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When Leadership Fails

God designated two spheres of power where man is to exercise dominion. They are God’s through His act of creation and not man’s. He provides their basis so both require stewardship. They are religion and governance. The first teaches people what is right and good. The second enacts justice when someone acts unjustly. Our natural rights to assemble and communicate give us the opportunity to learn and practice doing good as individuals and a society. This occurs through the customs, behavioral expectations and standards we create through our choices.

Justice is the sphere of service given to governance. It concerns getting what you are due based upon your actionsin a word, accountability. We serve others through actions promoting their good, assisting them becoming independent. The one who would lead all serves all. But unlike religion, governance receives a double portion of stewardship. God granted man dominion in ruling himself. Government also owes its people stewardship as its authority derives from the people themself.

Only two types of society exist. Each based on a different set of ideas. Ideas ultimately shape our choices and character. One society recognizes God’s values including; He is creation’s king, man’s equality of nature, God’s laws applied justly and even-handedly, man’s purpose of becoming good, and government serving its people. The second employs man’s values. Here man creates his own gods (idols), some are more equal than others, laws serve the state’s needs, the individual’s purpose is to perpetuate society, and people exist to serve the elitethose who rule. Socialism is one example. Societies based on man’s values are always corrupt.

Leadership

Governing concerns leadership. We know we live in the end times from current events. The beast and false prophet in Revelation[1] represent corrupt political systems and ideology. We can look at our leaders, and our own, reactions to events to discern whose values we possess.

The following Bible passage goes to the heart of the matter.

 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

True leadership serves others first. It requires decisions promoting good, executing even-handed justice, and accepting responsibility for one’s actions. We see these traits in the eight governors who tried to balance personal liberty with safety by not issuing stay at home orders during the pandemic.[2] We see it in President Trump’s rapid actions to blunt China’s coronavirus threat.

Compare those actions to the governors making bad choices or refusing to act, and blaming others for the results. Then asking for federal money for their incompetent self-serving decisions. Recently released transcripts also reveal the Obama administration’s corruption. These actions are anti-Biblical. I’m not saying any of them are the anti-Christ, only such people each hold his ideas. Ideas and actions incompatible with a free society turned toward God as they lead to division, vice, and corruptionrevealing a poor leader’s character.

A New Age

We’ve entered a new age. One using economic warfare. Military warfare still exists, but leaders holding man’s values prefer to use fraud rather than force. This age began with the Cold War against the former Soviet Union. Churchill and Reagan both recognized this shift. But communism didn’t end with the Soviet’s fall. China’s waged economic warfare against America for over thirty years, and America’s leaders since have been ignorant or complicit. To his credit, President Trump recognizes the situation and is directly addressing the threat.

China bears responsibility for this virus; their leaders must be held accountable. That is justice. I’ve previously outlined two ways to do this. One by offsetting the treasury bills China owns against America’s coronavirus costs. A second refusing to trade with China while rebuilding our own capabilitiesincreasing our independence. Another approach supports putting China’s U.S. holdings into receivership, allowing individuals to sue China and recover costs from those assets. All are legitimate actions during war, especially when you are the one attacked.

Other countries have also been knowingly damaged by China’s actions. They too should consider similar actions, and we should support them in their effort.

Where Lies Success?

Results are the fruit our actions bring forth. Let’s compare actions and results to see where good is done. Consider President Trump’s economic success. Success not limited to a few but benefiting many who’ve historically been left out. Success also in coping with the virus by taking early decisive actions, coordinating business efforts to produce needed resources, and serving by assisting states and local communities.

The eight states not issuing stay at home orders attempted to maintain personal liberty and public safety, while minimizing the virus economic impact. They maintained personal liberty allowing individuals and communities the opportunity to comply with the federal coronavirus guidelines. In terms of public safety, we can look at the death rate per capita (deaths/100,000). The table below compares the ten states with the highest death rates on the left, with the eight states without a stay at home order on the right.[3] The media won’t likely report such success, or failure.

Top 10

States

Death Rate

per Capita

States Not

Issuing Order

Death Rate

per Capita

NY

51.5

OK

2.5

NJ

27.4

IA

1.4

LA

19.0

ND

1.2

CT

16.9

NE

1.0

MI

16.0

AR

1.0

MA

12.2

SD

.7

WA

7.0

UT

.6

RI

6.9

WY

.2

IL

6.3

 

 

CO

5.4

 

 

Only Virginia does not appear in the list on the left side. They ranked 28th with a death rate per capita of 1.7.

The Road Ahead

It’s too soon to know the economic impact from each governor’s decisions. But some states have dug themselves a deep hole. In just one month, the national unemployment rate rose 10.3 points to 14.7 percent in April. This is noteworthy as seventeen states reached record low unemployment levels in the first quarter of this year.[4]

The table below compares the ten states losing the largest percentage of their workforce to the same eight states presented above.[5]

Top 10

States

New Jobless

Claims

Labor

Force Pct.

States Not

Issuing Order

New Jobless

Claims

Labor

Force Pct.

HI

171,706

25.7

IA

232,913

13.5

KY

499,572

24.4

ND

51,149

12.6

MI

1,177,221

24.0

OK

224.982

12.2

RI

131,977

23.3

AR

158,982

11.5

PA

1,492,717

22.8

NE

96,098

9.1

NV

343,075

21.9

WY

25,707

8.7

GA

1,099,350

21.4

UT

125,050

7.7

LA

442,151

20.5

SD

28,187

6.0

NH

144,342

18.8

 

 

 

WA

717,570

18.4

 

 

 

Those Following Man’s Values

Have the other governors, such as New York, Michigan, or Virginia’s been successful? I submit they have irresponsibly put the people they serve at risk through mismanagement and poor choices. To begin, they’ve implemented guidelines in ways that will have negative economic consequences for some time to come. They’ve exceeded their authority through executive orders aimed at limiting our rights, such as religion, defending ourselves, and providing for our families. Finally, they’ve created circumstances increasing mental illness, suicides, and drug use.

They had us shelter in place. But most people caught the virus at home. They arbitrarily closed businesses. It’s somehow okay to have normal crowds in places like Wal-Mart, hardware, and grocery stores. But restaurants, barber shops, and churches must be closed. They also made decisions putting some of their most vulnerable citizens in harm’s way. These are only a few examples. Instead of looking at the guidelines and allowing individuals to determine how they can best comply, command and control procedures were implemented over-riding the individual’s duty to provide, and their rights to assemble and communicate.

Who is exhibiting Biblical leadership? The fruit of our actions tell us everything. God often uses the most unlikely individuals to work His willbut we must surrender to Him. It’s not complicated. We only need to look at what we treasure, serving others or ourselves.

A Final Thought

One final question. Within a free society, where individual decision making orders society, shouldn’t the most unessential service be government? Are we free? Is governance exercising greater or less control? We have serious choices to make in this fall’s elections. It’s time to learn what is important, determine what candidate best supports that position, and then support their election. All authority comes from God and leaders are to be His servants. Self-governance comes with the duty to serve God and execute the virtue of justice.

Footnotes:



[1] See Revelation Chapters 13,16, and 17.

[2] These states include Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

[3] Thomas C. Frolich, USA Today, New York, New Jersey are among the states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, 4/17/20. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/04/17/states-with-the-highest-number-of-covid-19-cases/111552340/, accessed May, 2020.

[4] Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Unemployment Rates for States and Historical Highs/Lows, Seasonally Adjusted, April 17, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/web/laus/lauhsthl.htm, accessed May, 2020.

[5] Kiertz, Andy, Business Insider, The US states where the most jobs have been destroyed by the coronavirus crisis, in one map, April 26, 2020. https://www.businessinsider.in/careers/news/the-us-states-where-the-most-jobs-have-been-destroyed-by-the-coronavirus-crisis-in-one-map/articleshow/75130437.cms, accessed May, 2020.

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About Dan Wolf

Dan WolfMy goal is that my writing will help you to get started on your own journey of discovery, or help you along the way on a journey you may have already begun. Our Founders considered education, religion, morality, and virtue to be the cornerstones for any successful society. Being successful requires understanding both the languages of reason and faith; reason alone is insufficient.