A higher standard

While most of the nation was watching the presidential primaries in five northern states last night (probably a small fraction of the nation was actually paying attention) a little known U.S. representative became the first incumbent to lose his seat.

Representative Chaka Fattah, an incumbent Democratic congressman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania lost his primary. It could be an indication that the nation is beginning to get unsettled with those seated in the prestigious hallowed chairs in the House of Representatives.

Or more likely, according to reporter Amber Phillips, it is because Chaka (no relation to the singer) is preparing for his day in court to fight 29 charges. Prosecutors have come up with bribery, racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud and bank fraud (see the Washington Post story here). When you are trying to keep from going to jail (evidently it can still happen to some politicians) your attention can be diverted from the campaign trail.

In case you didn’t realize it, our country, our state, our community is in real need of some principled men and women with high ethical standards in places of political power.

There was a time, at least in the south, when in order to win a political office, a candidate had to be a member of a church. The way our culture is going now, it may be a liability. But, regardless, our country needs candidates who are committed to the Lordship of Christ. That doesn’t mean they are going to wear their Christianity like a beauty pageant sash, but it does mean that they see the world through the lens of Biblical worldview.

We don’t need perfect Christians in office. There are none. But if only a reasonable ethical standard existed in the heart of a candidate that was not for sale to the highest bidder, it could mean a huge difference.

60 Minutes had a story this past Sunday night called Dialing for Dollars. David Jolly, a representative from Florida has introduced a bill called the Stop Act which would prohibit elected officials from soliciting money. I don’t know Jolly except that he is also running for the Senate seat vacated by Marco Rubio and he won a seat that was the most expensive congressional campaign on record. I am cynical enough to know it could just be a political ploy to introduce a bill that perhaps he knows doesn’t have a chance of passing, but could make him look good.

If nothing else, it seems to me the thirty hours a week congressmen and congress-women are spending on fundraising could be spent on being better representatives.

Even if the bill passes, it won’t do away with corruption…but it couldn’t hurt. I don’t know enough to know if this bill is the right thing, but it sure seems like a good start.

Our political system needs some divine help.

So, we must pray for our elected officials and for those currently running for office that they might somehow rise above the seduction of big money. Pray that our system might honor those who do their job as elected officials well, and not necessarily reward them for how much money they raise.

We should pray for God to be merciful to us as a people and gift us with Godly politicians from courthouse to statehouse to White House to the U.S. Capitol. “God, please don’t give us what we deserve. Be merciful to us and bless us rather with what we don’t.”

Read this (daily Bible reading):
Luke 22
55 They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, and Peter sat among them. 56 When a servant saw him sitting in the firelight, and looked closely at him, she said, “This man was with Him too.”

57   But he denied it: “Woman, I don’t know Him!”

58   After a little while, someone else saw him and said, “You’re one of them too!”

“Man, I am not!” Peter said.

59   About an hour later, another kept insisting, “This man was certainly with Him, since he’s also a Galilean.”

60   But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter. So Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

63   The men who were holding Jesus started mocking and beating Him. 64 After blindfolding Him, they kept asking, “Prophesy! Who hit You?” 65 And they were saying many other blasphemous things against Him.

66   When daylight came, the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the scribes, convened and brought Him before their Sanhedrin. 67 They said, “If You are the Messiah, tell us.”

But He said to them, “If I do tell you, you will not believe. 68 And if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the Power of God.”

70   They all asked, “Are You, then, the Son of God?”

And He said to them, “You say that I am.”

71   “Why do we need any more testimony,” they said, “since we’ve heard it ourselves from His mouth?”

23:1   Then their whole assembly rose up and brought Him before Pilate. 2 They began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man subverting our nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is the Messiah, a King.”

3   So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

He answered him, “You have said it.”

4   Pilate then told the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no grounds for charging this man.”

5   But they kept insisting, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where He started even to here.”

6   When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 Finding that He was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days. 8 Herod was very glad to see Jesus; for a long time he had wanted to see Him because he had heard about Him and was hoping to see some miracle performed by Him. 9 So he kept asking Him questions, but Jesus did not answer him. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing Him.

One prayer to pray with the rest of us. 
Father, please move in the hearts and minds of the men and women who serve us as elected officials. Begin to raise up a new generation of Godly and ethical statesmen to lead us.

Today’s assignment, should you choose to accept it.
Research the candidates who will be running in our local, state and national offices. Read what they say about themselves and what others say about them.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *