Continuing my series on failure, I want to talk about the failure in leadership that is happening at multiple levels in our society. So many people look to the President, or Congress, or the governor of their state for leadership. We hold contentious elections believing that if we just select the right person then they will alleviate the fears we have and solve the things we think are problems. Some even believe that we must select certain people or a certain party because it and those candidates are ordained and called by God. On the other hand some pick leaders they think will serve the particular interest of people and groups like themselves. They will further their agenda only, even to the detriment of everyone else. So we fight each other online and around the water cooler, and sometimes actually fight each over who we choose as our political leader.
It is this willingness to wholeheartedly give ourselves to these political leaders that is a major reason why our society is crumbling. I have watched as Christians who profess to believe that Atheist and Homosexuals are hell bound sinners, stand united with them as long as they agree on the same political leader. Those religious people who say Christ is the leader in their lives are willing to push him to the side to unify with non believers for the sake of politics. They don't even try to talk those people about Jesus. When those people propose things they know go against the teachings in the bible, which they supposedly believe so strongly in, they say nothing. Some of these religious people even try to hide behind some veil of ignorance about politics, or supposed fear of confrontation and that is nothing but cowardice.
I was talking recently to someone of authority in my life about a candidate that ran in the 2016 election. I told him this person had the same political goals as the person that won, but was a much more compassionate person who openly professed his faith. This educated person had no idea who I was talking about. You see he like many got lost in the hype and fast talking of the leader he ended up selecting which happens far too often to us all. We get so much pressure from our families, friends, community, the media, to go in a certain direction or pick certain people and things. Later we claim ignorance about anything else accept what we have been feed by those influences. I want to tell you right now, in this day and time when so much information is readily available to us, you are choosing ignorance. Willful ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for your failure to turn your brain on.
Everyone is free to choose whatever leader, but don't lie to me our yourselves. None of these political leaders is anything more than a sinner like you and I that needs to repent and receive Jesus. Stop acting like you are picking what God wants, or some new messiah or prophet. Their minds are set on earthly things not heavenly things. God can use sinners and the saved to fulfill his will on earth, stop letting politics become your religion and assuming your mind works like God's.
Secondly I want to talk about the leadership in movements that are taking place in this country. I studied the civil rights movement growing up. Living in Nashville I was surrounded by history and moments in time that helped led this country to recognizing that we can't have separate Americas and different laws and treatment of citizens. The movement was led by people of faith who advocated for change, but did so peacefully. Today I see movements like Black Lives Matter led by people who are not calling on the name of Jesus and are allowing people to commit violent acts of destruction and disruption in reaction to police brutality. The message about police misconduct is lost by the acts of a few and real Leadership would not only denounce those acts but they would try to stop them. This goes the same for Antifa, and Proud Boys, and these so called 'Patriot' groups that preach messages of hate that go against Jesus teachings. Where are the leaders that will stand up to these groups? Where are the preachers and priest who will stand up and call for peace, stand in between these groups of hate as they try to fight each other or fight the police or attack the Capital?
They are nowhere because our religious leaders have failed us the same as the political leaders. They are too caught up in politics, just like the rest of us, to actually try and change society using the teachings of Jesus. God is in all things not just one political policy we as people are focused on. We are thinking and talking about taxes, war, pro-life pro-choice, gay marriage, health insurance, environment, climate change, and Jesus is still talking about loving God and loving your neighbor. Issues are important and some of them affect our faith, but they can't replace what followers of Christ are supposed to be about at the end of the day and our religious leaders need to be focused on teaching about love. That is what real Leadership should be focusing the people on, loving one another in these dark times. They should be preaching and teaching (Romans 13 and I Corinthians 13) to people. When you accept the teaching from those scriptures into your heart you will stop yourself and stop the people you care about from the violence and hate speech that pervades our schools, workplaces, and social media platforms.
Lastly I wanted to talk about Leadership at the lower levels, our communities, churches, workplaces, and even our own households. We who claim Jesus have failed to be leaders where we are. I have been a failure at this on many occasions. I've gotten caught up in the cult of politics, getting involved in discussions and defending politicians when I should be taking every opportunity to proclaim Jesus. Sometimes it was because of a self righteous sense of standing against what I perceived as lies. Whether it was standing up for George W, or Obama, or even Trump, I couldn't let what I perceived as falsehoods against them stand when I would get into discussions.. Whether I was doing the right thing or not, I spent time arguing over these flawed men when I should have spoken up about perfection. I should have tried to unify those around me behind the cause of Christ.
In this I am not alone. I have watched those around me who are strong in religious values, who have perfect attendance at church, either tacitly consent with silence or bow down to people preaching hate and intolerance. I have watched as people have assumed that the others around them also call on the name of Jesus because they express a similar political ideology. I am here to say that is false and it is time that those of us that have Jesus love in our hearts stand up and be Leaders instead of followers. Somebody talking about killing all the people that don't agree with them is not of Jesus, I don't care what side of the political spectrum they are on. That is the opposite what Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, he called for us to pray for our enemies.
I don't care if your coworker, neighbor, or even family member agrees with you on supreme court judges or gun rights or reparation's for black people, if they talking violence and terror you need to check them with the word of God. We don't say nothing and people think they are right, and that they got your support. This allows them to go out and do and say some things that you know in your heart ain't right, and it happens because we as individuals have failed. It leads to the chaos that this country has saw in 2020 and is still seeing in 2021. Its time to step up and become Leaders instead of the led. You find yourself huddled around someone speaking hate, you find yourself constantly turning every conversation at work, online, and at home into politics, step away and open up the word of God and Lead yourself into his love. Then go and Lead others into that love. Make that more important than Leading them into your political ideology, or hobby that you love, or anything else that you would share with them more than the importance of a relationship with Jesus.
Let the word of God lead your life, not the media, not Hollywood, not the cancel culture, not the anti cancel culture, not 'Jim Bob' or 'Lil whoever', and not political doctrines or even the Constitution. Just Jesus!