Watch the news any night of the week and you’d wonder who in their right mind would step into a position of leadership, especially if you’re someone subject to the unforgiving scrutiny of today’s public?
In 2007 Kevin Rudd became Australia’s 26th Prime Minister. Just two and a half years later his deputy, Julia Gillard successfully contested his leadership. Three years later, following unsuccessful leadership challenges, Rudd came back and took back government’s top job. Months later he announced a general election and was defeated by the opposition party – whose leader, Tony Abbott, is regarded today as “least trustworthy” compared to his predecessor Gillard, according to a recent poll.
Politics aside, these days, there is always an “expert” opinion represented at almost every dinner party. In a previous blog, I commented on how it seems everyone is an expert on what the Bible says or does not say, regardless of whether the person would call themselves Christian, or not. Continuing with that thought, in a recent blog on the Verge Network website, Dave Ferguson, Jon Tyson and Allan Hirsch discuss the challenges of authority in discipleship within the culture of today. Tyson shares, “Our culture has one popular story which is liberation from oppression. I find a lot of young believers love the idea of Jesus as the ultimate liberator from oppression which becomes an infinite loop because the second you feel oppressed by anything – accountability in the church, requirements of Jesus – you push it off as oppression.”
In parts of the church today there is excitement and an attraction in the presentation of what it means to be Christian, but it’s essential that we centre our relationship and freedom through submission to the Lordship and authority of God found only through his Son, Jesus. It seems that in the church today there is hesitation, caution and tension in being part of a movement to evangelise the world. Christians find it difficult to call their friends to come under the authority of something, when all around them they see the failure of leadership, corporations, politics and other powers of civil authority. It is our place to help navigate arm-in-arm with the seeker around and outside the distractions of failed man-modelled leadership, and instead point through scripture to the Jesus-modelled example of submission to the authority of the Father.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16