True Leadership Pleases God, Not Man

     When I scan the Christian landscape, it seems to me that Jesus has by and large been reduced (by no small portion of evangelicals) to a hip social worker that acts and carries Himself like a woman, or at least a very soft, even effeminate, man. This Jesus would never say anything offensive to hurt anyone's feelings and certainly would never present Himself as physically threatening. That's not something a woman would naturally do in her nurturing nature. I agree, but a man would, and Jesus was every bit a man.

     I wonder why these same ministries, those who have feminized and weakened Jesus, never preach on how our Lord so boldly cleansed the temple? This account is clearly recorded in all four Gospels. And if John's chronological placement is intended, then He did it twice. John tells us that Jesus went up to the temple, found the money changers and those who sold animals in the temple courts, and then fashioned a whip. He used braided cords to intentionally craft an implement of pain and punishment, and then applied it to those who had degraded His Father's house and made it a den of thieves.

     I heard one pastor remark, "Jesus would never have actually used the whip on anyone." Oh really? Was Jesus just bluffing? Was the whip merely a scare tactic?

     Nonsense. Jesus saw the offense, the abuse and exploitation of people coming to worship the Lord and He was furious. He made a whip and drove the greedy opportunists off the temple steps. He wasn't bluffing as He overturned their tables, spilled their money, and sent them scurrying. Jesus was a man, a real man who knew how to confront the adversaries of God and exploiters of God's people with a physical confrontation. I thank God for this example from Scripture.

     Leadership is not simply doing what is right in the opinion of the majority. It is not merely doing what is safe and prudent according to secular culture's general consensus. I love being an American and I love my country, but sometimes this democratic idealism gets sown wrongly into the minds of Christians with warping and twisting effects. Majorities don't mean anything in the Kingdom of God. We don't get to vote. God by Himself is the majority and His will is the only "opinion" that matters. 

     Jesus looked at Jerusalem, He viewed the temple, and He saw endemic religious corruption. He then took action. It certainly wasn't popular, and I'm sure even His disciples winced, but Jesus knew His calling. He was always about His Father's business, and righteousness was always His passion.

     Here's my point: Christian leadership has got to be a lot more about pleasing the Father than pleasing people. In fact, real Christian leadership is solely about pleasing the Father. People are fickle, but the Father is faithfully immutable. He doesn't change. We can't take a census on what the world wants from the church or ask what the culture finds appealing about us. We can't look to popular opinion as our guide.

     Christian leadership is standing for what is Biblical and Godly no matter what the cost. They crucified Christ, beheaded John, imprisoned Paul, executed James, stoned Stephen, and threw the early Christians to the lions. They weren't popular; they were leaders. They feared God above man. Let's lead.