A Crisis of Leadership: Follow Up

This is a follow up to my most recent post.  I could not help but notice this quote from a recent AP “Analysis” article concerning a certain presidential candidate’s apparent changes in stance (or at least rhetoric):

When politicians compete against others in their party, they must appeal to the most partisan, who tend to make up the majority of enthusiastic voters at that stage. But general elections require a broader appeal, particularly to the vast center of the nation’s electorate.

So it’s not uncommon as spring fades and November approaches to see candidates de-emphasize or even cast off some of their most extreme positions in favor of policy more palatable to the middle. They mostly do it quietly, or try to anyway.

Do we want a system in which being so two-faced is rewarded?  I’m not saying that the politician of focus in the article is necessarily an especially egregious case.

For instance, I recall how another presidential candidate of the opposite party very recently campaigned with a message that included the need for a Constitutional amendment that protected marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and how quickly that issue seemed to fall into the waste basket as soon as the candidate won his second term and the votes that were being pandered to were no longer needed.  (Could California’s current homosexual “marriage” mess have been prevented if those words had been based on convictions and principles instead of convenience and politics?  Who knows…)

As was discussed at the Pastoral Conference I referred to in the previous post, Isaiah 3:1-3 comes to mind concerning our lack of real leadership today:

For behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts,
Takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah
The stock and the store,
The whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water;
The mighty man and the man of war,
The judge and the prophet,
And the diviner and the elder;
The captain of fifty and the honorable man,
The counselor and the skillful artisan,
And the expert enchanter.

It isn’t that God somehow kills all those people, it’s just that there are none to be found.  God has allowed such circumstances to arise so as to deplete the people of truly skilled leaders.  Given the mention of “diviner” and “expert enchanter” (NKJV translation, here; and I recognize there is a bit of debate on those translations), it seems to me that even those men who would be skillful leaders in spite of the evil influences on them or in spite of their ungodly tendencies are simply absent — a complete lack of essential and fundamental leadership abilities among the people.

The result?  Read the rest of Isaiah 3 for yourself.  It isn’t pretty.

6 thoughts on “A Crisis of Leadership: Follow Up

  1. Pingback: A Crisis of Leadership « Thoughts En Route

  2. Alex

    I didn’t have the words to say it, on the other comment…

    But if you look at our history and the Bible… you see that God prepares the leaders for the times…

    George Washington didn’t want to be the General or the President…

    Esther was content to just hide out in the palace…

    Mr. Armstrong had to be dragged into the ministry…

    Mr. Meredith didn’t want to “split the Church”…

    But as it often seems, a leader is someone who has the foresight to see the difficulties – as come to a certain realization … “If not me, then who…”

    Leaders are not only prepared…. but perhaps more importantly the respone to the times (“stand in the gap” if you will).

    Happy Sabbath everyone!

  3. I don’t know. I think America has become so deeply divided, on so many levels, that it has become a prey to demogogues; who will do the bidding of those who funded them.

    There is no genuine leadership. Only groups after self-gain, not concern for the nation as a whole. I’m sorry to say that, but I think it’s the reality.

  4. Zono Riggs

    Sadder than having no leaders today, is the fact that they would not be sought. What they would stand for and what they would ask us to sacrifice (us being the nation or nations of the world today) would be ridiculed. The sickness is so great, the disease so foul, where would any human be able to even begin a turn around, a cure. As I look at each area of corruption, I only groan, “Come, Lord Jesus, Come!”

  5. rakkav

    As noted elsewhere: the above is how republics die.

    No form of goverment is so vulnerable by its very structure to having everyone pulling each for his own self-interest at the expense of everyone else as a republic is. A republic can be paralyzed by this gamemanship, again as no other form of government can be. Under such circumstances, how can we expect to have real leadership? Hopefully without exercising too much hyperbole, I submit that are coming to the ultimate example of Robert Heinlein’s definition of a committee: the U.S. as the only beast with 300 million stomachs and no brain.

    There are signs that despite the monarchial form of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, when Isaiah and later prophets addressed them, that form had become a shell of its former self. The leaders and the people alike were acting more as if they were in a republic — one that had become very corrupt, with everyone pulling against or else conspiring with everyone else (and, of course, disobeying God every way they could). King Zedekiah of Judah was hardly more than a figurehead, unable (in his own words) to prevent the princes under him from abusing Jeremiah. It would be very interesting and instructive to analyze the process by which that political state of affairs arose.

  6. Craig

    “In November 1987, Time asked in a cover story, ‘Who’s in Charge?’ and answered its own question, saying, ‘The nation calls for leadership, and there is no one home.’

    “Where have all the leaders gone? They are, like the flowers of the haunting folk song, ‘long time passing.’ All the leaders we once respected are dead.”

    – opening paragraphs from “On Becoming A Leader” by Warren Bennis, 1989.

    The leadership crisis is not recent, nor is commenting on it. That 21-yr old Time cover and Bennis’ 1989 book are just as fresh and even more relevant today!

    The situation is worse now. The lights are on and no one is home. It is a foregone conclusion that the lights will soon flicker out and a new darkness will begin. All we can do is prepare for the future leadership positions we have been chosen for.

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