Selecting a Leader: A biblical perspective
by Allen Scott 8/22/2008 / Politics
When John was in prison, he heard about the things Christ had done. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for someone else?" Matthew 11:2-3 (GW)
Are you the one or should we look for someone else seems to be the big question this election year. As the Presidential candidates ponder their picks for running mates perhaps it is time we the people take stock of what choices we are presented with. Our current Presidential candidates leave many of us wondering if we should be seeking another because we are not sure exactly where these candidates stand on key issues. It is troublesome that when choosing a President this election cycle we are more interested in whom each chooses for a Vice-president than we are with the current Presidential front runner.
Whoever walks with wise people will be wise, but whoever associates with fools will suffer. Proverbs 13:20 (GW)
Don't let anyone deceive you. Associating with bad people will ruin decent people. 1 Cor 15:33 (GW)
Choosing associations is a good indicator of a person's leadership abilities. Therefore whoever each candidate picks as a running mate will say a great deal about who that person has decided to form allegiances with. Two people can not walk together unless they are in agreement. Two candidates must have something in common in order for them to serve together in a leadership capacity.
Many conservatives have expressed concerns about Senator John McCain in regards to where he stands on issues important to the conservative base of the Republican Party. Considering his record of voting with Democrats on legislation conservatives found distasteful, and voting against the President on several key issues, many conservative Republicans are leery to cast a vote for him. Many feel a vote for McCain is a vote for a democrat. His association with democrat leaders on major legislation adds to their sense of unease. McCain Feingold, McCain Lieberman, McCain Kennedy are just a few of the legislation sponsored by Senator McCain that many on the Right side of the aisle find bothersome.
In a similar manner many wonder who Barack Obama is and what he stands for exactly. Barack Obama's earlier associations stirred quite a bit of controversy for their non-mainstream viewpoints and opinions. Obama's 20 year association with Reverend Jeremiah Wright along with his friendship with William Ayers and the work he performed for the controversial community activist group ACORN brings into question Obama's choice of associations. These personal and professional associations cause a conservative voter to question Obama's judgment. One or two bad associations can be overlooked as just bad apples but the list continues to grow with each major appointment to Obama's political election machine. Names like Mazen Asbahi, Rashid Khalidi, Jim Johnson, indicted Chicago Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Tony Rezko continue the long line of controversial associations plaguing Obama's campaign.
Although quoting from the gospel of Matthew on national TV the verse which states whatever you do unto the least of these you do unto me, Obama supports the killing of the very least among us in the form of abortion, even as far as supporting the withholding of medical care for a child born after a botched abortion. Doesn't the death of the innocent fall under the protection of the least of these?
Because of these questions surrounding both candidates we are now looking at their choice of a running mate to help solidify in our minds whether we can support them or look for yet another.
Any biblical scholar knows that even amongst Jesus' chosen disciples there was one bad seed -Judas Iscariot, but the other 11 choices proved to be more than adequate to carry out the work of the ministry of Christ and lead the world as ambassadors for the Kingdom of God. Can the same be said for Obama's chosen associates?
Does the voting record of John McCain support his stated position at the Saddleback Political forum broadcast on Saturday August 16th? Will his choice of a running mate solidify his position as the leader of the Republican Party platform or will it leave even more questions as to where his allegiances lie?
Jesus answered John's disciples, "Go back, and tell John what you hear and see: Matthew 11:4 (GW)
Selecting a leader to follow should be met with serious inquiry. Even John who baptized Jesus in the river Jordan was beginning to wonder if Jesus was whom he said he was. When he heard about the things that Jesus was doing he sent his followers to check and see if Jesus was actually the Son of God or if they should be looking for another. John was there when Jesus came up out of the water and a voice from heaven declared that 'This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased' and yet John had his disciples check on the authenticity of Jesus to be sure he was who he said he was. Jesus told them to report back to John all the things that they heard and saw. He was not offended when challenged. Jesus was confident in whom he was, and the work he was doing would speak for itself.
Choice of associations and past actions can tell a great deal about a person. John heard about the things Jesus was doing and sent his followers to check them out. He was looking for proof of the character of Jesus. He wanted to be sure that he had placed his trust in the right deliverer. He wanted to be sure that when he died he was putting his hope in the true savior of his soul. He did not want to be misled into following after a false leader.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 2 Cor 11:13-15 (ESV)
Instead, test everything. Hold on to what is good. Keep away from every kind of evil. 1 Thess 5:21-22 (GW)
Paul warned the Corinthian Christians about false teachers and leaders who would spring up in attempts to mislead them into following after their deceitful ways. In Thessalonica Paul instructed the believers to test everything and hold onto what is good and avoid all that appears to be evil.
Let's face it-selecting a President may not be a matter of life or death, but making the wrong choice as to whom you listen too when making life altering decisions literally could be. If we, like John the baptist, doubt the validity of Jesus' claims we could be making an eternal decision with hellacious consequences. It is therefore important to ask the question, are you the one or should we seek another.
Whether we are selecting the President of the United States, a life partner, a world leader, a spiritual adviser, or a business associate, wisdom dictates that we prove each choice to see if their actions and associations measure up to their confessions. Testing the validity of any candidate vying for your affection shows sound judgment and proof that you take matters of choice seriously. Some wrong decisions could prove to be deadly while others could just cause a great deal of discomfort. Whomever you choose to support this election cycle I urge you to ask the right questions. Are you who you say you are or should we seek yet another?