“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” – C.S. Lewis
I don’t know about you, but I’m embarrassed. I’m disgusted and embarrassed every time I turn on the news lately, and won’t even watch with my teenage children around. Every day there’s a new story of scandal among our nation’s leaders and it saddens me. It also disturbs me to see the way some Christians are responding, by excusing the behavior of some, all because of their political side. Does character matter anymore?
But, what encourages me is the cultural commentary that a news source like BreakPoint provides. In fact, just recently John Stonestreet tackled this very difficult topic by saying,
For Christians, selectively holding our political and prospective leaders to high moral standards reveals in us an unsettling lack of faith.
The past few months have been dominated by an endless parade of revelations about the sexual misconduct and predations of powerful men. From Hollywood to New York and from Minnesota to Alabama, and just about everywhere else in between, the depths to which fallen human nature can sink have been laid bare.
While these revelations are dismaying, they aren’t, or at least shouldn’t be, surprising. But what is both dismaying and surprising is the willingness of too many people to deny, excuse, overlook, and even dismiss wrongdoing when it’s committed by someone on “their team.”
John goes on to share about Chuck Colson and how he disagreed with this kind of rationalizing; he is quoted as saying, “What the Founders understood is that character is the first requirement of leadership,” because “a nation whose leaders do not lead through their own example of virtue and character cannot inspire sacrifice for the common good.”
John concludes . . .
Based on recent events, it’s reasonable to wonder if the same thing is true of us. Now let me be clear; due process is due to the accused. However, too many are justifying the well-documented 180-degree turn Christians have done on the importance of character in public office by appealing to some overriding, political concern.
In the end, where do we place our trust? We do not have to sacrifice our principles or our witness on the altar of political expedience—precisely because of the ultimate Truth we believe in and live for: that Christ is risen, that He is Lord. And that He ultimately will restore all things. No election can ever change that.
Thank you, John, Chuck, and the Colson Center team for reminding us that character in our leaders matters and that when they demonstrate virtue and integrity in their personal as well as public lives, they provide an example for future generations.
To see the full commentary, go here. Better yet, I encourage you to subscribe to their daily email so you never miss a BreakPoint. It’s a view of today’s news stories that you won’t be embarrassed to share with your kids, and it will give you hope instead of despair!