Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

On the Obama Win

Nov 7, 2012

Barack Hussein Obama has been returned to the White House. At this early stage he has won 275 of the 538 Electoral College votes. He took around half the 50 states with him, although he lost the popular vote overall.

Republicans continue to control the House of Representatives, while the Democrats continue to hold the Senate. The dust has not yet fully settled of course, so final details will not be fully known for a little while yet. But it seems clear that we will now have four more years of Obama and his failed policies.


I am a Christian and a realist, therefore I am under no illusions here. I certainly did not believe that paradise would somehow be ushered in with a Republican win. Romney was not the Messiah. A Republican win would not have resulted in a new golden age of peace on earth and good will toward men.

But it would have meant one thing – and a very big thing at that: it would have meant the end of the reign of terror by Barack Hussein Obama. That would have been enough for the time being. Simply to get rid of the worst US President ever would have been a great step forward. He has been the most anti-faith, anti-family, anti-freedom President to ever occupy the White house.

And he has made it clear that if he gets back in, he will really go to town pushing his radical agenda. So this is very bad news indeed for America. He now has no fears of voter backlash so he can go full steam ahead with his destructive policies. It will not be good for America or the world. Politically speaking this is the worst possible outcome. How America can survive another four years of this man is beyond me.

Christian considerations

Christians of course cannot and should not pin all their hopes on elections. While politics is very important, it is not everything. While having a pro-faith, pro-family and pro-freedom leader in high office would have certainly been very important, it is not all there is. Righteousness clearly does exalt a nation, and we need godly government at all levels. But we also need a vibrant church, an obedient people of God, and a Spirit-filled faith to make a real difference.

Government alone can never save us. Indeed, all that we can expect in a fallen world is for some governments to be not as corrupt as others. And that was always the case here. As Malcolm Muggeridge once wrote, “There can never be good governments that are less bad than others. The quest for a perfect government ends infallibly in anarchy or the Gulag Archipelago.”

And again: “As Christians we know that here we have no continuing city, that crowns roll in the dust and every earthly kingdom must sometime flounder, whereas, with knowledge of a king men did not crown and cannot dethrone, we are citizens of a city man did not build and cannot destroy.”

As noted, even if Romney had gotten in, it would not have been the beginning of the new heavens and the new earth. It would in many ways have been business as usual. A Romney administration would not and could not usher in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Moreover, it will take a lot more to turn America around than just one man or just one election. Ultimately America’s fate is bound up with the faith and character of its people. A free society cannot last without a people of strong faith and strong character.

This theme is dealt with at length in the new volume by Os Guinness, A Free People’s Suicide (IVP, 2012) in which he reminds us that the “problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor”. He writes, “If the founders were correct, contemporary America’s pursuit of political leadership without character, economic enterprise without ethics and trust, scientific progress without human values, freedom without virtue and negative freedom without positive freedom can only end in disaster. It rings the death knell of sustainable freedom, and as it works itself out socially and politically in countless areas, it makes the decline of America only a matter of time.”

He continues, “In short, sustainable freedom depends on the character of the rulers and the ruled alike, and on the vital trust between them—both of which are far more than a matter of law. The Constitution, which is the foundational law of the land, should be supported and sustained by the faith, character and virtue of the entire citizenry, which comprises its moral constitution, or habits of the heart. Together with the Constitution, these habits of the heart are the real, complete and essential bulwark of American liberty. A republic grounded only in a consensus forged of calculation and competing self-interests can never last.”

So getting Obama out would have been only part of the answer to America’s woes. Whether the matters discussed by Guinness can actually be dealt with remains to be seen. But without these additional elements, a Romney win by itself would not have been enough to rescue America from its downward slide.

Also, one could point out a few imponderables here. My main one is this: if all the purists in America (those who did not vote for Romney because he was a Mormon, or because he was not pro-life enough, or conservative enough), had in fact voted sensibly and morally, instead of like the Pharisees of old, we might have had a quite different outcome.

For example, there was one “Internet evangelist” who claimed he got one and a half million evangelicals to do a write-in vote for Jesus Christ! This sort of utter foolishness – along with all that of the other purists – has simply meant one thing: they allowed Obama to get back in. They will feel smug about this, thinking they somehow have clean hands, but all they really have is blood on their hands.


We must keep praying for the president and his administration. That is something we are clearly told to do in Scripture. But my take on this all along has really been quite simple actually: America is well overdue for the just judgment of God. The nation’s sins cry out to heaven for recompense. Had Romney gotten in I would have seen this as simply four more years of God’s grace, God’s mercy, and God’s patience. That does not mean judgment would have been averted altogether – it just means it would have been postponed.

But because Obama did get back in, I can only see this as the clear judgment of God on a nation which has lost its way. Sure, there is always hope with God. If Americans, but especially God’s people, repent and come back to God and fervently seek his face, then America might have some more time.

But if the rebellion continues, the sin continues, the hardness of heart continues, and the rejection of God continues, then there can be no other option but judgment. It will then be a question not of if, but of when, it fully falls. As James R. White has put it, “God grants the blessings of freedom and liberty by grace, and He removes those blessings in justice.”

Some years ago David Wilkerson made this warning: “Noah’s generation is gone. Sodom is gone. Nineveh is gone. Tyre is gone. Babylon is gone. The Grecian Empire is gone. The Roman Empire is gone. The British Empire is gone. And now, the United States of America has begun its slide into oblivion, just like all the others. They were all judged and humbled because of the violence, godlessness, homosexuality and pride.”

He could very well be right.

[1295 words]

40 Responses to On the Obama Win

  • Oh, my goodness!

    Steve Davis

  • Sad day, Bill, unless there’s a very, very late miracle. I’m digging around from my sackcloth and ashes now.

    Steve Swartz

  • Let’s hope and pray we get a different outcome with Julia Gillard in our next elections. Indeed she has been our most anti-faith, anti-family, anti-freedom prime minister yet.

    David Clay, Melbourne

  • I think this result shows that we can conclusively say that America is no longer a Christian nation, not even close.

    Thanks for your thoughts Bill.
    I agree with your comments about Gods judgement on the US.
    Annette Williams

  • Hi Bill,

    People in the West are quick to laud the virtues of democracy. But democracy empowers the masses to elect bad leaders and petition for bad policies. If four more years of Obama seals America’s irrecoverable demise, I wonder whether Obama will be solely to blame or rather the ordinary Americans who permitted him to stay on.

    I consider Australia to be on the same trajectory as the USA (albeit about 10 years behind): we too have become fat, prideful, decadent and cold to justice. We do not deserve a moral leader, and because of the freedoms sought after by our fathers, we can elect whoever tickles our fancy.

    My only hope is that God gives the West one great big violent jolt to wake us up to the reality of our lifestyles. The worst thing that could happen for our respective nations is an unchecked decline that encroaches slowly and without shock.

    Nick Davies

  • You were certainly quick off the block with this Bill and yes a very realistic look at this seriously bad result. I was hoping the American conservatives would have pulled together but they did not. My first thoughts were of Israel’s dilemma. The Obama administration is no friend of Israel who now has been abandoned by most western governments. We can see the end times quicly unfolding before our eyes and as you rightly say, the Church’s hopes can only be found in God’s faithfulness and the Heavenly Kingdom, not this earthly one.

    Keith Lewis

  • Agreed Bill. So what happens with Benghazi coverup? Has this election process promoted Do unto others or have we taught the next generation that lying, slander, and corruption is the new path forward to success? Sad day for America.
    David Hammond

  • Suddenly I feel like tearing my cloths and rubbing dirt on my face.
    Daniel Kempton

  • Hello Bill, I can understand your deep disappointment and am grateful for your gracious response to the news. I’ve not yet heard if Mitt Romney has officially conceded.

    You are quite correct, of course, about the judgement of God issue. He holds out mercy as far and as long as possible but, in the end, those who absolutely refuse to bow to his wise and loving principles have nowhere else to go but into the court of judgement.

    It cannot be stressed too strongly that God sends no one to hell, or everlasting punishment. People go to hell because of their willful rejection of Christ, not because of God’s desire. The Bible says of God: “Who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

    I think the comment from David Wilkerson is apt but not all that surprising when one reads the seventh chapter of Daniel. Without debating what the four great beasts actually represent, it is clear that the conclusion is right: “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (Dan 7v14).

    Terry Lewis

  • What chance of Senate or House of Reps impeachment procedure re Benghazi a la Watergate?

    Fr Luke Joseph

  • Thanks Daniel

    Getting down on our knees in sackcloth and ashes is not a bad place to be in right now.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Luke

    It is worth a try, although the Senate remains in Democrat control. But the House seems to have increased its Republican majority.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • That quote from Wilkerson could not be more correct.

    Another four years of this utter failure of a presidency will impact America and then the world negatively beyond my worst nightmares. I remember how sick I felt four years ago at the delusion of so many to elect such an evil man. As you wrote, Romney was not the saviour for this election, but Obama is simply the worst president in US history by any measure. God have mercy on us all.

    I’m glad I don’t watch TV. I don’t think I could stand to watch any Obama victory stuff again. The few minutes I saw 4 years ago still haunt me. It was plainly obvious which way things would go from then – and that is exactly what happened, and yet today the USA asked for the same thing again. Seriously, God have mercy on us all.

    Mark Rabich

  • To Nicholas Davies – you are right on the money mate, sadly, there are not enough people who see things the way that you do to make a serious difference!

    Steve Davis

  • In regards to the recent election.

    “God is indeed good to Israel, to the pure in heart. But as for me, my feet almost slipped; my steps nearly went astray. For I envied the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have an easy time until they die, and their bodies are well-fed. They are not in trouble like others; they are not afflicted like most people.

    Therefore, pride is their necklace, and violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge out from fatness; the imaginations of their hearts run wild. They mock, and they speak maliciously; they arrogantly threaten oppression. They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues strut across the earth. Therefore His people turn to them and drink in their overflowing waters. They say, “How can God know? Does the Most High know everything?”

    Look at them—the wicked! They are always at ease, and they increase their wealth. Did I purify my heart and wash my hands in innocence for nothing? For I am afflicted all day long, and punished every morning. If I had decided to say these things aloud, I would have betrayed Your people. When I tried to understand all this, it seemed hopeless until I entered God’s sanctuary. Then I understood their destiny. Indeed You put them in slippery places; You make them fall into ruin. How suddenly they become a desolation! They come to an end, swept away by terrors. Like one waking from a dream, Lord, when arising, You will despise their image.

    When I became embittered and my innermost being was wounded, I was a fool and didn’t understand; I was an unthinking animal toward You. Yet I am always with You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterwards You will take me up in glory. Whom do I have in heaven but You? And I desire nothing on earth but You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever. Those far from You will certainly perish; You destroy all who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, God’s presence is my good. I have made the Lord God my refuge, so I can tell about all You do. ~ Ps 73

    I see the introduction of this passage as the timeless heart of Americans – an underdog spirit that envies the rich and always demands their comeuppance – according THEIR self-righteousness of course! The latest Obama campaign ran on that – so much so that exit polls were showing that the Big Media portrayal of Bush as guilty of the rich sins that caused the economic collapse were convincing – as long as there is someone else to blame but themselves.

    This sin is not particular to Americans and in fact those that envy the rich are guilty of the same sin.

    I think American Christians have a great deal of comeuppance coming towards them given the general pettiness of Americans in general. I recall on 9-11, watching the planes dive into the towers of New York and their horrifically slow collapse – a sinking feeling I had – inwardly knowing that the event wasn’t enough to galvanize the American spirit.

    Sure enough, within hours – Big American Media was blaming “the government” for all the ills of Fallen Man.

    What will it take to turn the heart of Fallen Man?

    Nothing more, obviously, than what Christ has already finished.

    And our part? Oh, yes – the eternal relevance of Christ – Christians (little Christs) living throughout the generations of humans…giving their lives for others as His timeless ambassadors in continuance of His Ministry.

    While MANY SEE the continuation of another Obama regime as a defeat – I see it as a slap in our opulent, righteous face….but not a prison sentence…I think we STILL don’t get it. The hot coals of this world are clearly for our constant testing.

    Dean Daniels

  • David Clay, you have expressed my concern too.

    If this result emboldens our Federal ALP government to brazen it out and hope they can be re-elected, we can only hope, pray and work in the time we have left to build up a head of steam to vote this defunct and morally bankrupt government out no later than next year sometime.

    John Angelico

  • PS: that includes removing the abysmal Geoff Shaw from the Victorian Parliament, too.

    John Angelico

  • G’day Bill,
    Like you, I’m devastated. I just wanted to encourage you and thank you for your tireless efforts. You’ll be battered and discouraged, with good reason. Hang in there brother. Praise God.

    Steve Flanagan

  • Thanks Steve

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Not a real surprise, after all we are likely looking at the generation that will welcome the antichrist with open arms.
    Lex Clarke

  • Good article. Thank you for it, Bill. America, sadly, has now entered the same broken territory that my country, England, has been in for some time now. I had been hoping that you would pull out of the nosedive but it was not to be. Self interest, not principle won the day. The liberal, left leaning media are to a large extent responsible for leading the weak, misguided and misinformed people in many of the western democracies, and once those people predominate, then a slow national decline and ultimately ruin economically and spiritually, is almost inevitable. Ultimately God will triumph but in the meanwhile the job now is to keep alive Christian truth and freedom, so that it’s available again ready for when the majority decide to turn back to life and freedom. God bless us all.
    David Hussell. Suffolk, England.

  • I am 63 yrs old now – having been saved at 25yrs out of the hippie scene. As the years have rolled by, more and more I see so clearly – we all get the government we deserve. A wicked and unrighteous people will elect unrighteous governors. When Bill Clinton was caught in his indiscretions with Monica Lewinsky, a poll in America at the time showed that 60% of Americans thought that your sex life is your own private business, and the publication of it has nothing to do with the public. In other words, my private character has no bearing on my public role – the 2 are divorced from one another. This is wrong.
    Only a righteous people who are willing to submit to the Father of Lights are fit for freedom.
    Ian Brearley

  • Hi Bill,
    if that report about a so called internet evangelist be true (that 1.5 million believers could be duped into mindlessly voting for Jesus Christ in a critical national election) then a significant proportion of the American church has reached a frighteningly horrifying spiritual place.
    Peter Magee

  • “As the Church, so goes the nation” This election has given us a glimpse of the Church in America, the most Christian minded nation in the world. They voted for the party that shouted down God at their convention. The future does not look bright. If “we the people” convincingly elected the most ‘anti-faith, anti-family, anti-freedom President to ever occupy the White house’ over a moderate Republican Northerner, what hope would a conservative evangelical have in 2016? The Democrats will stick with a winning formula and nominate an Obama look alike and the Republicans will be weary of being seen as radically different and will go with “liberal light”. The Church will applaud.
    Des Morris

  • America is no longer the ‘Land of the Free’. “In God we Trust” has also fallen by the wayside. The antichrist is well and truly in control.

    More Christians around the world are killed for their faith today than ever before. When we are called to stand up and be counted, will we take the easy road or will we join the long list of modern day martyrs!

    Thank you Bill for all you do in the Lord’s name.

    Madge Fahy

  • Thankfully Julia Gillard is still pro Israel, or at least she was last year, whereas Kevin Rudd was not.
    If I were an American, I would have the flag on half mast.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • Bill, we have God on our side, Obama does not.
    Judith Bond

  • I noticed that Romney finished with “God bless America”. Would Obama say that?
    Judith Bond

  • According to the Population Research Institute Catholics voted 50-48 for Obama.

    I feel very unchristian towards them at the moment and I hope that in the not too distant future they will see the error of their ways and repent.

    Madge Fahy

  • Thanks Madge

    One helpful article offers these revealing stats:

    42% of the Protestant Christian vote went for Obama in 2012. This was down from 45% in 2008.
    57% of the Protestant Christian vote went for Romney in 2012. This was up from 54% that McCain won in 2008.
    When you zoom in a bit, you find that 21% of self-identified, white, born-again, evangelical Christians voted for President Obama in 2012. This means of the 117 million people who voted on Tuesday, about 24.7 million were evangelicals who voted for Obama. This was down from 24% of evangelicals who voted for Obama in 2008. (Of the 125 million people who voted in 2008, about 30 million were evangelicals who voted for Obama.)
    You’d think this decrease in evangelical votes for Obama would have helped win the race for Romney, but it didn’t.
    78% of evangelical Christians voted for Romney in 2012. Yes, this was up from the 74% that McCain received in 2008, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
    To put it more precisely, about 5 million fewer evangelicals voted for Obama in 2012 than in 2008. Meanwhile, some 4.7 million more evangelicals voted for Romney than voted for McCain. Yet Romney still couldn’t win.
    Meanwhile, 50% of the Catholic vote went for Obama in 2012. This was down from the 54% that Obama won in 2008.
    48% of the Catholic vote went for Romney in 2012. This was up from the 45% that McCain won in 2008. Yet it still wasn’t enough.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Dear Bill, feeling really sad re this outcome…just wanted to say …bad leadership is a direct result of a sinful society…wish you were President!! God bless you!
    Mrs Jane Byrne

  • The overall numbers don’t mean as much as a first glance would suggest. Most evangelicals live in red states, and an increase in their voting numbers makes no difference to the college vote.

    Romney actually has fewer popular votes than McCain got in 2008. Obama’s popular vote is down too, but if the McCain supporters would only have turned up again for Romney the result would have been a lot closer. Finding a good candidate is a big problem, and I doubt any of the other contenders would have fared any better.

    As for the Catholic vote, many Catholics identify with the Left so no surprise there. Much as evangelicals might wish otherwise, abortion and gay marriage are minor issues for most voters. Women voters have been put off by the attitudes of (mostly old) male Republicans, who are seen as having simplistic and patronising attitudes about a complex social problem. So says my wife anyway.

    Robert H. Frankston, Philadelphia, US

  • The western world seems set on self destruction. We are bringing great suffering on ourselves as we accept moral meltdown, and remain passive while society turns away from God at an ever increasing pace. Either our merciful God will allow painful purification to bring us to our senses or, as just judge, He’ll bring everything to the conclusion that we know must come eventually. Either way, our trust is in Him and we continue to do our little part, each as we’re called, hoping by His grace to remain always faithful ourselves and to be a means of grace to others. Who knows how many will be “eleventh hour people” leaders of nations and apostate Christians included? So then let us rejoice in the Lord always, and keep marching forward!

    Anna Cook

  • Yes, the Decline of the [Christian] West is well under way … nothing lasts for ever. The Spirit has moved on, as it always does …
    John Thomas UK

  • Muslims know Obama is not a Christian.
    The media promotes him – so they know who he really is.
    Atheists love him. The ACLU share his values.
    Homosexuals and abortionists know what he stands for.
    It looks like the only people who believed him when he claims to be a Christian is … the Christians!

    (I really can’t imagine how the US economy will last another 4 years, so I have to confess that my first thought was – It wouldn’t be fair for another president to cop the damage of Obama’s economic vandalism when it all hits the fan.)

    Tim Lovett

  • I have always (and still do believe) that no matter what happpens that God is in control. It is He who allows a President like Mr. Obama to be re-elected, and it is He who will allow either Mr. Abbott or Miss Gillard to be elected as our next PM. This does not mean that we have no reason to think carefully and prayerfully about who we vote for, but it does mean that no matter what – we must not lose our trust and faith in our great and mighty God!
    Joan Davidson

  • ATTENTION – This is one of the most significant videos to have appeared in the past few years, and especially incisive as to what Obama is up to. And now this 90 minute doco can be seen for free for a limited time. I urge every single one of you to take the time to watch this. It explains so much about what is happening today.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • A conservative, a liberal and an independent walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Hi Mitt.”

    I think that joke does tell a lot about Mitt Romney is that people did not know exactly who is was and thus they couldn’t trust him. At least with President Obama the people knew where they stood, for good or bad.

    Ian Nairn

  • All that is left for us to do is pray that Mr Obama gets saved. If it can happen to Paul, it can happen to anyone.

    Mario Del Giudice

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