Scripture tells me I am to be in the world, just not of it. In other words, I have to live in this world, but I must not allow myself to conform to the ways of this world. Scripture also teaches me to be as wise as a serpent, but as innocent as a dove. This means I must use wisdom to guide my actions, but I must not allow my reasoning to become so twisted that I start to believe good is evil and evil is good. Sadly, I must confess that, for the majority of my life, I failed on both counts: I have conformed to the ways of this world, and I have allowed myself to believe in lies. What’s more, I believed I was doing ‘right’ both times. Thankfully, the Lord opened my eyes a few years ago, so now, though I still do not see perfectly, I do see more clearly than ever before. I just wish I could help others to open their eyes as well. Sadly, this election cycle has shown me just how difficult that can be — especially when you are trying to open the eyes of those who are convinced their wicked way is actually the will of God.So, what do I mean by all this? Well, I don’t want to use names or single out any particular group. That doesn’t edify or build up anyone. It just weakens and tears them down, and I do not want to be any part of tearing others down — not anymore. Fortunately, in this case, I don’t have to because, in this country, today, this message can be applied almost universally.
I have this friend. I’ve known him for several years. We met through a political chat room that eventually turned into a rather sizeable blog page. At the time, he and I shared similar political opinions, so I know how what he believes. I know because I shared his beliefs back then and we supported each other in our on-line ‘debates.’ But I want to try to keep this post as a teaching opportunity, so for the sake of others’ sensibilities, let’s not think in terms of political Parties. Instead, let’s think in terms of ‘tribes.’ So let’s just say that, when we met, my friend and I were both part of the same tribe.
This past week, I stumbled across something my friend said to another of his friends. He was giving this other person an ‘I-told-you-so’ over something the other person’s tribe had done. Well, I knew that my friend’s tribe had just done the same thing, and because my friend had posted his comments in a public forum, I tried to point out that my friend was being hypocritical. He was accusing this other person’s tribe of wrong doing while totally ignoring his own tribe’s guilt over the exact same thing. Needless to say, my friend did not take well to my intrusion. He told me his comments were directed at this other person, not me, and that the thing this other person’s tribe had done had nothing to do with his tribe. It was at that moment that I suddenly realized my own guilt.
You see, for years, my friend and I would get outraged when this other person’s tribe would accuse our tribe of not living up to our tribe’s professed principles and ideals. Any time a representative of our tribe would do something hypocritical, this other guys tribe would use it to attack us. Naturally, my friend and I did not take well to these attacks — especially since this other guy’s tribe was doing the exact same things. But, whenever we would point out that this other guy’s tribe was being hypocritical too, we were told that what this other guy’s tribe did was not the issue. It was always about the things our tribe was doing, never about the wrongs of this other guys tribe. So, when my friend treated me the exact same way in defending his tribe (no longer my tribe at this point. I don’t have a tribe any longer), when he did that, I realized my friend had compromised everything he and I had said we believed, and he did it just for the sake of trying to help his tribe beat this other guy’s tribe.
I had been feeling a little lost for weeks, but after this encounter, I realized I no longer belong to any of man’s tribes. If we profess to have ‘principles,’ (i.e. morality), but we compromise those principles any time we believe we are going to ‘lose’ something, then we act hypocritically. Hypocrisy is a break with morality, which is why people use it so often. People usually respond to the mere accusation of hypocrisy by assuming the accused is guilty. But it goes farther than this. Not only do they assume the accused is guilty, but that they are guilty of some sort of moral wrong that the accused was trying to push on them. In their minds, the accused then becomes a ‘do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do’ sort of person, and human nature naturally reviles such people. This is why, many times, you don’t need to provide any argument or evidence to support your claims; the claim is often seen as proof enough to paint the accused as guilty. But there is a catch to making this sort of thing work: the accused usually has to be innocent!
I know that is counter-intuitive, but it’s true — and my exchange with my friend and this other guy helped me understand why it’s true. You see, this other guy only saw the hypocrisy in my friend’s tribe, and my friend only saw it in this other guy’s tribe — but both tribes are guilty of doing the exact same things. They are both doing things in total contradiction to the principles and ideals for which both tribes claim to stand. Therefore, both tribes are guilty, but my friend and this other guy identify personally with their tribes, so they cannot admit to their tribe’s guilt without accepting a part of that guilt, themselves. This is why neither of them can ever see their tribe’s guilt — because they are guilty, too!
But when I stepped in and tried to point all this out to them, I was attacked. I was accused of being the hypocrite, and I was treated as though it were true. Why? Because hypocrisy is a force of destruction, and because a house divided cannot stand. Confused? Well, if you do not understand the Light, I can understand why. If that’s the case, I’ll try to explain.
A house cannot stand if it is divided. That is why there are so many people working so hard to divide the American people: so they cannot stand together. Like it or not, we live in a world where Spiritual forces exist, and these forces are waging a war all around us. Destruction is a weapon of evil. Therefore, evil will not use its weapons against itself unless it serves to cause even greater destruction. However, evil will use those weapons against good. Now, how you view the effects of these weapons of destruction will go a long way to telling you to which tribe you belong. If a guilty man is told he is being a hypocrite, yet he refuses to acknowledge it and change his ways, then he belongs more to the darkness than the light. That’s why this same man will revel in accusing an innocent man of hypocrisy — because both denial and false accusation destroy, and this man belongs to the tribe of darkness. But is a man is told he is being hypocritical and he sees it and changes, then this man has more in common with the light than the darkness. Even more so if this same man is falsely accused but refuses to act in an unrighteous manner in return.
Now let me tie this all together. For years, my friend and I claimed that we believed in a certain set of principles. Principles are supposed to be fixed: they do not change with time or circumstance. In addition, in order to better understanding these principles, and to learn how to express and defend them, my friend and I both followed the opinions of certain prominent public figures. Now, I was a true believer — still am. But this week taught me that my friend is not, and neither are the people I used to look to for help in understanding my principles. What happened this week is that I learned my friend, and these former mentors care more about the success of the tribe — by any means — than they do about the principles in which they claimed to believe. In every case, my friend and our former mentors abandoned everything they ever said or taught and started to do the very same things they used to attack people in other tribes for doing to them. On top of this, when anyone tries to point out that my friend or our mentors are being hypocritical, that person is attacked as being some sort of trader to my friend and former mentors tribe. This is exactly what these people used to say about other tribes. And through it all, the common ground is not the principles in which they used to claim to believe, but the drive to make sure their tribe ‘wins’ — no matter what.
So, back to the political Parties. What this week taught me is that none of them actually believe in anything but the Party. Therefore, none of them are principled. They will change according to their needs at the time. But principles are moral laws, and morality cannot change. Therefore, these people are not moral. They can’t be, not when the only thing they care about is ‘Party above all else.’
Which is why I no longer look to men for anything dealing with eternal principles. There is only One whose Laws are perfect, and Who does not change. He is the Light, the Alpha and the Omega, and it is to Him and only Him we should turn for guidance in what is right and what is wrong. Any other foundation is just sinking sand…
2 thoughts on “Party Uber Alles!”
I think being in the world but not of it is a delicate balance each follower of Christ must walk every day. As the darkness in this world grows, the line of that balance gets less broad and sometimes more tricky. Which is why we must always weigh everything against Scripture and prayer.