Drollinger: What does God require of political leaders? (2023)

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Drollinger: What does God require of political leaders? (1)

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In this file photo, the American flag flies in front of the United States Capitol. (Jansen/Getty Images)

VonRalph DrollingerMay 19, 2023 at 12:58 p.m.

When I first presented this study to the US Senate, the Senator was quick to point out that political leaders are working in an industry where millions of dollars are spent investigating the opposition with the intent of damaging their reputations. , and that this is happening right now. somewhere in the basement and try to find a way to attack his credibility.

It's a sobering thought, and unfortunately, it's an obvious reality in American politics today.

So how can a political leader be blameless while holding public office? What does the Word of God teach us about this? Should an elected official live in fear every day, worried that the people in the basement are conspiring to spread information to harm their opponents?

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Let's examine the Scriptures on this topic and see what God has in store for us.

The apostle Paul lists 14 characteristics to consider when appointing men to lead the church (1 Timothy 3:1-7). Paul relays this information to his protégé, Timothy, after he is appointed chief preacher of the church in Ephesus.

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First on Paul's list is someone without a doubt. In verse 7, Paul ends with the same instruction. Notice these two relevant passages:

"So the steward must be indisputable" (1 Timothy 3:2).

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“And he will have a good reputation with those outside the church” (1 Timothy 3:7).

To explain Paul's choice of words, he is not saying that a person must be perfect to lead in the church; He doesn't say, "So the supervisor must be perfect." Because all have sinned, says Romans 3:23 (see Ecclesiastes 7:20). All of us, including pastors, struggle with our old, fallen, sin-laden carnal nature, even after salvation.

Paul says that the demarcation line between those who qualify for leadership and those who do not is defined by this: Does personal sin rise to the level of public scandal?

Everyone should, as it were, have their sin marked on the door and never give in to it, especially to the point where it becomes a public scandal. And when we fail in this regard, the Scriptures tell us that we are incapable of leading. The church leader cannot be guilty of public scandal, nor can he even have a sense of moral authority.

While the 14 characteristics listed by Paul are attributed to church leaders, Proverbs teaches that the same characteristics should be used to define those who lead in government.

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The New Testament books 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus are called pastoral letters. They were written in part to determine one's qualifications to lead God's institution, the Church. In the Old Testament book, Fr.ProverbsSolomon teaches his son Rehoboam the principles of effective government.

Notice the following parallel passages in 1 Timothy 3:2 and 7 that refer to the need for a good reputation in running a state:


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"In this way you will find favor and authority in the eyes of God and men" (Proverbs 3:4).

"A good name is more desirable than great riches, grace is better than silver and gold" (Proverbs 22:1).

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Blamelessness is an essential quality—it is a must—to ensure effective leadership in a fallen world too often shaped and overwhelmed by sinful and evil tendencies.

HeBible studyHe also quotes extensively from Scripture to show how to rise above reproach and uphold this standard, including:

"If you remind your brothers of this, you will be good servants of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished by the words of faith and sound doctrine that you have followed" (1 Timothy 4:6).

The Word of God - when disciplined and studied as a habit of life, that is, being "continually fed with words of faith" will strengthen your life. Why and how is it? Hebrews 4:12 goes into more detail:

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"Because the word of God is alive and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, and pierces the divisions of the soul and the spirit, the joints and the marrow, judging the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

Proverbs 3:1-4 is an apt summary of living a spotless life. Please note that a good reputation is the result of following the first few verses:

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commandments in your heart; They will give you length of days and years of life and peace. May goodness and truth not abandon you; Tie them around your neck and write them on the tablet of your heart. Thus you will find favor and a good name before God and men."

Thus you will find favor, and reputation does not come from the pursuit of reputation. It is the result of intimacy with God and obedience to his commandments. Coach John Wooden always said, "Work on your character, not your reputation."

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Focus on your relationship with Christ. Study his word regularly, memorize it, meditate on it, and apply it to your life. Then he will take care of your reputation. Also, commit to a weekly Bible study with your friends to strengthen each other and develop a sense of responsibility.

Much more will be covered in the full study. ClickHerefile.

The opinions expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author and are not necessarily shared or endorsed by the owners of this site. If you would like to comment on the Western Journal, please see our guidelines and submission process.Here.

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Ralph Drollinger

Ralph Drollinger, president and founder of Capitol Ministries, conducts weekly Bible studies for US Senators and Representatives on the hill. He also conducts remote Bible studies for former Cabinet members and White House officials.

Drollinger played basketball at UCLA under coach John Wooden and was the first player in NCAA history to reach the Final Four four times. Drollinger was drafted three times by the NBA, but decided to leave the NBA to play for Athletes in Action, an evangelical basketball team that traveled the world and preached the gospel during breaks. Drollinger signed as a free agent with the Dallas Mavericks in 1980, becoming the first Maverick in franchise history.

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