“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the Lord. – Jeremiah 23:1
Often within the biblical history of Israel we find a harsh rebuke of leadership by God. While not all of Israel’s troubles can be traced to this weakness, over time her leaders began to seek the desires of the people rather than the will of the Creator. Jeremiah, as God’s prophet, grew increasingly unpopular because he consistently proclaimed God’s truth about this malady to Israel’s leadership (and the rebellious horde they led). Eventually, he was isolated and persecuted for his words.
In the hub of Western Christianity, there just don’t seem to be enough spiritual leaders who are willing to take an unpopular stance for the sake of God’s name. Budgets are tight, membership is lagging, bills still need to be paid, and organizational survival often means trying to find a place to stand that offends the fewest number of people. On the other hand, compromising truth is not the answer.
When we hear of someone lovingly and unashamedly speaking in support of biblical principles, we should be thankful. Our nation and our churches need people of character and integrity to lead. While those who scatter and destroy God’s sheep, are typically removed by the Sovereign, let us be sure that we are not guilty of seeking to restore (or support) what God has taken care to correct.
Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. – Norman Schwarzkopf