SO WHAT’S MISSING, AMERICA? By David Maddox
It seems in today’s America that the loudest – and often the most outrageous voice is what is heard – and even when there is absolute proof that the message was wrong, or even was a lie – it is still the only voice heard – and there is no accountability for the error or the lie. How can that be?
No one can realistically dispute this fact, but for any who might doubt a couple of recent examples should suffice. The first is the tragedy in Ferguson where one witness with a record of false testimony lied and alleged religious and political leaders ignored other witnesses and the physical evidence and posed a false scenario where they lifted their hands saying “don’t shoot”. It was judgment without a trial based on a lie without waiting to know the truth, because truth was not what mattered to them. They had an agenda and as a result of advancing their agenda there were riots across the country and police officers were assassinated in other cities because of the anger fueled by the lie. Yet even after a Grand Jury refused to indict the police officer and a Justice Department report supported the police officer – not one of the alleged religious or political leaders ever apologized or admitted they were wrong – and the witness who lied was not prosecuted for lying. Those who led this effort sought to address what they perceived to be police brutality against black youth, but no matter how meritorious your agenda may be – it is not acceptable to advance it by lying or to state as truth something we are not absolutely sure is truth.
Another is the young lady that claimed she had been gang raped at a fraternity party. It was a lie, but that lie was published in a major national magazine that did not bother to even question those she accused. Like the innocent police officer in Ferguson, those wrongfully accused suffered – they were kicked out of school and their fraternity barred from the campus although the evidence showed there was not even a party at the fraternity on the date the lady claimed she had been raped. Here at least the publication admitted its error, but no one responsible for writing and publishing the story was even disciplined. Again – no accountability for lying.
For me the most outrageous example of those who intentionally lie without any accountability is the former Majority Leader of the Senate who during the last election for the President took to the floor of the Senate to declare what he knew was a lie. He declared that Mitt Romney – one of the candidates for President – hadn’t paid taxes. That story exploded across the national media greatly harming the Romney campaign. Just this month someone finally confronted the former Majority Leader with his lie and the response tells all about what is wrong with the character of America. His response was – “Well he didn’t get elected did he?” So if the lie works and you get what you want then it is OK. Again – absolutely no accountability. How can this be?
To find the answer we need look no further than the mirror for most of us. Christians in America do not demand accountability for those who lie to us. It is accepted that people lie and they do so with impunity because we do not act to bring them to accountability. Lying politicians are reelected time and time again with Christian votes. So called religious leaders who are caught in lies continue to claim a mantel of authority because Christians continue to follow them and listen to their lies. The ugly truth is most that Christians simply accept and expect people to lie – and when they believe it beneficial – often do so themselves. What Believers ignore is that the genesis of every lie is Satan. Yes, that is what Jesus said – Satan “is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). We cannot tolerate lies and serve the One who called Himself “truth” (John 14:6). We cannot surrender our culture to the leadership of liars and expect to have a world where we would want our children and grand children to live. Jesus said that we are the salt and light of the earth – there is no other – and salt no longer salty or light hidden are worthless (Matthew 5:13-16).
So what’s missing – salt and light. If we want our culture to change – we must be what we were called to be – truth tellers – and we must hold people accountable to speak truth and never knowingly let a consistent liar rule over us or have authority over us at any level. We must not follow a consistent liar or serve under one in a church. We must teach our children that lying is totally unacceptable and begin by setting the example and not lie ourselves. We must talk around our dinner tables and there expose public lies and liars. If we demand truth – and practice truth – we will be serving the One who is Truth.
About David Maddox – After a legal career in both Texas and Arizona that spanned over 40 years as a civil litigator, God called David to leave his law practice and work full time as Discipleship Director for Time to Revive. That call is really the fruit of decades of prayer for revival and teaching God’s Word, writing discipleship materials and seeking to make disciples. David married Janet Whitehead in 1976 and they minister together from their Phoenix home. God has blessed them with four children and thus far seven grandchildren.