American and Adventist leadership will be our next focus in this long series contrasting servants and beasts.
As a review, the last 11 posts covered:
- Resisting Beastly Leadership: Flowers in the Darkest Hours contrasted Jesus’ representation of God’s leadership on the night of his farcical trial before pagan abusive Roman and false religious leaders. Their lack of due process and principled leadership contrasts to His sacrificial love. Jesus decided to die, they decided to kill. He was planning how to do the most help and service. They tried to inflict the most harm. Different philosophies and vastly different leadership styles. Like the crowd at his trial, we today face the same decision:who will be our king. Many select the abusive strong-man, Barabbas, but true Christians are drawn to the Lamb.
- Crucified and Risen Leadership continues on to the Cross where the stark contrast of God’s love exposes the deep selfish, assertive, aggressive, and brutal nature of Satan and our own hearts in relationship to God’s style of leadership. I introduce a few Adventist author’s who have helped me see a better type of leadership and eschew Satanic leadership style of “lording” it over others. I also introduce the secular article by Kuronen and Huhtinen (2016) Unwilling is Un-Leading: Leadership as Beastly Desire, which inspire me to do this long series on servant vs beastly leadership.
- Servant Leadership in Beastly Places underscores the message of leadership Jesus tried to teach his disciples: Serving not Lording it over others. He taught it as well as demonstrated it. He then commissioned those who followed him to live that leadership and make more disciples who bought into that worldview and practice.
- Daniel: Servant to Beastly Kingdoms discusses how Daniel shows how servant leadership can operate in a places with beastly leadership, like King Nebuchadnezzar’s beastly kingdom. We show how servant leadership can driven by a prophetic understanding, rely on prayer and faithfulness and hinges on a belief that God intervenes, when he sees fit, over beastly actions.
- In Four Acts of Divine Leadership I try to characterize the main qualities of servant leadership manifested in God’s internal relation as the Trinity and in their relationship to their creation. Those acts are mutual submission, service, sacrifice and summative judgment.
- In Plan B: God’s Glorious Reinstatment of Humans as Co-Leaders I look at God’s work to recreate and lead humans back to the original plan he had to position them with the godhead as co-rulers and co-leaders with him. The fact he wanted to share his leadership with us humans, and the fact he is still working on that goal, dispels Satan’s argument God hordes leadership and control. He wants us to experience and then engage in the Four Acts of Divine Leadership. We are called to share the throne with him by responding to mutual submission, service, sacrifice and to experience and respond to the call of the final judgment message of God.
- In Beastly Powers, Delusions and Ethics I review Kuronen and Huhtinen (2016) Unwilling is Un-Leading: Leadership as Beastly Desire. They helped me see how people can reject servant leadership, preferring beastly leaders who places leaders and leadership beyond principles of ethical accountability. Although this is a secular article I believe these authors have identified an active mechanism at work in out times that the Bible recognized long ago and prophesied. I believe the modern system fails to accept the reality of God’s final judgment–the ultimate accountability call–and because of that have created cultures ripe for false religious and political leaders who practice distorted “image-driven” leadership. By rejecting the need to hold leaders accountable to law, social order and ethics, many will embrace lawlessness and select Barabbas-like leaders.
- In John and Beastly Powers, I use the Apostle John as an example of one who intimately lived through a vivid contrast between religious beastly leadership with Pagan Roman abuse verse Christ’s loving leadership and the welcoming church he sought to create. He choose love over hate and his life is a call to examine our own painful encounters with beastly leadership and select the better way, Jesus and his leadership style.
- The Etiology of Beastly Powers uses Jesus’ diagnosis of Satan’s main approach to leading–lying and murdering and its manifestation in the Pharisees–to look at the core etiology of beastly leadership. Satan was blinded by his own deceptive character and could not see God’s true nature. Satan projected his false image of God to others. Humans, made in God’s image, were a creative act that would dispel that lie. Jesus brought to light God’s full character. Those who partner with Satan resist that light and reject truth and shut them off from a better hope. They are then plunged into lawlessness and deception. “Listening” and “seeing” are ways to unravel Satan’s deceptive hold. Christ and the Holy Spirit are engaged in this work.
- Brides–Shining from His Light— moves from our analysis of Jesus and Satan as examples of servant vs beastly leadership to their followers as carriers of the contrasting approach to change. The bride of the lamb operates from free will and out of love while the beasts and whores eschew voluntary love and faithfulness through law, and relate by abuse, fear and deception.
- Bethlehem’s Mourning: Herod the “Not-So” Great uses one event in Jesus early life on earth to add more contrast between “the beast” vs “servant leadership.” Herod is not one of the wise men nor a true worshiper. He does not find Jesus worth loving but hating. The wisemen from the East came because of knowledge and were able to worship a “foreign” King, while Herod, fully embibing Satan’s leadership approach, remained clueless to the majesty of Jesus. He was a Jew in name only not in faith, not looking for the messiah. We see contrasted the baby Jesus to the beastly rule of King Herod. Herod deceived, lied, and killed. Jesus was incarnational—visiting his people as a servant, to reveal their father. The wisemen got it. Herod and the religious leaders didn’t. I believe the same is happening again today in the world.
My goal has been to contrast the character, actions and basic ethos of these two approaches to leadership.
As one who studies, writes and teaches on ethical leadership, I have found no better pattern than Jesus’ servant leadership approach and no worse pattern than the abusive, although at times subtle, beastly leadership Satan patterns for and foists on his minions and many systems in the world.
The remaining blogs in this series focus on my beloved country America (as in USA) as it relates to my beloved denomination, Adventism (as in SDA).
American servant leadership or Adventist servant leadership brings good but when either one of them get beastly leadership bad happens. I hope to contrast the difference in those communities.