Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Analyzing John Edwards In Light of the Bible

Although the Ten Commandments and other words of the Bible are often ignored ridiculed in today’s society, I thought it would be interesting to examine the life of the former 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee in light of the Bible’s teaching and to ask “would his life be better or worse had he obeyed the commandments?”

Here is the fact situation. John Edwards is very pretty. In fact, when he ran for vice president, many said he was too pretty and that would hurt him. Edwards has been married to his wife for 32 years. They had four children, although the oldest died in a car accident in 1996. Mrs. Edwards has cancer.

Last week Edwards admitted that he fathered a child with a videographer who worked on his campaign. He had a sexual affair with her while he was married and while his wife battled cancer. He had previously denied this. A book is coming out next week in which one of his former aides alleges that Edwards tried to get the aide to claim the child to get him off the hook. Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, has now separated from him.

First of all, of course, the Bible says not to commit adultery. In other words, do not have sex with anyone other than your wife.

Second, he lied about what he did. This is pretty common for politicians, as they hope they can cover it up and remain in politics. We almost expect it, especially after the Bill Clinton years. But now, Edwards is known as an adulterer and a liar.

So, the consequences are these:
Because he did not obey the command regarding adultery, he now has suffered embarrassment in the national media. He looks particularly bad since his wife was suffering with cancer while he had his affair. No one would trust him. His career is finished in politics. So, you can see he will personally suffer from this.

Second, he has hurt his wife, who has enough suffering to handle with her cancer. He has hurt and embarrassed his children. Imagine going to school while the news outlets are broadcasting the story. Imagine seeing your friends at the coffee shop reading a book about your father’s misbehavior.

Third, in using a young woman for his pleasure, he has caused her to be publicly humiliated. In addition, he has given her the burden of raising a child with no husband and father to help.

Fourth, he has doomed the child to a mark of embarrassment. This child will always be known as the child born of this adulterous relationship.

Fifth, Edwards will have to pay child support and other expenses for the child, taking money away from his existing family.

I am sure there are more consequences that could be listed. So, is Edwards better or worse off for ignoring and violating these Biblical commandments? He clearly is worse off as are the other victims of his conduct.

So, why engage in this exercise? It is not because I think I am morally superior to Edwards, but to demonstrate that God gave commandments that create people who reflect his glory and holiness. They also create people who fulfill themselves and live at the highest level possible for human beings. When we rebel against God’s standards, we cause suffering for ourselves and others.

This rebellion against God’s standards is, in the Bible, called “sin”. It is a missing of the mark of God’s standards. Many today see that as an old fashioned concept. But here, in the life of John Edwards, you see a plain demonstration of the damage done and the suffering experienced when we rebel against God’s law.

I pray that John Edwards will find his way to repentance.
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