“Pandering Politicians”

August 18, 2016

Lancaster County farm 8/17/16 (Click to enlarge)
We passed this beautiful farm east of Ephrata yesterday
(Click on photo for larger view)

“Pandering Politicians”

Message Summary: We need men and women today who will stand up for a core set of beliefs and live out their lives by these convictions come what may.  Surely it would be a great blessing to see politicians of this nature, but I really don’t expect it anymore.  We sure don’t need more pandering.  Let me encourage readers today to stand up consistently for their beliefs. The desire to please the crowd, be accepted, be popular is very common, but let our first priority be in pleasing the Lord!

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“Pilate wanted to please the crowd” (Mark 15:15). “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:8-11).

Here in America we are in the midst of another heated presidential campaign, the 15th in my recollecion since I can vaguely recall the 1960 election as a 6 year old. A common feature in politics is “pandering” which is practiced by virtually all politicians in various degrees regardless of political party. The form of pandering most egregious in our view is when politicians do so using religion and there’s no shortage in that among either major candidate. Practicing discernment is vital to keep from being deceived. We should be especially wary when candidates who hold views contrary to the Bible begin to banter about Bible verses or spiritual clichés, often out of context.

A humorous, yet frighteningly close to true, example of pandering I read on a satire blog was a politician who appeals to voters, “Let me cut to the chase, which exact lie can I tell you to get you to vote for me?”

Pandering is defined as “the act of expressing one’s views in accordance with the likes of a group to which one is attempting to appeal for one’s self-benefit. The term is most notably associated with politics. In pandering, the views one is expressing are merely for the purpose of drawing support and do not necessarily reflect one’s personal values. Pandering is essentially a reaction of panic in elected officials who must either tailor their views to public opinion or risk losing their existing or potential seat.”

Pandering is nothing new. Pilate, whose entire Biblical biography is found in his role at the trial of Jesus practiced pandering which is an example of a double-minded man, driven by political expediency. If he had any convictions at all, we sure don’t see them. He knew Jesus was innocent of the charges brought against Him having declared, “I find no fault in this man” (Luke 23:4). His wife had warned him, “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man” (Matthew 27:19).

But Pilate was driven by politics and power.  His standing with Rome was in jeopardy and rather than do the right thing he did the political thing summed up in the statement, “Pilate wanted to please the crowd.” What a sad characteristic of politics in any generation! Luke records (I believe sarcastically) that at the trial of Jesus Herod and Pilate became friends.  Later Herod demonstrated this same political intuition, when in Acts 12 he had James beheaded. “When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also” (Acts 12:3).

Warren Wiersbe, who has long been among our favorite Bible teachers, comments: “Pilate knew what was right, but refused to do anything about it. Judas yielded to the devil in his great sin; Peter yielded to the flesh when he denied his Lord; but Pilate yielded to the world and listened to the crowd.  Pilate looked for the easy way, not the right way.”

We need men and women today who will stand up for a core set of beliefs and live out their lives by these convictions come what may.  Surely it would be a great blessing to see politicians of this nature, but we really don’t expect it anymore.  We sure don’t need more pandering.  Let me encourage readers today to stand up consistently for their beliefs. The desire to please the crowd, be accepted, be popular is very common, but let our first priority be in pleasing the Lord!

Are there not some characteristics of Pilate in each of us? May God help us to be courageous and to stand by our convictions today whether or not it pleases the crowd, regardless of the consequences. We just may be called to do that today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, I’m often tempted to add my voice to the crowd or simply blend in with the majority opinion. But because I choose to follow You I want to obey Your Law even when it conflicts with laws of human origin; I want to hear Your voice rather than the conflicting voice of others; I want to yield to the guidance of Your Holy Spirit rather than the prevailing philosophy of my day. I choose to follow You and I want to do so no matter the cost. Make me strong enough, courageous enough, and prayerful enough that I will stand even when others fall. When it feels as though I am standing alone remind me that You and I are a majority. When I stand up for You I stand in victory no matter the temporal consequences. It would seem that Jesus was defeated in His physical death and the seemingly hopeless days that followed.  But His triumph followed when He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven where He sits at Your right hand interceding for us in our hour of need. Amen.


Driving through Amish country yesterday in the course of our chaplaincy.

Amish ladies in cart 8/17/16

Amish team 8/17/16


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“More Men Like Daniel” This is a hymn I came across in an old hymnal many years ago. I do not recall ever hearing the tune or singing it and I cannot find a version on YouTube. However the words are very instructive:

We need more men like Daniel
To stand for God and right;
Men clean and strong, who hate the wrong,
And for the truth will fight.
When those controlled by evil
Their base designs pursue,
We need more men like Daniel
Who never prove untrue.

Refrain:
In Home and Church and State,
Men quick to dare and do!
We need more men like Daniel
Who never prove untrue.

We need more men like Daniel
Their virtues here to show;
Men bold, sincere, who know no fear
When called to face the foe.
Though dangers dark may threaten,
They crave not ease or rest;
We need more men like Daniel
Who boldly stand the test. [Refrain]

We need more men like Daniel
Whose faith defied the king;
Who knelt and prayed, when plans were laid
His shameful death to bring.
But God sent down His angel
His all to guard and shield;
We need more men like Daniel
Whose hearts will never yield. [Refrain]


Stephen & Brooksyne Weber 4/17/16 (Click to enlarge)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)
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