Monday, November 16, 2015

On Paris, My President, and my Lack of Confidence

Paris. So sad. And what happened in Beirut last week is so sad, too. (How many of you even heard about Beirut? Look it up.) What's been happening in the Middle East and Europe for months. Sad, sad, sad.

But now the question is, what do we do about it. And that's the saddest part for me, because I don't trust our leaders to have the wisdom to know what to do about it.

Specifically Obama and his crew. And this isn't a political tirade nor a personal tirade against the man-- it's simply a fact about me right now. Personally, I don't have confidence in President Obama that he truly understands the nature of the situation and knows what to do to protect our country. I wish I did.

When I was studying psychological theories for my counseling degree in graduate school, I found
that I was able to divide the theories into two broad categories. On the one hand are the theories that are based in the idea that people are born good and only get messed up because of what happens to them externally. Bad parenting. Mean kids. Poverty and lack of opportunity.

On the other hand are the theories that are based in the idea that we are born with a tendency toward doing wrong and that it is only the constraints of society that keep us from really going off the deep end. External things can certainly affect us negatively as well -- bad parenting, mean kids, poverty, lack of opportunity -- but the germs of our problems were there from the beginning. Taking away the external wrongs doesn't fix the internal wrongs.

It is distressing to me how many people don't understand that the Bible is in the second camp, not the first. It is distressing to me how many Christians don't understand this. It is distressing to me how many Christians act in ways to try to improve things in the world, to build the kingdom of God, and do these things in God's name, and yet their actions are completely contrary in premise to the most basic teachings of the Bible.

And yes, this has to do with Obama and ISIS and Paris.

I have NO idea what to do about ISIS. I am profoundly grateful to not be in our President's shoes having to make decisions about the matter, and I have been praying for him (and all of our world leaders) daily for the decisions they need to make.

But as his constituent, one of the basic messages I have gotten from my President during his term in office is that the reason the world is the mess it is, is because the U.S. has been a busybody bully. We've stepped in to other people's business and forced our way on them, which has made them angry and made them act out against us. The answer is to back off, be respectful, give them the means to do the right things (which they, of course, will want to do) and all will fall into place.

This is right out of psychological theory camp number one. And it's foolish and dangerous.

Some semblance of this method might work on a one-on-one basis . . . for example, with me and a defiant student. On a national level, this is a disaster. Surely he knows this. But as a general rule, he seems to operate from an incorrect worldview, which makes me distrustful of the wisdom of his actions. I expect more disasters to come. I expect weak responses to those disasters. And in all honesty, I pray for a stronger leader in the White House very soon.

However, even if I am not confident in my President, I am confident that he is only in that office because God put him there. And I am confident that God is more in control of world affairs than my President is. Whatever tragedies or victories follow this already tragic week, they are of God's ordaining and will ultimately serve His purposes.

Somebody remind me of that truth when the next tragedy hits closer to home.

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