Obama: Competent Turk or Incompetent Christian?

Today is a day set aside to remember the work of Martin Luther King Jr.  It also marks the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration as president of the United States.  Rather than look at the work of the late civil rights leader on this day, I felt compelled to look at a famous observation made by the man for whom MLK was named and see how it applies to the next president.

In a post I published one year ago this week, I highlighted the following observation by 16th-Century protestant reformer Martin Luther:

“I’d rather be ruled by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian.”

While few would argue that Obama fits the dictionary definition of a Turk (i.e., “a usually young dynamic person eager for change“), many wonder whether or not Obama fits the mold of a “competent” Turk.  They cite the fact that Obama served less than one term in the U.S. Senate before being elected president of the United States and brings very little private-sector work experience to the White House.

On the flip side of the competence coin, many wonder whether or not Obama — the son of a Muslim from Kenya, a 20-year member of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ and a man who once said he considered the controversial black liberation theology preacher Rev. Jeremiah Wright his mentor — is indeed a Christian.  Moreover, they question whether or not he is a competent one.

Only God knows Obama’s heart and whether or not he is truly a follower of Jesus Christ.  The only thing we can do at this time is pray that God uses Obama to do His will and do it well or, as Martin Luther might say, “competently.”

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