I have a house, but I feel homeless. Not only because I’m a pilgrim in this temporal world. Not only because my real home is the “home of righteousness.” But my nation is homeless. A home is where love and common history and values create an integrity of character that is modeled and passed down from generation to generation.
I am a sad American. A thief has broken in and robbed and destroyed our sense of family, of HOME-land. Since the 1960’s, I watched the rapid decline of my country. The values that made our nation great, the values that bring countless thousands from other nations to settle here, have been abandoned by our people and our leaders [I’m no longer a supporter of parties–Democrat or Republican, let’s deal with that right up front.
I’m not happy in any political party nor with any recent candidate [No, I’m not a religious kook either. I passed the MMPI–Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory–though I don’t think Jesus or the Apostle Paul would have–they heard the Voice more often than me]. Besides, I despise religion (not religious people). But that’s for another post.]
The nation’s decline is most clearly reflected in the behavior of our public officials who cater to the party spirit. I think I’d prefer to elect a statesman or a stateswoman, who truly cared about the nation, the people, and God’s values. But I fear that will not happen in my lifetime unless Jesus comes back first.
What are my political views? I’m an Ambassador of the Kingdom of the living God. The government I serve is not from this dimension (though it impacts this dimension). My Father appointed me to go where He sends me. To speak what I hear. My loyalty is to Him and His Kingdom. My life purpose is to seek His sons (no this does not exclude women, it lifts them higher than secular feminism ever could). I would not step down from my high calling to be in political office–that’s Caesar’s realm. I used to be an Independent, but I do not see much future for political parties in our nation as long as they continue on their current path downward. Libertarianism is often a guise for putting people under bondage or–at the other extreme–lawlessness. And those of you who are “Christians” [I don’t use the term any longer. It has no meaning), you are as big a part of the problem as the political parties. You too have abandoned truth to chase after human solutions. (Please don’t quote 2 Chron. 7.14 either, (I know it by heart!) because more of you are called by the name Republican or Tea Party than by the name of Yahweh .
Isn’t anyone tired of the Anthony Weiners, Bill Clintons, John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzeneggers, and others? They lie, cover up, strut unashamed before cameras, and redefine their willfully sinful behavior calling it a “mistake?” Have you ever noticed their use of the word “mistake?” I made a “mistake?” For clarity on the definition of “mistake” versus “sin,” see publisher Michael Hyatt’s excellent post “The Difference Between a Mistake and a Sin”
Almost as troubling as those who lack moral values are those who support and defend liars, cheats, and frauds. What kind of person can trust an Arnold S? or a John Edwards. These are men who “take responsibility” only when their deliberate lies to their spouses, the press, and the American public are uncovered. For them, taking responsibility is really doublespeak–meaningless. They take responsibility for getting caught? And what will be their restitution? NOTHING! Weiner’s statements make it clear that he still doesn’t really think he did anything wrong. He just made the “mistake” of not being more careful in his deceit. So he doesn’t see any reason that he should forfeit his role as a representative of the people. His wife did the right thing not standing with him in public. She knows that he apparently recognizes no wrong doing. He is not the only one. Most of these men are blatantly “above responsibility.”
Perhaps their power assures them that they are above the rules and can operate outside morality with impunity. Their constituents foster this attitude. I remember a guy named Curly, in Massachusetts many decades ago, who was repeatedly reelected, even from jail.
As events play out, we’ll get to see the true character of the New Yorkers Weiner represents. Will they affirm his lack of integrity? Or will they send him and future leaders a message that hypocrisy, cover up, and lying are not the example they want set for their children. Nor should we want the kind of world that compartmentalizes morality and character. In time, whatever someone is in secret will show itself publicly.
Lack of integrity used to be called hypocrisy. Immoral leaders don’t see a problem. They’re confused by accountability and integrity. They want to continue in office. They actually expect someone to trust them. Sadly, many will. Who are these people that don’t care that Edwards lied to his wife? They don’t care that Weiner has betrayed the public trust? Who are these people? How can they compartmentalize like that.
People who are ready to overlook lying, cheating, embezzlement, extortion, manipulation, etc. are equally a part of the problem. I’m sure that they can’t imagine that some of their neighbors actually have character. Some people actually walk in integrity. One source says that integrity “regards internal consistency as a virtue.” Integrity means acting consistently in every arena with the values one CLAIMS to hold. For the American people, these values have ALWAYS included honesty, fairness, compassion, faithfulness, and personal accountability.
I’m less afraid of terrorism than I am of our loss of integrity!
I am more concerned over what our nation is becoming as a result of this loss. When I watch the news, I see the issues that face us. I also know history. We cannot escape the inevitable. Our nation has lost its moral compass. God has been declared irrelevant. This abandonment of the God and Father of Jesus is the indictment that will convict us in the courtroom of history.
Long after republicans and democrats no longer exist and a foreign enemy has occupied the United States of America because of our immorality and sinful choices, our children will shake their heads in disbelief that a people, who had been so blessed of God could have been so ungrateful and blind.
You have to be a student of history, theology, and values to recognize just how far our nation has declined. We are a nation adrift. We are a people perplexed and manipulated by all political parties and the media. We have no cannon by which to measure truth. No set of common or shared values that we can agree upon. We don’t even believe in objective truth any longer. In our pluralistic, politically correct, tolerant (except for people of faith) culture, opinion rules.
I’ll NEVER forget the wise words of G. K. Chesterton: “An opinion lacking in knowledge is an ugly thing.” I’ve heard so much stupidity from so many self-appointed experts on all sides. I have begun to believe that no health or healing can come to our nation because, like Pontius Pilate, we no longer clearly recognize truth when it stands before us, so we pass the responsibility on to others.
I’ve known men whose word was their bond. They wouldn’t lie come hell or high water. If you called them a liar, they’d punch you in the nose. Are those kind of people–people with integrity–so rare that no one expects integrity anymore?
I was told (don’t know if it’s true) that one of the more recent dictionaries does not have the word “integrity” in it. WOW!! I never thought I’d live to see the day! No need to even include or define integrity. But should I be surprised?
Millions could care less about cheating in private life. But if men and women cheat in private, why wouldn’t they cheat the public? How can anyone trust bold-faced liars.
HONESTLY: Would you entrust your children to be cared for at a day care by a parent who only harms her own children in private? Would you reason that what she does in her own private life is her business? Would you advocate that she is qualified to take care of your child in a public day care? You’re in denial or naive if you would entrust your precious child to someone like that. So why would you trust public officials who privately lie to their own family members? Who deny any wrong-doing? Do you think they’ll be more honest in their dealings with YOU? They serve themselves, not the American people. I’m tempted to think that many Americans do not want someone of character in office, otherwise we’d have better men and women there now. But I’m afraid there exists a silent majority who seldom speak up except in private. Unless we turn the ship around, we’re going to run aground.
Well, I guess you’ve heard enough from me. What do you think? And please . . . pastors, don’t lecture me. No I don’t think I’m a judge. Nor do I condemn anyone. That ministry belongs to others. And PLEASE . . . if you comment below, don’t give your systematics paper from seminary. I know systematic theology as well as you, so let’s have a more genuine, heart-felt, relevant dialog. Don’t defend your little kingdoms. All I’m saying is that I long to see integrity restored to public and PRIVATE life, so that we can be a great nation–perhaps greater than we’ve ever been. Do you agree?
©2011, David C Alves
**[The photo in this post is from iStock.com. The person portrayed is a model. and not me. The opinions stated are mine and–as far as I know–do not reflect those of the model or iStock.com]