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July 2, 2009

Conservatives to Sanford: Get Your House in Order

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's saga has taken a turn with the latest revelations that he had "crossed the line" with other women. Al Mohler, Charles Colson, and La Shawn Barber seem pretty disgusted with his "love story" description.

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"This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story," Sanford told the Associated Press. "A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day."

As Dan Gilgoff noted, few conservative Christian organizations have spoken up on Sanford while politicians and pundits discuss whether he should resign. But here's Mohler's latest.

David acknowledged the reality of his sin, expressed his hatred of the sin, and became a model for us all of repentance. Governor Sanford, on the other hand, demonstrates the audacity to speak wistfully of his sin, longingly of his lover, and romantically of his descent into unfaithfulness.

Governor Sanford is no King David, and the people of South Carolina -- as well as the watching world -- now observe the sad spectacle of a man who, while admitting to wrongdoing, shows no genuine repentance.

...If the governor is really serious about demonstrating character to his four sons, he should resign his office and give himself unreservedly to his wife and family.

Colson and others discuss Sanford's use of biblical analogies on The New York Times website.

Having read the governor's latest statements about several prior dalliances (enough confessing already, please) I think he needs to go home, and get his own house in order before he can do much for the state of South Carolina.

It's time to bring this tawdry and embarrassing soap opera to a quick ending. I pray for the governor, his wife and his four kids. Get that together, governor, and everything else will fall into place.

Here's what Barber has to say:

But Governor Sanford seems neither humbled by nor contrite about his dishonorable actions, despite the tears. He's admitted to more dalliances and stated publicly that he doesn't love his wife. If he truly were contrite, he'd do the honorable thing and resign. But not only will he not resign, he compared himself to King David of Israel:

The only conservative organization I could find that is tackling the Sanford affair is the Palmetto Family Council in South Carolina, which has started a petition called "Stand with Jenny." I wrote more about Jenny Sanford on Her.meneutics, the Christianity Today blog for women.
A spokesperson told Newsweek that the petition had about 1,000 signatures yesterday.

Oran P. Smith, president and CEO of the Palmetto Family Council, told Mark Barna that the group originally called for forgiveness toward Gov. Sanford. But then the group received pushback from its female constituents. "Women said we should not let this go without people understanding the gravity of what he's done," Smith said.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press and World magazine have done a nice job rounding up the details behind "C Street," which Sanford referred to last week.

The AP tries to make sense of how Sanford could be "in love" with his mistress but love his wife and kids at the same time.

So while there are countless romantics out there urging Sanford to follow his heart, he can expect mostly tough love from his own spiritual community.

"The emotions are the icing on the cake," says Ben Witherington, a New Testament professor at Kentucky's Asbury Theological Seminary. "They're not the cake."

Witherington says feelings are a "notoriously unreliable guide" in personal relationships because they tend to change with time. Marriage is not just a commitment of will, he says, but a commitment before God.

"That's why, at a Christian wedding service, you don't say, 'I feel like' and 'I feel like.' You say, 'I will' and 'I will,' 'I do' and 'I do.'"

Comments

Why am I not surprised. Talk about wolves in sheep clothing.
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From the article: "As Dan Gilgoff noted, few conservative Christian organizations have spoken up on Sanford while politicians and pundits discuss whether he should resign...."

What kind of father of four sons carves out the TIME and MONEY to rendezvous with a romance between two CONTINENTS??!?!? The Working Stiff husband/dads who pay the taxes funding his paycheck barely have time or money to attend their sons' extracurricular activities in a neighboring city much less trot around the hemisphere, paying for 5-star hotel rooms and romantic restaurants!

And how is it "More Christian" to grant Lover Boy the Cheap Grace that approves unrepentant sinners by rationalizing, "Go ahead . . sin anyway . . Jesus paid for it all anyway . . "??

It is truly disturbing to see people exempt themselves or others from the need to repent with the rationale "it's already forgiven".

And why do the "More Christian" enablers want Sanford's four sons and all of OUR sons to see him having all consequences of his offenses removed and ignored??

This has "giving license to keep on repeating the same sins" stamped all over it.

That's not what I expect my sons to see from their father and elected official role models.

If that's all we expect for godly male role models, we could just get our kids a subscription to People Magazine and Playboy, and quit busting our hump to provide them with a Christian education.


Diane

Because it is simple really. Really very simple

1. He did not have relations with a man

2. He did not advocate for abortion.

I've come to realize that for some people who call themselves christian - these are the two things that define what a chrisitan is. So as long as you don't do them - you are fine with doing anything else apparently.

This guy is anything but Christian. Only after he got caught was he sorry. If he could have gotten away with it, he would have continued his unacceptable behavior.

The fact that this guy even dares to call himself a Christian is representative of Christianity today.

Of course he would have. It makes you wonder doesn't it?
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Ares:"This guy is anything but Christian. Only after he got caught was he sorry. If he could have gotten away with it, he would have continued his unacceptable behavior."

I'm no Mark Sanford fan (too much hypocrisy over Clinton for e.g.) but the fact remains that only Christ is in a position to condemn...not us. Thank God. Gov. Sanford is a Christian and a sinner...just like we all are. His actions will have their own punishment. For e.g. how do you think his sons see him now. It is a sad spectacle indeed but we are not in any position to condemn him.

Sanford has no idea what love is. He is addicted to infatuation. Ask any licensed mental health therapist who is a certified sexual addiction counselor. The forbidden and secret thrill produces brain chemistry like craving crack cocaine. This is biology & science, not love. He is stuck in adolescene. We don't know the truth about her. No job? Now coworkers? No moms who know her from school? No one who hates her who will talk? Has everyone who knows her been executed? Perhaps she is a mistress to many high profile men and she is being hidden for their sake. She's supporting herself somehow.

Ironically, the quote below from the _World_ article lined to about the Sanford scandal pretty well sums up the problem many will find with Sarah Palin's abrupt resignation:

"'If he genuinely repents, he can be restored to his family and regain his own self-worth and identity,' Colson said about Sanford, adding that the governor should finish his term and then exit public life: 'I think it's dishonorable to get elected to something and withdraw from it.'"

John

You are rather naive :-)

we chrisitans have very convenient memories and we are extremely skilled at turning a blind eye to things we find inconvenient. As long as Madame Palin holds fast to abortion and same sex issues - everything else will be forgiven and forgotten

Some people seem to believe that the sexual sins of one professed "Christian" somehow damns all other Christians. It is an absolutely amazing and preposterous idea; it is also entirely false.

Since when does the one represent the many in personal matters? The only people I know Sanford represents are his family and the good people of South Carolina who elected him governor.

Sanford is a cheat and a married man, does that make all men and married men cheats? He is a liar and the governor of a state, does that make all state governors liars? The argument is just as foolish when applied to Christians. One may not like Christians, but not all Christians cheat, lie, and slink off into the night looking for their "lover".

Sanford is a man who is unable to live up to the things he professes. That does not make him any worst than other professing Christians (nor rabid non-Christians),for "all have sinned"...

The fact that Sanford having been critical of abortion and homosexuality is himself "immoral" and has had his "sins" exposed, does not make the behaviours he speaks out against right; all it does is make him wrong and magnnify the deceitfulness and wickedness of his own heart.

I am quite willing to offer my support to Sanford in as much as I subscribe to the view that "there is none righteouss, no not one". However, I have, and will always have, a problem with those who in supporting Sanford would like us to seperate his life as a husband, father, friend etc., from that of his life as a governor.

The argument goes like this, because a man has cheated on his wife and family does not mean he will cheat on the public or the state. To those holding that opinion I say, dream on! And to those dreamers I ask, what would make a man who cheats, lies, hides and sneaks around from his wife and children, suddenly become a pillar of virtue when he has to deal with a community made up of other people's wives, children, spouses etc?

As far as I'm concerned, if I can look into the eyes of the woman I "love", married and to whom I made sacred vows, and tell her I am off to Appalachia when I know I am going to meet my "part-time lover" in Argentina, what would prevent me from looking into the eyes of my constituents or the people of my state, and telling them "no new taxes" when I know I either cannot, or have no intention of keeping my word? In fact, I am reliably informed that politicians make statements like this as a matter of course.

Whether or not Sanford remains governor is of little concern to me, but the person who lies and cheats on his/her spouse and family is a liar and a cheat. Full stop!

I was really stunned with this guy, especially when he said he wants to get back with his wife and children and in his next breath he says his one true love is the girl in South America. What do you say to someone who wants it both ways and isn't strong enough within himself to make a decision and follow through with it. He sure isn't looking to Jesus to help him but maybe that now it's out in the open, he can bring himself through Jesus to set his life straight and step up his responsibility to make a decision. If he doesn't love his wife he needs to leave and stop torturing her, unless, of course, she wants to live that way. As for the children, he needs to support them financially to make it easier for the wife to do what she needs to do. He can share custody or get visiting rights. It really is up to her from this moment on while he needs to decide just how bad he wants his political career meaning stay with the wife and kiddies or how bad he wants his only true love meaning give up his wife and kiddies and go South. Jesus has an answer for this one and we'll see just how Christian all the players are as this plays out and no, I wouldn't want him for my governor anymore either, not when there is always someone out there who is capable and honest within themselves to replace him.