Proverbs 14:34 says “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.” Character in leadership makes a difference. This is true whether in the fields of politics, religion, sports, or media. People in leadership become examples that others look up to. There moral character matters along with their competence in the work they do. Unfortunately, our society has been more and more able to separate the two, and give excuses for poor moral character. We love the phrase, “nobody’s perfect”, or “we’re all sinners”. That seems to excuse whatever we want to do, or accept in others. Of course it is true. No one is perfect. We all sin. But Scripture always holds leaders to a higher standard. A people need leaders they can look up to rather than excuse. The Bible certainly shows its share of leaders who had great faults, but the ones God could use were the ones who were willing to repent and turn from their sin rather than justify themselves and continue as if it didn’t matter. I’m afraid in too many areas today we are wiling to overlook wrongdoing bringing reproach on our people. It’s time for thinking more seriously what righteousness means.
The California Medial Association recently changed their position on physician assisted suicide. They moved from being opposed to being neutral on the matter, saying that public opinion in this country has become more accepting of the idea. Thus, they allow doctors to use their own judgment about using life ending drugs. Taking public opinion polls has become a large industry for everything from product marketing to political campaigns. But public opinion changes like the wind. People get used to this and accepting of that. So it must be fine. But just like the California Medical Association people and organization become totally devoid of moral judgment in favor of public opinion. Physician assisted suicide is murder no matter how it is cloaked in benevolent motivations or positive opinions. Our Lord has given us values by which we are to live for our good and to His honor. Once we move away from those values everything becomes permissible, and we destroy life as God intended it.
There is an old saying that familiarity breeds contempt. It could also be said that familiarity breeds acceptance. In other words, the more often one hears something the more normal it becomes. This is what has and is happening in society with our sexual mores. For years now our society has presented us with images of sexual relations outside the covenant bond of marriage. In recent years the gay community has demanded their acceptance as a normal expression of human relationships. These and other aspects of human sexuality, that years ago would have been considered immoral, have been accepted as a natural part of life. We, who still hold to biblical values of God ordained sexual practices, become more and more marginalized. Of course, the society declares that to be good. Yet, regardless of how we ignore them, there are absolute values God has established for human life. They have been given for our best good. When we ignore them we do so to our hurt, and to the ultimate destruction of our society. It is certainly true that all people need to be treated with God’s love and grace, but that doesn’t change the values God has established for our good. No amount of familiarity will change that.
Many people of all faiths claim that Jesus was a great moral teacher. They say that His life of love, of care for the outcast, and His willingness to sacrifice Himself for His beliefs, are a model for all men. But to think that is to miss the whole point of the life of the Christ. Jesus, Himself, doesn’t allow us to do that. Yes, He taught. Yes, He was a great example. But He was infinitely more. He was and is a Saviour when we were lost and without hope. He substituted His life for ours when all of the wrath of God should have come down on us. He went before us in death so that we never need to fear death. He stands with us before the brilliant burning glory of Almighty God and makes us eternally acceptable in His Kingdom. A teacher and moralist you can take or leave. To a Saviour you must humbly bow in grateful adoration. A teacher, you can follow. To a Saviour, you give your life.