And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming (Eph.4:11-14).
From a Christian perspective, leadership is merely a form of servanthood. It should never be an opportunity or reason to put burdens on people, and this ideal can never be restricted to narrow aspects of secularity, but is to be across the board in every area of life.
Jesus was extraordinarily confronting with Israel’s religious leaders. In a chapter that is one of the severest condemnations of any group of people in history, he said of the scribes and Pharisees that
They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger (Mat.23:4).
When Solomon died, he was succeeded by Rehoboam. Solomon had been wise, but his latter years were his worst, and taxation had increased in Israel, so there was some ill-feeling in Israel, and pressure for taxation reduction. Consequently,
…Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, and we will serve you (I Kings 12:4).
This led to a debate among those who advised Rehoboam. The older men counseled him to reduce the burden of taxation, saying that
If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever (I Kings 12:7).
But the younger men who “…grew up with him…” (I Kings 12:10), and may have had a conflict of interest in the outcome, advised him to say to the people,
“…My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins!…I will add to your yoke…” I Kings 12:10-11).
In an illustration of the power of peer pressure, Rehoboam went with his peers. The Bible says,
The king answered the people harshly, for he forsook the advice of the elders which they had given him, and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men…so the king did not listen to the people; for it was a turn of events from the Lord… (I Kings 12:13-15).
Consequently, Rehoboam lost most of his kingdom. Is this relevant to Australia in 2020?
The Prime Minister Scott Morisson, along with the six State Premiers and territory Chief Ministers were advised by the nation’s medical bureaucrats to deal with the coronavirus “pandemic” using partial lockdowns. The PM knew there would be a cost to the nation for this, which could be $150 billion or more, and this would be borne by the taxpayer.
Now, this “pandemic” has thankfully proven to be a fizzer, at least in Australia. The pandemic worldwide has had great variations in impact, and this has been influenced by latitude, temperature, demographics, populations density, the health of individuals, and the capacity of health systems to cope with the virus.
In my opinion, every day that has passed since we heard of it, seems to have made our national response to the “pandemic” look ridiculous, heavy-handed, ill-chosen and frightfully expensive. It has also been accompanied by a huge impact on civil liberties, especially people’s employment. Churches have been required to close their doors, along with many hundreds of businesses serving the public.
Not only that, but the government has had a one-eyed viewpoint, failing to understand that the theoretical modelling provided to them by bureaucrats for the virus was significantly inaccurate in the Australian context, where we’ve had a very low fatality rate. At one point it was 4 Australians in 1,000 who were infected who had died, which is astonishingly similar to the rate for influenza, anyway.
The economist Jorg Guido Hulsmann has recently written,
it is fundamentally wrong to put the entire economy at the service of a single goal and to commit to a single solution. Human action always involves weighing up different goals and different means. Of course, maintaining health can be of paramount importance in the short run. But even then, it is never the sole goal and there are always different means. Free competition is essential, particularly when it comes to the efficient selection of ways and means. I therefore believe that the countries that respond best are those which give citizens and families the greatest possible freedom and responsibility, and which also do not centralise political responsibility.
And there has been more. A focus on vaccinations as the best response to the virus has overlooked some readily available and cheap means of preventative care, which have nothing to do with “social distancing.” Overseas patients have been treated with great success with Vitamin A and C (if necessary, intravenously) and D, along with Zinc supplements, all of which have made a huge difference for many, making big inroads into coronavirus fatality rates.
In fact, a significant proportion of the population seems to be deficient in these vitamins, which pre-disposes them to many illnesses, anyway. And all of this information is readily available on the net to anyone, for free.
So, what are the medical bureaucrats up to? Have they bothered to notice that the difference between Sweden and Finland’s fatality rates from the virus have been slight, while Sweden had no enforced lockdown? If they haven’t noticed, why not?
What bureaucrats have done, has been to come up with novel ways to aggravate the community, and succeeding brilliantly. One refused to agree to four bi-planes flying over Brisbane one weekend, because she didn’t want rules of social distancing to be compromised by crowds potentially gathering to watch them. A terrible thought, indeed.
Politicians want to direct teachers when schools must be opened again, or cannot be, if they can play golf, or not, or even go shopping, “but only for clothes or shoes.” But this sounds like Prohibition Politics, of people with power relishing the opportunity to control people, and feeling so important in the process. But it’s merely the relishing of power over people, and it will be short-lived.
And the actual welfare of the community? Well, that went out the back-door months ago, because we’re up to 10% unemployment, and the cost could be $150 billion, and all for what? A variant of influenza.
If that’s the case, it will make our earlier Labor Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, with their Treasurer Wayne Swan, all look like Ebenezer Scrooge.
Jesus promised us that “…My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Mat.11:30), and wise leaders in every context would do well to learn from His example, in their dealings with people.
The Bible repeatedly makes it clear that leadership is an opportunity for service, but never for egotism. Nor should it ever be a means of laying unnecessary burdens on people, especially when these burdens are based on unproven theoretical models, dropped on an unsuspecting electorate.
Those who think they can deal in a heavy-handed way with those they lead, do so at their peril. In a free country, the electorate can reward them as they wish.
And wouldn’t that be a good thing?
 Jorg Guido Hulsmann, in Gary North (www.garynorth.com), “What About Europe’s Economy?” 1/5/2020.