Learning from Political Scandals

Posted: June 9, 2011 in america, current events, humility, marriage, politics

 

Rep. Anthony Weiner

Russell Moore has some helpful thoughts on the string of political scandals currently dominating the airwaves (John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Newt Gingrich, Anthony Weiner).  His post serves as a caution to us not to jump too quickly to feelings of superiority or mocking scorn:

The most dangerous thing we can do is to assume that these famous people are some how crazy. They don’t lack intelligence or skill or foresight. They would have never attained the positions they have if they did. Something else is going on here.

On temptation to sin, Moore writes,

As Christians, we believe that temptation isn’t merely biological. There’s something wild and wicked afoot in the universe. These beings have an ancient strategy, and part of that is to shield us from the future. Desire gives way to sin, James tells us, and “sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:15). Temptation only works if the possible futures open to you are concealed. Consequences, including those of Judgment Day, must be hidden from view or outright denied. That’s why in humanity’s ancestral sin the serpent told our mother Eve, “You will not surely die” (Gen. 3:4)…

[Temptation] doesn’t have anything to do with intelligence. Satan is hyper-intelligent. And yet, even knowing that he will ultimately have his skull crushed, he rages all the more against Christ and his people, “because he knows his time is short” (Rev. 12:12). In terms of the most basic principles of military strategy, that’s crazy. What we need is not intelligence, but wisdom. Wisdom includes seeing where the way I want to go will lead (Prov. 14:12).

Moore concludes with a powerful reminder that we would do well to heed:

I don’t know who you are, reader, but I know you are probably not smarter than Anthony Weiner or Arnold Schwarzenegger or John Edwards. And neither am I. Both of us, you and I, are on the verge of wrecking our lives. We’re probably not on the verge of a situation quite like any of those men, but the gospel tells us we have vulnerabilities just the same, and they all can lead to destruction.

The answer isn’t found in talent or in strategy or in brilliance. It’s found in fear, the fear of the Lord and the vision of his future.

Truly, we are “prone to wander…prone to leave the God [we] love.”  We should pray for God’s protecting and restraining grace in our lives, that we might not fall into temptation and (irrationally) sin against Him.

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