I Was Just Thinking About - - -
To say that our nation has been impacted by the cultural quagmire and the accompanying morass that surrounds us daily, is an unequivocal understatement. At one point, the nation thought it had arrived at a pinnacle of righteousness and from that vantage point all of life in the nation (and world) could be measured in terms of a self-interpreted Judeo-Christian ethic and standard. There were the very vocal anti-communist groups that spoke loudly about those who had been duped into an atheistic philosophy of life and government. Others were influenced by those who identified themselves as the voice for the moral majority. By way of observation, who or what occupies the pinnacle and mountaintop of greatest influence today?
Just this past week, we have heard POTUS (President of the United States) exclaim that the more important issue of climate change is being drowned out by the inflated fears regarding ISIS and Islamic extremists (similar to Christians during the Inquisition). He is unable to use the phrase “Islamic Terrorists” and has framed terms such as “work-place violence” or “armed insurgents” to describe the murders, beheadings, immolation, rapes and cruelty that is occurring in the world today. It is a form of denial in terms of reality and misrepresentation of that which is happening to real people in real time. We have witnessed in our nation and government the trampling of truth underfoot. Rhetoric has replaced reality and misrepresentation has replaced truth. Part of the sad commentary of these times is that the general public either doesn’t care, has become desensitized or being impervious to that which is right or wrong. As a result, people who have lied, are elected and reelected to office. Those who have failed to pay their Income Taxes received appointment to government positions or have frequent access as resource people advising POTUS. How far removed are we from the pinnacle where loud voices informed the nation and world what was righteous or not? Where are we as a culture on the slippery slope of compromise? For almost 50 years, we have witnessed the legalization of practices that are totally contrary to any Judeo-Christian ethic or moral value, such as abortion on demand to the current same gender marriage legislation and speaking of the possibility of a form of euthanasia (by limiting life support, treatment or medications for the elderly who are invalidated for further medical treatment).
Currently, evidence of the sanctimonious has surfaced because a television network has discovered their primary newscaster has embellished a story he reported and repeated over a 12 year period. The reporter claims that he had misremembered. Others attribute it to the fog of war syndrome. The reporter, in his form of defense and apology stated: “In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions…Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.” The network has decided to suspend him immediately for 6 months without remuneration.
Critics have found it easy to condemn one man for his obvious error in judgment, conflating his report and repeatedly misrepresenting the facts (in other words, he lied and knew it was a lie each time he repeated and embellished his narrative). This is where the sanctimonious syndrome enters. The “holier than thou” becomes the mantra as judgments are made about one who was caught in his lie and “misremembering.” For the Church and Christian, care must be exercised because being sanctimonious is the trait of many who love to be able to look down upon others from their pinnacle of self-mandated righteous standards. If only we could return to the place where Psalm 85:10 (KJV) references “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” The only place where that can be found and embraced is recorded in Psalm 89:14 (ESV), “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” We need to gather constantly before the throne of God where the absolute standard of righteousness is found. We need our lives assessed by God before we dare to judge others by our own sanctimonious standard. Consider these things with me.