As NATO meets, President Biden has “no room for any kind of error”

The thirty-two member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are observing This week marks the 750th anniversary of the war in Washington, DC. Support for Ukraine will be particularly important. priority intensified by Russia’s missile attack on Monday. hit a children’s hospital and killed at least forty-one civilians.

However, the subplot of the week will be President Joe Biden’s physical condition.

He opened the summit yesterday with a speech He will support Ukraine. He will attend meetings today and a White House dinner for NATO leaders tonight, then speak to reporters at a news conference tomorrow. A senior fellow at the Atlantic Council saying“There is no room for any kind of error or stumbling block,” he added, adding that the mistakes “will now be seen by European leaders as a broader question of appropriateness.”

Many Americans would agree.

“Who will serve us best over the next four years?”

As the debate continues over Mr. Biden’s future, Atlantic Journalist Conor Friedersdorf voiced The question on many people’s minds is, “Who will serve us best over the next four years?” In his view, the issue is not the president’s record or their loyalty to him as a person or a candidate.

He writes: “If loyalty is a virtue, the loyalty we owe to family members, friends, colleagues, and country… will always compel us to put what is best for them before what is best for any politician, including any president, no matter how much he has accomplished or sacrificed.”

Friedersdorf thus identifies the utilitarian relationship between Americans and our leaders: who can do the most good for the greatest number of people? This relationship is also transactional at the personal level: who can most benefit me and the causes I support?

The world’s religions generally relate to God or gods in the same way.

  • I have seen Muslims praying with such fervor that their foreheads were marked as they sought Allah’s favor.
  • I have seen Buddhists praying at family altars to speed up their ancestors’ journey to Nirvana.
  • I have seen Hindus appeal to their various gods to obtain the blessings that these deities can supposedly bestow.
  • I have seen Jews pray fervently at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, hoping that God would hear them and bless their obedience.

And I have known Baptists who went to church on Sunday so that God would bless them on Monday. The truth is that I suffer from the same temptation.

When our eldest son was diagnosed with cancerOne of my first reactions was to be angry with God, as I had been praying for our son’s health and safety since before he was born. Consciously, I knew that those prayers could not guarantee his health in a fallen world; subconsciously, I felt that I had kept my “end” of the “deal,” but God had not kept His.

“Believe this, not because it is true”

It is right and proper for Americans to elect a president based on his ability to perform the office and serve our nation, but relating to God in such a utilitarian and transactional way misses the heart of the Christian experience.

In his classic The devil’s letters to his nephew, C.S. Lewis records a high-ranking demonic tempter advising his understudy: “We want, and we want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything.” In other words, the tempter continued: “‘Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason. ’ That is the game.”

In Lewis’ view, on the contrary, we should believe in Christianity because it is TRUEHe was blunt: “Christianity, if it is false, is of no importance; if it is true, it is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

In other words, believe in God because He is God. Worship and serve Jesus because He is Lord.

A college professor heard me exhort people in a sermon to “make Jesus their Lord” and then admonished me, “Jim, you don’t have to do Similarly, I heard one pastor say, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it,” to which another pastor responded, “Actually, God said it, and that settles it, whether you believe it or not.”

“The ultimate experience of life”

The decision before us is whether we will allow Jesus to be in our lives what He already is in the universe: King of Kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). It is a question of whether we will allow His word to be the truth for us, as it already is for eternity (cf. Romans 15:4).

Here is the paradox: the more we serve Christ, because The more we realize that He is Lord, the more we personally experience the consequences of His lordship. His omniscience leads us into His perfect will (Romans 12:2); His omnipotence becomes our strength (Philippians 4:13); His perfect character is increasingly manifested in our lives (Romans 8:29; Galatians 5:22-23).

The key is to trust and obey Jesus, whether He does what we want or not. In fact, when He lets us down, we have a crucial opportunity to choose and demonstrate true biblical faith. Anglican priest William Law (1686-1761) noted:

Giving thanks to God only for the things we like is no more an act of piety than believing only in what we see. Resignation and thanksgiving to God are only acts of piety when they are acts of faith, trust and confidence in divine goodness.

These “acts of piety” position us to encounter the living Lord Jesus in ways that transform our lives and our witness to the world: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John… they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

For the sake of our souls and our broken culture, therefore, we should agree with Billy Graham:

“The supreme experience of life is to know God.”

Will this “experience” be yours today?

Wednesday news you should know:

Quote of the day:

“What you believe about God’s love for you will be reflected in how you relate to him. If you truly believe that God is love, you will also accept that his will is always best.” —Henry Blackaby