Now that Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee, there is a bit of crowing going on in some circles. For example, Kurt Schlichter took to TownHall recently and just lambasted the so-called “GOPe.” I cannot help but think that this sort of “I told you so” approach to the current situation is going to make matters worse not better. Tuesday night I wrote that “Faith Has Been Replaced By Identity.” I far from explored the idea fully because some of the ramifications are things I don’t much want to think about.
For example, if identity is indeed now the stake around which our lives rotate, then tribal conflict will soon become the order of the day. If our current pop culture movies are any indication, tribalism seems to be how we are looking at things now. So, rather than fight what is wrong we end up fighting each other – we become our own worst enemy.
Let’s be honest, the thing most people do not like about the so-called “GOPe” is that they feel like they are on the outside looking in and have very little power to actually affect our governance. If that is true, what precisely is accomplished by ranted against them and putting them on the outside? Doing so is just saying, “I’m in charge, not you.” Doing so increases the conflict, not decreases it.
This situation is in deep and significant contrast to one of the devotionals I read every morning:
I’m struck by this juxtaposition of our servanthood and our rulership. In the future, we are God’s servants who exercise a priestly authority as we offer our worship to God. Yet, as servants, we are also co-rulers with God. Our servanthood is expressed, not only in actions directed to the Lord, such as songs of praise, but also through exercising our God-given authority as his co-regents. In other words, our servanthood of God and our rulership with God are not contradictory. Rather, they are profoundly complementary, since we serve God, in part, by ruling.
Revelation 22 reminds me of what we call servant leadership. This notion, popularized by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s and promoted by people like Howard Butt, Jr., in “The Velvet Covered Brick” and Max De Pree in “Leadership is an Art,” sees the essence of leadership as serving those whom we lead. You can certainly find this view of leadership in Scripture (see, for example, Mark 10:45). But this is not exactly what John envisions in Revelation 22. John is not saying that we will serve those whom we rule. Rather, he is saying that we will serve God and, as God’s servants, we will also be rulers or, if you will, leaders. [boldface emphasis added]
How do we serve those we lead when we push them to the outside? How do we serve those we lead when we rant about how wrong they were instead of invite them to be right? Those that win leadership have to serve those that lose it or else all they have won is a permanent conflict.
I look at the world around us and I see many, many things that are very wrong, even evil. If we insist on playing these “I told you so” games that wrong and evil will only grow while we battle each other. Then who loses?