Letter to the Brethren – July 5, 2013

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

Good, true and godly leadership is what this world of ours is crying out for. But, first of all, just what is leadership? For example, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development defines it in this way: “Leadership may be defined as the capacity to influence people, by means of personal attributes and/or behaviors, to achieve a common goal. However, while leadership is currently much discussed, and academic studies on the topic have multiplied since the 1970s, there is no single definition or concept of leadership that satisfies all commentators.”

The problem with such definitions, and there are many, is that God is almost always left out of the picture, and unless leadership is God centered, it will always fail and not live up to expectations, even of those of a secular mind set and disposition.

When we look at leadership in nations all around the world, it is not an encouraging situation. One issue that has recently surfaced in both the USA and UK is that of transparency. This is something that seems to be in vogue and has been promised by the leaders of both the USA and the UK. It appears that such promises have not been kept.

President Obama promised transparency in his United States government. On the website whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment, a “Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies – SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government” states the following: “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government. Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.”

Has President Obama delivered on that pledge? The Huffington Post reported on April 19th this year in an article entitled “The Allure and Hazards of Secrecy” that “a growing chorus of critics suggest that has not happened. Instead, the administration has been repeatedly decried for its obsessive insistence on ‘off-the-record’ and ‘background only’ conversations with reporters; for its reflexive demand that all official quotes be ‘approved’ by agency flacks; and for its abysmally slow, unresponsive or militantly piecemeal approach to requests for materials under the federal Freedom of Information Act.”

The Mail on Line (June 8th 2013) stated that “David Cameron is to attend a meeting of the secretive Bilderberg Group tonight – but will not say who he meets. The Prime Minister (of the UK) will take part in a debate on the global economy with an unknown group of ministers, business leaders and academics from around the world. But his attendance at the heavily-guarded event is certain to spark controversy after Mr. Cameron once promised to lead the ‘most open and transparent government in the world.’”

The leadership in both the USA and the UK point out the problems that they are having to address, but then tell the electorate that they can be solved, by them, given enough time. Unfortunately, experience shows us that, generally, things are getting much worse financially, morally, and in just about every sphere in the current social order as the Bible has predicted, but “God’s instruction manual” is a resource neglected by those who simply “know better” than their Creator! It is not just in transparency and the failure to deliver what was promised, but failure in just about every other area, as no man has the answers in a world where society is gradually breaking down.

Some years ago, a booklet entitled “Britain in Sin” wrote: “The United Kingdom today is in deep decline. Social and economic trends and the UK crime statistics reveal a nation beset by rising crime, family breakdown, infertility, drug-taking, debt, indecency, profligacy and perversion.” Since that was written, things have spiraled downwards even further. Of course that is, unfortunately, mirrored by so many nations around the world today, showing what a real mess we are in.

But high quality leadership, integrity and proper values are hard to be found anywhere on earth! What about the “Arab Spring” which was to revolutionize the Middle East? One despised regime seemed to be replaced by one equally as bad or even worse. Leadership in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Turkey cannot solve the problems currently being experienced and where so many people are dying by in-fighting. Egypt’s military has just intervened this week in their country’s affairs and have removed President Morsi who is now in custody as the protestors feel that their government and leadership, although democratically elected, has failed to live up to expectations. Brazil is another country where very recent local uprisings are causing problems for their government. What about the posturing by the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, who was breathing fire and brimstone against South Korea not long ago?  The huge continent of Africa has so many problems, too. The list could go on and on!

There are many problems in every part of the world and on the website bizforum.org/hotspot.htm there is a list of 40 current hot spots of conflict—war, insurrection, terrorism and genocide. The leaders in all of these conflicts, it seems, are impotent and completely unable to resolve the issues necessary for lasting peace.

But this lack of leadership is also shown at other levels—in banks and businesses, in companies, in local governments and in families and is fuelled by Satan the devil who is the god of this age and who deceives the whole world (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 12:9).

Muslim talk show host, Adnan Oktar said: “World leaders must select a teacher of love for the solution of problems.” That’s a nice sentiment; however, there is not one leader in any nation around the world who has God’s Holy Spirit, and only the return of Jesus Christ will solve all of the current unsolvable problems, not some fallible human being.

We have been taught in the true Church of God that those faithful to their calling will become members of God’s Family at Christ’s return. In God’s Kingdom we will have power, but our power will be used to serve others, not to serve ourselves, which is the way of many of those in power today. We will have grown and overcome so that we will be trusted, and trustworthy, and God will be able to entrust us with His power which is something carnal human beings couldn’t possibly handle (compare Revelation 5:10).

We may not have much power now, but in the future, as members of the God Family, we will have more power than we can ever realize at this time. Today, we are fighting as Christian soldiers. And what are we fighting? Amongst so many things, we are fighting materialism, attitudes that permeate the whole of society, media influence which includes atheists, agnostics, Bible-rejecting liberals and Bible-misinterpreting conservatives in spheres of influence who slant the reporting of news according to their own agenda.

In short, we are fighting human nature, Satan the devil and his demons and the society which is completely under their influence and domination.

Sometimes, I look out of my study window at home and everything looks peaceful. Leaves on the trees, people going about their business, children playing happily, dogs being gently walked. We can get lulled into a false sense of security. Let us be very careful not to get trapped into thinking that the world is really not all that bad after all. That’s what Satan wants us to believe, as he tries to deceive us. He is the biggest con-artist in the world.

However, there is one small nation that has been trying to do a few things in a way that will be commonplace in the Kingdom of God. The tiny, landlocked nation of Bhutan, sandwiched between Tibet and India in the Himalayas has a philosophy that could be taken straight from the pages of the Bible. In a Buddhist country of around 700,000 people, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck decreed, when he ascended the throne in 1972, that instead of seeking gross national product, the official goal was to be gross national happiness.

A journalist with the Bhutan Broadcasting Service made the following observation about the King’s edict: “He basically meant, let my people be happy, you know. And how do you be happy? Well, if kids go to school, kids that live healthy, and if the forests are there, you take them out on walks on the weekends.” And that, he agreed, is the opposite of a consumer society. Selfishness is exactly what “gross national happiness” is trying to avoid; the “excesses of consumerism experienced by many nations of the world.”

That was a highly commendable aim but without the Holy Spirit and the rule of Jesus Christ, even such laudable ambitions are doomed to failure in the long term. There is only one solution to the leadership problems that each nation, and the world suffer from today, and that is the return of the King of kings and Lord of lords to set up the Kingdom of God as has been promised (see Revelation 19:11-16).

All true Christians and many others long for a better world, but only the return of Christ can solve the problems that are unsolvable to human beings. Contrary to scoffers (compare 2 Peter 3:3), Jesus Christ will return to earth when it is exactly the right time to do so. We have to wait on the Lord and pray, “Your Kingdom Come,” and it will come when the Father decides that the time has finally arrived. Let us all pray that time is not too far away, so that all of mankind will soon enjoy true leadership as never before!

With Christian love,

Brian Gale
(United Kingdom)

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