False leaders with their false ideas and those who follow them are always sucked in by arrogance, ignorance or both.
The King and Queen of Hearts hold court to determine who stole the tarts,
one of the legendary stories perhaps based upon the foibles of bad leadership.
Altered and scaled image of Arthur Rackam’s drawing for the Lewis Carroll book.
2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
~ Pr 29:2
It is sort of amazing how sometimes the unrighteous will seize and hang onto power, but even the more so when it is chosen by the people. There have been and will continue to be this, however, until Christ returns.
Take ISIS, for instance. If the majority did not want them in power, they simply could not so quickly gain control. It is heart wrenching to hear stories of people who have their own neighbors literally shooting at them and turning them in because one is Shia and one is Sunni. So much for a “religion of peace”, I guess.
Bad leadership doesn’t stop there, does it? It infects our own US civil government and false prophets and teachers rise up even within the Church, threatening to poison all that we hold dear.
There are two recent articles that relate to this. One is by LCG Wallace G Smith about the political arrogance that can be difficult to understand, and the other is by COGW André van Belkum on Peter’s warning against heresy.
Does Obama Want to Be President?
Several conservative commentators have said that Barak Obama doesn’t really want to be president. Oh, he wants the perks and the attention that the job brings, but he doesn’t want to do the work that it entails! I honestly used to be very skeptical of this hypothesis, but I believe time has shown this to potentially be a valid opinion.
If you don’t have access to Peggy Noonan’s original article on “The Daydream and the Nightmare”, or even if you do, I suggest you read Thoughts En Route‘s article on “Good insight (methinks) into this president’s current state of mind from Peggy Noonan“.
Among the things that I am working on is catching up on some reading and news analysis. I had saved a link for myself to the July 4 WSJ opinion piece “The Daydream and the Nightmare” by Peggy Noonan-one of my all-time favorite contributors (even gave some of her speech-giving advice to campers in my Speech class at Teen Camp this year)-concerning her analysis of President Obama’s behavior in recent days. Under the subtitle was the blurb, “Obama isn’t doing his job. He’s waiting for history to recognize his greatness.” It seems to me that her column is spot on in its insightful summary of the president’s mindset….
Actually, as time has gone on, and the thin veneer of uniting people has shown to be mere wax that has melted away to executive orders and ruling by fiat (“I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone”), plus the fact that he cannot be reelected, Obama has dropped the facade of trying to get along and has chosen arrogance over leadership.
The point is not that Congress is easy to get along with. However, a lot of presidents have overcome and gotten things done when both houses were dominated by an opposing party. The difference is that Obama doesn’t even try. He does not have to; he is above all that.
Noonan wrote in her original article:
On his state trip to Italy in the spring, he asked to spend time with “interesting Italians.” They were wealthy, famous. The dinner went for four hours. The next morning his staff were briefing him for a “60 Minutes” interview about Ukraine and health care. “One aide paraphrased Obama’s response: ‘Just last night I was talking about life and art, big interesting things, and now we’re back to the minuscule things on politics.'”
Minuscule? Politics is his job.
Jimmy Carter was known as the “do nothing president”, but at least he had one thing going for him: He got states in the Middle East talking. Now, I vehemently disagree with his politics, but particularly in the Middle East, but if even Carter was able to do something that the current president is not willing to do, then Obama’s arrogance does not allow him to truly see that history will not be kind to his legacy.
Meanwhile, Life Hope & Truth has put out an article looking at “2 Peter“.
While 1 Peter is focused mainly on persecutions and how Christians are to live under such circumstances, 2 Peter is intended to confront and oppose deceptive beliefs introduced by “false prophets” intent on undermining the faith of Church members.
This is truly a message for today’s age, where false prophets and teachers abound.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
~ Mt 24:11
The false teachers spread their heresies (it is rare that it is singular) and, thus, unneeded division.
16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
We see a predominance of arrogance and lies in this passage. While certainly sin can be the result of ignorance, it is often an act of pride. Think about the author of sin, after all. Who has more pride than Satan?
As far as ignorance goes, the LH&T article also touches on that by pointing out that “Knowledge,’ one of the keynote themes”. Peter contrasts true knowledge to the deceitfulness of the false teachers.
Scripture tells us more than once to not be ignorant and to not be deceived. It is clear that being deceived is most often a choice! If we are diligent and study, we will not remain deceived.
Peter had to combat many types of heresies, including the one that said Christ will not return. Oddly enough, there are groups today called amillennialists and Preterists who still deny that Christ will return at the end of this age. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
That includes the number of heresies and false teachers, IMO. There were many battles for the hearts and minds of the faithful in the first century, and those are the same conditions we see prophesied for the time of the end.
3 For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.
2 The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,
3 The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.
4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
Notice God Himself takes away sustenance, military might, justice and even prophets. Of course, nature abhors a vacuum, so other things take their places. Whenever Judah or Israel turned from God, the land became filled with false prophets.
Lastly, everyone oppresses their neighbor. The young do not respect the elderly, and all sorts of people rise up to protest and riot in the streets regardless of whether or not the cause is just.
Could these attitudes infect the Church? Are the false prophets and failed counselors for “the world” only? The above says the base raise up against the honorable, so does this include those who rail and stomp out of the Church to start their own following with their own special “understanding”?
Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
Lee Iacocca wrote Where Have All the Leaders Gone? back in 2008, but the same question could be asked today. In fact, last year, Forbes asked the exact same question of “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?”
Where have all the leaders gone? That’s the question I hear everywhere I travel at home and abroad. I can’t answer the question, but it caused me to reflect on what makes a good leader.
There is a good reason we are still here in this world even though we are not a partaker in it. We are here to learn. Specifically, we are here to learn to be leaders in God’s Kingdom. Do we truly understand what that means? At minimum, we should have considered the answers to:
- What is a leader?
- What is a leader’s job?
- What is a Christian going to lead in the Kingdom? Who? How? With what attitude?
- What makes a good leader?
- What makes a bad leader?
- What did Jesus mean that to be the greatest meant to be the slave of all?
And, those are just for a start!