Where are the LEADers?

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Where are the LEADers?

All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The rapid changes taking place in our society, politics, and economy have many searching for certainty amidst an increasingly uncertain and chaotic world.  The ever shifting moral ground seems to be affecting nearly every fiber of the fabric of our society.  Recently in Texas, a mother shot her two daughters and spared the husband because she “wanted him to suffer.”  Last week, an interesting senate bill, SB-1146 Discrimination: Postsecondary education, went before the California Assembly Judiciary Committee.  This bill, as rightly noted by the North American Religious Liberty Association,

 

..incorporates a blatant attack on the right of religious colleges and universities to BE religious. It does this by eliminating the right of such institutions to “discriminate” on the basis of religion. In practice, this means that religious institutions are not allowed to be religious, or to practice their faith, without risking multiple lawsuits challenging their religious practices as discriminatory or harassing. It also means that such institutions will have to opt out of the Cal Grant program, depriving students who rely on such funding to have the option of choosing to attend a religious college. [emphasis added]

 

 

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Globally, this lack of a moral compass has created a vacuum in politics.  Gone are the days of political leaders with character and moral backbone.  In Africa, for a fifth year in its ten-year existence, there was no recipient of the prestigious Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, an Afro-centric award similar to the Nobel Peace Prize.  African leadership has come to specialize in “presidents for life.”  In Asia, Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in last Thursday as the new president of the Philippines amidst “hope and fear.”  Once South America’s wealthiest nation, Venezuela is on the blink, and may now be considered a failed state.  Economic hardship has led to food shortage, power outages, more crime, etc.  Brazil, the largest economy in Latin America, has now suspended President Dilma Rouseff undergoing an impeachment trial.  Furthermore, as the presidential election takes a home stretch in the US, the debate continues over which candidate is a lesser evil—Trump or Clinton?  Lastly, the recent Brexit has left the UK in what some have called a constitutional crisis.  Moreover, the refusal by Boris Johnson to stand for the Prime Minister and the resignation of Niger Farage, the UK Independent Party leader, has further exacerbated the issues.  The EU, the world’s largest economy, faces leadership and country participation challenges because “Some of Europe’s most right-leaning political parties are hoping to follow in Britain’s footsteps by urging their countries to consider a referendum of the European Union” notes WaPo.

 

The moral and political leadership crisis facing the world cannot be overstated.  David Brooks of NYTimes writes,

 

Something fundamental is shifting in our politics. The insiders can’t see it. Outsiders get thrown up amid the tumult, but they are too marginal, eccentric and inexperienced to lead effectively. . . . We probably need a political Pope Francis-type figure, who comes up from the bottom and understands life there, but who can still make the case for an open dynamic world, with free-flowing goods, ideas, capital and people. Until that figure emerges, we could be in for a set of serial leadership crises.

 

And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail…

While I do not share Brooks’ view of needing a figure like Pope Francis who continues to confuse people on his stances in regards to marriage, homosexuality and justification.  I agree that we need leaders in the church and the world who can lead with conviction and moral backbone. Until then, where are the LEADers?  Where is Adventism on the world stage? Is there not a Daniel among us that can provide sound, Biblically-inspired, counsel to the political elite of this world? Where are the Nehemiahs in our midst that can restore the moral voice of our churches and provide a bulwark against the encroaching madness and confusion in the world? Where are the Moses’, the Joshuas, the Deborahs, Samuels, Ruths, Esthers, and Pauls? E.G. White suggests that leaders, movers, and shakers are indeed among us. Let us pray that recent events will move them to stand and take their place on the world stage.

God’s purpose for the children growing up beside our hearths is wider, deeper, higher, than our restricted vision has comprehended. From the humblest lot those whom He has seen faithful have in time past been called to witness for Him in the world’s highest places. And many a lad of today, growing up as did Daniel in his Judean home, studying God’s word and His works, and learning the lessons of faithful service, will yet stand in legislative assemblies, in halls of justice, or in royal courts as a witness for the King of kings. Multitudes will be called to a wider ministry. The whole world is opening to the gospel…. From every quarter of this world of ours comes the cry of sin-stricken hearts for a knowledge of the God of love…. It rests with us who have received the knowledge, with our children to whom we may impart it, to answer their cry. To every household and every school, to every parent, teacher, and child upon whom has shone the light of the gospel, comes at this crisis the question put to Esther the queen at that momentous crisis in Israel’s history, “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Adventist Home, p. 484, emphasis added)

The most dangerous tyrants have come to power in the midst of confusion and power vacuums. And calamities tend to strike when we need strong leadership the most. How can young Adventists step up to the plate, be a shining city on a hill, and lead our currently confused world and an equally confused Christian church back to God and Scripture? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Valmy Karemera is associate editor of The Compass Magazine and posts daily news updates on the Compass Twitter page. Originally from Rwanda, he now lives and works in Texas with his family.