There are a few stories swirling around in the culture, especially the Christian culture that raise a whole host of issues about who and how we as as evangelicals choose to represent our values. The stories about Sarah Palin’s family and the ever-shifting tempest over Miss California raise a whole host of issues. A few thoughts I’ve had:
Sometimes Christians are so intent on scoring political points that we lose sight of what we believe. When I first heard about Carrie Pragean, Miss California, who made a bold declaration for traditional marriage and lost the contest, I was very proud of her. But the more I thought about it and as more news trickled out, I realized that on the one hand she upheld the Bible’s definition of marriage and on the other hand she didn’t help marriage by parading rather immodestly (to say the very least) on stage. I think the immodestly really undermines her message. But it seems the evangelical world is ready to make her some kind of spokesman for traditional values. It smack of hypocrisy and I wonder how this fits with the message of modesty and Biblical self-worth that these same organizations believe. I think we are often so eager to score a point against "the other side" of the debate that we forget what we believe.
That being said, no role model or spokesman or woman is perfect. Every public figure has areas of inconsistency in their lives. I would hope that most wouldn’t be so balatan. I also hope this. I would like to see Miss C. alifornia, who seems to be sincere, come out and say publicly that she made a mistake by appearing so immodestly. The truth is this. The Church if full of fallen men and women. Every sinner saved by grace is a sinner with a past. And so forgiveness and grace are in order. But I do believe we should be careful about lifting up leaders too soon.
I’m also saddedened by the continuing back-and-forth in the Sarah Palin famly. it think it does demonstrate that perhaps Governor Palin wasn’t quite ready to lead as vice-President. (though I voted for her and thought her very capable). As Christians we should pray for that family as they deal with what is a very tough situation. Pray that God gives them grace and forgiveness.
You have to know that if you stand up for biblical values in this culture, you’re going to be scrutinized and attacked. Every conceivable inconsistency will be revealed. So we as leaders should try to live lives that are "blameless" as Peter encourages in his epistle. Not perfect. Not legalistic. Not holier-than-thou, but just consistent. Because if we step up to the platform, we’d better be ready to back it up with action. Its a sobering thought for anyone who wants to make a mark for Christ. Paul encouraged believers to let their lives "adorn" the gospel message.
Lastly, all of this demonstrates that nobody who speaks for Christ is going to be a perfect representation. We all fall way short. And yet, in God’s soveriegn plan, he has entrusted us with the Gospel message.