Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: Used Car Salesmen

Image Senator Harry Reid was quoted this past week as saying that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was like a used salesmen, in that he was willing to say absolutely anything to get elected. (Just like a used car salesman is stereotyped as being willing to say anything to sell a car).

I got a kick out of the appearance of a used car salesman on FOX News following the remark. The man strenuously objected to how he and his fellow used car salesmen were characterized, and suggested that their reputation far surpasses the current view the American people have about the U.S. congress.

I figure that most of us are getting a bit tired of the presidential campaign. Such election fatigue happens just about every year. It seems that the charges of dishonesty, however, are even sharper than they have been in previous election cycles. It is interesting to me that the majority of Americans bemoan the lack of integrity of our leaders. In fact, the reason for continual spin, evasions and deceit is that a candidate that told the unvarnished truth would have little or no chance of being elected! Admissions of error are seized upon by the opposition as reasons to vote for the other guy. And, if a candidate is completely forthcoming about his agenda, his proposals will immediately be twisted (beyond recognition) by the operatives employed by his opponent. This is especially so on the national level, and is clearly done by both parties.

The phenomenon reminds me of Paul’s warning about false teachers in the last days. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). While the parallel is not exact, it is sufficient to note that the reason why deceit is the default practice of the politician is that it is what the general populace rewards. No politician would campaign negatively, obfuscate or attack the character of his opponent if it were not for the fact that such tactics work. America consistently rewards such ungodly tactics with political victories.

There is little a Christian can do to stem the tide of such ungodly tactics. However, there are a couple of things that we can personally do as we seek to fill our civil duties as citizens of this nation. First, we can demand personal honesty in our own lives. We can exhibit integrity and righteousness in our speech and conduct, and can serve as the “light of the world” God expects us to be (cf. Matthew 5:14-16). Second, we can refuse to participate in repeating and furthering partisan obfuscation, and we can refuse to accept the “party line” without examination. Remember, liars are among the evil who are worthy of condemnation in Romans 1. May we not be among those who “not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:31).

It takes effort to discern between what is true, and what is a distortion of truth. But, as Christians we should be capable of such discernment. It is the same discernment we practice as we seek to differentiate between one who is a preacher of truth, and one who is a heretic. Honestly, if we are unable to tell the difference between a politician or partisan who is being truthful and one who is not, how can we seriously think we will be able to discern between religious truth and error? This is something we need to seriously consider.

“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight” (Proverbs 12:22).

“Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne” (Proverbs 20:28).