As most of us know, last week a video turned up of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump and Billy Bush from Access Hollywood having a graphic conversation about his ability to use his power, prestige and position to do what he wanted sexually with any female that he saw fit. Response was immediate. People were shocked and outraged.
On Tuesday, I posted the following on Facebook and Twitter:
Faux-outrage + feigned-innocence = Pharisees
Allow me to explain.
Faux-Outrage: We live in a highly sexualized and ever-coarsening culture. The other night, Anne and I watched the premiere of “American Housewife” which showed a man sitting on a toilet (pants down around his ankles, btw…) while his daughter entered the bathroom to have him review a school project for her. Think about that for a minute.
Is it really that shocking that someone would say what Mr Trump said? Are we REALLY that offended by it? I mean, of course what he said is offensive. And wrong. And inappropriate. And all of the culturally-correct things to say about it.
But…what have you said in your own life? What thoughts have you had that you would be absolutely terrified of if they were revealed? Which brings up…
Feigned-Innocence: The comparison game begins. “I would never say something like…” It’s brutal reality time: You’re a liar. And, you know you’re lying. You have thought things like that. And so have I. You’ve actually thought worse things, and…so have I. The only difference between you and me and Mr Trump is that he was recorded and the thoughts in our minds and the words coming off of our tongues are not. So, combine our faux-outrage and our feigned innocence and you’ll get…
= Pharisees: One does not have to be religious to be a Pharisee. Any time that we think we are better than someone else because we are simply too domesticated to say what we’re thinking or act on our urges simply makes us outwardly adherent to a law while inwardly we are just as great a sinner as Donald Trump. Or everyone’s favorite default comparison…Adolf Hitler
To put this all into a biblical context (I am a Christian, after all…)…
I thank you, God, that I am not like other people-cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income- Luke 18:11.
In a stunning show of Biblical ignorance, many Christians conveniently and totally ignored Matthew 5:27-28 and brought up Bill Clinton with a gotcha post that looked like this:
“DONALD TRUMP ONLY SAID THOSE THINGS BUT BILL CLINTON ACTUALLY DID THEM”
Then, a family member posted this deeply disturbing video on her Facebook page. Go ahead and take 2 minutes and watch…
As I pondered the events of the weekend and then saw this video, a few emotions prevailed.
Guilt. Shame. Embarrassment. Anger. Fear.
There will come a day when each and every person will face a Judge in this same way. Every single thing that we’ve ever said, thought and done will be revealed.
And, there we will sit.
After a few minutes of those emotions washing over me, 1 John 3:20 came to mind…
whenever our hearts condemn us. for God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything
It was in this moment, perhaps for the first time, that I understood this verse. While I am indeed guilty of sin past, present and future, and while my heart condemns me for that, I do not stand condemned…and you don’t have to either.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death- Romans 8:1&2.
What I’m realizing that these revelations of personal sin and brokenness are actually evidences of God’s grace. Of His kindness and mercy. His love. How?
Because they are opportunities to repent of our sin. While there may be earthly consequences of our sin, eternal consequences are worse.
One final text, Romans 12:3 says…
Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment
We need to be honest about our condition.
I am Donald Trump. And Bill Clinton.
And so are you.