Politicians, Honesty and Integrity

Posted: February 18, 2016 in Christian Living, politics
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“Some 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 )

With the 2016 presidential campaigns in full swing, the contest for deception, misdirection, fact-bending, half-truths, and downright lies to win the hearts and minds of voters, has also ramped up.

I’m constantly amazed by how often politicians lie—and their unwillingness to admit that they lied. And the excuses that politicians use for what is, in many cases, bold-faced lies are legend: “I misspoke. The media misinterpreted what I meant. My words were distorted, misrepresented, twisted, exaggerated, or taken out of context.” (Take your pick)

But, of course, politicians never lie. (At least that’s what they say) Yet, the truth is that politicians DO lie. And about things that are substantive.

According to Politifact.com, a fact-checking website, even the politicians who many would consider to be the most honest, have been caught telling some serious lies. Regardless, people tend to still believe the candidates they like—in spite of any indiscretions that may be uncovered about them.

Most of us are conditioned from early childhood to think for ourselves and to seek out the “right” truth. Moment by moment, day by day, we want to believe that we are skillfully analyzing statements and basing our opinions on the correct conclusions. But reality routinely contradicts that belief.

Today’s internet culture and social media sites like Face Book and Twitter provide endless opportunities for untruths and conspiracy theories to be presented as factual as people accept beliefs and reports that are completely erroneous.

Consider “net-crud,” the term given to contrived photographs or stories circulating on the Internet which have been deliberately manufactured or doctored so as to mislead readers into believing they’re evidence of remarkable discoveries or events. Claims attributed to “ex-CIA agents,” “retired FBI agents,” or “ex-NASA engineers” are offered as attempts to legitimize the fabrications. As a result, many people automatically assume that a remarkable story or claim is true. “It’s on the internet, so it must be true. Right?”

The $64,000 question is, why do people continue to believe lies when confronted with the truth? Particularly in this age of the Internet and its army of professional and amateur fact checkers.

Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany  once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

It is not a stretch to understand why people would believe something if they hear it enough. People expect that lies will be disproved and fade away. So if the lies continue to be heard, people assume then, that they must be true. Media manipulators capitalize on that assumption every day.

Even though many believe that honesty and integrity is important, the word integrity is rarely even used any more. In the Old Testament, most of the verses contain the word integrity. Below are just a few:

1 Kings 9:4-5 – And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, “You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.”

Proverbs 2:20-21 – So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it …

Proverbs 28:18 – Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.

Proverbs 28:18 Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.

John MacArthur once said, “According to Scripture, virtually everything that truly qualifies a person for leadership is directly related to character. It’s not about style, status, personal charisma, clout, or worldly measurements of success. Integrity is the main issue that makes the difference between a good leader and a bad one.”

And yet, this year people will choose the next president, not according to his or her integrity and honesty, but according to who lies the least!

The irony is that mankind has really brought this onto themselves. After all these centuries, people still haven’t learned to take back their power and start taking responsibility for themselves.

Our nation is in a crisis. The world is crying out for answers in the face of bewildering and seemingly unsolvable problems—from a failing education system, to racial unrest, to threats against traditional family values. Will we be prepared with biblical answers to combat the folly of mankind? Or will we just stand by and wait for the axe to fall?

“Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.” (2 Tim. 3:8, 9)

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