One thing I have noticed about Barack Obama's speeches is that they are full of sincerity. His words about hope and change and transparency ring with heart-felt conviction. His delivery and oratory on the subjects we as American's care about echo with sincere thought. The question is; is he truly sincere about all of that or not?
With deep sincerity and conviction the Pharisee's thought the 600+ additions to the Law were for the better good of the Jew.
With deep sincerity and conviction many believed Jews, gypsy's and other non-Aryans were the problem with Germany.
With deep sincerity and conviction many believed the black man to be sub-human; unable to learn, to read, to write, to do anything but menial labor.
And those people were wrong.
I'm not saying that everyone who speaks with sincerity and deep conviction is wrong. I'm saying that sincere-sounding word, sincere-sounding tone, can sway a crowd who aren't looking at whats behind those words. I'll admit, Obama's speeches are great. Some of the best I've heard since Ronald Reagan. And I find myself starting to believe what he is saying because the issues he is talking about hit close to home. It's how he intends to solve those issues that bother me.
You see, many people don't or won't look beyond the rhetoric to the meat of what's being said. Dr. Luke extolled the virtue of the Berean's because they didn't accept what he said at face value. In Acts 17:11 it says, "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Too many of us do not do this.
Too many of us are like Linus from the Peanut's show, "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown", sitting in our pumpkin patch; the most sincerest pumpkin patch, waiting for the Great Pumpkin "to rise up out of the pumpkin patch and fly through the air bringing gifts to all the good little girls and boys..."
You see, Linus believed, with all sincerity, that his pumpkin patch was the best, the most sincere. You know the story. He convinced Sally to stay up late with him in the pumpkin patch where she missed trick-or-treating with her friends. It didn't matter how sincere or convicted Linus was, Sally didn't parse what was really being said about the Great Pumpkin. In the end, it was a dog that rose out of the pumpkin patch in search of some root beer!
So, we have a President who presents a great sincerity, a deep conviction that what he is doing is correct. And because he has preached his gospel with great sincerity and deep conviction, many have bought into it. And yet, the world around them is showing something completely different...they're not buying into it. They've parsed the words and the meanings, thrown out the rhetoric and looked beyond the deep, heart-felt, emotional sincerity and found it lacking.
To use a phrase from the movie, "A Knights Tale"...
"You have been weighed. You have been measured. And you have been found wanting."
I encourage you to parse what is said by your President, you elected officials, your Preachers, your radio talk-show hosts. See if the sincerity matches reality. You'll be surprised...