A Promise Fulfilled

By Richard Land
Jan 20, 2009

This is a day that should gratify the heart of anyone fortunate enough in the Providence of God to be born and live in this incredible country. Not only have we seen once again the peaceful transfer of power between an incoming and outgoing presidential administration–something that has been taking place for almost a quarter of a millennium–we have witnessed the inauguration of our nation’s first African-American president.

I could not help but think as I viewed the event on television, with the camera shots that looked out from the Capitol’s west portico toward the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial beyond it, of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in 1963.

Between that speech in 1963 and President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 (a relatively short time historically speaking–46 years, considerably less than most Americans’ lifetimes), our country has struggled successfully to live out and fulfill once again the promises of our founding document, the Declaration of Independence: an unshakeable belief “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

All Americans, whether they voted for President Obama or not, should take time to express gratitude to the Almighty that our nation has been able to overcome much of its racist past and move even closer to Dr. King’s dream that ours would be a country where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I was struck by the muscularity of President Obama’s inaugural speech, particularly in its assertions about national security and the defeat of worldwide terrorism and in its strong affirmation of the market as an extraordinary engine for creating wealth and opportunity.

Finally, as a Southern Baptist Christian, I am grateful but not surprised that my fellow Southern Baptist Rick Warren gave an invocation prayer that any evangelical Christian would have been extremely comfortable praying–it was inclusive, generous, but faithful.

Further Learning

Learn more about: Citizenship, , National, Racial Reconciliation,


1 On Jan 21, 2009, at 1:10am, Charles Enlow wrote:

To me, Mr. Obama’s mixed race background is irrelevant.  I can follow any elected official who follows the Lord, and respect the office, if not the person, even if he/she should not be a follower of the Lord.  But it is indeed the content of Mr. Obama’s character which gives me pause.  He is pro-abortion and pro-homosexual, which Jehovah is not.

  Although Mr. Warren’s popular “The Purpose-Driven Life” is a good and useful guide to new Christians, and a valuable reminder of our mission, to those of us who started our Christian pilgrimmage many years ago, However,I am afraid that Mr. Warren has lost credibility with those who would be faithful to scripture, on the social issues.  AFA reported that Mr. Warren said that he did not have a problem with homosexual partnerships, so long as the partners did not call their relationship marriage.  I am sure that Jehovah would not agree, nor do I.

2 On Jan 21, 2009, at 1:42am, Olin Maide wrote:

Doctor Land,
I am a right-wing, born-again, Bible believing Christian Pastor in association with the Southern Baptist Convention with much pain in my heart. I am appalled at the ease with which God and His word can be set aside to praise a secular victory and thank God for such a victory based on skin color. God reads hearts without reference to skin color and so should every true Christian. I respect our new President, but I can not praise him nor thank God for his election. He has made it clear that he will continue abortion and homosexual advancement and work to remove all current restraints on such activities. Can God bless a nation that has promoted the killing of unborn and some just born babies in numbers approaching 55 million and without restraint advocates the sinlessness of homosexuality starting with our children in primary schools through their university years?

Olin Maide,
Pastor, The California Baptist Church, California, PA

3 On Jan 21, 2009, at 4:14am, Susan wrote:

Am I the only U.S. citizen out here that thinks all though the President’s promises and comments are life changing- that he may actually be the anti-christ? Everything I know biblically points to the possibility of it! Origin? this man is NOT african-american, he is MUSLIM, if Muslim can be considered a “race?’ I know the Muslim community would contest that they are a seperate entity in themselves.The promises, the unity of the country, (hey, I wish all this was possible too, but let’s get real!) Richard Land, do YOU really think this is possible at this time in our country when everything else is pointing to the end times??? I am NOT name calling and wondering as a huge fan of BOTT radio station and numerous programs on there, if I will continue listening if this is deleted or edited? I haven’t heard anyone ask Hank H., the Bible answer man, what he thinks of the possibility, but then I haven’t been able to get through to him, Susan

4 On Jan 22, 2009, at 1:48am, Paul Thompson wrote:

This one thing God has had before me today.

I am American born and my flesh will die American dead. I will aim to live in this blessed land as a sojourner. I will aim to live in this great land as an Ambassador. I will pray for my president, I will (most likely) weep when I see a soldier, I will pay taxes in obedience to the God ordained principality, I will ask God to show his Glory to the nations of the world.

After yesterday’s prayers and speeches I find it a confirmed conviction that when I speak of God I must make sure I have spoken rightly and specifically about Him.

As a follower of Christ, and citizen of His kingdom, I can face this day in the land of my sojourn with great hope. Church, deny yourself and look to Christ for help, for He Himself will save you! (Isaiah 55)
May God bless America and might the bride of Christ (the Church) in America rejoice in her only hope, Christ!

5 On Jan 23, 2009, at 3:55am, Mary Baker wrote:

I am disappointed that President Obama seems to favor abortion on demand for any cause and to support homosexual activists, but I am hopeful that he will move in a good direction on other matters and will be praying that God will guide him in his presidency.  I pledge myself to pray for him and support him in every good work he attempts and to respect the office of the presidency so as not to treat him disrespectfully as so many did President Bush.  I think the opposition attitude and behavior of the popular press in disrespecting our presidents in the past has had a weakening effect on America and promoted disrespect for America among other nations.

I am happy our President is an avowed Christian and not ashamed to speak of God in his speech.  May we let him know our will in all matters he faces and do so as his Christian brothers and sisters, encouraging him in good works and when necessary, “admonish (gently reprove)him as a brother”. (2 Thessalonians 3:15
Mary Baker

6 On Jan 24, 2009, at 7:46pm, James E Reeves wrote:

All through the ages of time a central theme has been evidenced and people are shocked when it comes to pass. The very reason that humanity remains on earth is to accomplish this action.
Whithout it none of what exist today would be possible in America or anywhere in the world.
The glory that is given to God for freedoms we enjoy is the theme that our very faith is dependent upon, yet when the stage is set and all the aristocrats are present, more attention is given to race, gender, and our ability to overcome obstacles than, how God is worthy, why God is worthy, when God is worthy, and what Jesus Christ being our Lord and Saviour really means to having freedoms and our blood bought constitution.
When Jesus was born all the angels in heaven gave glory to God so if it is to be on earth as in heaven, who should get glory?
When MLK spoke it was known that all his creditability and irrevocability was of Jesus as he praised HIM openly and often.


7 On Jan 27, 2009, at 3:21am, Ryan Kupiec wrote:

With so many personal attacks and so much fear mongering among evangelicals in regard to President Obama’s election it’s encouraging to see Dr. Land’s gracious attitude at this time. The SBC has a shameful history in regards to race and, though it has publicly repented of it’s “original sin,” I am usually discouraged by the SBC’s ethos in regards to racial problems in the U.S..That being said, Dr. Land’s recognition of the significance of President Obama’s election is refreshing and encouraging.


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