Monday, March 3, 2008

The Church that cried 'Wolf'

Here is just a thought. I have been dismayed and frustrated at many things during this run up to the presidential elections.

One of the things that has really been bothersome to me are the multitude of emails that I get from Christians circulating false accusations against Barack Obama. Not only have I received more of those emails than I can even count over the past year, but every conversation about the elections that I have sat in on with any group of Christians, one or more brought up the false accusations about Barack Obama, and clung to them as if they were true even after being told the specific accusation had been conclusively disproved.

It doesn't take much internet research time to confirm or disprove the strong accusations that circulate against someone via emails. It should be standard procedure to do so before passing it along.

Here's how not doing that has complicated these elections. There are real reasons to be concerned about positions Barack Obama holds and will act according to if he is elected president. But because the false accusations have been so many and so unfounded, no one will listen to the facts about him anymore.

Literally, the Church has been like the little boy who cried "wolf!' so often that no one listened when a wolf really was on the scene.

You may say that it is not fair to lump the whole Church into this, but it is shameful how many Christians have participated in the unsubstantiated circulation of lies against Barack Obama. I am very concerned about Obama's true problematic positions on the issues but unfortunately the barrage of lies against him have served only to erect a deflecting shield around him against any questioning.

As believers, we may not be able to penetrate that shield that brings Obama's positions into accountability until we repent for all the false witness that we have borne against him over many months. Like the boy who cried 'wolf' when there was no wolf, we may find ourselves eaten up by this if we do not repent now for our bad acts against him that had no basis in truth.

Unfortunately, we have been following the lead of many conservative talk radio pundits who do not exhibit any conscience about making insinuations about political enemies that they know well are untrue. It is just a political game to them even though many of them also claim to be believers. Their conscience must be hardened by the delight of their listeners to the outrageous comments they make against political enemies.

We need to realize that we have an ethical bar to rise to as believers, even in the election cycle. We must repent for violating a commandment the God felt important enough to include in His 'top ten' list, Exodus 20:16: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

When we repent and turn from such evils, then maybe others will listen to the true concerns we have about the candidates.

Otherwise, we have no credibility with God or man.