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Wednesday, April 15th 2009

11:00 AM

"Good" Leadership...Tolerance of wrong is not right"

By Pastor Bruce Sikes

To borrow from Billy Graham, as we sense the approaching hoof beats of the Lord's return, I believe the greatest need we have in the world today is for good leaders. What does it mean to be a good leader? It is a shame that we live at a time where we must define what "good" means. We live in an age that is referred to by some as the age of "Post-Modern Relativism". That is a fancy way of saying "You're definition of good, may not be my definition of good, but that's Ok because it's all relative". People of honor, integrity, and morality, Godly people, constantly find themselves at odds with much of the world.

Why?...because our definition of good, of right, and of wrong does not change with the whims of society. Actually, the definitions of good, right and wrong are not ours. The standards we follow are not our standards. To paraphrase the great Christian writer C.S. Lewis, "If Christianity were something we made up, we would have made it much easier." Instead, the definitions of what is good are given to us by God. We know what they are, because they are written down for us in the Bible. So, it's very difficult to honestly discuss what "good" is, and not include God and his word, although many try to do it. Even today those described as non-religious are quick to agree that "if" there is a God, he is good and wants us to be good, but they are reluctant to exactly define what "good" means.

On the other hand, people of honor, integrity and morality, people of God, give voice and action to their convictions. That's why many times in our country and the world today, as one poet puts it, " People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest." The open expression of faith and moral character has deteriorated so rapidly in the world over the past few decades, to the point that when a public figure expresses their Christian faith in one way or another, they are ostersized for it. That is part of the hypocrisy of modern religious freedom, something the founding fathers of America never intended. We believers want our leaders to be Christian or at least Christ like, to at least have God guiding their actions, but God forbid if any of them speak of it, lest the unbelieving and the fearful be offended. Yet when an devout Atheist speaks, we are very tolerant and pat ourselves on the back for being so open minded.

Tolerance of wrong is not right.

It's sad that today many Christians are more concerned about what other people think of them, than saying or doing the right thing. We forget that sometimes doing the right thing means doing it alone. We should have the same passion for doing and saying right as that of the prophet Jeremiah. In Jeremiah Chapter 20 he shares with us a complaint he made to the Lord. He pours his heart of to God. he says,

"O Lord, you deceived me!.......I am ridiculed all day long everyone mocks me whenever I speak......The word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say "I will not mention him or speak his name!"....His word starts to burn in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I get tired trying to hold it in. Indeed I can't"......

People like Jeremiah, people with courage and character un-ashamedly tell others what is good and bad. They will always strive to do good and tell others what is good, no matter what criticism they might encounter. Isn't that what we are called to do? The Bible says, "Anyone who knows the good he ought to do, and does not do it, sins." (James 4:17) This theme which is echoed throughout the Bible does not allow us to be complacent, to remain silent, to seek the crowd's favor, or the favor of compromising leaders. Instead, we are called to action, to be leaders, ambassadors on Christ's behalf as the Bible says. Jesus Himself tells his disciples, "You are the light of the world..., let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Mat 5:14 NIV)

People without this calling of Christ, are those who say to their fellow men and women, "Do what you want to do, I don't care!" But I do care, and I know each of you also cares, otherwise, you wouldn't reading this in the first place. You wouldn't be seeking to grow more in your knowledge and obedience of Christ and to help others do the same.

Once again, C.S. Lewis reminds us that in Christ's Church, "...there are no passengers or parasites" Since we aren't passengers, and God forbid parasites, we must all be part of the crew, pilots, and leaders.

Each generation of Christians have a unique challenge to face. God's call to the Remnant is the challenge for our time, to be leaders. Leaders in delivering the message of repentance and revival to the Church and salvation to the lost.

We must ask ourselves, "What kind of leader for Christ and His Church will I be? Will I be a "good" leader? If so whose definition of "good" will I follow? My own? My friends? Television? The Nations of the world? Popular culture?..... or Christ? As a leader, Will I pass the buck? Will I use the excuse, "I don't know enough?, or I'm not good enough!, I'm not spiritual enough." I can assure you that humanly speaking, none of us are, I am certainly not. We learn and grow by doing. We will make mistakes. But there is one mistake we can correct right now, the mistake of doing nothing.

The days of being a fearful and complacent believer, waiting for the dynamic Evangelist, powerful Denominational Leader, strong Pastor, or someone else to speak up and proclaim God's message of repentance and revival for the Church is over. That's what we're about. That's what the Remnant is about. Not to fight for our purposes, our desires, but to proclaim the message of repentance and revival to the Church at large and to fervently seek the salvation of the lost.

God knows being a good leader for Him is never easy. We cannot forget the still very true cliché, "God is our co-pilot". He is right there with us all the time. He will not ask us to do anything without first giving us power and knowledge in abundance to do it. We are never alone. False friends, fair weather Christians, and sometimes even family may abandon us. Jesus never will. Be a Leader for Him.

For Christ and His Remnant,

Pastor Bruce

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