Public and Private Behaviour of Our Leaders Really Does Matter
Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
In our weekly Update number 235, dated March 17, 2006, there was a Q&A entitled, “Does it matter what a political leader does in private as long as he does his ‘public’ job effectively?”
We have had a leadership contest in the UK for the leadership of the Conservative party, following the resignation of the former incumbent, Theresa May. From an initial list of eleven, the final two candidates were chosen and have been in a run-off for the position leader of the party and Prime Minister of the UK. The winning candidate has indeed had a well documented chequered personal lifestyle over many years until the present time and, although he is highly likeable and a charismatic figure, he would rate very poorly as a role model for those with high standards.
It struck me that briefly re-visiting that Q&A from over 13 years ago would be a reminder of what really matters in the choice of someone for the top political position in the country. Below are just a few of the comments made in that Q&A:
“The Dutch theologian and historian philosopher Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) said that ‘A man cannot govern a nation if he cannot govern a city; he cannot govern a city if he cannot govern a family; he cannot govern a family unless he can govern himself; and he cannot govern himself unless his passions are subject to reason.’
“Those in the public eye and in political leadership positions should have certain standards. We ought to be able to expect that politicians bring certain qualities to the jobs that they undertake, including honesty, integrity, uprightness and a moral code. In other words, we ought to be able to expect ‘character.’
“Character is the ability to discern right from wrong and to always choose the right, irrespective of circumstances or popular demand.
“Character is a vital ingredient and involves the whole person. In his book ‘The Death of Outrage,’ William J. Bennett made the following comments: ‘Are character and integrity abstract side issues, outweighed by current economic well-being?… The leader must be whole; he cannot have his public character be honest and his private character be deceitful.’…
“Integrity comes from studying and applying God’s Word, and it is still of paramount importance. To put it simply, integrity is the difference between what you say and what you do. It has also been described as what you do when no one is looking…
“The behaviour of politicians really does matter. Sadly, in this world which is ruled by Satan, most politicians do not follow God’s Way of Life. Many citizens copy the bad behaviour of their leaders and among many other reasons, that is why the Church of the Eternal God and its corporate affiliates do not vote in governmental elections, nor do we endorse any political candidates.”
We know that both the UK and the USA are due for a big fall before they rise again after Christ’s return, and the importance of voting in someone of high intelligence, leadership qualities and personal charisma is no substitute for good character and integrity. This is not to say that a leader must never slip nor make any mistakes, as no human being is without sin, but we are addressing here an habitual lifestyle and concepts, philosophies and ideas, which are opposed to the Word of God.
What has happened with both Brexit (or the lack of Brexit) and the change of national leadership should not surprise us, as the nation heads for disaster for many and varying reasons, not least being that of great national sins and leaders who are responsible for and involved in them.
The sad thing is that turning to God could have avoided so many problems, but that approach is not even considered today, and we are all the poorer for that. The new Prime Minister of the UK will have his work cut out over Brexit and the economy at large. However, the sins of the nation are great and the recent winner of this “prize” will not be able to stop the demise of a once great nation. It is sad, it is inevitable and it is to be expected, and only a nation whole-heartedly turning to God can stop it and, based on all the evidence, that is not likely to happen.
Only the return of Christ will solve the problems of the UK, and the world at large, and that cannot be too far away now.