Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Bible and the Judge Roy Moore “Scandal”

Sunday, December 3, 2017, 17:23
This news item was posted in Editor's Message category.
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By  Steve Schlissel

Greetings in the name above every name, the Lord Jesus. I’m a Christian minister—have been for 38 years—and I’d like to speak with y’all about Judge Roy Moore’s candidacy, to urge you to recognize how significant and important it is that you support him and vote for him on December 12.

I suppose I should begin by admitting I have no right to tell you what to do. Nevertheless, seeing as most everyone from my neck of the woods is bent every which way but straight in telling you what you must not do, I thought it might not be altogether inappropriate to let you know, not every New Yorker has sold his brains and/or birthright for the dubious “privilege” of being accepted or well-spoken of by atheists.

Speaking of which, I found it interesting that in the venerable (gag) Time Magazine (12/4/17), it was suggested that “real” Republicans in Alabama “fretted that Moore validates the worst stereotypes outsiders hold about Alabama as a bunch of barefoot, Bible-thumping rednecks.” This is not surprising to read in Time, which weekly explores new ways to deceive and manipulate readers. Fact is, should you yield to the malarkey being shoveled ad nauseum by Time and its fellow liars-in-print, they would attribute the ease with which they captured you in their lair to precisely that: “Look at that! A few irrelevant blurbs, some weightless slander, a tear or two, and those rubes fell for it hook, line and sinker.” What I’m urging you to do instead is respond, well, if not like Christians, then at least like New Yorkers, which means: vote enthusiastically for Roy Moore and pull the lever in their faces—with attitude!

You might think I’m telling you to vote for Moore despite your conscience. Not at all. Rather, I’m telling you that a Biblically-informed conscience, joined to a keen understanding of exactly what is transpiring in the Public Square, virtually demand that the ‘Bama folk of faith turn out in emphatic force to send Roy Moore to that swamp, with fear toward God, apologies toward the judge for what he’ll be facing, along with a mandate from the good people of his state to “do the right thing.” Let’s make a case.

First, the scurrilous allegations against Brother Moore do not rise above the level of prurient gossip. There is nothing dignified or praiseworthy in their having appeared in public or in being paraded before voters’ eyes within one month of a special election. Do not go about spreading slander among your people.” You shall not go about as a talebearer (Leviticus 19:16). Since every allegation concerns behavior supposedly occurring 30 or 40 or more years ago, it is 100% irrelevant. Understand what I am saying—and what I am not saying. If one or more of the things alleged actually happened, the time to deal with them was close to the event.

Naturally a society that has no use for God has no use for His Law (they think), but we are bound by it. And here the wisdom of God—and our historic submission to Him evident in much of our Common Law traditions—make it incumbent upon a victim to seek redress sometime near the occurrence of the offense. That is why we have various statutes of limitations connected to differing crimes and offenses, those with the most grievous effects or irreversible deleterious consequences given the widest window for the lawful making of a complaint.

Nothing –n-o-t-h-i-n-g in the allegations paraded irresponsibly before our gullible public warrants a 40-year window. This is not just a scheme to rob women or other shy or modest victims of a voice they may have discovered was not, for whatever reason, immediately available to them. The more important reasons include having meaningful judicial procedures. The likelihood of “meaningful” fades in most cases of just this type and it has nothing to do with anti-women sentiment.

Let’s be clear about one thing: We Christians don’t need to invent entitled classes, or provoke artificial class warfare, in order to pursue righteousness or justice. We recognize that the presence of sinners from every class, tongue, tribe, age—as well as from both (of two) genders provides us with sufficient numbers of sinners to keep courts busy till the end of time. But if those courts are to carry out business leading to a verdict—a declaration or word of truth—there must be ordinary means by which the truth may be ascertained.

That means that both accuser and accused have an interest in dealing with troubles close to their actual occurrence. For it is then—and only then, in many/most cases—that corroboration may be obtained by either/both sides in the way of witnesses, or establishment of alibis, or in the ability to trace criminal steps, or exculpatory facts. The very memories of both victim and perpetrator become less reliable with each passing day, and that for a variety of reasons.

Not to mention, the right to be judged by a jury of peers cannot be wholly disconnected from the notion of culturally situated jurors. This becomes much more important in a time of rapid cultural change—or even upheaval—as all of us have seen many times. A word or phrase spoken in 1979, or an action taken, could well have morphed over time to become connoted either more or less excusably. For these reasons, and many, many more, real offenses have to connected to real charges sometime near to the occurrence of the offense.

In this light, you can instantly see how grossly irresponsible was the prominent posting of these irresponsible splutters 40 years after “offenses” allegedly occurred. (Is it not a measure of the pitiful critical faculties of our media mavins that they included at least one women, whom we have been instructed to believe, who has stated plainly that there was no offense at all during the alleged events, and that she had for some period afterward treasured the times in question as pleasant?) Worse, of course, than the appearance of these grievously anachronistic charges was the guilt of the newspaper, the hyper-partisan slush rag which self-consciously took it upon themselves to cut Roy Moore out of the imminent promotion to which his exemplary career and good name entitled him. Their salacious, eager descent into yellow-journalism, into unconscionable smear journalism, puts upon them a greater guilt.

But to review this first point…actually, let us make an introductory statement to the point. What’s that you say? It’s too late for that? Well, yes. But what I was going to say is, for reasons mentioned and their corollaries, the plain and simple FACT is, it is impossible for any of us to be reasonably certain about the truth or falsity of these vicious and sudden charges. There are many, many, many things limited creatures such as ourselves do not and cannot know. These are properly reckoned among them. Can anyone successfully challenge the trustworthiness of that statement?

No, you cannot. You can only say what you WISH was true—or false. You cannot know. In our better moments, we ALL know that not even the principals can be perfectly certain about every component in every step of things of that nature which happened so long ago. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. Or perhaps you’re under 40 (convenient number).

In any event, my point is, we should not feel entirely without guidance in just such a situation. If no one can determine with confidence the veracity of such claims, THOSE CLAIMS AE TO BE DISBELIEVED and treated in their entirety as polluted, fetid gossip. Not knowing who to believe in this case means less believing Roy Moore than disbelieving his (very late) accusers. It is unethical, immoral, unchristian to lend a credible ear to such unsubstantiated gossip.

If you are not familiar with the Heidelberg Catechism, a Reformed summary of the undoubted Christian faith, a summary used without interruption in Protestant Churches for nearly 500 years, the Ninth Commandment has something very relevant and powerful to say into this very situation. Listen to it carefully (remember, a catechism is simply a teaching tool in question and answer format):

Q. 112. What is god’s will for us in the ninth commandment? 

A. God’s will is that I never give false testimony against anyone, twist no one’s words, not gossip or slander, nor join in condemning anyone without a hearing or without a just cause.

Rather, in court and everywhere else, I should avoid lying and deceit of every kind; these are devices the devil Himself uses, and they would call down on me God’s intense anger. I should love the truth, speak it candidly, and openly acknowledge it. And I should do what I can to guard and advance my neighbor’s good name.

You’ve seen scores—if not hundreds or even thousands—of Christians trampling all over this obligation. Let God judge them. But you, YOU must do the right thing, the God-honoring thing. Of course, the very least thing you must do is that which you would want done to you in a similar, though reversed, situation.

What I’m telling you is, in the presence of unprovable charges of heinous acts, originating from very questionable sources (I speak of the blood-loving media, not the women), charges which happen not to have the character which could belong to a violation of a statute with a lifelong statute of limitations, charges which, even if true, have not left a single “alligator” with lifelong debilitating difficulties (as in, crying out for compensation), charges which had mysteriously, and as yet inexplicably, been kept entirely out of sight, in reserve in a completely secret place, even though Judge Moore ran many times for statewide elective office—and was twice elected as Supreme Court Chief Justice (which, if anything, seems even more to call forth the revelations now alleged as pertinent—and not to mention, closer to the events alleged)…

…in the circumstances just described you are under solemn obligation under God, to completely and altogether dismiss from your view and from your decision making the irrelevant allegations in their entirety. You are not permitted by God to employ them in informing your vote.

How can I say that? Every Lord’s Day it belongs to me to tremble as I dare to speak for God. God help me if I don’t –that, for all its dread and discomfort, is my calling. But I try hard to confine myself to declaring what He has revealed in His Word, making my offerings defeatable by anyone using ordinary means. I’ve explained the first reason I can confidently say, if you had planned on voting for Judge Roy Moore for Senate before November 9, nothing whatsoever has happened or been revealed which would warrant your changing that resolve.

(Obviously, I confine the sweep of this to the scurrilous tripe generated by the Washington Post, which has resulted in him being routinely introduced in print as in Time, “The alleged child-molester.” The penalties against actual child molestation, according to Scripture, should be visited upon those making such outrageous charges. But they don’t have the courage of Roy Moore, or the courage of any inviolable principle).

The SECOND reason to vote for Judge Moore is, his place in the current religious war in the West. The short version is: It is clear why his enemies hate him, dread him, fear him. Of course it is their hatred for God which they spread upon Judge Moore. If they thought soundly, they would recognize in his two “controversial” stances that Judge Moore was actually and genuinely representing their best interests.

I hope to write more about that second reason. But these are the most important parts, from a pastor’s perspective. I urge you to consider them in prayer and in faithfulness to God’s eternal Word and not merely to the feelings demanded of you by today’s wayward culture.

#ALSen

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