PASTOR'S PEN

I Cannot tell a Lie

posted by Rusty Guenther


“We don’t expect eloquence from fools, nor do we expect lies from our leaders” Proverbs 17:7 Message Bible

In 1809 a man by the name of Parson Weems published one of the first biographies on George Washington. Weems was a neighbor and friend of the Washington family and while his biography was written ten years after Washington’s death, it was very popular and for a long time considered one of the best glimpses of our first president. At the time, George Washington was considered “larger than life” and to help elevate his stature, Weems included a few “legends” along with the facts and over time as the lines blurred, these legends were passed down as truth.
As children, most of us were taught and could probably recite one of these legends. It tells us that as a child, young George was playing around outside with an ax and ended up cutting down his fathers favorite cherry tree. When confronted by his father, young George proclaimed, ‘I cannot tell a lie” and admitted his wrongdoing. Because of his honesty and integrity, His father did not punish George but rather commended him for always being honest. We were taught this lesson in school to encourage us to follow George’s example of honesty and integrity but it also engrained in us an expectation that those in leadership, those who we entrust to lead us must “always tell the truth”, or at least be “honest”.
If you are like me, as you grew older and this story faded from memory , the reality of politics and most politicians scrubbed away the lessons of that cherry tree and young George. We find ourselves today with the understanding that all politicians “lie” at least a little, or might make promises that they have no intentions of keeping because that is just the way the game is played. So my thought for the day is; Who is to blame for where we find ourselves as a nation where more than half of the country consider both candidates for president to be dishonest and untrustworthy? Is it the candidates fault for their lies and dishonesty or is it our fault for lowering our standards by accepting,  rationalizing and justifying their lies?
“The Lord detest lying lips, but He delights in those who are truthful” Proverbs 12:22

 


Character Matters

posted by Rusty Guenther

“Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”  Galatians 6:7

On January 26,1998 the sitting President of the United States went on national TV and gave a speech in which he parsed and redefined the definition of  several words to try and prove that he had not lied about an extra martial affair. While some were shocked at the rationalization, the lies, and the behavior; most of his political supporters and many in the national media justified it all by saying that his personal behavior had nothing to do with his job or title. While we had been on a slippery slope for many years; this incident became a defining moment where we as a nation no longer examined a persons character to determine their ability to lead or serve in a place of authority. The response to any question of character was answered with “What does it matter?” Webster’s dictionary defines character as; “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”. Character is a culmination of our values and morals that are exhibited through our thoughts and actions. For generations, a persons character defined them and spoke to their ability to be trusted with responsibility and authority; but not any longer in the United States. The natural result (what we are reaping) of this choice is finding ourselves in an election year where our choices for President  are a proven dishonest liar and a thrice married philanderer.  The Bible promises that we will always reap what we sow and in a culture that has decided that character is not important, we find ourselves reaping the results. Through it all we need to remember that God is in control; none of this has caught Him off guard and His will continues to be done but we also need to be reminded that there are consequences to our choices. For the follower of Christ, character matters. The Apostle Paul encourage us that “your attitude (character) should be the same as that of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:5) and that it is through our character that people will see “Christ in Us”.  Better a poor man whose walk is blames than a rich man whose ways are perverse” Proverbs 28:6

 


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