Our culture is dying for leadership. The once proud society which engaged in the greatest experiment in human self-governance is soon to draw its last breath. It is suffering from a disease that touches every member of society. It is not quarantined in the White House or in Congress, although they are sicked too. It is a contagion that is not restricted to Hollywood or the big cities. It is an illness that we all contribute to.
There are no leaders.
21st century America thinks of leaders in political terms. We think of Congress, Governors and the President as out leaders and indeed they are. But true leadership is far more than winning political races. Leaders are everywhere.
A Lack of Leadership in the Home
Our homes are a mess. Parents no longer lead but instead respond to the direction of their children. Youth have no one to follow in their homes so they follow television stars or some popular kid at school. Without the direction of a strong parent it is no wonder our children seem aimless.
Parents are to train their children (Proverbs 22:6) and to apply discipline when needed (Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 22:15). Yet, many fathers do not apply discipline because they are not at home. Work or even poor character keep men out the homes. Women feel beleaguered because all of the burden of raising a child is laid upon them. Children of broken home are sometimes undisciplined because parents are afraid to make the child unhappy and thus drive them closer to the ex-spouse. The result, no leadership.
Parents are God’s only way of training future parents. Sloth now produces more sloth in future generations. Only by re-establishing leadership in the home can we begin to reclaim the high ground that once marked out our society.
A Lack of Leadership in Business
This is a bit misleading. There is leadership in business but it is the wrong kind. Many in the business world have bought into the idea of “profit at all costs.” If it helps the bottom line, it must be good. Gone are the days when the primary goal was to help another. A famous wall street titan of the past once taught his employees that the best stock buy and sell transaction was one that left a little something in it for the next guy. No more.
A Christian retailer who sold decidedly un-christian products in his store once commented that church was church and business was business. Real leadership don’t you think?
At the root of much business malaise is greed and covetousness. “The righteousness of the upright will deliver them but the treacherous will be caught by their own greed” (Proverbs 11:6). “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of…greed” (1 Corinthians 5:11). We ought remember Jesus own warning that a man cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).
Business should be clean and honest where both the buyer and the seller walk away with value. Cheating, manipulation and slick deals have no place in the Christian economy. We need strong Christian leaders who will stand for righteousness even if it means loosing a deal.
A Lack of Leadership in School
I know something about public schools. I am a product of public schools as is my wife who now teaches in a public school. My eldest son will graduate from a state university and my younger sons are students in the public schools. It’s clear that there is a lack of solid leadership in our schools.
It is easy to point to the Supreme Court and argue that removing prayer from schools is the reason for our scholastic problems. But that is only a part of the problem. Teachers and school staff must display high levels of morality and righteousness. Teachers who use profanity and who have out of school activities that are unrighteous ought be removed from teaching. Such includes sports coaches who cannot coach without classless, vulgar statements and profanity.
We need more teachers who are willing to challenge the system and raise the quality of student’s lives. Instructors must not blindly follow curriculum that teaches falsely and opposes God. Courage is needed now.
Freed-Hardeman University once used the phrase, “teaching how to live and how to make a living.” That’s a fine motto for all of our educators.
A Lack of Leadership in Washington
There are problems in Washington D.C. For decades, some have used government as the means to denigrate people of faith and to remove Godly principles from the public square. Some leaders have assaulted the so-called Judeo-Christian work ethic. Honesty is rare among our leaders. There are serious leadership problems in Washington.
But before we draw and quarter our politicians, let us remember how they got there. These governmental leaders are where they are because society put them there. The system of elections in the United States is sufficiently strong to ensure that the people who win are the people chosen by the voters. IN other words, they are the fault of a society that does not want righteous leadership. Fix the society and you will fix the political system. You cannot do it the other way around.
But still, government is God’s idea. We are to honor our government and to remain obedient to it even when we don’t like what it does (Romans 13:1). When the church obsesses over government we miss the mission of the church. The church was not given to be a political force but rather a force for salvation in the world. Consider the successes of the original Christians against the backdrop of Roman persecution. What could a Peter or Paul accomplish today?
A Lack of Leadership in the Church
The church is dangerously close to drifting into irrelevance from the perspective of society. It is not the the church will actually be irrelevant but just that society thinks so. Why? I think there are two reasons.
Churches do not teach doctrine anymore.
In an effort to attract new people into their numbers, churches deliberately softened their doctrine. Churches appropriately desire to reach sinners but a subtle change has occurred. Sinners are not expected to change. Repentance is gone. The Bible teaches differently. Repentance is essential (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 7:10). Some churches ignore what the Bible teaches on homosexuality. Some ignore what the Bible teaches on adultery. The sin remains but the churches fail to teach.
Churches are social clubs.
The church is the place where God puts the saved (Acts 2:41, Acts 2:47). It is of divine origin an not a human device. Churches are community. They are made up of people and the church ought edify them all. But some use their churches as networking centers and give little regard to the spiritual basis of the body of Christ. Such social clubs do little to lead people to the mountain of God.
The church ought be the voice of Christ on the earth. The church ought lead its members and the community as we challenge the current societal ills. Without leadership in the church, the world cannot change.
We need leadership in every aspect of life. With leadership, there can be growth, great growth and we can begin to turn our culture back to Christ.