What is the most pressing leadership issue today? Jesus identified important qualities in the future leaders of His church, the apostles. He called Peter a rock. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching with Philip he said, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!" (John 1:47).
Would He say there is no deceit in me? What about our pastors, elders, and children's teachers? What about our neighbors and co-workers? What about our law enforcement officials, judges, and elected officials?
If you're like me, you probably question your own motives and integrity at times. For the most part, you probably feel good about your pastors, elders, children's teachers, etc. But when you get to "elected officials" you're likely to feel more than a little squeamish---maybe you're even sickened.
Last evening Obamacare passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, capping a century of progressive efforts to create national healthcare reform. Consider the litany of deceit behind the attempts to win votes for the legislation: billions in outrageous special deals, the threat to use "deem and pass" procedural chicanery, and the mother of all healthcare deceit, President Obama's abortion-ban executive order.
Pro-life Democrat holdouts were swayed to vote for the legislation by an executive order ostensibly banning healthcare-related abortions signed by the most pro-abortion president in our nation's history. An article titled "Abortion Under Obama" in the current issue of Citizen magazine lists 12 Obama-Pelosi-Reid pro-death executive orders and initiatives over the past 15 months. I've got some valuable Superfund swampland to sell the duped Democrats.
Here's what The Wall Street Journal had to say shortly after the legislation passed:
"The order won't change the Senate legal language---as pro-choice Democrats publicly crowed within minutes of the Stupak deal [Rep. Bart Stupak's deal that produced President Obama's executive order]. Executive orders can be changed or eliminated on a whim. Pro-life groups condemned the order as the vote-getting ruse it was."
LifeNews.com posted the following quote from the National Right to Life Committee:
"The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect. It changes nothing. It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill. The president cannot amend a bill by issuing an order, and the federal courts will enforce what the law says."
Finally, the senior vice president of Americans United for Life, William Saunders, said:
"[A]n Executive Order cannot prevent insurance plans that pay for abortions and participate in the newly created exchanges from receiving federal subsidies, because this allowance is explicitly written in the bill."
We've got problems in America today that seem to be growing by orders of magnitude. Perhaps our most pressing leadership issue is deceitful leaders. But we elected them. Is the source of deceit to be found in Washington, D.C., and our state capitals . . . or in our own hearts? I suggest that we consider our hearts. Only by turning to Christ will we be empowered to turn from our wicked and deceitful ways. When, and if, this happens, we'll reclaim American institutions and seek people like Nathanael to lead our churches, schools, cultural organizations, and government.