John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

Onward

The people have spoken. Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America. Yesterday was a proud day -- regardless of your political leanings -- as we saw centuries of senseless prejudice overcome in one fell swoop. Okay, maybe that's optimistic overstatement. I doubt we'll ever see all the pockets of racism eradicated in any of our lifetimes. There will always be work to do on that front.

Still, the idea that come January there will be a black man in the white house is a beautiful thing -- especially for those who have known firsthand how ugly people can be toward those who are different. This shows that in America, anything really is possible. As I watched the late night rerun of Obama's acceptance speech, the camera cut to Jesse Jackson, and it took my breath away. I'm no fan of Jesse Jackson, but knowing everything he has seen and how long he has hoped and dreamed and prayed for just such a moment.... It's a long way from Selma, Alabama to Washington, DC.

I do like and respect Obama, and, unlike many other Evangelical Christians, I take his faith seriously. I even like some of his policies, and I'm utterly thrilled for the guts he has shown in speeches like his controversial Father's Day speech at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago.

As I have said before, my main problem with Obama is abortion. I'm a pretty conservative guy, so there are other problems, but abortion became a deal breaker for me.

Having said that, I have to affirm that to the extent President-elect Obama wants to do good, I intend to support and help him. If he wants to strengthen fathering in America, I'm all for that. How can you not be? He's right on with this subject. If he wants to reduce the number of abortions in this country while refusing to outlaw this barbaric practice based on faulty science, I'll support him on the former while challenging him on the latter.

He told millions of us last night that he would listen to the voices of those whose votes he did not earn, that he would listen especially to those who disagree with him. I want to take him up on that offer.

President-elect Barack Obama, do you hear my voice? Will you listen to me? Please do not make good on your promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. Please reconsider and re-examine the ramifications of allowing Planned Parenthood to have such a large role in your campaign and, potentially, your administration.

Wherever our next president chooses to do good, to fight systemic evil and corruption, to beat back darkness and instill a sense of hope in those who have been marginalized by our society, I'll back him as hard as I can while still contending for what I believe to be an even greater good.

There is much to do. We have a lot to fix and heal in this great land of ours. I will not let party politics prevent me from lending a hand. There are hungry people and lonely people. There are marriages on the brink. There are children in danger. There are people living without the security, hope and peace that come ultimately from having a relationship with their Father in Heaven who loves them more than they can ever begin to imagine. I will not give in to sulking or name-calling. I will allow bitterness no foothold. There's no time for that; there's too much to do.

More than anything, now is the time to remember that God is still in control. He is not nervously pacing back and forth in Heaven, wringing his hands wondering what to do now. He is still seated. He is still calm and in control. He is still at work as he has always been -- sometimes because of good leaders -- sometimes in spite of bad ones. My eyes are fixed on him, and my core values remain intact. Life today is pretty similar to life yesterday. The sun came up this morning and will continue to do so until God says, "Stop."

Prayer still works. The Bible still illuminates. The Spirit still convicts and empowers. God still loves. Jesus still saves.