The presidential primaries are nearly complete and we have a pretty good idea of who the main candidates will be for the November elections. That is if one doesn’t get indicted and arrested for various charges, and the other one doesn’t fall victim to a potential war within the party seeking someone else to represent them. One of these two candidates is believed to be a liar and a traitor to the United States of America, and the other candidate is believed to be a liar, a prejudiced, racial, and immoral person with deceptive and unethical business practices that could possibly involve fraud. No wonder people are frustrated and disappointed with the selection of candidates to vote for, at least candidates that have a legitimate chance of winning.
Someone recently mentioned how bad this election process, including the campaigning, has been leading up to the November elections, and a thought crossed my mind. We want prayer regarding the upcoming elections, and that God will raise up someone who will represent Him and fight for Biblical values, but this election is a reflection of our society and how far from God it has gone. If that is the case, then it only stands to reason that this election will have nothing to do with Jesus or Biblical values since this country has effectively pushed Him out of everything else. Our society has been actively working to remove even the mention of Jesus’ name wherever they can, and have in turn been pushing policies and agendas that clearly contradict the Bible with an attitude best described as “spitting in the face of God”. What arrogance and pride we as a country have embraced, and then we wonder why this election process is in the shape it’s in.
One of the things that has been going on that I find so funny in a not-so-funny way, and it’s only getting worse and building in intensity, is how each of the two truly remaining candidates, both proven to be frequent liars, are attacking the other candidate for their lying and deceptive ways. That’s what you call, “the pot calling the kettle black”. We see this behavior within our society practically everywhere we look. For some reason people can find ways to justify and rationalize their behavior and lifestyle, but when they come across someone else basically doing the same thing they are quick to judge and be critical of them. We live with the idea that we’re exempt from having to live by any standard of values or morals, yet we are quick to nail someone else who doesn’t live up to the standards we think we’re exempt from. Does that fit the definition of “double-standards”? It’s bad enough when our society works that way, but when it’s in the church that’s a really bad thing.
I remember growing up and hearing people complain about hypocrites in the church, using that as their excuse for not going to church or giving their lives to Jesus. Perhaps you’ve heard the same stories? Someone could be in church praising and worshipping Jesus every Sunday, but every Friday night they could be seen in a strip club partying it up and frequently sharing “dirty” jokes to others throughout the week. Or the one where someone doesn’t want to hire the services of a Christian or Christian company because they have seen or heard of their deceptive and unethical business practices. And we wonder why society is the way it is? Where are the ambassadors of Christ who are not only representing Him to the world around us, but upholding Biblical standards showing people there is a better way of life in Christ than what they are seeing in the world around them?
It seems to be more and more commonplace for us to hear of ministers that will preach very adamantly against one or more specific sins, only to find out later that they have been secretly doing the very things they have preached so strongly against. This isn’t the case with all ministers, or even the majority of them, but nonetheless it is out there. This sort of thing causes people to be cynical of ministers, grouping all ministers into the same hypocrisy of the others. The Apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:17 that judgment begins in the house of God, and if He needs to He will expose the sins of the unrepentant child of God in order to bring them back into right standing with Him. This applies to all Christians, whether or not they are ministers. Hypocrisy is rampant within church circles. It’s not an issue of Christians, especially fairly new Christians, learning over time what it means to be children of God and how we’re to live in a way that honors God and accurately represents Him to the world around us. The issue is more around those who know, either from reading and studying the Bible or hearing the truth of the Gospel be proclaimed, choose to discount what they know to be the truth to continue living in sin. No matter how you want to justify or rationalize it away, even to the point of grasping a form of teaching that claims through grace it’s okay to continue in that sin, it still falls within rebellion against God and can have very significant consequences on one’s relationship with God and their eternal destination. How can we be critical of others hypocritical behavior and lifestyles is we are living hypocritical lives ourselves? Does that mean we have to be perfect? No, but it’s both how we deal with that sin in our lives and our attitude about it that makes the difference. Do we humbly approach the throne of grace with repentant hearts, which includes turning from that sin, or do we just try to justify and rationalize why we are going to continue in it? Perhaps we try to justify it citing the negative aspects of turning from the sin, at least the negative aspects in the natural realm while discounting the negative aspects of continued rebellion against a holy God, our Father?
Are we living lives of hypocrisy, being critical of the behaviors and lifestyles of others while discounting, as though we’re exempt, the same behaviors and sin in our own lives? Are we the “pot calling the kettle black”? This should not be the case.
Reflections. What we are seeing in this election process is a reflection of our society, and in some cases the hypocrisy within the church. Before we get upset about what we’re seeing in the campaigning for this election, lets first take a step back and take a good hard look at how it’s a mere reflection of our society, and perhaps our own life. Let’s be careful we’re not “the pot calling the kettle black” if we’re living with compromise in our life as a Christian. And if we are living a compromising life contrary to Scripture, Biblical values and morals, and to the heart and nature of God, then it’s time to repent of such and turn from it. Otherwise, what we are seeing in the world around us, and politically, is merely a reflection of where our heart is in relationship to Christ.
John Johansson (Pastor John)