Where do we find good human leadership? Where do we find government that truly is in service of the people?
Throughout all human history governments have oppressed and enslaved their citizens. There is only one government that truly exists to serve.
We will look at the kind of leadership that God expects, conduct a search for a godly politician, and look at the manner and ultimate end of human governments.
Since long before the days of the robber barons, success in business has been defined by those who have taken the most no matter the means. The name robber baron began in Germany, where for a thousand years feudal lords and bishops blocked traffic on the Rhine River and charged a passage fee, sometimes appropriating the whole cargo. In the USA, wealthy and unethical industrialists have been dubbed with the same pejorative title. Yet those who know the Gospel are not fooled by such claims to greatness. How can a man claim to be a business success when to make his millions he has walked all over others, destroyed businesses and taken people’s jobs? Since the first disciples wanted position (Mark 10:35-45) this worldly thinking has also infected the church. Jesus defined greatness not by position but by giving.
Seeking a godly politician
This election is no different than most for those who love God. We wonder if heavenly values will be represented by worldly leaders. This brings up a very important question for all Christians. Can we find a godly politician? Even two of Jesus’ first disciples, James and John, seemed to confuse positions of power with “lording it over” others and flaunting “authority” (Mark 10:35-45). Jesus clearly pointed out what makes for great leadership, self-sacrificial service. Can we find politicians who will give their lives as a ransom for all? Can we find politicians who will give up their pensions, health benefits, their millions, their oppressive authority over us and throwing their weight around with excessively burdensome legislation? If so, then we may have indeed found a truly godly politician. If you find such a person, please let everyone know.
Manner of human government
When Israel was given freedom from slavery, God also gave them judges as leaders. These men and women were generals in wartime and court justices in peacetime. But Israel rejected God’s style of government and demanded a human form of government like other nations (1 Samuel 8). Samuel gave them a warning from God about what human government would look like. The administration would engage in conscription for national service, grabbing up large parcels of land for federal use, enact a ten percent tax and the people would be in slavery to the government that they had chosen. Jesus warned his own disciples that human leadership had not changed (Mark 10:35-45) and that can also be said of human governments today. Our taxes are far more than that ten percent and we have all become slaves to burdensome regulations.
Fall of human government
When Jesus returns he will replace all human government with God’s. Many rich entrepreneurs will not be happy about it. Human government is symbolized in the book of Revelation by the ancient city of Babylon. Its system is pictured as a mixture of the public and private sectors. Merchants and shippers in the private sector are pictured as mourning over the fall of the Babylonian public sector. They had grown rich through immoral human government. Revelation pictures that government's sins as piled up to heaven (Revelation 18). It is a form of government that enslaves the people. It is a style of leadership that Jesus described in Mark 10:35-45, tyrannical and authoritarian. That is why the cross is such a victory for the poor and oppressed. Jesus showed us sacrificial leadership, the kind exhibited by the government of God.
Good human leadership is what Jesus expects. It has nothing to do with position, but service. Can we find government that truly is in service of the people? Human governments do not exist to serve, but to enslave. There is only one government that truly exists to serve. Thy kingdom come!