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You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another -- Leviticus 19: 11 (ESV)
There is nothing like a presidential election season to make Christians absolutely lose their minds and abandon their bibles. It is still nine months before the ballots are counted and already the usual suspects in the Christo-political sphere are out in full force. They are insisting that they have found the savior instead of turning to the Savior. They are creating voting guides that are clearly slanted to the candidate they have pre-selected. They are beating the sheep of the Lord by inferring some great moral responsibility is cast with their vote that only they have figured out. None of this is true of course because the true victim of this season every time is the truth. The one thing we ought to represent the most to a dying world we casually toss out the nearest window when it comes time to select this country's next leader.
They have it all worked out in their conscience, which is seared through a carnal secular desire to see their party reign or pretend the Sodom we live in is really paradise lost. They have leveraged the Bible just like a proof-texting mega church pastor does every Sunday. They employ Machiavellian theology that says the ends justify the means when God could not be further away from that humanistic thinking. Job had friends who thought like this and we ought to do well to listen to their rebuke:
Will you speak falsely for God and speak deceitfully for him?Will you show partiality toward him? Will you plead the case for God?Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man?He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality.Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall upon you?Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay. - Job 13: 7-12 (ESV)
God does not need us to lie for Him beloved. Our defenses are as fragile as clay pots before Him. Representing untruths out to terrify us when we merely consider the majesty of Almighty God. He spoke the entire universe into existence and we think He needs our help to get the right person into an elected office? When the Bible says that all leaders are installed through Him alone? Seriously? The arrogance we have as believers staggers me sometimes. Just because we believe our cause is just does not excuse being dishonest. Evil is never the vehicle for righteousness. The Apostle Paul teaches us this very thing:
And why not do evil that good may come? -- as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just. -- Romans 3: 8 (ESV)
The rhetorical question here reminds us that we do not seek good through evil means. We do not compromise the truth ever. Why? Because then we are no different than the world. The world sells the notion that the truth is malleable. That there are no black and white issues. That everything exists in a spectrum of hazy shades of grey. Why? Because it allows us to feel better about our sin. Why do you think they hate Christianity so much? Because Christ comes along as pure and absolute truth. There are no shades of grey. How much is the truth negotiable in politics? To the level of the absurd! After each debate where do the candidates and their representatives run to first? The "Spin Room." They may as well call it the "Lying Room." That is what spin is! Only in politics can someone who comes in third give a victory speech while the person who comes in second is branded a loser. The point being that we as Christians ought to not be caught steeped in the dishonesty of the world. Why? First of all, the world is always watching:
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, - Acts 16: 25 (ESV)
The world is always watching us beloved. Count on it. There is a reason we are supposed to be salt and light. There is a reason we are to show the love of Christ. There is a reason why we are called pilgrims and sojourners. What do people see when they look at us? Do they see salt and light or pepper and glitter? When Paul and Silas were imprisoned in the inner dungeon in shackles after being severely beaten the Bible tells us everyone was watching them. Listening to them. What would their lives say about God if they were grumbling about their situation? Complaining about being beaten for the sake of the Gospel? Whining about how tight the clamps were? Instead they started to hear hymns of praise! After all of this the unsaved people in that prison heard the beaten, battered and bloodied Paul and Silas singing praise to Almighty God! Do not tell me it did not have an effect:
and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." And the jailercalled for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" - Acts 16: 26-30 (ESV)
Sometimes we miss a major teaching point if it is not spelled out but what do these verses essentially teach us? All of the other prisoners could have escaped but they chose to stay. Paul says -- don't worry! We are all here! This affects the guard so mightily that he asks how he can be saved! Paul and Silas did not have to scheme on behalf of God. They did not need to lie on His behalf. They just needed to be who they were -- Christians.
You cannot go two minutes on Facebook without some absurd posting that are either lies about a candidate or implications that are untrue, if not unfounded. Remember beloved. There are no shades of grey. Something is either true or it is not. Here is the thing we must strive to remember; if something is unproven, it remains untrue until proven otherwise. We are not God. We are not omniscient. We do not get to play prosecutor, treaty negotiator, or diplomacy expert because we are none of those things. It is bad enough to watch the unsaved masses pile one lie upon another and upon another but the amount of Christians piling on is far more upsetting. Reposting an article that you have not personally vetted for accuracy is just as bad as lying yourself. That is how other people will view it. People who know you are a Christian. How can someone post an article with half-baked political opinions and distortions and in the next breath post Bible verses?
but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,these things ought not to be so. - James 3: 8-10 (ESV)
Do not think for one second that this level of hypocrisy is missed by the lost. They see it very clearly. The number one reason that is always given by the unsaved for why they refuse Christ and His church is the hypocrisy of Christians. Granted, that is not all political in nature but it contributes. We ought to not be caught up in the dishonesty of the world first because the world is always watching. Secondly, because the truth matters to God.
you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." - Romans 2: 21-24 (ESV)