Rush Limbaugh was fodder for the 24 hour news networks a few months ago due to his addiction to pain medication and the allegation of doctor shopping (note – this article was written in 2006). In more recent times, he was the subject of sensationalism due to his entrance back into the country and a controversy at customs. It was alleged that he did not have a prescription for his Viagra. When, in fact he did. But, I ask, what is a single man doing with Viagra?
Bill Bennett was also, some time back, a subject of prominence among the media pundits. In his case, it had to do with a personal gambling problem.
Mel Gibson, more recently, has been the focus of the media when it comes to “dirty laundry” (in Don Henley’s words). He was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). Additionally, he allegedly made anti-semitic racial slurs to the arresting officer, this after years of denying anti-Semitism (his father, I understand denied the holocaust).
Why the frenzy by the talking-heads of the media? You might say “they need a story.” But, I ask you if Kidd Rock were addicted to pain medicine would it get the coverage? If Pamela Anderson had a gambling problem, would the press go on and on? If Mike Tyson got drunk and said certain racial slurs, would it be the talk of days and days?
There is a common thread in the three persons mentioned in the title of this article, and the media’s interest. All three presented before the world a message of morality, and an image of righteousness or self-righteousness. Yet, the media discovered glaring contradictions. Here is the point I want you to consider: How do our lives, as Christians, measure up to the message we proclaim? The world is looking for an excuse to reject Christianity. Let’s make sure that we don’t give it to them. We are an epistle known and read of men (2 Corinthians 3:2). We should have our “conduct honorable among the Gentiles (non-Christians), that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works which they observe (we’re being watched and scrutinized), glorify God in the day of visitation (out of your good works which they see, they’re converted and are with you glorifying God on the day He comes for us cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:10),” these are the words of 1 Peter 2:12.
Let’s remember that our behavior can lead others to Christ (1 Peter 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:12). But, let’s understand also that our actions can cause others to reject God and Christianity (2 Samuel 12:14; Romans 2:23-24; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Corinthians 5:1 cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 6:1,6; 1 Corinthians 14:23). We need to be doers of the word and not hears only (James 1:22), or worse – preachers only (Romans 2). Jesus instructs “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). May we walk worthy of the calling (Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12). Let us represent well Christ. We are His body on earth. Let us not deny Him by our works (Titus 1:16), or suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).