The Scandals Keep Coming

November 20, 2017 at 5:15 am 2 comments


Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 2.07.42 PM

It’s far better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust any human. It’s far better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust any human leader. (Psalm 118:8-9)

If there were ever words we needed to read, re-read, and take to heart in the chaos of our heady political milieu, it would be these.  Our human leaders fail us again and again – time after time, leader after leader, politician after politician.

The latest political failures come conveniently in both a left and a right form – a liberal scandal and a conservative one.  On the liberal side, there is U.S. Senator Al Franken from Minnesota, who was revealed to have groped a radio newscaster during a 2006 U.S.O. tour.  The senator has issued an apology, but there are already questions boiling under the surface as to whether or not this kind of behavior was common for him.

On the conservative side, there is the candidate for the U.S. Senate, Judge Roy Moore from Alabama, who stands accused making unwanted advances at female teenagers in the early 80s and, according to the two most serious allegations, sexually assaulting one girl who, at the time, was 14 and attacking another girl who, at the time, was 16, by squeezing her neck and attempting to force her head into his groin.  Judge Moore was in his 30s when the alleged assaults took place and he has denied the allegations.

Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer have called for an investigation of Senator Franken by the Senate Ethics Committee, a move which Senator Franken himself supports.  Politicians on both sides of the aisle have called on Judge Moore to drop out of the Alabama Senate race, with some interesting exceptions.  Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler defended the judge’s alleged actions using what can only be described as a tortured – and, it must be added, an incorrect and incoherent –theological logic, saying:

Take the Bible – Zechariah and Elizabeth, for instance.  Zechariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist.  Also, take Joseph and Mary.  Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter.  They became parents of Jesus.  There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here.  Maybe just a little bit unusual.

Alabama Representative Mo Brooks defended Judge Moore more straightforwardly by calculating the political cost of electing a Democrat to the Senate instead of a firebrand conservative like the judge.  He said:

America faces huge challenges that are vastly more important than contested sexual allegations from four decades ago … Who will vote in America’s best interests on Supreme Court justices, deficit and debt, economic growth, border security, national defense, and the like?  Socialist Democrat Doug Jones will vote wrong.  Roy Moore will vote right.  Hence, I will vote for Roy Moore.

Whether among Democrats or Republicans, it seems as though the stakes on every election, every seat, every position, and every appointment – yea, every scrap of political power – have become sky high.  A national apocalypse, it can feel like, is only one political loss away.

New York Times columnist David Brooks recently bemoaned how our perceived astronomical political stakes have turned politics itself into an idol for many in our society.  He wrote:

People on the left and on the right who try to use politics to find their moral meaning are turning politics into an idol.  Idolatry is what happens when people give ultimate allegiance to something that should be serving only an intermediate purpose, whether it is money, technology, alcohol, success or politics.

In his column, Mr. Brooks quotes Andy Crouch, who is the executive editor at Christianity Today, and his excellent description of what idols do in his book Playing God:

All idols begin by offering great things for a very small price.  All idols then fail, more and more consistently, to deliver on their original promises, while ratcheting up their demands, which initially seemed so reasonable, for worship and sacrifice.  In the end they fail completely, even as they make categorical demands.  In the memorable phrase of the psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover, idols ask for more and more, while giving less and less, until eventually they demand everything and give nothing.[1]

This is most certainly true.  All idols fail.  This means that if we fancy our politicians to be saviors who can rescue us from the wiles of our political opponents and some looming national apocalypse, those for whom we vote will inevitably fail – sometimes modestly by an inability to pass key legislation, and other times spectacularly in some grave moral collapse.  Senator Franken and Judge Moore are just the latest examples of this.

David French, in a recent article for National Review concerning the Judge Moore scandal, wrote simply, “There is no way around dependence on God.”  These scandals serve to remind us of this profound truth.  The fact that our politicians fail should grieve us, as sin always should, but it should not scare us.  After all, even if a national apocalypse should come, it is still no match for the Apocalypse, when, instead of a politician, a perfect Potentate will appear to set the world right.  That’s not an apocalypse of which to be scared; that’s an apocalypse by which to be comforted. I hope you are.

_____________________________

[1] Andy Crouch, Playing God:  Redeeming the Gift of Power (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press), 56

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Current Trends. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Stopping Sexual Assault Thanksgiving Lessons From Lincoln

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jon trautman  |  November 20, 2017 at 8:36 am

    My take is love humans but ”don’t bet the ranch on ’em”…trust God He will not let you down

    Reply
  • 2. PrayThroughHistory  |  November 21, 2017 at 9:46 am

    May I offer some thoughts re: Evangelical Christian support of Mr. Moore?
    1. We all bear the shame and the glory of the Cross. When anyone in our Christian family fails, separates, sins, etc. we are hurt because we belong to the same body.
    2. Major characters of the Bible including the Lord were scorned, falsely accused, and even conspired against.
    Isaiah 8:11-13
    A Call to Fear God
    11For thus the LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying, 12″You are not to say, It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. 13″It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.…
    All who are accused in public opinion of a crime are innocent until proven guilty. I will cheer when Judge Moore goes to court, and then we can see that he or his accusers are brought to justice. Thanks for post!
    PS- Look up some info on Franken’s first election. The Swamp spent millions stealing Republican norm Coleman’s victory. How? They allegedly found 1,099 uncounted ballots in the trunk of a car?!? They were the votes of felons, but they counted them anyway and VIOLA; the Dems had his vote just in time to illegally pass Obamacare. That is Franken’s character, that is the story that needs to be told.
    Also, Franken was heavily enabled by George Soros and MN SOS mark Ritchie
    https://www.redstate.com/diary/republican_michigander/2010/04/21/dont-let-soros-and-the-secretary-of-state-project-take-over-your-state/

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Follow Zach

Enter your email address to subscribe to Pastor Zach's blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,944 other followers

Questions?

Email Icon Have a theological question? Email Zach at zachm@concordia-satx.com and he will post answers to common questions on his blog.

Zach’s Tweets

Calendar

November 2017
M T W T F S S
« Oct   Dec »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

%d bloggers like this: