I came across a story about this billboard at 4:00 yesterday morning and tweeted on it. It would be easy to dismiss this sad display as an isolated act of a crazed fanatic, but I think it actually symbolizes the demonic animosity that permeates our current political climate. In fact, this is the third time I’ve heard Psalm 109 (which, by way, includes a prayer for the psalmist’s enemy to die and never be forgiven and for his children to live as homeless beggars) being publically used against Obama.
In this light, I believe this billboard serves a symbol of the Gospel being taken hostage by politics. Jesus taught us to love and pray for our enemies (Lk 6:27-36) and he gave us an example to follow when he died for his enemies (us) while praying for their forgiveness with his last breath (Lk 23:34). Yet, without noticing it, many American professing Christians today think and act toward political opponents in ways that not only ignore, but also directly contradict his teaching and example.
The billboard also serves as a necessary reminder to us of the danger of placing equal value on everything in the Bible. While it may sound pious to say, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me,” this actually can be a very dangerous mindset. There is more than enough material in the Old Testament to justify murder and even genocide, if that is what people want to do. In fact, Church history is filled with examples of professing Christians doing this very thing. This was the very mindset of the Europeans who conquered America, wiping out American Indians whenever necessary in the process.
The Bible is God’s Word, but doesn’t mean it’s all equally authoritative. And so long as we approach it with this mindset, it will be used to justify this sort of demonic ugliness. The only safeguard is to resolve that Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the perfect revelation of God’s character and will (Heb. 1:3).