Sermon Illustrations
Posted by Douglas on Oct 30, 2007

If moral values don't begin with the small things, they never go anywhere.

I begin my story today with three parties who shall remain anonymous, to protect the guilty. I shall refer to them as Mr. X, Pastor Y, and Organization Z. Mr. X is running for a political office in the state of Maine. Pastor Y is a pastor here in Maine, who apparently runs an organization (Organization Z) devoted to conservative Christian values and social/political action.

Pastor Y is also a spammer. His organization sends me spam on two of my e-mail accounts -- both of which are publicly posted on the Internet, and which I never use to sign up for e-mail lists. I never asked to receive e-mail from him, yet I receive it anyway. Twice. This, by definition, makes him (or his organization) a spammer.

I received two e-mails from Pastor Y this morning. In these e-mails he described how he had sent out inquiry to all our Maine political candidates, asking for their views on conservative moral issues. He said that only two candidates responded, and only one of them gave actual answers to the questions. That was (you guessed it) Mr. X. Therefore, Pastor Y explained, he felt that we should all get behind Mr. X in his political campaign.

I felt obligated to warn Mr. X that Pastor Y was spamming people on his behalf, and it didn't make him (Mr. X) look good -- it made him look guilty by association.

Mr. X's campaign headquarters replied that Pastor Y has "been an advisor to the campaign since day one," and he sent out the spam (they didn't call it spam) with the approval of the campaign, and they encouraged me to do the same. (Yeah, that's not a joke, they actually asked me to pass on the spam as well!)

So I was disappointed with Mr. X's campaign on two levels. First, that they were spamming people. Second (and far more importantly) for the deceit involved. I have tried and tried to reconcile "I sent an e-mail to all the current Maine congressional candidates asking them about several issues" with "...has been an advisor to the campaign since day one."

Was it an outright lie? No, Pastor Y never stated that he was not affiliated with the campaign. But the implication was that he picked out a candidate based on an inquiry to an existing campaign.

My second e-mail to Mr. X expressed this disappointment in his campaign, and finished with: If moral values don't begin with the small things, they never go anywhere.

I thought of the people of Israel, going out to fight the city of Ai, thinking they were winning a great battle for God, never knowing that a hidden deceit was eating away at them. How can we stand for the right on issues like abortion, pornography, and many many other issues, when the platform on which we stand is shaky? The platform I speak of is not a political platform, but a platform of personal integrity, character, and righteousness.

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