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Friday, June 17, 2016

Corruption in High Places

'Politics is ( a ) dirty business'!

How often do you hear people, especially Christians, utter these famous last words? It is hard to disagree with this statement, given the dastardly fact of what goes on in those hallowed halls, whether it be at the federal, state, or even sometimes, local level! Politicians have become infamous for speaking out of both sides of their mouth, with a forked tongue & often, believe it or not, out of their ass, metaphorically speaking, of course!

'How do you know when it's really cold out? When the politicians have their hands in their OWN pockets!' So goes the now-famous joke. Though just a joke & told in several different, but still hilariously ( or is that 'sadly? ) true ways, it is only a sign of the times; though it is without doubt that most politicians fall into this category & they must bear the brunt of the responsibility, we must first look at ourselves, Christians in particular & ask this all-important question; 'how have we allowed things to get this bad; how did such evil men & women get into these positions of power?

Those in the know can tell you horror stories about the Rothschilds & the Rockefellers, the Bilderberg Group & the Zionist Conspiracy. One might hear these names linked with such ancient evils as Freemasonry & the Illuminati, all leading to the New World Order. Before we scare ourselves 'spitless' though, we as Christians especially, should ask ourselves this question, 'who's REALLY in charge here?' Most Christians would answer this question with surprising ease & velocity ( or should that be 'veracity? ); 'Satan is the ruler of this world ( 'for the Bible tells me so' ). No wonder this country & politics in general, is in the mess it's in. If this world is truly ruled by 'Satan', then maybe our best hope IS to 'give up & go home'!

If 'Satan' truly ruled this world, that would explain a lot though; I mean, if our God & Father was really in control, this poor world wouldn't have to suffer all the evil that it does, right? Though there might seem to be some sort of wisdom in such an argument, we should remember that, according to our own Scriptures, there are & always have been 'snakes in the garden'! Men & women have always had a choice set before them; to do good or evil. If we do good, then good will undoubtedly come of it, but if we do evil, we can be sure that our sin will find us out! There should be no question, especially regarding politics, which we have done, or at the very least, allowed to persevere.

Politics is, put simply, the decision of the people. Just as one's religion is simply what one believes & thus, how one acts, so the purity of politics depends on the religion of those wielding its power; if they do evil, their politics will be corrupt & if they do well, then their politics, like themselves, will be good & good will come of it! When two or more people, or groups of people, as the case may be, of the same or similar religious convictions gather together to advance toward a common goal, this is often called a conspiracy. Whether for good or evil, though usually it has a bad connotation in this day & age, a conspiracy is formed out of religious beliefs!

Politicians, in themselves, are not necessarily a bad sort! Even though the actions of the majority of politicians that we like to stigmatize are often what we would consider evil & are thus based upon that person's religious beliefs, the person is not themselves, necessarily evil. Many politicians are blindly, whether out of pure ignorance or fear, just doing their jobs, striving to take care of their families & maintain their chosen lifestyle. On the other hand, there ARE those politicians who are simply power-hungry. They truly get high on the misfortunes of others, especially when it serves their own aggrandizement!

Everyone has a story to tell; to whatever extent they have suffered evil in their own lives, their beliefs & thus their politics will be affected. Christians, throughout history, have played a major role in the way this has played out; time & space does not suffice here to recount all the suffering & destruction this world has seen, much of it in the name of Christ & Christianity! Much, if not all of the evil that we bear witness to in the world today, including the corruption of politics, can be linked inextricably with religion. Many Christians complain that politics is corrupt & indeed, so it is, for the most part, but it is only so because the politicians themselves are corrupt; there are good politicians out there, though maybe few & far between, who actually dare to mix their religion & their politics!

When the above happens, though institutionalized religion is & has been the cause of much pain & suffering, we catch a glimpse of how things should be, of what politics done rightly looks like! Christians, in this day & age, have been taught from early on that politics & religion shouldn't be mixed; to some extent, one might say, they're right, but only to the extent that bad, or evil religion shouldn't be mixed with politics. One can neither separate their religious conviction from their politics nor their politics from their religion; one drives the other!

The heart of the matter, therefore, is not corrupt  politics, but corrupt politicians; when the politicians are good, so then will be the politics, but when the politics are bad, we can only blame ourselves, whether directly or indirectly! As Christians, we are the leaders of the culture & from the shape our culture is in, though it IS arguably in better working condition than some, it should be easy to see that, for whatever reason, we have not exerted either the influence that we bear or have shouldered in the gloried past. We ourselves, now as always, have the choice before us; do we let evil persevere & run its course, distancing ourselves from such matters, or do we, through politics & religion, redeem the culture around us, for the Glory of our Heavenly Father & the advancement of His Kingdom?

Charles Haddon Shank

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