Post Author: Bill Pratt
In every human institution, there are individuals who are at the top because of their athleticism, charisma, intelligence, personality, or physical appearance. The people who aren’t at the top often look up to those leaders, admire them, and in some cases, worship them.
This phenomena takes place regardless of the particular kind of institution, although some institutions are more prone to instill worship than others. Cults are particularly notorious for having charismatic leaders who are worshiped by the membership. Political parties also seem to regularly spawn worship of their leaders.
Even if there is not outright worship of a leader, followers often excuse or rationalize the bad behavior of their leadership. They argue that just because so and so verbally assaults his co-workers, cheats on his wife, or lies about his professional credentials, we should still respect and admire him. We simply look the other way when our leaders sin.
I want to argue that if you find yourself regularly excusing the immoral actions of your leader, you are doing yourself and your organization a grave disservice.
This point hit home to me recently when I was reading an open letter written by mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Ryan Hall. In this letter, Hall is calling out his friends in the MMA world to stop the hero worship of the MMA fighters and instructors who are at the top of the profession. In these words from the heart, Hall reminds each of us what happens when we keep issuing our leaders a pass:
I understand now that poor character is poor character and there is never any reason to support it, no matter what carrot that person dangles in front of you or threat that person holds over your head. If an individual is willing to blur or even outright ignore the rules of right and wrong, of human decency, on any level, they are highly likely to do the same in other aspects of their life whether I have witnessed them do so yet or not. If they have mistreated others, it’s only a matter of time before my number is called.
What does this have to do with Christianity, you might ask. Well, here it is. Christianity is the only religion, the only major institution, where worship is only directed toward the morally perfect God-Man, Jesus Christ. We do not worship fallible, morally flawed, human beings who let us down time after time.
Jesus’s character is unmatched by any other human, his love for us is unequaled, and his holiness is unsurpassed. As Christians, we never, ever have to worry about our leader embarrassing us. No other human institution on the planet can claim that.
Who can we worship? Jesus the Messiah.