Our choices seem to be between a man who hopes to be a god and one who thinks he already is one. —Pastoral prayer, November 3rd 2012

…To withhold your contempt from men’s vices is an act of moral counterfeiting, and to withhold your admiration from their virtues is an act of moral embezzlement…. —Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual (1961)

The Character of a Ruler

For sometime our political contests have pooh-poohed questions about our candidates’ moral character. And long before, almost from the beginning of our national history, questions about our candidates’ religious convictions have been completely off limits. Yes, presidential candidates are supposed to make a vague allusion to a god of some sort, but we are never to ask after any creedal specifics. As a nation, we are pretty well convinced that we all we need is a man (or woman) with the proper vision, a new program, and the managerial skills necessary to execute it. Religion and character are irrelevant. And, because we’re a bit on the shallow side, we’re used to confusing media presentations with reality. We also believe that a smattering of thirty-second TV spots or radio sound bites will tell us all we need to pick the right candidate for the office.

King David saw things differently. When he came to the end of his life, he had a few things to say about the character and function of rulers. The words, however, weren’t his alone if you believe the Bible. He spoke by divine inspiration. He said this:

The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. (2 Sam. 23:3)

The word “just” means righteous in conduct and character. The just ruler conducts his personal life and his public responsibilities in obedience to God’s righteous law. He keeps God’s commandments. This righteousness is born out of the “fear of God.” This is a heart attitude. The just ruler takes God seriously in all His claims. He is careful to please God and afraid to offend Him. John Gill describes this fear as “filial fear…a reverential affection…and devotion.” The just ruler serves and honors God from his heart.

There’s more. David sees the godly ruler, not as a necessary evil, but as a positive blessing:

And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. (v. 4)

David compares the godly ruler to the light of dawn, to a cloudless sunrise, and to the rain that causes the grass to sprout after a long drought. A godly ruler scatters the darkness of the past. He provides vision and direction. Like a bright sun after rain, he nourishes his people and they flourish under his reign. Obviously, he is more than the Lord’s policeman, more than God’s hangman. He is a positive force for good in God’s kingdom.

The ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy is in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and David’s thoughts immediately turn to God’s promise and covenant.

…He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire. (v. 5)

God had promised that David’s Son would sit upon his throne and reign forever; that is, that He would defeat sin and death (Acts 2:22-36). The Psalms and prophets are full of descriptions of His righteous reign. And, Psalm 72 is in large part an amplification of David’s last words:

He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. (v. 2)

He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. (v. 4)

He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. (v. 6)

In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. (v. 7)

For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. (v. 12)

Jesus Christ alone is the righteous King who establishes justice and peace in the world. This is important. It means that no human ruler will ever match the description of the just ruler that David sets forward. David was a man after God’s own heart, yet at times he failed horribly, both in his personal life and in the administration of his kingdom. Still, his reign was far better than Saul’s. David’s faith in God’s promise moved him to behave more consistently like the righteous King to come than any monarch the world had ever seen.

The Source of Godly Character

Faith matters. A man’s character springs from his religious commitment. Without exception, we all serve someone or something (Rom. 6). We either serve our Creator, or we serve a creation. That is to say, we either serve God or some sort of idol.

By nature, we are children of Adam, dead in trespasses in sins (Eph. 2:1). We are conceived and born in sin and go astray from the womb speaking lies (Ps. 51:5; 58:3). In our flesh, in our Adamic nature, dwells no good thing (Rom. 7:18). So in the flesh we can’t please God. In fact, we are at war with God on all fronts (Rom. 8:7-8). What our flesh brings forth is corruption (Gal. 5:19-21; 6:8).

This means that human nature as it comes to us from Adam is incapable of producing godly character. Its potentials are wholly on the side of evil. “To put it another way, there is no such thing as a neutral character, which may be developed one way or another, shaped by the environment, coerced by threat of punishment, or lifted by high ideals” (Powell, 24). Here’s the sobering facts: Neither a good education nor a good environment can transform human nature or build godly character. “If a godly environment with appropriate punishments and rewards, diligent administration of the laws, and separation from the rest of the world could ever have produced good character, then Israel would have been the godliest nation on earth” (24). She wasn’t. She isn’t. Information, character training, environmental control, or psychological manipulation can never produce godly character if the Holy Spirit isn’t “building the house” (Isa. 29:13).

Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him. (Prov. 27:22)

That which is born of the flesh is only and always flesh (John 3:6). As Job said, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one” (Job 14:4). For a good tree “cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matt. 7:18). We need good trees. We need new, regenerated trees.

Godly character is the work of God’s Holy Spirit. It springs from a new creation, a new birth (2 Cor. 5:17; John 3:3-7). The prophet Ezekiel describes the Spirit’s work in these terms:

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezek. 11:19-20)

Just rulers are men whose hearts have been transformed by the word and Spirit of God (1 Pet. 1:23). They are moved by the fear of God. They trust God for their salvation and for all of life. They aren’t just libertarian or conservative or fiscally sound. They are new creatures in Christ Jesus. They aren’t nice men, or men of high ideals or sound principles… they are born again sons of God who live out their faith (albeit, imperfectly) in their private lives and in their civic responsibilities.

The Danger of Perfectionism

We are woefully short of such men and women today. What then? Because there are no just men on the slate, shall we take our hats and go home? Or shall we “play politics” and round up some truly godly men for office who will never win any election given the current system?

God tells us that rulers must be just. Yet He also tells us that He sets up pagan kings and emperors and that they are His ministers and servants (Dan. 4:17; 5:18-21; Rom. 13:1-5). He also tells us to pray for them. Paul commands us to pray “for kings, and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Tim. 2:2). When our rulers are ungodly, we are to pray that God will overrule their administrations in such a way that the Church can continue its worship and mission in peace.

God can and does convert wicked rulers. He converted Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4). He can move wicked rulers to do the right thing. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Prov. 21:1). God can place His servants within wicked administrations and use them for great good. Consider Joseph, Daniel, and even Obadiah, who was steward to the wicked Ahab (1 Kings 18:3). God’s hands aren’t tied by our poor crop of candidates. Jesus is still on the throne (Matt. 28:18).

Conclusion

We should want righteous rulers. We should vote for righteous rulers. But we shouldn’t be fools. If there aren’t any righteous men on the ticket, then we shouldn’t pretend that there are. And at that point our choices, like our prayers, must be moved by our concern for God’s Kingdom. A libertarian may be better than a liberal. A Mormon may be better than a Muslim. Maybe. But the bottom line issue has to be the freedom of the gospel. Whose administration will likely afford the preaching of the gospel the greatest liberty? Which administration will grant God’s people some measure of protection, or simply leave them alone so that they can do God’s work? Watch out Tuesday… there are dangerous political curves ahead.

4 Comments

  • Avatar
    Joanna Hoyt Posted November 4, 2012 3:44 pm

    Just wanted to mention that, while there is a Mormon candidate in the race, there is not a Muslim one.

    Not that I would think it wrong if there were a Muslim one. I would prefer a leader who lives by a faith which helps him to love God and his neighbors, but I am not particular about the faith labels.

  • Avatar
    The Juanster Posted November 9, 2012 11:30 am

    Using Scripturwe as a foundation, I beg to differ with this alegation: “By nature, we are children of Adam, dead in trespasses in sins (Eph. 2:1). We are conceived and born in sin and go astray from the womb speaking lies (Ps. 51:5; 58:3). In our flesh, in our Adamic nature, dwells no good thing (Rom. 7:18). So in the flesh we can’t please God. In fact, we are at war with God on all fronts (Rom. 8:7-8). What our flesh brings forth is corruption (Gal. 5:19-21; 6:8).”

    “This means that human nature as it comes to us from Adam is incapable of producing godly character. Its potentials are wholly on the side of evil.”

    What’s being asked here, is to disregard common sense and critical thinking. In the attribution of Human Nature to the Get of Adam, you’re asked to disregard Eve’s contribution to the alleged slurry of Sin. Gen.3:13″…..And The woman said, ‘the serpent beguiled me and I did eat’! As recompense for this beguilement of the woman, we’re taught that the Serpent was cursed to crawl upon it’s belly and consume the dust of the Earth. YET; never is it considered why Eve found the Serpent attractive enough to become beguiled by It. Nor is it ever considered why the Serpent’s curse was punishment if we continue to view our concept of a belly-crawling specie of reptile. The Serpent from Eve’s perspective was as attractive as all of the other (ILK) sons of the Creator; [Gen.6:1-3]. It is under this context that the Serpent was able to come-on to Eve and Bequile her to eat of the forbidden fruit. This in turn asks the question which is left dangling; which happened first; The Beguilement or the Sedduction, or vise-versa,the sedduction before the beguilement? As these slivers of Light find their way betwenn the cracks in the facade of truth we’ve be programmed to accept, let me highlight a few others that will expose the level of confusion Religion has fostered upon We-the-People, to wit; Why didn’t the Serpent attempt to beguile Adam after this Single male/female Mud-ball was molded into an exact Image of the Creator?[Gen.1:26-27, 2:7, 2:18:23] Apparently, if you think abut it, at this time during the Creation Saga; The Creator, The Serpent, and Adam were Identical Triplets; All, Hermorphoditic, Male and Female Entities! Scripture continues;[Gen.5:2] “Male and Female(this single Mud Ball) He Created He them and blessed them and called the {Single Male/Female Mud-Ball, ADAM, in the day they were created. As the above references describe,[Gen.2:21-22] Eve was not an individual until Adam was placed under anesthesia and a deep sleep was achieved that he then underwent the surgery that separated the Female component of the single MudBall into two individual mudball entiites and Adam called her Eve. [Gen.3:20] This provides the context for the coming of Eve into existence. Yet it does not reveal any of the “pillow-talk” that allegedly ensued during the sedduction/beguilement episode which led Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. If Gen.6 is any indication of just how attractive the mud-ball daughters of Adam were to the (ILK) Sons of the Creator, Eve’s sedduction/beguilement and loss of her virginity to the Handsome/Creator-looking Serpent is a foregone conclusion. So, don’t you have to ask yourself, who exactly was Eve referring to when she gave credit to “Her Lord” as the sire of Cain? The Serpent or Adam? As Scripture cotinues. It highlights the enmity that grew between the sons of Eve,the one sired by the Serpent and the mudball son of Adam, Able. After the murder; the question, “am I my brother’s keeper”, is evidence of this enmity between the alleged superior mindset of the older son, fathered by the serpent and that of the younger mudball son, Able. This leads one to appraise the penalty meted out for the muder of Abel by Cain. [The Mark of Cain], what was it that would unmistakenly identify all of the seed of Cain to the rest of Humanity for all tme? What was this Mark that would initiate the expulsion of Cain’s Seed to those environs of the Eath that wouldn’t be as lethal to their lack of portective Melanine in their flesh, and as long as they remained in that area the incedence of Melonoma would be much less? This describes the unmistakable Mark that is instantly recognizible by all of the Seed of Seth the Third MudBall son of Adam.[Gen.5:3]
    THE FLOOD:
    To grasp how The Seed of Cain managed to survive the Flood, [Gen.6:1-3 explains how the genetic makeup of Cain was propagated by the same Serpent (ILK)Sons of God who first beguiled, sedduced and then impregnated the mudball EVE.

    For those that question the credibility of this rebuttal to the above referenced Article, not only did I use Biblical Scripture but that of the Torah referenced by Jesus bar-Abba, to wit; [Matt.19:4] The same that told the sire of Cain,” Man was not created to eat only bread, but of every Word that procedeth out of the Mouth of God”

  • Avatar
    The Juanster Posted November 9, 2012 2:34 pm

    Cont..of THE REBUTTLE

    Now that the election has been decided, I can breathe a sigh of relief that it turned out the way that it did. Throughout the majority of this campaign and all of the Debates, I was hard at work researching who exactly Willard M Romney was since imo, he was never really vetted in his previous attempt to become POTUS. Since this Candidate refuses to discuss his Religious Core Beliefs, it leaves no other choice but to allow the Religion’s Core Belief to speak for it’s self. Of particular interest, thanks to Mitts fund raising capers in the M.E. the LDS core belief #10 has become extremily interesting. It states, based upon the LDS interpretation of [Ezekiel.37:16-22] The Mormons believe they’re the descendants of the ten Lost Tribes of Israel. in total disregard of the now manefested scriptural prophecy of Gen.9:27. Jepheth has been enlarged via the usurpation of Israel’s god as their own and polluted that Belief almost beyond recognition.[2Kgs.17:20-41], [Ezra.4:1-2], [Esther.8:17]. This is the partial historical biblical account of the Enlargment of Japheth. The secular account is located in the trilogy of The Thirteenth Tribe which discloses the Ashkenazim branch of the enlargement circa700AD in the environs of the Caucasus Mts. the Black Sea and Russia. The lands alloted to Japheth and his Seed. Before leaving this topic, another sliver of light has penetrated the facade; Of all the Biblical Patriarchs, only one can number his descendants as equaling the sands of the Sea shore, why is that? Abraham, a Sethite/Mudball son of Adam was allotted the balance of the Planet that was touched by the Sun and the Sea. The proof of this fact is the presence of The Pith Helmet whereever protection from the sun was a required necessity for The Seeds of Japheth. Further proof of the enlargement and religious usurpation is discovered in the work
    ” and
    There’s much more to this Trilogy that has been suppressed and needs to have a bit of light shed upon it. But what has been disclosed up to this point, should whet appitites to want more, hopefully. The bottom Line though is; Mitt Romney cannot be trusted to have access to the Bomb. I’ll discuss why in a later episode,trust me, it will be verified.

  • Avatar
    The Juanster Posted November 9, 2012 3:25 pm

    Cont. The ReButtle:
    As promised, let ask you first to google “Mitt Romney’s Mata Hari” to initiate the verification of why Mitt can’t be trusted with access to the Bomb. The next link in this chain is to google “who is Orit Gadiesh”. After you’ve edified yourself with this bit of information ask yourself: if once a member of the IDF and Mossad Intel are you ever released from these org, Alive? #2. Does Gadiesh have Dual Citizenship status? # what is the current relationship between Romney, Gadiesh and Netanyahu and the Chabad/Lubavitch Mafia. #4.Who were the Dancing Israelis at ground zero on 9/11/2001? How did they know the exact moment and location to initiate their Jig of Joy? #5. Google “The Text of the TANYA”. So that you don’t have to take my word for it, There are escavations that have unearthed proof that has existed long before Judaism, Christianity, or Islam which exposes the level of ignorence and profound misunderstanding Man’s religious Dogma has perpetrated on the masses. Google this: http://www.biblemaths.com/pdf_wiseman.pdf. Exploer this Evidence to grasp my intent.

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