I am reading a new book right now....actually, I am simultaneously reading several good books right now...but this one is particularly thought-provoking during our current focus on our country's future leadership. The book is called Jesus for President. I am only about a third of the way into it, but found this excerpt from Section I to be quite powerful:
Its the beautiful things that get us. Perhaps the greatest seduction is not the ANTI-GOD, but the ALMOST GOD. Poisonous fruit can look pretty tasty. Thats what is so dangerous about ideas like FREEDOM, PEACE and JUSTICE. They are all seductive qualities, close to the heart of GOD. After all, its the beautiful things we kill and die for. And it's the beautiful we market, exploit, brand, and counterfeit.
WE FIND OURSELVES POSSESSED BY OUR POSSESSIONS...and enslaved by the pursuit of freedom. Nations fighting for peace and perpetuating the very violence they seek to destroy. Serpents are slippery and slimy things.
MOST of the ugliness in the human narrative comes from a distorted quest to possess beauty. COVETING begins with appreciating blessings, MURDER begins with a hunger for justice. LUST begins with a recognition of beauty. GLUTTONY begins when our enjoyment of the delectable gifts of GOD starts to consume us. IDOLATRY begins when our seeing a reflection of God in something beautiful leads to our thinking that the beautiful image bearer is worthy of WORSHIP.