By Ivan Squall
Published April 1, 1992
Bill Clinton was supposed to be the Democratic Party’s dream candidate. As a handsome, articulate Rhodes Scholar with a Yale law degree, this overachieving wunderkind may be the first bonafide political prodigy to be spawned by the Democrats in nearly thirty years.
Clinton was the nation’s youngest governor, and is now one of its longest serving. He can debate well, has a good sense of humor, delivers a decent stump speech, and displays an amazing command of nearly every public policy issue (at least domestically). He is at home with Washington political elites and New England liberal intellectuals, but seems comfortable sermonizing in southern Christian churches or at a civil rights conference.
He is a master of the political art of being all things to all people, or appearing to offer something to everyone. Yet somehow robo-candidate Clinton has been unable to capture the hearts of American voters. Apparently surface perfection does not always translate into certain election.
But why don’t Americans buy what Clinton is selling? What is missing in this man’s super-resumé? With George Bush (another candidate with a mile-long resumé) it has always been “the vision thing.” With Bill Clinton, the big stumbling block seems to be “the character thing.” From adultery, to draft evasion, to conflict of interest with his wife’s law firm, etc., etc., Clinton has become what Jerry Brown has aptly labelled the “scandal-a-week candidate.” Though these numerous other allegations might not as yet hold up in a court of law, they have nevertheless become a cumulatively powerful indictment before the court of public opinion, which rightfully applies a broader standard of judgment when determining those who are qualified to govern.
Concerning the adultery charge, most Americans have concluded for themselves that Clinton’s inability to deny the allegation is sufficient reason to believe it is true. After all, nobody who is truly innocent would hesitate for a moment to declare so, especially when a presidential nomination hangs in the balance. This is particularly true of Clinton who has throughout the campaign repeatedly proclaimed his innocence concerning the plethora of other scandalous behavior which has been attributed to him.
U.S. News & World Report recently reported that “the candidate privately admitted to his closest friends that he had had an extramarital affair, that it had ended, and that the woman had promised to remain silent” (3/30/92). Meanwhile, word has begun to leak out that the Washington Post has already obtained documents with the potential to destroy Clinton’s candidacy, though it is not known whether they concern any of the accusations made to date or relate to an entirely new set of charges.
Of course, not all voters care whether or not Clinton has been faithful to his wife. The idea that marital fidelity is purely a private matter, irrelevant to a man’s qualification to govern, has become increasingly accepted. Youthful pot-smoking would be viewed similarly. However, even though many people are willing to overlook the acts themselves, they are nevertheless quite disturbed by the fact that Clinton’s public statements on these and numerous other concerns have been conspicuously lacking in forthrightness. Calling on all the lawyerly sophistry at his command, Clinton has seemingly dared reporters to catch him in a lie. Yet as each new piece of contradictory evidence is brought forth, he somehow finds his own creative way to recast events and still be able to emerge claiming innocence.
But if Clinton believes that clever casuistry can sustain his campaign through November, then he has gravely miscalculated. The American electorate is in an angry mood this year, and is not much given to generosity when it comes to giving politicians the benefit of the doubt. The doubts which are engendered by his continued evasion of straightforward questions, are beginning to feed upon themselves. Many voters have begun to subscribe to the “iceberg” theory concerning revelations about Clinton’s character: what has already surfaced may not quite be enough to sink his presidential aspirations, but they fear that what has yet to come to light may be far more condemning.
For those who are willing to apply biblical criteria to the analysis of candidates for public office, the allegations against Clinton are particularly serious in that if true, they are indicative of other character flaws of an even more profound nature. Proverbs 6:32 states that “a man who commits adultery lacks judgment,” and Proverbs 7:4-5 teaches that wisdom will keep a man from the adulteress.
The act of adultery usually impacts only a few individuals, but choosing a President who lacks the judgment and wisdom to govern his own passions could conceivably bring disaster upon an entire nation. The scriptures warn us that “like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self control” (Proverbs. 25:28). Can we then be sure that the walls that protect our nation are truly secure if we should entrust their defense to a man who has demonstrated a lack of personal self-control?
Proverbs 12:22 teaches that “the Lord detests lying lips.” And should we not take extreme pains to be certain that the behavior of our most important civil officer not be detestable to God? If so, then truthfulness must be an unalterable prerequisite for any serious candidate. Ultimately, we know that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
This unavoidable reality should guide us in the selection of all those who seek our support for public office, but its urgency is never more evident than when we are given the responsibility to choose in whom to invest the authority to govern our nation. We must never allow ourselves to be blinded or beguiled by the brilliance of a man’s resumé or the smoothness of his words. Proven character and integrity must always be the first criterion by which we pass judgment on any presidential candidate.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper »
Your comments are welcome!
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)