The following is an excerpt taken from chapter one of my new book: Everything is Meaningless: Finding Purpose in a World of Despair.
“If we study the Bible and compare it to the daily paper, we’ll see the seductive power of temptation remains as potent today as ever. Just one generation after Adam and Eve chose rebellion, we witness a jealous Cain murdering his brother Abel. Not long afterward, jealousy leads Joseph’s brothers to sell him into slavery. Today, we see the same forces of jealousy, envy, and murder at work worldwide. It may be different people but the problems are the same.
One reason I love the Bible is that it is real, raw, and relatable. It doesn’t sugarcoat the faults, failures, and tragedies of its “heroes.” Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all have a problem with lying and deceiving (Genesis 20; 25:19-34; 26:6-11). Noah creates family shame by getting drunk and exposing himself (Genesis 9:21). David, a man after God’s own heart, succumbs to adultery and murder in one season of his life (2 Samuel 11:1-27). Samson, a man, set apart unto the Lord from birth, lives a life of both faith and compromise (Judges 13–16). King Saul is destroyed by his own envy, jealousy, anger, impatience, and disobedience (1 Samuel 28:3-19). Many of Judah’s and Israel’s kings are unfaithful to the Lord and do what is wrong in his eyes (2 Chronicles 10–36). Jonah runs away from the Lord (Jonah 1:3). John, the baptizer, is put in prison and begins to doubt Jesus (Matthew 11:1-19). Judas betrays Jesus (Matthew 26:14-56). Peter denies knowing Jesus (Matthew 26:69-79). The apostle Paul calls out the hypocrisy of Peter (Galatians 2:11-14). The apostle Paul and Barnabas have such a fierce disagreement in their ministry that they part ways (Acts 15:36-41). Even Solomon with all his wisdom fell short when it came to women and slavery (1 Kings 11:4; 12:4.)
As I write this, in today’s evangelical church world, much of what has been playing out or that is being exposed is not all that different. Prominent Christian leaders have been falling left and right into scandal, immorality, and disgrace. Others who had a reputation for integrity are being exposed as not what they appeared to be in public. It is disheartening, disillusioning, and damaging to the witness of the church and life of the church.
At the same time, we must be careful that we are not putting our hope and faith in leaders who cannot be what only Christ is and can be for us. In some cases, we have made, and leaders have accepted, a mantle of a superstar, to the point that the weight of that responsibility and expectations crush them. There is nothing new under the sun. Human nature is human nature.”