John Maxwell wrote, ‘Integrity is not a given factor in everyone’s life. It is a result of self-discipline, inner trust, and a decision to be relentlessly honest in all situations in our lives.’
So the issue is, are we committed to be relentlessly honest or are we willing to accommodate ourselves to doctrinal sleight of hand and religious spin in order to maintain our status and identity in a culture that is based on lies?
I wondered about Sarah Huckabee-Sanders and her conscientious support of the insupportable President Trump. Reading her bio on Wikipedia, one can see that she has organizational skills and possibly a modicum of intelligence. Although the latter is not always a pre-requisite for a politician. The question arose, is she a dullard or was she just doing what ‘polies’ do - Going with the flow because they are attracted to power and like being part of it?
What binds polies together in many cases, in not the gift of penetrating thought, but a propensity to talk on any and every topic whether they know anything about it or not.
‘Talk’ is not the substance of their skill however. The core of who they are is their ability to lock-on to the notions of the masses - whether these ideas are sensible or just plain nutty - and give them a voice. By doing so they give suppositions the appearance of legitimacy. The result is that some ideas that are beneficial and many others that are just plain stupid enter the arena of public debate. Integrity is not always seen in the actions of the politician.
Politicians are not only sensitive to the desire for self-advancement. They are sensitive to the need to please people. Having little sensitivity to the Spirit and lacking in spiritual discernment the religious politician will lock on to the soulishness of the masses and give voice to it.
SOMETHING AND NOTHING
Attempting to placate the prejudices of the various agendas in the room they will often say everything, and as a result, end up saying nothing. In the church the political spirit will condition us to ally ourselves with man instead of God - and doing so in a fashion that convinces us that we are on Jesus’ side when we are actually denying Him. So whether Sarah Huckabee Sanders is intellectually challenged or is just a hired gun is known only to herself and God.
If you Google the words sycophant along with Trump, you will get some interesting results, like this one: “Pence’s speech was fodder for plenty of eye-rolling and jokes online, including from an unlikely source — Dictionary.com. [They wrote] “There’s a word for a person who would praise someone every 12 seconds,” the site’s Twitter account posted Thursday, before linking to the dictionary’s entry for “sycophant.” At the best a sycophant is one who gets their identity and status from a person or an organization they deem able to bestow on them belonging, importance and purpose. At the worst a sycophant is an obsequious and flattering self-server. It’s a tragedy when we look for an identity in a religious community at the expense of our identity in Jesus or are willing to compromise our loyalty to Jesus by adopting a passive attitude to the truth and the degree to which our community diverges from it.
You’ve heard of the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked religious and sports institutions. Joe (not his real name) worked at a place in which the leader was implicated in such behaviors. Joe puzzled at the number of sincere people who denied what was happening, shifting the malfeasance to the victims rather than the perpetrator.
People with little reliance on Jesus, who have poor discernment and a dependent relationship on ‘leaders’ and institutions find it hard to accept wickedness in high places – since this is where they are getting their sense of meaning and identity. They may not be sycophants but they can find themselves betrayed into being naïve and unwitting supporters of evil. I have seen people like this. When the police came to remove the offender, one woman fainted, another went into denial and only accepted the truth when it was thrust upon her ten years later. Thankfully as the Royal Commission reveals, there are people who are truth-tellers and not lackeys of institutions and there are those who go into bat for the oppressed.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart’ for they will see God’ Matt 5.6-8 NIV.
WHO ARE YOU?
The point is this. What person are you? Are you so locked into the life of Jesus that you will not tolerate pseudo-life, un-life, disguised forms of death and ‘other gospels’ that are unsupportable Biblically and out of line with the new covenant inheritance of all? Or like a Sarah Huckabee-Sanders do you live to rationalize them because that’s where you think you get your identity and status?
We will not be people of integrity, much less nobility if Christ is not our life. He is our life when we live in the reality of ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. The pure in heart see God and the pure in heart realise their responsibilities to their fellow men and women.
A whole person approach based on the law is a nonsense and an oxymoron. We cannot expect to live in the integrity of Christ if we are living in a parody of His gospel. Any gospel that stands the cross on its head, re-instates the law and sanctifies old testament observances is nonsense sanctified. In this age God lives in you. The gospel of the Kingdom is Christ for you and Christ as you. You are the creation of His person.
Jesus was crucified because He was the truth, spoke for the truth and exposed error and deceit that masqueraded as truth. There were no alternative and self-made identities in His presence. A Believer is either aligned with Jesus in this or not. Our alignment here places us either with Christ or the spirit of anti-christ.
Why promote death in the name of life? Why attempt to be a configuration of values and aspirations when you can be a human being and more. You can be a son of God and the creation of God. You can be a son/daughter because, by the genius of the Spirit, Christ can be your life and you can roam your world as a manifestation of Jesus. One who is a whole person and contained as themselves is much happier than any one who is a jumble of attempted and largely unfulfilled aspirations. Because the Spirit of Christ enters you and makes you whole, you are who you are as an individual. You are an I am in the I AM of our Father.