Vol.IX No.IX Pg.8
November 1972

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

There was this candidate who went all out in his campaign promises. He assured the people, upon his untarnished record of honesty, that if elected he would lower taxes (Oh yes) and see to it that every man and woman had a job. He lost the election by an overwhelming lack of votes. No one wanted to go to work.

One local politician had a hard time getting people to promise their support. But he stayed at it, and received 464 votes to win the chief seat in the synagogue. The next day more than 1,000 people came to congratulate him, and say they had voted for him— and would he please—

But not all politicians can win, and when they lose they have to find a face-saving explanation. One loser blamed deep-south prejudice, saying he was going to have to leave the county because of his beliefs. It turned out he got to believing that he owned all the hogs that roamed the woods without a mark on them.

And now a news report on the anniversary of some Council of Churches quotes a dignitary as saying there is politics in the operation of all churches, that his organization has helped to make this understood, and make members unashamed of it, so that now church politics can freely take its course and accomplish good (?). Since all church activities involve social relations, I assume he was excusing party schemes or tactics.

Sounds like situation ethics to me. Like This is the way we are going to do it anyhow, so lets rid ourselves of the guilt complex and get on with the job. What job? Serving ourselves, or serving God? Meeting temporal needs, or eternal needs? Men who argue the end justifies the means, have lost faith in God and His ways. They can not lift us upward.

All the petty tricks, vote manipulations, name callings, etc., of dirty politics may be found in churches— for churches consist of imperfect people. But Gods standard is perfect, and God condones only perfect motives, and sincere efforts to measure up to His standard. This is precisely the difference in a church that maintains a divine status, and one that degenerates into a mere social institution.

The church, or country, that quits TRYING to be better, is surely lost.