February 8, 2000
Apathy to political lying a mark of our Gelded Age
By JOHN ANDERSON www.cryministry.com
"For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth". (II Thessalonians 2:11)
C. S. Lewis in his The Abolition of Man said, "We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."
Lewis' gelding metaphor for our society came from the horse; a more apt one for morally timid pulpits would come from the chicken: capon.
Certainly we live in a Gelded Age, a time when too often in politics, pulpits, pews and the public we celebrate the moral eunuchs, our champions of moral relativism, political correctness and religious liberalism. This should not be surprising, because exalting the ethically neutered is simply part of that circular trap of first rejecting truth leading to believing lies which opens to accepting liars which leads to believing more lies and tolerating more liars, and around we go. So becoming at ease with lying and liars and scandal becomes, well, natural.
Sadly, we've become used to moral eunuchs in elected office. We can look back over the administration of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, an administration that promised to be the most ethical ever, but one which continuously became engulfed in scandals. Mr. Clinton of course is a court-certified liar. Judge Susan Webber Wright rebuked him: "The record demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the President responded to plaintiff's questions by giving false, misleading and evasive answers that were designed to obstruct the judicial process..."
Mr. Clinton has made an art form of the kind of lying and deception that Judge Wright condemned him for. Who can forget his tortured deceptions over the meaning of "is" or "alone"; or his suggestion that oral sex outside of marriage is not biblical adultery? Or his and his minions' trashing of those who opposed him such as Ken Starr, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones and other women? What about his silence over the credible accusation from Juanita Broaderick that Mr. Clinton had raped her? Or his stonewalling over the illegal acquisition of FBI files of political opponents? Or still, his bombing of sovereign nations with whom we were not at war which coincidentally coincided with critical moments in the Lewinsky scandal and other politically perilous times for him? Both Mr. Clinton and our nation face accountability for all this.
Mr. Clinton's legacy, regrettably, will include dishonesty, degradation and pandering; with perhaps his primary achievement being that he has proven to be one of the best at telling people what they want to hear and bribing the public with their own money.
Vice-president Al Gore continues the lying. We've heard how he invented the Internet, discovered Love Canal, was the inspiration for "Love Story, that he would fight tobacco while at an earlier time had boasted how as a farmer he had worked to raise it, that he had co-sponsored the original McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill, even though Feingold was not in the Senate until after Mr. Gore had already left to become vice-president.
However Mr. Gore's lying over his flip-flop positions on abortion during his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, has brought renewed attention to his deceptions. We need not list it all here, but any unbiased, objective reading of Mr. Gore's political past from letters to votes as a congressman shows that at one time he was pro- life, even passionately so or at least he appeared to be.
But no matter, now in his presidential campaign Mr. Gore denies he has ever been anything but pro-choice; and, against the facts, vehemently contends that he has "always supported ," "I have always supported keeping abortion legal," I have "always been for a woman's right to choose." Like Mr. Clinton, Mr. Gore nit-picks over words: When reminded of once having written that abortion was "arguably the taking of a human life," he lied, "I didn't write that. I didn't. I used the word 'arguably.'"
Senator Orrin Hatch has charged that the Bill Clinton-Al Gore administration "may be remembered as the most deceitful and corrupt in our nation's history." He also said that the "cultural legacy of this administration" is the "institutionalization of the cynical deceit that you've not done anything wrong if you can talk your way out of it."
Strong words. However, the dire indictment upon us as a nation is that we have tolerated such "cynical deceit" and become apathetic to that disreputable kind of politics which Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gore represent, which does or says virtually anything, true or not, to get elected. We've been indifferent to the lies to the place that we have elected Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gore not once but twice, the second time in full knowledge of their character. They reflect us; we mirror them.
Why have we become so complacent? Maybe its because our Dow Jones average is high and our unemployment low. Certainly the good times play a role. However the reason has to include our moral indifference, moral indifference that started with our turning away from truth, God's Truth, and choosing to believe lies.
Among the lies we've embraced is that abortion is morally neutral the "pro-choice" rationale. From that mushy ethical middle we as a nation yawn at the millions of our unborn we continue to destroy. And we are not concerned that Mr. Clinton, Mr. Gore and the multitude of their fellow abortion advocates, vigorously defend the aborting. We don't speak up; we help elect them. We embrace the lies and the liars.
The reason we've preferred to believe lies, those clever immoral self-deceptions so prevalent is because we have wanted to sin. However, II Thessalonians 2:11 gives us the damning consequences: "For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth."
In Romans l, the phrase "God gave them over" is used three times. This speaks of God withdrawing Himself and abandoning determined sinners to their sins and their consequences. In the first use of the phrase, God gives them over "to sexual impurity"; in the second use God gives them over to "shameful lusts" where lesbian and homosexual sin is specified; in the third use, God gives them over "to a depraved mind," followed by a list of evils.
It is a most frightening judgment for God to give us what we stubbornly want, abandoning us to our iniquity, with our sin becoming its own judgment. Rejecting truth leads to believing powerful lies. Rejecting the knowledge of God leads to a depraved mind. Phillip Hughes said, "Sinful man needs no assistance in working out his own perdition. Ungodliness unaided brings its own judgment on man and society here and now, in addition to final judgment hereafter. To be given up by God to wallow in the filth of one's own making is itself self-manufactured judgment."
The answer to lies of course is truth. Our hope is in knowing truth, biblical truth, God's Word.
Right now we desperately need a word from God; our survival depends on it. Let the Word ring out from every Christ-honoring, biblical pulpit. Let it be clear, candid, courageous and urgent! Let it be a penetrating word, a surgeon's scalpel going after our malignancy. Let it be uncluttered by fads and false prophets. And let it reach from the White House to your house and my house. If we re-spect our calling as watchmen, care for our nation, and love the souls of men, we will give that word.
Our age may be gelded, but our pulpits must not.
Let us pray::
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we lift praise to you for giving us Truth, your Son who is "the Way, the Truth and the Life." We thank you for your Word and for your calling us to proclaim its truth. As ministers, we repent for whenever we have not correctly spoken your Word, and for standing silent, not exposing the lies our nation has believed. We pray renewed anointing on us as we preach Your Word. May it penetrate the heart of our nation, and may it have a spiritual awakening.
John Anderson has been in ministry over 34 years, including 24
serving three churches. Since 1988 he and his wife, Esther, have been
in traveling ministry across the world. Recently they have based their CRY
OF THE INNOCENTS MINISTRY near Washington, D.C. John is editor
of The Pastor's Alert, a publication of The
Alliance for Revival and Reformation. He is author of two
books, CRY OF THE INNOCENTS and THE CRY OF
COMPASSION. He and his wife travel extensively in speaking
engagements; and is one of those available from The Alliance
for such engagements. You can reach him via e-mail at CryMinJohn@aol.com.