I do not personally know any of the players involved in the supreme court hearings. I have my opinions on the subject just like everyone else, but those opinions are based on very limited first-hand information. I can find numerous articles on the internet supporting one side or the other. Sadly, I no longer trust any of the media outlets. Hard news reporting is a thing of the past--if we ever really had it at all. Editorial statements and commentary usurp the factual details as the reporter tries to sway our thinking in one way or another. As noted after Hurricane Florence, even reporters covering the weather attempt to deceive us. They stand in ditches to make the flood waters seem deeper. They act like they are being blown over by forceful winds when someone appears in the background casually walking across the street. Our society lacks honesty.
In my nineteen years of ordained ministry, I have had the privilege to walk side-by-side with many individuals going through difficult stretches of life. This has included those who have been victims of sexual abuse. The pain is deep, and the healing process from such encounters can be quite long and painful. These recent proceedings have opened fresh wounds in many people recovering from traumatic experiences. I am sure that is especially the case for individuals associated with other high-profile allegations involving people at the highest office of our land. Our society lacks healing.
I have also known a few folks who have been falsely accused of sexual impropriety or other offenses. That is a horrendous experience as well. Damaging the reputation and good name of another person by falsely accusing them of a misdeed is extremely harmful. Even when the person is eventually found innocent, there is no turning back the clock and undoing the character assassination. Our society lacks integrity.
Subsequently, whether we believe the testimony of Christine Ford or not, some of the descriptive words used to label her are certainly not helpful to the conversation. Likewise, whether you believe the testimony of Brett Kavanaugh or not, the vile threats against him and his family certainly do not aid in seeking the objective facts. Our society lacks prudence.
The challenge in all of these proceedings is sifting through the political posturing in search of truth. The pursuit of power and money is evident time and time again among the political elites. How many of those involved in the proceedings are simply using these hearings as an opportunity to campaign for their next election? Our society lacks humility.
As we look at the symptoms of an ill society, how do we find the root cause and begin the process of healing and restoration? Many people speculate that it is already too late for America. Paul Harvey's warning in 1965 seems to be coming to fruition right before our eyes. Our society lacks wisdom.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=teZLqItvK-8 (Vivid images to enhance script)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGrWvrGDOXg (Includes transcript)
One question I have heard repeated lately is, "Why do men hurt women?" I would take that question to another level by asking, Why is there so much violence in our world?"
Why do we have so many wars?
Why is there so much violent crime? There were 1,026 people shot in Chicago during the summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day).
Why do we feel it is okay to hasten the death of some people through physician-assisted suicide? I did an internet search to see how many states now had approved this type of legislation. The first website offered for my perusal was entitled, "Death with Dignity." The language we use matters in regard to how we perceive some of these things.
Why do we feel it is okay to exterminate the lives of millions of children while they are in the womb? It really is not "pro-choice" for the baby.
Bottom line--our society lacks gratitude for the gift of life.
As I study the symptoms of our ailing society, I see a dire need for the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love if we have any chance of recovery. When the Son of Man returns, will he find any faith on earth? (See Luke 18:8) That question becomes more pertinent with each passing day. Our society lacks faith in God.
It is difficult to have hope when the world seems to be caving in around you. If we are placing our hope in government, our wealth, or simply in ourselves, we will surely be disappointed. Our society lacks hope in the omniscience of Almighty God.
Finally, why is it surprising to see so much immorality in our world? We have no sense of sin. Without a sense of right and wrong, it is difficult to love. We tend to be more focused on looking out for number one rather than serving, honoring, and respecting others. Our society lacks genuine love.
Sadly, the Church has failed to be a moral compass in many respects. We have lost credibility in our preaching and teaching due to these failings. This has hindered our ability to be a light shining in the darkness. Instead, this failure in leadership has contributed to the pain and suffering of many. Our Church lacks unity. ("Father, may they be one." See John 17:21)
My dear readers, healing for our nation and society begins with each one of us. Let us root out the sin in our own lives. Let us be people of prayer. Let us have reverential awe for God and a genuine respect for our neighbor. We may not be able to control what happens in Washington, DC, but we can control our own actions and behavior. Individually, we sometimes lack self-discipline.
My encouragement to you today is simply this. Be an authentic Christian! Be a saint!