Out to Pastor 09-02-2011

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Money, sex, politics and the American way

By Rev. James Snyder

I cannot speak for anybody else; in fact, I have a hard enough time speaking for myself. Thankfully, I have those who have volunteered to speak on my behalf on a variety of issues. This has been good, relieving me the necessity of expressing myself. But, as people keep telling me, all things must end sometime.
As far as I am concerned, I have had enough. There is absolutely no use in trying to talk me out of it; I have had enough.
My wife and I just finished supper and were relaxing while watching a bit of television. We were busy chatting and rehashing the day’s events and not paying too much attention to what was on television. It finally dawned on us what the television program was all about. It was completely devoted to scandals that have happened recently. The program went through an almost endless list of people caught up in some kind of scandal.
There were politicians, actors and actresses, musicians, business people and, much to our chagrin, ministers. The slime of scandal seems to touch every level of human society.
Recently, a well-known minister in our area was found dead in a New York City hotel. Even though he was from our area, I really did not know too much about him. The TV program brought me up to date on his far-reaching scandal. It seems he had been living in adultery, which led to the divorce of his wife and the demise of his family.
The thing that bothered me is that his scandal did not cause him to lose his job. He was still the pastor of a mega-church and his weekly sermons were broadcast on television and the Internet. As long as people like him, according to the story, he was allowed to get away with anything and everything.
I absolutely object.
Recently, an actor from Hollywood, the center of all that is indecent and immoral, was caught in an adulterous affair, which led to the divorce of his wife. He then comes on TV and tries to convince me, an absolute skeptic, that he is really a good person, a wonderful father and just an all-around nice guy.
I absolutely object.
In order to be a good father you have to be a good husband and in order to be a good husband you have to be a good man. A good man does not cheat. A good man does not hurt his family. What happened to the idea of putting your family first?
A politician can be caught in some scandalous affair and all he has to do is go on television and say how sorry he is and that he is going to go to some rehab for his problem. In the meantime, this ethically challenged person is drawing a paycheck from the taxpayers of this country.
I absolutely object.
If this politician were sorry for his act, he would resign office right away and return to the public every cent of his salary and benefits that he has absconded while in office. Why do these people believe they can get away with everything and bear no consequence? If it started to touch their pocketbook, they might think a second time before doing some of these immoral cartwheels that has been happening lately.
According to the TV program we were watching, these men in places of power cannot help what they are doing.
I absolutely object.
What I want to know is, how can some ethically challenged, immoral rascal make decisions for the rest of us that is going to be beneficial and helpful?
I guess I have had just about all I can take.
I am tired of hearing about sex scandals, money scandals and politicians who are involved in both. I’m tired of hearing about ministers who have been caught up in the same scandalous web of immorality and greed. Some people shrug their shoulder and say, “Well, I guess it’s just the American way.”
I absolutely object.
Where are the men and women who have integrity in this country? Where are those who have some semblance of a good conscience? Where are those who think of others rather than themselves?
As the TV program was concluding my wife and I looked at each other and sighed rather deeply. We both knew what each other was thinking. After 40 years of marital bliss, we have come to know one another rather well. Actually, she knows me better than I even know myself.
In spite of all the problems in our country the real problem is that we have too much of everything. The average person in America is bored to death and looking for ways to spice up their life. In this feverish, nervous condition, people are looking outward to be dazzled and thrilled. And the next thrill has to be bigger and better and more spectacular than the previous thrill.
I absolutely object.
I long for those peaceful days of contentment and inner satisfaction. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s because I have been married for a long time, but nothing really beats the quietness of a life contented with what I have.
That was the advice that the apostle Paul gave. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11 KJV).
To be content with what you have is to have all you need.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240.
or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.