As followers of Christ and representatives of the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward — to Everyone Everywhere, we must be constantly on our guard. Ever since the Christian subculture became political, there have been huge errors that Christian leaders have stepped into perhaps without knowing it.
Breathing the thin air of political power and influence has led Christians way off the mark to where we have become influenced more by culture than by the word of God, and more importantly the example of Jesus.
Last night in the Church at the Catch, in anticipation of holy week, we looked at Mark 10, where Jesus and His disciples are heading to Jerusalem and Jesus pulls them aside and tells them again what is about too happen — that He is to be betrayed and handed over to the religious authorities who will condemn Him to death and then turn Him over to the Romans to be mocked, whipped and crucified. Upon hearing this, James and John show their stupidity by asking if they could rule on either side of Jesus when they come into His kingdom. (Not good timing for such a question.) Jesus then tells them what it means to “rule” in His kingdom versus ruling in the world.
“You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else.” (Mark 10: 42-44)
There it is in black and white. Leadership in the kingdom of God is different than leadership in the world. In the world the power comes from the top down. In the kingdom of God, the power is from the bottom up. We don’t press people from above, or push them down, we come underneath them and lift them up. We come from the lowest place where we are the slave of everyone. Show me where you see that kind of leadership in the world. You will not find it anywhere except for that which is influenced by Christ.
We are seeing in America a trend towards authoritarianism from militaristic, even violent, white, racist leaders “laying down the law,” and we have seen these same trends echoed, believe it or not, in the Christian community as a kind of leadership to be emulated. From what we have seen here in the words of Jesus, there could be nothing farther from the truth. Just think about what happens to Jesus the rest of this week in Jerusalem and you find out how Jesus plans to change the world — through His suffering, death and resurrection.
We will not have any part in this kind of worldly, top-down leadership. Because “among you it will be different.” So be it.
Who are these authoritarian? As you say even violent white racist leaders and you say that it’s corrupting the church? Not displaying a gospel centered, servant leader ship that Christ portrays in the gospels.
Cannot say enough about following Jesus and I believe if we follow him what some leaders say won’t matter one bit. Remember how he suffered for us all and then the resurrection. I always try to remember that and what a glorious moment it was and still is now and forever. Take care, God Bless, and have a great day.