Last week Toronto Mayor Rob Ford finally admitted to smoking crack cocaine. A video tape had surfaced which made the previous denials difficult to sustain. When the Major finally spoke publicly about the incident his explanation was, in some ways, more surprising than the original admission. Mayor Ford said that the incident happened about a year ago, “probably in one of my drunken stupors.” This statement revealed an important emerging trend in post-modern leadership (Mayor Ford is 44 years old). Ford is making a distinction between various “selves” which is prominent in post-modern thinking. He has a “mayoral self” who leads the city of Toronto, and he has a “drunken stupor” self who smokes cocaine, receives a DUI (1999), smokes marijuana (“lots of it”, Ford admitted) and gropes females (e.g candidate Sarah Thomson, March 2013), to name a few. It has become increasingly common for public figures to say that their ability to govern should be kept separate from these kinds of “indiscretions” or even illegal activity.
As tragic as this story is, this represents an opportunity for Christian witness in today’s world. For the Christian, integrity means that we have an “integrated” self, i.e. there is complete continuity between our private life and our public life. The values which govern us as pastors are the same values which govern us as a husband, a father, a man, a woman, a sister, a mother. We should represent wholeness in a fragmented world. I still believe that the world is longing to see wholeness. They are crying out for people of integrity. There are few places to look today to find such role models. This is an opportunity for Christians to demonstrate the true power of the gospel in our lives. All of our “old” selves which were enslaved to sin have been crucified with Christ, and “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me, and the life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).