Real Men Don't...
(This article was written back before Bill Clinton became president. Contrary to what many thought then, character does matter. Unfortunately, the chickens have come home to roost. Now, the integrity of a nation is being defined by Bill Clinton's character. Consequently, these are both sad and perilous times for America.)
The story is told about four military recruiters who were permitted to speak to an assembly of high school seniors. Each was to take fifteen minuets to explain the advantages of his particular branch of the service. All three of the Army, Navy, and Air Force recruiters took more than their allotted time. There was hardly any time left when the Marine Corps recruiter smartly walked to the microphone. He paused before speaking and purposefully eyed the audience of young men. Finally, he said, “Looking over this audience I have serious doubts whether there are more than three of you who could actually cut it as Marines. After this assembly, I would like to speak to you three men about the opportunities of being a Marine.” He then did a very snappy about face, returned to his seat, and sat down. Needless to say, after the assembly the largest crowd of young men gathered around this Marine Corps recruiter. The Marine Corps makes it very plain that they are not trying to appeal to everyone. Instead, they are only looking for “a few good men” who are semper fidelis, that is “always faithful.”
Thousands of years before the Marines were looking for a few good men who could always be counted on, Diogenes, the 4th century B.C., Greek philosopher, is alleged to have lighted a lamp in the daytime and gone about the streets of Athens in search of an honest man—that is to say, a man of integrity. Two hundred years before this, God had instructed the prophet Jeremiah to search the city of Jerusalem for just one man who was really interested in truth and justice: “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; see now and know; and seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks the truth, and I will pardon her” (Jeremiah 5:1). Add to this the truth recorded in II Peter 1:5, that in order to be the kind of person God wants one to be in Christ, one must add virtue (i.e., moral courage and integrity) to his faith, and one understands just how important being a real man really is. Only real men, men with intestinal fortitude, will have enough integrity to “earnestly contend for” (Jude 3) and “stand fast in the faith” (I Corinthians 16:13). Only real men, men with moral courage, will apply the knowledge they gain from the word of God to their individual lives and, as a result, do those “good works” which God prepared beforehand that soldiers of the cross would do (Ephesians 2:10).
In this connection, it is interesting to note that General Norman Schwarzkopf, the hero of Operation Desert Storm, when asked about the main problem in America, replied: “Ethics. People talk about a leadership crisis... It's never a competence problem. It's an ethical, moral crisis. It's a problem of character” (Associated Press, November 7, 1991, via the Gospel Anchor). In other words, the general is saying that the problem is not knowing what to do, but doing it!
Jesus said that of those born of woman no greater man ever lived than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11). The people who heard him speak got much more than they bargained for. He was not a weak, flimsy reed shaking in the wind (Matthew 11:7); he was not a permissive, wishy-washy, spineless wonder (verse 8)—he was, instead, a man, a real man! He addressed the false and dishonest religionists of his day with: “Brood of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matthew 3:7). He stood before Herod, a king who had the authority to take his life and would later exercise that authority to cause his head to be severed from his body, he looked him right in the eyes, and he told him in no uncertain terms, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife” (Mark 6:18). There were many things John could have said to Herod that would have no doubt softened him up somewhat, but His zeal for the truth demanded that he speak the words this sinner needed to hear, even if it meant that he would have to forfeit his earthly existence. According to the word of God, adultery is wrong, and it doesn't matter who commits it, even a king, it is still wrong.
Two of the most prevalent sins in our wicked age are fornication and adultery. These sins are causing more jealousies, breaking up more homes, causing more heartaches, spreading more loathsome diseases, causing more insanity, getting more people murdered, causing more family quarrels, bankrupting more family budgets, destroying civilization, and hurting the church more than any other sins.
Fornication and adultery are crimes against God and society. God ordained the family as the fabric of society and protected its sanctity with the death penalty. In Leviticus 20:10, God says, “The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.” In Corinthians 10:8, we learn that God killed 23,000 Israelites in one day because they were committing fornication and adultery with Moabite and Midianite women (cf. Numbers 25:1-9).
The wisdom of God is manifested in the institution of marriage and the home. In fact, the family is the oldest institution on earth. Fornication and adultery attack the family and is a cancerous growth, eating at the very vitals of our society. Ignoring the principles taught in the Bible, many modern males have given themselves over to the secular, humanistic, materialistic, and hedonistic concepts taught in Playboy Magazine. Such men brag of their conquests of women. Wilt Chamberlain, who we suspect is as big a liar as he is fornicator and adulterer, unashamedly tells us in his recent book that he has committed fornication and adultery with 20,000 different women. Magic Johnson, who contracted AIDS from his philandering, and put his new bride and unborn child in danger of contracting the disease, received a standing ovation on the Arsenio Hall Show. Magic Johnson is no hero when it comes to moral courage, and it is only a shameful reflection of just how degraded our society has become that so many think he is.
As I write this article, it seems that Gov. Bill Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President. He has been accused of adultery. In response to the question of whether he has committed adultery, he says his marriage has not been perfect and that he has caused his wife great pain. It's too bad he can't just answer the question by saying “no.” In this connection, it is interesting to note that 26 percent of Americans say that they will not knowingly vote for a man who has committed adultery. The thing that makes this interesting, according to the news media, is that “so many” (26 percent) said they would not vote for an adulterer. Of course, what is interesting, and certainly disappointing, to those who read this bulletin is that 74 percent think that the adultery issue has nothing to do with a man's character, or, if it does, that a man's private character has nothing to do with his public service.
Please don't misunderstand me. I think Gov. Clinton is extremely talented and very competent. In fact, he has the best education money can't buy (he was a Rhodes Scholar). But remember what General Schwarzkopf said when he was asked to comment on America's main problem: “People talk about a leadership crisis... It's never a competence problem. It's an ethical, moral crisis. It's a problem of character.”
What America needs to understand is that adultery is treason against the family, and that a man who betrays his wife and family is just the kind of man who might very well betray his country. In fact, although he probably doesn't realize it, a man who has betrayed his wife and family has already betrayed his country. Why? Because, as we have already said, the family is the very fabric of our society, and as goes the family, so goes the country.
Do you remember that cute little book of several years ago, entitled Real Men Don't Eat Quiche? According to this book, real men don't floss, buy flight insurance, play frisbee, use zip codes, etc. Friends, neighbors, and fellow Christians, let me tell you what real men don't do: Real men don't commit fornication and adultery! Real men honor womanhood (I Peter 3:7), and they love and cherish their wives (Ephesians 5:25ff). Real men are semper fidelis, i.e., “always faithful.”
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