“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19, NIV)
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them — bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2 Peter 2:1-3, NIV)
“But select capable men from all the people — men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain — an appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.” (Exodus 18:21, NIV)
“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers— not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:1-3, NIV)
Overlord or Overseer?
This Tuesday, November 2, 2010, is an important political watershed for the United States of America. The election process continues to test the viability of our Republic and Constitution, as well as our resolve as a people to remain self-governed by representative government. Looking at the national stage (in the face of runaway fiscal malfeasance, a bloated government bureaucracy, and the rapidly ballooning national debt), I cannot help but ponder upon the insistence by many that there should be a separation of Church and State. That was never the intent of the founders of our nation. And I have observed that the absence of distinct moral teachings (i.e., the Church) and lack of adherence to the highest standards of personal and public interest in these United States tends to drive both prominent political parties to the worst possible tactics in order to gain and retain power.
The ends justifying the means is a morally bankrupt way of thinking. It is un-American, except where politics are concerned apparently. Why is that?
While watching a national television news program recently, I heard a political pundit from one party defending the practice of coaxing independent voters (through advertisements) to vote for a marginal third party candidate in order to divert votes from the oppositional contender. This pundit declared, “All is fair in war and politics; and besides it is not illegal.” If all was fair in war there would be no need for a Geneva Convention. If all was fair in politics, there would be no need to enforce violations of campaign reform laws. To win a campaign at all costs is to lose on two fronts: Moral and ethical. No wonder popular opinion polls consistently rank politicians near the bottom of the food chain.
Forget that it is morally wrong to engage in character assassination with attack advertisements and one can easily justify such a device because “the other side is doing it.” Damaging a political opponent by mincing words or parsing the truth (lying) concerning the record (or someone’s private life) seems political fair-game when no moral barometer (i.e., the Church) is present. In fact, without taking the moral high road, the amoral low road is the only alternative path.
And once office is gained by hook or crook, or clever campaign slogan or promise, what kind of leader will an amoral elected official become? The fruits of the amoral tree generally manifest themselves with scandals surrounding the elected official and those who organized for the candidate: voter fraud, illegal campaign contributions, and quid pro quo back-room deals with major contributors.
It is called corruption and it is morally wrong.
The standard-bearer of morality has always been the Church, not the Government. Granted the Church has failed in its duties many times, but the Government has fared much worse. The highest standards of morality require good judgment (common sense), prudence, patience, and forbearance toward others. That is a general requirement to pastor most churches. Yet it is not in the criteria to hold public office. Why is that?
Morality distinguishes between the wielding of power over others for political and personal gain (being an overlord) and sharing power with others for the greater good and in the public interest (being an overseer). Morality (through the Church) establishes the Golden Rule, while Government rules the gold.
Government absent the Church leads to totalitarianism. Just ask the Chinese. Oh… that’s right…. you can’t ask them because it is forbidden to speak out against the government there. You can’t mention God either. It is forbidden by law and that is morally wrong. But since there is only one Church (per se) in China, citizens are free to think and speak as they please as long as it is approved by the Chinese government (AKA: the Chinese Church.)
Overlord or Overseer? You have some important choices to make America.
Make moral choices. Please choose wisely.
(copyright 2010, Gregory Allen Doyle)