What godly leadership looks like

Washington Prayer

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Iowa Statesman.


By Jon the Southern Baptist
On the Front Lines of the Culture War


Jon The Southern Baptist Logo“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” — Proverbs 29:2 (NKJV)

That insightful bit of scripture has never been more apparent than during the current presidential administration. Seemingly, each new day brings a new reason for the people to groan. But, we only have ourselves to blame for the mess we’re in right now.

That’s because we have ignored one of our most important duties as Christian citizens: help elect godly people.

But in the race for 2016, with nearly two dozen major candidates between the two political parties, how do you sort them out? Several of them seem to be godly, and some not so much. And is our perception of these candidates skewed by rhetoric rather than a real analysis of their fruits?

In the case of the presidency, we’re not just looking for a leader, but a godly leader. So, what qualities make a leader godly?

Those are questions we can only answer for ourselves. But it’s a question Christians need to tackle soon, because the field is very quickly sorting itself out, and some very influential voices in the Church are beginning to throw their weight into the race.

Just the other day, a writer with a predominant evangelical Christian magazine told of an experience in which God spoke to her about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The gist of her prophecy was that Trump would be used to advance the Lord’s cause, because he had attributes that are so very lacking in the Church today. By now you’re no doubt thinking, “Donald Trump? An agent of God as President of the United States?”

Well, stranger things have happened. God has certainly used both godly and ungodly leaders for His glory in the past. The question then becomes: Is he godly? Are there others who are more godly?

“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.” — Exodus 18:21-22 (NKJV)

Well, the passage from Exodus above can be quite helpful. Acts 20:17-21, in which Paul discusses his own godly leadership of the Church, reinforces the same qualities:

  • Capable — a godly leader must be able to lead
  • God-fearing — a godly leader must humble himself before the Lord
  • Truthful — they are always truthful, even when he may benefit from being less-than-fully honest
  • Non-covetous — he must not seek out power, money, or prestige

One could say the very act of running for president is, in fact, covetous, but I would respond by asking what the candidate’s motivation truly is. Is he seeking more power, more money, or more prestige, or is he seeking only to serve his country and make it a better place to live?

Does he have a servant mentality, or does he seek to rule over those who would put him into a position of authority? The answer to that question just might open your eyes.

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Jonathan Montgomery Harrington is the pseudonym for the anonymous author of Jon the Southern Baptist, who is fighting on the front lines of the culture war on a daily basis. If you have a suggestion for his contributions to The Iowa Statesman, write to him at jonsouthernbaptist@outlook.com.