In reflecting on the recent devastating news about Roy Moore, I have noticed a deep and terrifying tendency for people to make any sort of excuse in order to defend their political candidate. This is not new to any specific side of the political spectrum, as all people are deeply aware of the moral failings of most of the major political players in the United States. And yet, we elect them or hold our nose or make excuses for them.
This is normal.
And normal is not always a good thing.
What is most troubling for me, however, is the desire to excuse and ignore the perversity in our midst as evangelical Christians—as if we will not be judged for our sins.
This is a strong theme in Paul's epistles, especially in relation to Christians. In Rom 14:10, Tertius writes:
"But you, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you also show contempt for your brother or sister? For we will all (πάντες) stand in front of the seat (τῷ βήματι) of God."
V.9 speaks of Christ being the Lord (κυριεύσῃ) over the "living and the dead" (νεκρῶν καὶ ζώντων), which gives us a more universalistic scope of Christ's lordship. Here, in v.10, God is seated on the throne and in v.12 Tertius writes:
"So then, each one of us will give an account of themselves to God"
Similarly in 2 Cor 5:10, we have Paul writing
"For all of us (πάντας ἡμᾶς) must appear before the judgment seat (τοῦ βήματος) of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil" (NRSV)
The last phrase of v.10b is the most unnerving aspect of Paul's eschatology: εἴτε ἀγαθὸν εἴτε φαῦλον. Woodenly translated, this phrase says "whether good, whether evil." Paul, presumably, includes himself in this judgment and if Paul does, we are also included. This also suggests Paul's Christology and Monotheism are far more fluid, as the Person in the "seat" can either be God or Christ given the circumstance.
Whether good, whether evil.
That should send chills down the spine of everyone making excuses and defying the moral commands in Scripture.
Christians are included in this sphere of judgment, and we will have to give an explanation for our deeds. In these days, we see some Evangelicals bending over backward to defend the indefensible. Sometimes twisting Scripture to support evil.
God does not forget such sins, nor our attempts to cover up sins. This includes me, and this includes you, and this includes us.
Standing before Christ and saying, "but the Democrat might win" will not cut it in the Eschaton.
Standing before Christ and saying, "but that was in the past" will not cut in with your brothers and sisters standing there to witness such excuses.
Think of these things when defending people simply because of the letter after their name. God does not care about your political party because only Christ is king. Trying to establish a Democrat or Republican or Libertarian King on earth is not a Christian calling.
We will be held accountable for who we defend, who we condemn, and our conduct in our every day lives. God notices, God remembers.
We proclaim Christ's lordship, not Caesars.