I’ve been shocked by lots of stuff coming “out of the church” and those of you who follow this blog or have read my book know that my main focus is challenging me, you and the church to get our own house in order. We have been so quick to campaign against same-sex marriage while at the same time exhibiting to the world our own hypocritical inconsistency. We do this by seeming to ignore the fact of our having lost any moral high ground with the divorce and teen pregnancy rates at shameful levels in the church which is on par with statistics in the world.
But last night my shock was taken to a whole new level of intensity when the reputation of Christ was mockingly placed on trial on prime time TV. Let me set the stage. 2009 – Mark Sanford (R) governor of South Carolina resigned in shame after he disappeared for a week in order to be with his Latin lover in an adulterous tryst. He was subsequently fined for ethics violations and sent into political oblivion – or at least one would have assumed. Fast forward to his successful effort yesterday to revive his political career by winning SC’s 1st congressional district seat.
During his speech last night he said “I want to publicly acknowledged God’s roll in all this”, “I want to acknowledge a God not just of second chances but third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth chances (which he said with a hint of a chuckle), because that is the reality of our shared humanity (what does that even mean) I am one imperfect man saved by God’s grace.”
Now on the surface this might sound like the work of a loving, forgiving and redemptive God. But then you might ask as to the beautiful olive-skinned woman standing beside him as he gave his acceptance speech crediting God with his win”? That would be the Latin lover he lost his first political career over, divorced his faithful wife over and blatantly continues in an illicit relationship with.
I just have one question. Unless the verses relating to sexual purity have some unique dispensation, can anyone explain to me the difference between Mark Sanford standing in mockery of a holy God with his lover/mistress/fiancé at his side or a thief standing giving credit to God while still wearing around his neck the diamond pendant his is guilty of having stolen? Doesn’t redemption somewhere along the line include repentance of and the ceasing of your illicit or sinful activity?
We often ask where the Islamic leaders are declaring as wrong any terrorist activity. The real question is where are the brave leaders of the community of Christ crying foul when Christians behave badly? With what voice I have – FOUL!