We are living in an age of unbelief.
In the church, politics and power matter more to most than does truth, God, or salvation, although the majority of those rightly accused by these words would cry out that I am unjust in saying so. But that is just part of the game. You have to pretend to be about Christ and church and such, but in reality it is the advance of power and personal privilege that takes center stage.
In society, I see the very same dynamic. Our politicians, with precious few exceptions, play at national politics as though it were a game and the dangers of the world around us cannot possibly intrude. Logically, if the dangers of the world around us could not possibly intrude, we would have no need of government. But if the dangers are real, the "playing of politics" as a game, without an eye to the potential repercussions, is idiotic to the point of treason.
Today the enemies of our nation's elected leader have succeeded in finally acquiring the resignation of the Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. He was hounded into resignation over the perfectly legitimate firing of eight Federal Prosecutors. They do serve at the pleasure of the President. The previous president fired every single one of them - ninety-three, I believe. That firing put an end to some troubling federal investigations - one into the President's own conduct. But that action was defended as entirely legitimate at the very same time the firing of eight men was called a presidential abuse of power. The only differences one can observe is that President Bush did not terminate any on-going investigations into his own conduct or that of another Republican, while President Clinton did, and President Bush only fired eight men, not ninety-three.
I carry no brief for Mr. Gonzales. I find the Democratic Party's attack on everything that they can possibly connect to President Bush to be irresponsible to the point of being treasonous. There are real-world dangers from which all of our elected representatives are charged with protecting this nation, and the wholesale assault on every effort of one party to do anything does not strengthen us. It is playing politics as though it is a game with no other consequence than winning a prize. But there are enemies looking to destroy us, and the Democrats are willing allies with those people in appearance, if not in fact. And I am none too sure about the fact in this case, either.
I do wish there was some way that the game players could reap the whirlwind without the destruction and misery that their behavior strives toward falling upon the whole nation of us. My greatest concern is that they will reap what they are sowing -- and so will we.
And in these times of turmoil and uncertainty, we should be able to look to the church for comfort and peace of mind. God offers it in Jesus Christ, and the knowledge that He is still (and always) in control, even when the world seems to be spinning out of it. Sadly, though, the institutional church is failing because its leaders are caught up in playing politics just like our national leaders. Like them, they also forget that there are real dangers and real enemies, and they play down and dirty to win the prize of position and power without thought or concern for the real-world consequences for those they are called to protect and shepherd.
With regard to the church leaders, at least I have the comfort of knowing that they shall reap what they sow, in the end. I, and others who continue to fight the good fight, will have to reach out to care for those forgotten by the ones who style themselves as "leaders" in this age of unbelief.