In Today's Culture of Scandals, Whom Can We Trust?
- Jim Denison Denison Forum on Truth and Culture
- 2015 21 Aug
The long-threatened expose has happened. Last July, hackers gained access to accounts registered with Ashley Madison, a website that arranges affairs for married people. They have now released some 40 million profiles. It turns out more than 15,000 government employees apparently used the site.
So did Josh Duggar, according to news reports. He gained fame as part of the Duggar family, profiled on TLC's 19 Kids and Counting. In 2013, he was named executive director of a Washington lobbying group that seeks "to champion marriage and family as the foundation of civilization." He resigned last May after reports that he had molested five young girls (four of whom were his sisters) beginning in 2002. Now it seems that he also maintained a paid account on Ashley Madison.
Jared Fogle is back in the news as well. Famous for his Subway ads, he was recently arrested on child pornography charges. Documents filed in federal court this week revealed a story too horrific for me to describe here.
Gallup recently asked Americans, "Is corruption widespread throughout the government in this country or not?" Seventy-five percent said that it is. By comparison, only 38 percent of Germans believe there is widespread corruption in their government. The popularity of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina may reflect such distrust of professional politicians.
Josh Duggar and Jared Fogle were also popular, in large part, because they were not professional actors or Hollywood celebrities. We thought we could believe in them because they were one of us. Now we wonder, is there anyone we can trust?
Here's the answer: none but One.
The constant refrain of the book of Judges is simple: "Everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). And the nation fell time after time into horrific sin and divine judgment. Joseph's own brothers sold him into slavery. In Jeremiah 41, the king's trusted advisor murdered him (v. 2).
Remember Jesus' experience. His mother and brothers thought him insane (Mark 3:21). The leader of his apostolic band denied him; another disciple betrayed him; all but John abandoned him. If people would mistreat the sinless Son of God so horrifically, what will they do to you?
Conversely, when last did you fail someone? Your name may not have been listed with Ashley Madison, but has there been lust in your heart? Your sins may not be as public as those making headlines today, but are they any less real?
The answer is to trust entirely in the only One who can be trusted entirely. King David: "For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken" (Psalm 62:5-6). Note his specificity: "For God alone . . . He only . . ."
Here's the good news: when we stop relying on flawed, fallen humans, we are free to love them for who they are, not who we want them to be. (Tweet this) We are free to serve them without expecting reciprocity they may not be able to give. We are free to live without fear of people, since our security rests in God alone.
"He only is my rock"—is this true for you?
Publication date: August 21, 2015
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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