Is Mark Souder a Bad Christian Example?
An Evangelical Christian Response to Mark Souder’s Affair and Resignation.

This morning, Mark Souder resigned his congressional office due to an affair with a part-time staff member. You can read the full report here.

Mark Souder has been known for his evangelical Christian values. His faith has undoubtedly played an important role in his campaigns. So what now? Mark Souder totally “blew it” – what’s that say about his faith?

I tend to feel that at this point, we get to see what Mark Souder’s faith is really made of. Christianity isn’t about a perfect, cookie-cutter, “Beaver Cleaver” lifestyle. Christianity is more about living towards perfect — living holy — and finding forgiveness and restoration through Jesus when we fail.

Is Mark Souder a bad Christian example? Probably not! Don’t get me wrong — what he did (his affair) certainly was a horrible Christian example. But how he’s handling it — THAT is Christianity at its finest. He easily could have kept his job — no problem (other politicians do it all the time). But rather, in his words, “I am resigning rather than put my family through that painful, drawn-out process.” That’s a great example.

Christianity isn’t about being all nice and neat – we all know that life is messy. Christianity is about working through the messes. And so here is Mark Souder, who totally screwed up massively with his personal life, taking his messy life to Jesus who is “a gracious and forgiving God to those who sincerely seek his forgiveness.”

Other political figures stretched the truth to the highest degree to try to maintain their dignity for the longest time possible, but Mark Souder has set a great Christian example by following the teaching found in James 5:16, “…confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (NIV).

Mr. Souder, I also wish you could have been a better example. But I thank you for the example of Christianity’s power that you’re setting now.

3 Replies to “Is Mark Souder a Bad Christian Example?
An Evangelical Christian Response to Mark Souder’s Affair and Resignation.”

  1. Well said, Adam. I sent mail to Congressman Souder informing him I have always and will always love and support him and offered my prayers. We will see what his mettle is made of now. AND, perhaps more importantly, we shall see the true character to the church as it responds to him.

  2. Several days ago, sitting at Starbucks, you asked me what I thought…

    Well, I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I’ve talked to a lot of people…and I think I’ve come to a personal conclusion. So, I thought I would share it with you, since you asked. 😉

    I guess I have three basic options:

    1. I can become cynical, and stop trusting anyone who claims to hold any sort of moral values. (I know people who have taken this position, of course, to varying degrees).
    2. I can become blindly supportive. (I know people who have followed this route, to varying degrees.)
    3. I can remember that I make more than my share of mistakes, and I can choose to worry about those mistakes, before I start worrying about the mistakes of others.

    I have chosen option 3. I certainly care about Mr. Souder, and the pain and hurt he and his family, and the pain and hurt of the staff member and her family. I hope that they are all able to find restoration and reconciliation. But I do not put my faith, or lack of it, in anything any of them say or do…I put my faith in Jesus. And, honestly, it takes everything I’ve got to just do that! If someone else has worked out their relationship with Jesus to the point that they have enough time left over to sit in judgement, positive or negative, then I applaud them…but I would also ask them to make certain that they take a VERY serious look at their current relationship with Jesus, and also to take a personal inventory of the imperfections in their own life before they embark on such a task.

    I told you last week, and I still stand by it, that I don’t disagree with what you are saying here…I even applaud it, but if someone asks me my opinion…well, now I have it. 🙂

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