Adrian Rogers’ sermon on Clinton in 98 applies to Newt in 2012

It pays to remember history. Today I am going to go through some of it and give an outline and quotes from the great Southern Baptist leader Adrian Rogers (1931-2005).

Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times started this morning off with some comedy:

From pro golfer John Daly’s Twitter account following last night’s Republican debate, “2 women fighting over Newt…..you lost me there!!!”

Yesterday I wrote about this and again I am going over it again. I am truly amazed that some Southern Baptist leaders continue to support Newt.

Last night in the debate Newt blasted the press for calling attention to the story that he wanted an open marriage between his second and third wife instead of divorcing again. However, he blasted Bill Clinton during this same period of time for being unfaithful to his wife and did not protest all the media attention that Clinton got at the time.

More on this from “The Fifth Column”:

Somehow Newt Gingrich’s righteous indignation over CNN’s debate moderator John King’s questioning Gingrich over his ex-wife’s allegations that Newt Gingrich wanted an “open marriage” with both his then wife, Marianne Gingrich and Gingrich’s present wife Callista, appears to be a simple little temper tantrum by the seemingly cry-baby ex-Speaker.

Gingrich came off  a whiner having a hissy fit over what is more than likely “the truth”..

One only need go back to the nineties when Gingrich was outraged over the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal.   The press and Gingrich went full throttle to paint President Clinton as the lowest form of life possible.

Gingrich had no problem with the Press and cable TV’s trial by media events that took place in what could be described as an incessant level of coverage back then.

Now all of a sudden he chooses to castigate the “elite media” and the debate moderator for reporting the story and in King’s case, for asking about the story.  Newt Gingrich appears to be a victim all the time.

Would you like some cheese with that whine Mr. Gingrich?

___________________________

My former pastor Adrian Rogers summed this up best in 1998 during the Clinton scandal (“Does Character Count? A Biblical Treatment,” SBC Life, November 1998, 1):

[Rogers] suggests the comfort of the middle class has larger implications for American society. His concern in the recent presidential intern scandal was with the large number of people who were not particularly upset. “My concern is with the people whose response to a lack of character in our leaders is a roaring, “SO WHAT? LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!” As long as there are people in this country who believe that a leader’s personal character makes no difference in any way, then I tell you that we are in the throes of crisis!”

Here is an outline from that great article:

Does Character Count?
A Biblical Treatment
by Adrian Rogers

“Vice is a monster of such awful mien, that to be hated needs but to be seen, but seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

Our nation is in crisis and as a minister of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, I feel I must address this matter!

We cannot, we dare not, we must not, and we shall not ignore what is happening in America today. Some terrible and shocking accusations have been made against the President of our beloved republic. It is our duty as Americans and as Christians to pray that truth will be revealed and justice administered.

In this article I want to address not so much the crisis at the highest levels of our government, but the bigger and even more disturbing crisis at the level of everyday American life where most of us live. Let me explain what I mean…

(Some will believe the charges against the President and some will not).

Then there is a third response to serious moral and ethical charges against a person in high office. This is the group I want to talk about, because it is here that America’s shocking, degrading moral crisis rears its ugly head.

This third group of people are those who, instead of saying the accused is guilty or innocent, say, “SO WHAT? Who cares? Guilty, innocent – what difference does it really make so long as he is doing a good job?”

These people argue that there is no connection between a man’s personal life and his political abilities. And according to all indications, this response to scandal and serious charges is the most common response among Americans!

A recent editorial in U.S. News & World Report said: “A majority seem to believe in the President’s programs and politics even if they don’t believe in him. They care far more about the good times. As one wag put it, ‘People say they vote Dow Jones, not Paula Jones.'”

Another editorial writer argued that in the case of the President, “We elected him knowing his propensities. The economy is strong and he has a promising agenda. Tossing him out to keep up appearances would merely match the President’s destructive self-indulgence with our own.”

This man assumes the President has done wrong. But he’s saying that the economy is good and the President’s programs are so good. Why mess up a good thing?

In a newspaper article, a sociologist made this observation: “Character has been slowly bred out of many Americans, especially baby boomers and their children.” He argued that decades of pampering and organized activities and “feel-good” approaches in which participants do not have to take personal responsibility have made character almost passé.

Is character passé in America? A Newsweek magazine poll said that voters tend to believe the President is lying about his adulterous affairs, yet he is enjoying his highest approval rating ever. These sentiments sum up the attitude of this third group and indicate that we are in deep trouble as a nation!

I want you to understand that no matter what has been revealed or what action has been taken by the time this is read, the crisis I want to address will not just go away. My concern is with the people whose response to a lack of character in our leaders is a roaring, “SO WHAT? LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!”

As long as there are people in this country who believe that a leader’s personal character makes no difference in any way, then I tell you that we are in the throes of crisis!

But make no mistake. It makes every difference what a person in leadership believes and does in his personal life. Character counts with God, and it must count with us if we want to stay the judgment of God on this great nation.

The Character God Requires

What does God say about the kind of leadership a nation needs? I want to give you four principles I have ferreted out from the Word of God. Let’s think first of all about the character God requires. The Bible says in Proverbs 29:2, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

One argument we are hearing these days is that national leaders are like airplane pilots. “We don’t care about a pilot’s morals,” this line goes, “as long as he can fly the airplane. His character doesn’t matter as long as he can get us from point A to point B. We want a safe take-off, a safe trip, and a safe landing. What the pilot does in his personal life behind closed doors is none of our concern.”

This argument about a leader’s character might hold water if we did not need the BLESSING OF GOD on this country. If we are going to say, “God, we don’t need You to bless our leaders or our people,” then this argument may be valid.

But let me use another analogy. Suppose you were going to have open-heart surgery. Would you want the surgeon to come from the restroom and into the operating room without even washing his hands? Would you want him to hold your heart in his hands if they were not sanitary? I want the hands of those who hold the heart of this nation to be clean. Clean hands and a pure heart are necessary for godly leadership and godly leadership is a prerequisite to blessing.

The fact is that America desperately needs the blessing of God! We are ruined without it. But God says, “If you want My blessings, here are some things that are necessary.” Let me give you six biblical characteristics that God requires of leaders before His blessing can rest on a nation.

Below are the verses that should describe our leaders:

“It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness” (Prov. 16:12).

“I wisdom dwell with prudence. … By me [wisdom] kings reign and, princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth” (Prov. 8:12, 15-16).

Proverbs 17:7 tells us, “Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.” According to Proverbs 20:28, “Mercy and truth preserve the king.”

(Avoid bad counselors) Proverbs 29:12 says, “If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.”

“The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings” (Prov. 31:1-3).

A Leader Must Be a Man Who Protects the Weak

Here’s a final trait of leadership that God requires. A leader must protect the weak and the helpless.

In Proverbs 31:8-9, God says to King Lemuel, “Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

A president, or any leader, must speak up for those who can’t speak up for themselves, those who are about to be destroyed. When a president is inaugurated, he takes a pledge to defend the nation. There are many defenseless people in America today, and they’re depending on the government to defend them. The President should be standing up for the unborn, the most defenseless of all those who cannot speak for themselves.

I once testified in Washington before a Senate committee dealing with abortion. After I left the room there at the Capitol, a female lawyer met me in the hall. “You don’t understand,” she said. “You’re a man, so you don’t understand what a trauma it is to have an unwanted pregnancy.”

I said to her, “Do I understand you to say that if somebody traumatizes you, you can eliminate them? Because you’re traumatizing me right now. What if I were to put both my thumbs on your windpipe and strangle you right now? At least you could scream or run. But a baby in its mother’s womb can’t do either.”

She just turned and walked off. I’m sure she told someone, “That Baptist preacher said he was going to strangle me!” But I only said, “What if?”

It’s the job of a ruler to speak up for the unborn! “Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction,” God commands the one in authority. Someone may say, “But Pastor Rogers, abortion is legal.” Then hear these verses: “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood” (Ps. 94:20-21).

If a throne of iniquity is one that uses the law to commit evil, then what we have in America today is a throne of iniquity! Laws are passed to shed innocent blood. But NOTHING IS POLITICALLY RIGHT THAT IS MORALLY WRONG.

Jeremiah said concerning evil King Jehoiakim, “Thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it” (22:17). The prophet Habakkuk warned, “Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!” (2:12).

The king, the prince, the president, must be the protector of the helpless. This is the character that God requires.

Does character count? It does if there is a God in glory – a God who helped our founders establish this nation, and who has sustained this nation and brought us thus far.

But if our people are willing to say, “God, we don’t need You anymore. We don’t want Your rule anymore. We know what we are doing. Our skill and ingenuity will see us through,” then I say God help America! Because God will say, “You don’t need Me? That’s fine. But then don’t call on Me when judgment falls.”

Do you remember what happened when Peter preached his great sermon on the Day of Pentecost? The people of Israel “were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).

This is the question God’s people need to ask today.

________

Newt should have had a steadfast love for his wife!!! Take a look at this clip below:

Despite Affairs, Gingrich Given Political Grace by SBC Leaders | Brian Kaylor, Newt Gingrich, Richard Land, SBC

Some Southern Baptist leaders defended Newt Gingrich’s past moral failings and attempted to explain why the former Speaker of the House could be supported as the Republican standard-bearer. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

 

Photo of Pastor Adrian Rogers Memorial Tribute

 

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