Tuesday, July 16, 2019
The mouth that roared. . .
It appears that Pope Francis is cut from the same cloth. He is self-serving, his mouth is way ahead of his head, you have to wince at his words more often than not, he seems less ideological than reactive, and nobody know what might come out of his mouth. In the end, his inconsistency and lack of discipline make him the worst kind of leader. But he is the Pope Rome has to live with. Sadly, it is impossible for any other Christian to completely distance himself from the impact of Pope Francis. Even a Lutheran like me and a Lutheran like some of those who comment on this blog cannot avoid the collateral damage a Pope like Francis incurs.
I believe that Trump owes America better than what he is giving us. I know that Christianity deserves more careful leaders. We have enough enemies outside. We cannot afford to have those who lead us inflicting as much damage as they are. Politics or church, we face daunting challenges and great problems. From our leaders we expect nothing less than faithful stewardship. Grand ideas and great courage would be great but at the core we need those who will conserve and care for what has been entrusted to them and those who can deliver faithfully it to those who would come after them.
Leaving the political aspect aside, I wonder if we do not expect too much from our leaders. We want a savior when what we need is steward. We want someone to work miracles when what we need is someone to work hard. We want someone with all the answers when what we need is one who knows the difference between truth and falsehood. We want a great manager when what we need is a prophet who will speak forth the Word of God. We want someone who can read the times like tea leaves in the bottom of a cup when what we need is someone who can read the Word of God and address us with that Word. We want a great orator when what we need is voice who speaks Jesus to us -- simply, boldly, and faithfully.
Lutherans do not have popes. Some even insist that we don't have bishops. Whatever you call them, we need leaders who are, simply speaking, men of the Word. We need men who can discern truth from error, who can preach and teach Christ, and who will help us to be who we are as Lutherans in order that we might be better Lutherans. I expect that this is what Rome had hoped for as well. When you find it, stick with the one who exemplifies this faithfulness.