I met a couple recently who had just moved to Charleston. The conversation quickly turned to politics. The gentleman leaned over to me and observed, “Sanford’s got the Christian voters all figured out.” He said, “They HAVE to forgive him.” That first struck me as a bit of an insult. Then it struck me as true.
Sanford’s “Redemption” is a brilliant campaign ploy. As so many in the 1st Congressional District identify themselves as good Christian folks, what true Christian wouldn’t forgive a man for his transgressions when he is openly asking for forgiveness? What true American doesn’t honor a man a second chance?
Remember that Mark Sanford abandoned his wife and young boys (on Father’s Day), and flew half way across the world to be with his mistress. Ok, so that’s for Jenny and her family to come to terms with. That’s a personal matter. Who are we to judge?
But don’t forget that he not only abandoned his family, he abandoned the people of his state. Governor Sandford went AWOL. And as the truth unfolded, we found out that he even used taxpayer dollars to fund his affair and the South Carolina Legislature censured him for it. Any military branch would punish him by demoting him to a lower rank or even imposing an Other-Than-Honorable Discharge.
Yes, as good Christians we are called to forgive. But let us not forget. Let God grant Mark Sanford redemption. Forgiving him doesn’t mean we should return him to a higher rank or give him the opportunity to cheat on the people of South Carolina again.