I was impressed by the article “The indispensable craft of politicians” by Lee H. Hamilton. I believe it was well-written, skillful if you will. Lee’s article mentioned skill, shaking hands, improving one’s craft, clergy and one’s foe possibly becoming a comrade. But it is just one article, and I know little about this gentleman and where he stands on issues such as the killing of the innocent by those who put to death the children of their womb by means of abortion, although it is not unpardonable it is a hideous sin, or where he stands on the word of God, original sin, redemption, the family, marriage, fornication, homosexuality, adultery, grace, etc.
It is good for one to strive to improve his craft, but we must beware of craftiness! One’s belief, disbelief, inaccurate, or distorted view of God and his word will determine their political outlook, what they stand for or against. And if we want our clergy to “correctly handle the word of truth” (II Timothy 2), these above-mentioned issues should be of utmost importance to Christ followers. “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
When one rejects Christ and his teachings, he then chooses to do what is right in his own eyes much like in the days of judges (Judges 17:6:21:25). I myself was once God’s enemy, but Christ came to reconcile sinners (God’s enemies or foe), which would include all of us, back to God by shedding his blood, making peace, friendship and camaraderie possible between God and man (II Corinthians 5:18). This is God’s offer of grace to mankind.
It’s OK to be cautious with whom we shake hands because God himself asks (II Corinthians 6:14), “What does righteousness have to do with unrighteousness? Or what does light have to do with darkness?” Remember the scene when George Bailey shook hands with Mr. Potter but was repulsed and withdrew his hand and wiped it off. Or the movie “Frost/Nixon” where Jim Roston said he wouldn’t shake hands with the president. I imagine that many shook hands with Bernie Madoff in whom they trusted.
Jesus asked, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” The Bible testifies that abortion, lying, adultery, homosexuality, fornication, spousal abuse, etc. is evil. Jesus said, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil “ (John 7:7). Jesus at times used harsh words but only after much patience and reasoning from the very Scriptures that those who hated him had in their possession.
There are “politicians” and “clergy” on the left and right who identify with a religion but who do not follow Christ or obey his teachings. “... [T]hey have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof” (II Timothy 3:5).
Yes, one should be cautious with whom they shake hands!