Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I Voted for Jimmy Carter

When Jimmy Carter ran for President way back in the Seventies I was strongly in favor of his candidacy. He was not only a Christian, he was a southern Baptist and since that was the flock of my childhood and youth it was an endorsement for me.

When Mr. Carter gave an interview to Playboy Magazine in 1979 many Believers were shocked and disturbed. I, however, felt smug pride that a Baptist could even get into that magazine. It did not deter me from voting for Jimmy one bit. Unfortunately I had not read his entire interview or I might have voted differently.

How many of you, my loyal readers, remember what Mr. Carter told Playboy? All I remember was his statement that went something like this: "I have looked in lust on many women so I have committed adulter in my heart." That is not all he said. Now as I look back to 1979 I wish I had read the whole thing.

Here is the larger context of his interview.
Because I'm just human and I'm tempted and Christ set some almost impossible standards for us. The Bible says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Christ said, I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust has in his heart already committed adultery. I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times....

This is something that God recognizes, that I will do and have done, and God forgives me for it. But that doesn't mean that I condemn someone who not only looks on a woman with lust but who leaves his wife and shacks up with somebody out of wedlock. Christ says, don't consider yourself better than someone else because one guy screws a whole bunch of women while the other guy is loyal to his wife.

The guy who's loyal to his wife ought not to be condescending or proud because of the relative degree of sinfulness.

What think you of this comment? Does it matter at all?

1 comment:

paula clare said...

Hi Gary,
Spoken like a true postmodern! Relative, relative, everything is relative! I adamantly believe it is only man (who feels he must justify himself) who "ranks" sin. In God's eyes, from Jesus' perspective...ALL of it, ANY of it put Jesus on the cross. In this season of Lent, I think we'd do better to look at our sin in the Light of the cross, rather than the RELATIVE light of another man's sin!