So what kind of forgiveness do Christians offer when sex-scandal sinners like Anthony Weiner and San Diego mayor Bob Filner want to give a quick media mea culpa and then remain in the race – or hold onto their position? Does absolution mean that glaring dysfunction needs to be ignored or accommodated?
I find a helpful example in Chuck Colson’s tell-all bio and conversion story, Born Again. As a Watergate co-conspirator, he “found Jesus” halfway through the messy saga. So he laboriously told everybody – this is before mass-apology-via-Twitter – how sorry he was. But then he continued to use the same-old-same-old lawyerly tricks, taking the Fifth, ducking legal responsibility.
It came down to a hard-hitting 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace (the father of Fox’s Chris Wallace). And as tapes rolled, the newly pious Colson continued with the slippery half-truths and evasive replies. Wallace finally said to him: “Have you done more than pray? Have you tried to make it up to those you’ve hurt?” After more tepid excuses from his interviewee, Wallace retorted: “You leave me somewhat bewildered, then, as to the meaning of your faith.” Colson, his conscience newly pricked, looked in the mirror and realized the truth. He voluntarily went to the judge, pled guilty, served his time . . . and long after making full restitution, was restored to ministry and a thriving Prison Fellowship.
So my vote regarding the above-mentioned miscreants: apologize. Then get your sorry self off the stage! Tend to your families and your problems; seek God’s help in getting yourself completely well. Then we’ll see.