It has been a quite popular topic recently. The FBI has released a formal statement that outlined their investigation and concluded with their recommendation to the Department of Justice. Its all the rage, if you will. I view this entire ordeal simply as a symptom of a much larger problem embedded deeply within the innermost parts of our society, and more importantly our hearts. We don’t know what is right or wrong anymore, or even worse we choose to make our own wrongs right.
Ravi Zacharias wrote in his recent article The Soul of America, a statement that is readily observed today. “If we abide in God’s truth revealed in His son, then we shall know the truth and the truth will set us free. That is why I say again and again that we must dispense with our verbal arsenal that speaks only in terms of right and left. We have forgotten there is an up and down.” Dr. Zacharias hits the nail on the head once again. Here in our country today people’s decisions morally are more driven by their party affiliation than driven by what is right. Why is this? It is my position that the answer can be summed up in the following blunt statement: It is because many people allow politicians to tell them what is right instead of God. This may be for a lack of understanding of what God says, and if this is the case for you, I wish to fill that void from within the Christian worldview.
Jesus was asked by a lawyer what the greatest commandment was. We read in Matthew 22:36-40: ” ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’ ” When we understand Jesus’ ideas concerning the interpretation of these commandments we see that the 10 Commandments can be rightly divided into two groups. The first dealing with the love that you should possess for God, and the second the love that you should possess to your fellow human beings as people who were created in God’s image. Subsequently, the decisions you make here in this life that affect people should be motivated out of love for people. In order to understand the commandments we must understand how to interpret and apply them.
Contrary to many people’s opinions, the 9th Commandment does not say: You shall not lie. It does say in Exodus 20:16: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Two things that are removed from this commandment in our unreasonable, yet so popular idea that this commandment simply means we shouldn’t lie. It removes the legal context, and the relational aspect that Jesus instructs us is so vital to applying these 10 Commandments.
We must understand that the legal context supports the importance of the application of justice within society. Truth, not departure from it, is needed to carry out justice, and justice is needed for any society to continue its existence. The knowledge that our leaders submit to this authority within their own lives is paramount for our society to function within Godly parameters. If we don’t have leaders that uphold these God given values then we must consent to having decisions made by them that are void of Godly intention, and this should rock all Christians to their core. It doesn’t matter if you are on the left or the right politically.
The second, and perhaps the most important is the understanding of “neighbor.” If you are wondering exactly how to view the word “neighbor,” we are fortunate that Jesus addressed this as well. We read in Luke 10:29-37 where Jesus answered that exact question. He answers by setting the stage where a man was victimized by robbers who stripped him of his clothes, beat him and left him dying. A Priest, Levite and Samaritan all saw him lying there, but only the Samaritan did something about it. The Priest and Levite both of whom were known well by their titles walked by without lending a hand. The Samaritan was also known by a title, but it was not a title that carried a high view of the person. I think this delineation is important because titles don’t matter in God’s eyes and they shouldn’t in our either. What matters is your actions being motivated by righteousness no matter what your sphere of influence may be. The conclusion is simply the Samaritan was more neighborly than the others because he acted out of compassion to the victim of this crime. His actions were motivated out of love for the innocent.
What are the implications in evaluating this contemporary issue? I will let you decide for yourself in this, but I encourage you to consider what is right and wrong before considering left or right. Do you observe justice, or a miscarriage of it? Do you observe a deep and significant care for the people in a “neighborly” way? I exhort you to stop getting ideas of what is right and wrong by the left and right wings of politics, and start getting your ideas of right and wrong by the up and down view. This is the view that we rightfully should have as beings who were created by a God who loves us, and corrects our actions towards both Himself and others that He created. Our current president is not the Savior, and the next one won’t be either. Jesus the Christ IS, and there is no other.
I am sure many will read this and say that I am endorsing the Republican Candidate with this message. If you see that, than I humbly say that you have missed the entire point. I furthermore agree that much can be written on this side of the house as well. My whole point is that politicians are not the ultimate authority on what is right and wrong. God is, and we will all one day give an account for our decisions here in this world. Let’s measure things by His standard in our own lives, and in evaluating the actions of our governmental leaders.
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Exodus 20:16 – “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”