Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: A Theory

I have a theory.

I am not 100% sure if my theory is correct. I have no way to really test it.

But my theory is this:

Christian leaders should be more concerned about failure because of power than failure because of sex.

Because lust for power is at the root of most failure in leadership - whether it is infidelity or abuse or even money issues. Power is the root cause.

Again - my personal observation. Maybe there’s more to it. I have no empirical research to back this up. But, I think I’m right.

Sin rooted in lust for power is pretty much overlooked by most people. Infidelity and abuse make the news. It’s dramatic and headline worth. Don’t get me wrong. These situations are terrible.

But lust for power will never make a news story - if it’s noticed by anyone at all.

There may be a passing head shake.
“Oh, he’s just a strong leader. A type A personality. Driven to succeed.”
But we overlook power hungry people. It’s easy to do. We expect leaders to have powerful positions. In fact, our culture adores this quality in a leader. At least to a point. And most people who land powerful positions are self-aware enough to hide any blatant lust for more power with offsetting deferential humble-brags and fake meekness.

Which can be insidious.

While cautious of making exegetical conclusions based on volume alone, Jesus and Paul do say a lot more about power than they do about sex. It’s worth noting. It could be because there’s more danger. And lust for power is the historical root cause of a lot of sin in the church.

Accountability for power management will be much for effective for living with integrity than antiquated “Billy Graham rules.”

In fact, I recommend it.

But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
— Matthew 20:25-28