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.