Faith in America’s Future: From Inauguration Day to November 2016

The second inauguration of President Barack Obama is now history. The theme of his next term was framed by New York Senator Charles Schumer, “Faith in America’s Future.” The president’s address gave us a glimpse of his goals for the next four years and why we should unite as “one people” to advance his administration’s agenda.

We should definitely prepare for the coming agenda. Here’s what I believe we can expect:

  1. Increased Federal Debt. The president’s party has yet to approve a budget in the Senate nor shown any willingness to rein in runaway federal spending. In fact, this president increased debt per household more than the first 42 presidents combined.
  2. Expansion of Welfare Programs. Government spending on food stamps alone increased 100% in President Obama’s first term and there is no end in sight. The president and others in his party believe this boosts the economy.
  3. Immigration Reform. Since the demographics of immigrating populations favor the Democratic Party, expect a strong push for amnesty and more relaxed rules for naturalization and citizenship.
  4. Increased Taxes. With bias against the wealthy, new initiatives will seek to increase federal revenue, but only with token reductions in spending. While the rhetoric will call for some to pay their “fair share,” half will continue to pay nothing.
  5. Climate Change Legislation. The president believes that man is responsible for global warming, thus we will see even more regulation of manufacturing and new taxes to reduce carbon emissions.
  6. Growing Polarization between Liberals and Conservatives. The administration is operating under the assumption it has a “mandate” to implement as much of its agenda as possible. With control of the Senate and a fawning media, opposition will be painted as “obstructionist” and skirted as often as possible.
  7. Contempt for Traditional Values. With a view that “tolerance” doesn’t allow for some Christians to offer the benediction at the Presidential Inauguration, we should not expect the president’s second term to advance social, moral or fiscal policy that reflects the traditional values Americans once held dear. Unity will be sought to the exclusion of those viewed as out of touch with “modern” values.
  8. Increased Efforts to Limit Gun Ownership. The administration knows it faces an uphill battle in Congress over new gun control laws. Nonetheless, it will try to weaken the Second Amendment that protects our right to bear arms any way it can. What the president can’t get through Congress, he will seek to implement through executive order, as he did 23 times last week.
  9. Increased Sanctions of Same Sex Marriage. Last year, Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to support gay marriage. Also, the States of Washington and Maryland became the first to approve gay marriage by referendum. The issue will receive increased pressure and attention in the next four years.
  10. Increased Tensions with Conservative States. A number of conservative states will attempt to resist the overreach of the federal government regarding health care, gun ownership and gay marriage.

The president’s re-election campaign motto was “Forward.” I tried to think of anything in the agenda behind the motto that warrants optimism. There are a few potential bright spots:

  1. Economic Growth. Although long-term prospects aren’t promising, expect to see the economy stabilize and even expand somewhat with continued massive federal spending and credit manipulation.
  2. Job Growth. As the economy stabilizes, private sector job growth will follow, grudgingly. The job market will improve, but experts doubt we’ll ever again see the low levels of unemployment enjoyed by past generations.
  3. Backlash. Essentially all of the president’s agenda items mentioned above have negative consequences that will result in moral, social and financial pain. When Americans begin to feel that pain in their homes and workplaces, there may be a great outcry against the foolish policies of our elected officials. Voters may begin to reject this agenda in 2014 or 2016. That is, if there’s an alternative at the polls.
  4. Revival. The personal trials created by these policies could spark a fire of revival—a Third Great Awakening. A restored faith in Christ will bring repentance for our personal and national sins and a cultural change at the grassroots level of our country. We should never abandon this hope.

Throughout the Bible, there are many accounts of God’s people living in hostile lands, navigating the challenges imposed by an unrighteous culture. We have the greatest guidebook on how to survive and influence the cultural changes we are witnessing in America. Two thousand years ago, Jude wrote about keeping faith in troubled times:

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” (Jude 1:3 NIV).

Faith in America’s future is misplaced if we depend on politicians to lead us. True faith is firmly placing our lives under the control and direction of the Lord Jesus Christ and trusting Him for our future.

On Monday, we also celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was through the power of his faith in God Almighty that he led a much needed cultural revolution at the cost of his own life. His “I Have a Dream” speech will continue to inspire us for generations. He made us a better people and we should never forget the example of his peaceful resistance and passionate pleas for freedom.

We may lose influence in the political arena, but we must never lose our faith in the Almighty One. We follow His agenda. Do not fear. Stand firm. Resist evil. Be patient. Submit to authority. Trust God when you suffer, and always seek to advance the kingdom of God.

Our future is securely in His hands.

About Chuck Bentley

CEO, Crown Mininstries
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8 Responses to Faith in America’s Future: From Inauguration Day to November 2016

  1. Randall Huleva says:

    Chuck, I have a question regarding your statement recommending that believers “Submit to authority.” Do we not have an obligation to resist tyrannical evil doers who would misuse their authority to undermine the teachings and tenants of our faith? As an example, the recent challenges by Hobby Lobby and many other Christian owned businesses that are refusing to comply with the HHS mandate of the Affordable Care Act because it violates Scriptural teaching regarding the sanctity of life! Many of these believers have already decided that if it comes down to it, they will cease operations before they will comply with this mandate. This particular situation is one in which theG believer has a choice, albeit a very difficult choice, to make in standing up for their faith. But what of other “compromises” our government may demand of us? Shall we not share the truth of Scripture when the government deems it as “hate speech”? I agree that we should “submit to authority” insomuch as it does not contradict with the ultimate authority of God found in Scripture.

  2. David Boege says:

    Chuck – I am saddened that you feel a need to bring politics into the great work that Crown brings to the table. Although some may agree or disagree with your comments, I do not feel that they belong associated with Crown Financial Ministries. We need strong prayer for our leaders in the country and the world. We do not need more more cheer-leading to pull us apart. The bible makes it quite clear that we are to pray for our leaders! I am keeping you, along with Crown in my prayers!

    • Randall Huleva says:

      Hi David,

      While I agree with the general point of your message, the ministry of Crown Financial Ministries has always been to help Christians manage their finances in accordance with God’s Word. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to separate politics from economics completely. The decisions made by politicians do not occur in a vacuum. In fact, they can and do have very real effects on the finances of both believers and unbelievers. If Crown Financial Ministries can help us as a Scripture-based financial advisor to make prudent financial decisions in a more difficult economic environment, made that way in part through political decisions, they yes – we do need to pay attention to our political environment’s effects on our finances.

      I do not believe that either Chuck personally or Crown Financial Ministries in general have any interest in causing further “division” in our culture, however at the same time, it is a fact that many Christians are very disappointed with the November election results. It is not our goal to cause division in the culture, but at the same time many are having a very hard time trying to accept this. Given the fact that Mr. Obama’s second inauguration is only about 48 hours old at this point, many emotions are still very raw and people need a safe place to vent their thoughts and feelings as we all try to deal with this.

      I don’t know your political views, however if you happen to be a supporter of Mr. Obama I would simply ask you to be patient and give grace and understanding to those who are having a very hard time coping right now. I promise you, as a believer in Jesus Christ, we have no intention of trying to cause division with anyone. We want to share the truth of Jesus Christ in love and humility to a lost and dying world.

      We will adjust soon…just give this a little bit of time. In the meantime, I apologize on behalf of ALL of us who may say something divisive of hurtful in the days and weeks ahead!

      In His love,
      Randy

  3. Dale Walley says:

    Chuck, I think many people enjoy another person’s perspective on any subject that might have a dramatic impact upon their lives, especially someone they trust. You are in a sense, a “public figure” and I don’t regret you sharing your thoughts on this recent national event of President Obama’s Second Inauguration. I am not sure what another response means when they state your addressing issues that impact our personal, national, social, economic, and religious lives to be inappropriate to Crown Ministries’ work. All these areas of our lives are inextricably linked to our national politics and this has been the case throughout history including church history. As you have cited from Jude and as the Apostle Paul in his letters to Christians and their churches did also, how to understand these issues and respond to them is unavoidable for Christians. When we participate in the public discourse as you have through Crown Ministries, I find it helpful and appreciate your willingness to communicate with us. By the way, I enjoyed your Year End video.

  4. Heidi says:

    Thank you for sharing your insights. They remind me to continue to pray for our nation (2 Chron. 7:14) and to praise God for his provision and guidance (Psalm 147). Just as Mr. Burkett searched the scriptures and founded a Bible study movement on the topic of financial stewardship, it would be equally beneficial to establish a scripture-based study on how specifically to pray through these economic and political issues. With a population of believers praying the same scriptures in concert, now that would be ”powerful and effective.” (Ref. James 5:16)

  5. Lu says:

    I greatly appreciate Chuck’s succinct summary of “what we can expect” above. Chuck has conveyed what Obama has said his plans are and the likely impact. This is not “political” but sharing information that is based on the President’s pasted actions and his recent speech. The agenda Obama has set has real life consequences that will impact all U.S. citizens. Knowing this ahead of time is valuable.

  6. Charles O Phillips says:

    Chuck,
    I agree with David Boege; politics should not be discussed to the extent you have done. But since you did, I’m disappointed that you neglected to mention the most important thing we should do as Christians, PRAY for our President and leaders!

  7. David Boege says:

    Greetings Everyone… I appreciate all the great comments on this matter, but I will still stick to my original posting that I felt that Chuck’s posting was outside the boundaries of where the Financial Ministry does its best work… I am certainly in agreement that we all need to be STRONG PRAYER WARRIORS during these challenging times… Especially for our leaders… I am reminded as to what Romans 13: 1-5 direct me to do (NIV);

    Submission to the Authorities

    1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

    I will double my efforts and pray for all of our leaders… Not just our President, but all of our Leaders all over the world, and at every level…. I am prayerful that others will do the same…

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