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God's Commandments: Our Moral Ballast
Drell's Descants ^ | 12/10/2005 | Alice C. Linsley

Posted on 12/11/2005 3:44:56 PM PST by sionnsar

Let’s face it. America’s leaders are failing us. Partisan politics, corruption, selfish ambition and moral relativism have eroded the political ideal of our Founders and undermined confidence in our representative form of government. Leaders who are clear and impassioned about their mission are to be commended and supported, but they seem increasingly to be in a minority.

The crisis of leadership is exhibited by leaders who endorse whatever cause advances their political careers, many of them arrogantly rebelling against God and encouraging others to do the same. In their self-importance they neglect those who do the really hard work. They vote themselves a salary increase while neglecting the soldiers who risk their lives to preserve our nation’s freedoms. They take credit for what others have wrought through sweat and tears. They are governed by personal ambition and make a show of duty and integrity. The Bible declares against such leaders.

Many leaders fail because they lack character and courage. They do not earn the right to lead. We can accept that politics involves give and take, negotiations, and compromise. Doubtless some compromises are injurious to the soul. Careers have been built without concern for character. Power has been gained without concern for spiritual health. Can we give such leaders a passing grade?

Martin Luther wrote: “Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece – by thought, choice, courage and determination.”

Building character is what God wants us to do and why He allows hardships and challenges to come our way. Unfortunately character is not the top priority of Americans when it comes to selecting officials. Instead we are taken in by appearances, so that candidates attired in big money and impressive dress suits win elections. History teaches us that the leader who looks good may not be a good leader. God warned Samuel not to look on the outer appearance when seeking a king for Israel.

How important is character in our leaders? Even asking this question sets oneself up for attack from those who hear “character” as a slogan of the religious right. But character is non-partisan and lack of character affects all of us. Without leaders of good character there can be no progress in America because character involves the very qualities that make progress possible. Leaders of character set aside selfish interests for the common good. They see the big picture and are determined to make good things happen. They encourage others by their actions, use personal resources to achieve their mission, and care about others enough to risk their own welfare.

The American experiment in representative government has stalled because of lack of character in our leaders. The stalled vehicle blocks the progress of others and we are waiting for the tow truck to clear the road. The tow truck is bulky and practical and absolutely necessary for progress. I suggest that character education is the tow truck that will get America moving forward. It isn’t sexy or racy. It is basic and old-fashioned, yet like the tow truck, character education can enable the nation to move forward.

It is important to teach the Bible to our children, but we cannot assume that in teaching them the Bible that they are distilling the lessons of good character. Christian and parochial school administrators complain that many students who can quote Scripture don’t exhibit good character, much less good leadership. The striking disconnection between information about the Bible and biblically formed character has led leaders such as John Maxwell to tackle the problem. Maxwell’s Leadership Bible helps youth and adults build character in a well organized and intentional way.

Military schools are taking the lead in this kind of training because they recognize that leadership involves respect for authority. Millersburg Military Institute requires between twenty and thirty hours of Character Education and Training for Leadership each year because MMI’s mission is to “build future leaders” of America.

At MMI, we take Character Education and Training for Leadership very seriously. This monument of the Ten Commandments testifies to our commitment to “train up the child in the way he should go.” For some of us, the monument will stir faith, raise religious questions and remind us of the Sovereign God who sets the rules and loves order. For the non-religious, it stands as a reminder that no nation can stand whose leaders are lawless. No people can progress where there is chaos and, let us not fool ourselves, we are on the brink of chaos.

Consider what David S. Broder, journalist for the Washington Post and probably the least ideological of political columnists, wrote this week in an article titled “House of Reprehensible”:

“If the House of Representatives were a person, it would be blushing these days. Unfortunately, the House is beyond embarrassment.

Its once (and maybe future) majority leader, Tom DeLay, is under indictment on money-laundering charges in Texas. One of its more colorful members, Randy “Duke” Cunningham of California, resigned last week after pleading guilty to shaking down lobbyists for $2.4 million in cash and gifts.

DeLay’s former press secretary, lobbyist Michael Scanlon, has copped a plea and is busy explaining to federal prosecutors how he funneled money to perhaps half a dozen other compliant members of the House. Scanlon’s former partner, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is at the center of separate investigations that could implicate still other legislators of both parties.

And in the midst of all these shenanigans, the House staged a mock debate about the legitimate issue of American troops in Iraq that was as uncouth as it was unproductive. Alumni of the House — men and women of both parties — will tell you that they are appalled or nauseated by what has happened there. I ran into a former member of the GOP leadership in a downtown restaurant last week who said, ‘I’m so thankful I got out when I did.’

The place needs a good scrubbing…”

Now let us return to our stalled vehicle. It is the latest model of a sleek and shiny red, high tech piece of equipment that just shouts “Look at me!” But for all its sex appeal it is blocking the road. It is the hard working tow truck that saves the day. It is the guy with the work gloves who clears the way. When all is said and done, it is character, not glamour that makes the world a better place. It is unselfish hard work, not slogans, that restores confidence in our political system.

Let us be clear also as to what Character Education is not. Character Education is not feel good fluff. It is not telling Johnny to share his cookie with Tommy so that Mom can feel good about her son. Kids see right through this. They know this isn’t about character. This is about Mom’s bragging rights.

Neither is Character Education about teaching our children to say and do the politically correct thing. Political correctness is essentially dishonest. It represents social engineering in the guise of official language. And that official language excludes God as the ultimate authority. True Character Education is based on God as the ultimate authority, and the Ten Commandments remind us of that Authority.

At MMI, we teach respect for God’s authority and nurture the freedom that comes with good order and discipline. We train young men to be people of character and lay the groundwork for them to become the leaders of tomorrow. It is fitting that the Ten Commandments monument should be placed here. May it serve as a symbol of God’s authority, the moral ballast that keeps the ship upright. May it remind us of the urgent task to defend our children against the twin evils of moral relativism and absolute selfishness. May it encourage us to hold back the darkness.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
[All: The diligent checker will see that the title given here is different from the one on Drell's Descants. This one is from a copy passed via private communications. --sionnsar]
1 posted on 12/11/2005 3:44:57 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Uriah_lost; Condor 63; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar, Huber and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 12/11/2005 3:45:53 PM PST by sionnsar (†† || To Libs: You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azadi)
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To: sionnsar

Thanks, sionnar. My computer is working today. Hard drive is going. Only a matter of time.

God bless you! Alice

3 posted on 12/11/2005 4:21:23 PM PST by Alice Linsley
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