Character and leadership


by Stan Mitchell

“The trick is to get ethics out of politics … and into politicians” (Anonymous).

When King George V demanded that Americans pay a tax to him, the colonists declared: “We have no king but Jesus.” Such a statement seemed natural for that day and age, when faith in Christ was being poured into the very footings of our nation’s character.

Now the same statement in any of our leaders’ mouths is supposedly a cause for indignation.

Every now and again, however, a politician has the temerity to express the idea that his policies might be founded on Christian convictions. Everyone from Oprah to the wondrously named “People for the American Way” express their outrage.

It is obvious that a country that once proclaimed its faith is now antagonistic to it. It is also obvious that Christians who live their faith with integrity will suffer increasing opposition. The temptation to compromise will heat up.

Are we ready for this?

The media frets that a leader’s Christian convictions will affect the way he does his job. I fret about the opposite: I am concerned that a politician’s lack of convictions will affect the way he does his job.

But what fascinates me is the performance of other politicians.

  • When a senator takes a bribe, hasn’t his lack of morals affected his job?
  • And when a president commits fornication, doesn’t that affect his job?

It’s time our politicians were known for their willingness to stand for something rather than running from something, for begging our pardon rather than granting pardons.

Once we fought the tyranny of an earthly king; now we deny the rule of the heavenly king. Once we threw tea into a harbor; now it is our values that are thrown overboard.

“I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:15,16, ESV).

2 Replies to “Character and leadership”

  1. I find it interesting that those who support the man running for Mayor of NY in the face of his numerous sex scandals are claiming that what he does in his private life does not affect or influence he ability to lead and yet if a man proclaims his personal faith, that private life does affect his ability to lead.

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