A Crisis of Values
J. D. Pendry
The greatest risk is the crisis of values which inexorably comes when we follow hollow and deceptive philosophy.† It may not come until we have traveled for many years down the road of self-deceit, but it will come.† Ė Patrick Morley, from Devotions for The Man In The Mirror.
John Kerry, in a political speech at the New Northside Baptist Church, in St Louis quoted scripture from the New Testament book of James 2:14, which reads: ďWhat good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?Ē I donít know about yaíll, but had I been at that service I would not have felt safe anywhere within a lightening boltís blast radius of Mr. Kerry.†† Iím a bit old fashioned.† I think the pulpit is for delivery of spiritual messages, not political ones Ė and not from any politician.
Mr. Kerry is running new campaign ads here in Wild and Wonderful.† The ads, describe him as a hunter, a combat veteran and a man of faith.† All roles that play well here.† Being a professed man of faith, expectantly he understands the meaning of the quoted scripture.† Simply put, a stated philosophy lacks substance unless itís supported by deeds.† In the Army, we called it walking the talk.† When your deeds contradict your professed philosophy, you experience the crisis of values mentioned in Mr. Morleyís quote.† Does the presumptive Democrat nominee for President have a looming crisis of values?
There are some issues confronting our man of faith.† Recently, he enjoyed an X-rated tirade by Whoopi Goldberg wherein she compared the Presidentís name with female genitalia.† He happily accepted her support (and Iím sure her portion of the $7.5 million he raised) and didnít distance himself from the comments.† Maybe the Presidential candidate shared some scripture with Whoopi and his other supporters at the fundraiser.† Undoubtedly, they read Romans 13 relating to a Christianís responsibility toward governing authorities.
John Kerry tells us heís Catholic and now his ads (at least here in Wild Wonderful) proclaim him a man of faith.† Faith, by the way, has been a sore point with secular Democrats since President Bush took office.† I wonder how this plays with them.† Maybe in sound-bite politics, itís acceptable.
The Catholic Church and Christians in general oppose abortion.† The Holy Bible tells us that life begins at conception.† Our scripture quoting, man of faith may want to study the Biblical perspective on the issue.†† Jeremiah 1:4-7 would be a good start for him.† Iíd also recommend Psalms 139: 13-16. †He may not need to review what scripture has to say about the beginning of life, however.† Recently he stated that he believes life begins at conception and that he is personally against abortion.† Politically though, he supports abortion.† He also voted against the partial birth abortion ban and he voted against a bill that would make injuring a fetus a separate offense in crimes against pregnant women.† He also tells us that his litmus test for appointing a justice to the Supreme Court is that the nominee must be pro-abortion, not that he or she be capable of interpreting laws according to the Constitution.† You may not accept that life begins at conception.† If you do though, how can you support killing it?† The stated philosophy of our man of faith does not support his deeds, thus, a crisis of values.
I find it quite interesting that someone can profess faith, yet choose to govern in a secular and humanistic fashion.† A personís positions on social and political issues may be all over the map, as the presumptive Democrat nominee often is, but on the issue of faith, there is no wiggle room.† As theyíre prone to say up the hollar, either you is or you ainít.† The Christian faith tells us to obey the laws of man unless they are in conflict with the laws of God.† Abortion is one of those issues in conflict for people of faith.† If you are Christian and are true to your faith, then you are required to approach life and responsibilities from a Biblical worldview not a secular one.
Mr. Kerry must be familiar with what the scriptures have to say about a Christian citizenís responsibility toward government.† Romans 13 tells us to submit to governing authorities.† It also tells us to give everyone what we owe him ďIf you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.Ē† Mr. Mark Twain, in Colliers Magazine, September 2, 1904, put into words the Christian citizenís responsibility much better than I can.
"It will be conceded that a Christian's first duty is to God. It then follows, as a matter of course, that it is his duty to carry his Christian code of morals to the polls and vote them. Whenever he shall do that, he will not find himself voting for an unclean man, a dishonest man. If Christians would vote their duty to God at the polls, they would carry every election, and do it with ease. Their prodigious power would be quickly realized and recognized, and afterward there would be no unclean candidates upon any ticket, and graft would cease. If the Christians of America could be persuaded to vote God and a clean ticket, it would bring about a moral revolution that would be incalculably beneficent. It would save the country."
Itís more than professed faith that has Mr. Kerry in crisis.† His stated views on other things do not reflect his actions either.† For example, he tells us that heís for strong defense, yet has an anti-defense voting record.† He tells us heís a hunter, yet he supports restrictive gun control.† He tells us heís a proud combat veteran, yet he wasnít so proud of being one when he sold out his comrades in arms for political gain.
The most important attribute for a leader is trust.† Trust is fragile, easily broken.† To gain trust, a leader must demonstrate that he is trustworthy.† If a man professes a philosophy then performs deeds contradictory to it, Iím not so sure that he is worthy of my trust or the trust of my countrymen.† ĒÖ if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.Ē
Read Paul Schneidmill's weekly devotional in the Bunker Chapel
J.D. Pendry is author of The Three Meter Zone, Random House/Ballantine.
Copyright © JD Pendry, This article may be electronically shared, republished or reprinted if in it's entirety with original credit given.
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