenty years ago, such a thing was unthinkable. This is a real chance to heal old wounds, right old wrongs, and then move on. Let us pray this happens!
Fifth, there is every possibility that Obama will seek to implement a far-left, socialist agenda. But there is also the possibility that Obama will be a centrist, and that he will govern from the left-center like Bill Clinton did. Remember, it is far easier to run for president and make all kinds of outlandish promises to your various constituencies, than it is to actually govern. The struggle to keep power will pull Obama back to the center, even if his instincts are to go hard-left. This what happens once you live inside the beltway and you grow to like that address @ 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Should Obama actually succeed in pushing forward the socialist, pro-abortion agenda which so many fear, many of the anti-Bush and union voters who elected him will turn on him, and his "rock-star" popularity will quickly evaporate. The mid-term elections will likely see that huge Democrat majority bounced right out of Congress. Weakness in a national crisis, or a prolonged recession and/or a deepening economic crisis will also really hurt Obama--along with the rest of us. It won't be long before we find out whether or not that suit was empty, or if Obama has the mettle for the job.
Finally, there is a fundamental question here. Why wouldn't we want Obama to succeed? Are partisan politics really more important than the well-being of the nation? This is one of those periods when there are great national changes afoot, and this is truly a time to hope for the best (in terms of God's providence) for our beloved country. But we also need to hold Obama's feet to the fire (in terms of his campaign promises) and not be so naive as to think that the city of man (or President Obama) has any real answers to life's ultimate problems. I doubt very seriously that if John McCain had been elected president the millennium would begin on January 21, 2009.
This is going to be a very tough term of office for any president. So, it is our duty to pray for our new president, and wish him and our nation well. Meanwhile let us go about our callings and vocations as Christian citizens doing what Paul told us to do, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (Romans 12:18), all the while not forgetting the words of the Psalmist (143), "Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish."