"Now, Boys ... Behave"
September 5, 2012
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." Romans 3:9-12
Four years ago Pastor Rick Warren of the super-mega Saddleback Church did something special.
His congregation hosted a "civil forum" where candidates Senator McCain and, at that time, Senator Obama came together.
The forum was notable because of the special questions that were asked of the candidates, who were civil and respectful toward each other. Each of the men made use of the opportunity to speak about their faith, their failures in life, and their views concerning abortion and marriage.
Having had such positive results with the forum, Pastor Warren's church scheduled another for this election year. Their thinking was what candidate would not make use of a stage "where people of goodwill can seriously disagree on significant issues without being disagreeable or resorting to personal attack and name calling."
Unfortunately, the forum is not going to happen.
As Pastor Warren said, "I've never seen more irresponsible personal attacks, mean-spirited slander, and flat-out dishonest attack ads, and I don't expect that tone to change before the election. ... It would be hypocritical to pretend civility for one evening only to have the name calling return the next day."
Instead of having a civil forum, his church will be hosting a forum on religious liberty.
Me, I'm not surprised. The leaders of this world, who like to be called "benefactors" (see Luke 22:25), would dearly love to have their constituency think of them as being winged angels and their opponents as pitchfork-totting, brimstone-breathing, soul-stealing demons.
In contrast to the dreams of politicians, the Bible is far more realistic when it says, "None is righteous, no not one."
That is why if you really want to find the perfect person you will have to go further than the slates of the Republican, Democratic or any-other-party. If you want a perfect Person, an all-sufficient Savior, you need to look for Jesus.
Only He gave without taking; only He kept all of His promises all of the time; only He sacrificed Himself, so others might live, and therefore He is the only One deserving of the coveted title "Benefactor."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, men and women of power come and go. May we place our faith and hope in You. You are the beginning and ending of our faith; You are the only One who has kept His promises, including the promise of the Savior. In the Savior's Name we give thanks for Your blessings. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries