KOEDYKER: Booing God

Oct 21, 2012

And prior to that, the first time a man flew in an airplane was a momentous occasion.

Then, if you go way back into history, what a day when the first book was printed on moveable type! And what book was that? The Bible, of course.

Another first took place about a month ago at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. What was that momentous occasion? God was booed! Yes, I repeat, God was booed.

It happened, in fact, three times. Three times, trying to correct the error of their ways by leaving “God” out of their platform, the powers that be in the Democratic Party tried to reinsert the word. (That, too, by the way, would also have been a first. Never in the history of this great nation had a political party not acknowledged God in their platform!)

And three times loud booing was heard when delegates were asked to vote in favor of putting “God” back into their platform.

What actually happened was the chairman of the proceedings at that moment, Antonio Villariagosa, read the new wording and called for a voice vote indicating that a two-thirds majority would be necessary to pass the motion. The result was a voice vote that sounded to many like the “nays” had it.

Not sure what to do, Villariagosa asked for another vote. Again, it sounded about the same. So, he tried one more time and again the motion to insert God into the platform of the Democratic Party was met with a loud chorus of boos. Despite the loud vote against God, the chairman declared the motion passed.

So, God was back in the platform of the Democrats, although not really. It felt more like another (biblical) three-fold denial of God by Peter on the night before Jesus was crucified.

As a Christian and an American, I was very disappointed and saddened to hear about this. How disheartening for our country — the land that has as its motto, “In God we trust” — to hear God rejected so boisterously.

I know there have been political candidates and perhaps even political parties that have “used” God for their own advantage. They have spoken, perhaps, with a false piety or a flaunting of their attendance at church in order to win the votes of people of faith. Certainly, that is wrong, too.

But what really concerns me is the light this shines on the spiritual temperature of the people of our nation. It certainly seems to have cooled. Life has become more and more secular, leaving God out of school and the public arena. The belief in the sacredness of human life has been replaced by a woman’s right to choose. Church membership and Sunday morning worship attendance has been steadily dropping in many churches. It seems like many people feel as though they don’t need God.

Personally, I feel we do need God. We need God in our homes, our families and in our communities. And we also need God in our political parties and their platforms. Not just to get votes, but because, as Augustine wrote many years ago, “We are restless till we find our rest in God.” 

We were created religious beings. It’s part of our nature as human beings to want to worship someone or something.

The truth of the matter is that we are better people when we acknowledge God and honor him with our lives. We are better people when we strive for good and show our care and concern for those around us. On our own, without God, we become selfish and self-centered. But with God and the moral guidance of the Scriptures, we actually do become better and more compassionate people. 

Thank goodness this truth has been honored and lived out by many throughout our nation’s history.  One of the greatest was Abraham Lincoln. On April 30, 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, Lincoln issued the following proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer:

"We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and reserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Perhaps it’s time to humble ourselves once again and confess our national sins, as Lincoln suggests. And no, booing God is not the answer. It is, in fact, a sad commentary on the state of religion in these United States.

One more quote to make us think even more deeply on all of this. It is from the renowned church historian Philip Schaff. He said, “Republican institutions in the hands of a virtuous and God-fearing nation are the very best in the world. But in the hands of a corrupt and irreligious people, they are the very worst and most effective weapons of destruction.”

I hope that, as you go to the polls to vote this year, you will keep these things in mind. And in a spirit of humility and prayer, will choose candidates who acknowledge God, have a strong, personal faith, and desire to truly honor values that include “In God We Trust.”

— The Rev. John Koedyker is pastor of Word of Hope Church in Fruitport.

Comments

pfpiper

There are so many things wrong with the authors article. "The truth of the matter is, we are better people when we acknowledge God" Not "True." People can be just fine without having god in our lives.
If you really 100% want God in our country, Motto, Schools, etc., Then there is one simple task that you need to do is PAY TAXES.
It is unfair that organized cults and religions do not have to pay taxes, but they try to push their beliefs on all aspects of government.
I have seen the video on youtube of the boos. The boos were actually for the people who were voting against the amendment. It was not directed at God. Do not let the media skew your perception of the truth.
I think this is a very bias attack of a Pastor towards the DNC with a political agenda and he is using God as a tool.
Freedom of speech is a pain, but do not try to take it away, just because you do not agree.

HavenWillie

Indeed the church should pay its share of taxes.

Wingmaster

How do you possibly skew what the boos were for. Wow, it is obvious to anyone that watched they vote against re-inserting god into the platform and when they did anyway they booed. Sounds like the left media has already skewed your thinking! Spin away, we know what we saw and heard.

Hope4GH

I am not "restless" without god. I am a really good, moral person and do lots of quality things for our community. "In God We Trust" was added as our country's motto in 1956 for political reasons.

I am glad you have a strong faith providing it makes you become a better person. This country was founded on the principle that you can have your own faith, but not have someone else's forced on you. Follow your faith, but don't put it on me. That is why it is so important to leave it out of politics, thus the boos.

HavenWillie

Too bad that the Reverend is being so dishonest. Nobody was booing god sir.

I get along fine without god...and a lot of godless folks are more honest than the reverend.

43°North

Rev. John Boy, how in god's name can you vote for someone who doesn't even believe in the trinity? Talk about godless. the mormons took the bible and added their own swing ala John Smith to it, but you call them christians? god is your fairytale, don't project it onto an election like our country will be doomed to hell because we voted for the 'wrong' person in your eyes. If you were truly christian (christ-like) you would be more concerned for the downtrodden, the weak, the poor, womens rights, the environment etc. I am sure you make good money, but it can't be enough to be a republican. they are the party of the rich, they don't care about you, or me, or even Wing or Vlad or TCR. They care about their pocket books, their offshore cronies & accounts, their tax loopholes, and their bottom line, period. They will use religion as their pulpit (bully) and spread lies upon lies, repeating them until they themselves believe their lies (even once factchecked). god is not real to many, and as stated, was only inserted into our government recently within the last 60 years or so. god was separated from our government by our founders for a reason, they were incredibly smart men ahead of their time. You see, most people came here to escape religious persecution elsewhere, but you want to throw us back to the times of the crusades. god above all? pooh on your beliefs.

Tri-cities realist

If it didn't matter whether Obama was a Christian or Muslim (I am insinuating neither), then why would it matter that Romney is a Mormon? I am able to separate a person's faith from their politics, but that's just me. It is the atheists I would be concerned about, they are too arrogant for me. And I consider myself a conservative, borderline libertarian, but the democrat party doesn't have much room for me.

HavenWillie

When you start calling large groups of people arrogant you have to remember...one finger is pointing at them and four are pointing back at you.

HW

pfpiper0

I like that you think Atheist are too "arrogant" for you. Imagine that everyone tells you everyday that 2+2=5. But you know that 2+2=4. But every time a person tries to explain to you a million different ways that 2+2 does not equal 5, you disagree and call them "Arrogant." That is what it is like being an atheist.
2+2 might not equal 4, but it does not equal 5. For everything that it is unknown, does not need to be filled with "Beliefs." We are all grown adults and know certain things, like God is not on a planet named Kolb. The earth is not 6,000 years old. A boat measured in cubits cannot hold two of all species on the planet. Use some common sense and lets grow as a human race...leave the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus as folklore, not fact (or Belief)

Wingmaster

So 43, you seem to want to use the argument that Romney should not be voted for by Christians. I for one do not care what religion one belongs to. I think ones faith in god is a good indication of their morals and their view of themselves. Without faith, a person becomes self important as they only answer to themselves without the moral tenants to measure themselves against. Perhaps this quote from George Washington puts it into perspective:" We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States". He also said, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness". So you are very wrong about the influence of god upon the founding of this country. You are right about the separation of church and state, but seem to want to twist that into attacks against a candidate. Our founders would find your statements troubling.

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