The Grooming of Americans… by the Church?

How did we as freedom loving Americans get to place where we would choose an authoritarian president who is a threat to our liberty?  It amuses me that the hippies who loudly rebelled against the establishment and authoritarianism are behind this man.  Every week the administration creates dozens of new rules and regulations, encroaches upon religious freedom, and mandates new taxes. Here is a president who thinks he can get away with murder by expressing outrage in order to silence his accusers. Added to this, he has solicited the help of the media in helping him get away with murder, blackmail, and at least the suspicion of possibly supplying arms to al-Qaeda.  What is outrageous is the hubris and arrogance of this president and his bully pulpit.

Why have we accepted this “touch not my anointed” concept toward the president? Could it be that people closely associated with him are afraid of losing their jobs and committing political suicide?  Or do they really believe that he holds the answers this country needs?  Perhaps we the people have been groomed to look for a demigod to worship.

Where did we get this idea?  I submit that the American church is partially responsible in grooming us to accept this unquestioning allegiance to a dictator.

One of the first stories I learned as a child was the Bible story about some children who were calling an Old Testament prophet names and making fun of his bald head.  The prophet told them that they would be destroyed and a bear came out of the wood and ate them.  This story was especially recited by the authoritarian pastor who had “divine unction” to run the church the way he wanted. Sure he had deacons, but they had been pounded over the head with this story also as well as the
“touch not My anointed” biblical phrase until they became yes men.  They did not want to be known as going against “God’s man.”  As a result, the pastor was put on a pedestal willingly or unwillingly by people who had been taught this all of their lives.  They thought this was how it was supposed to be.  They thought this was the way God wanted it to be.

I don’t know much about church government, but I highly suspect that the government of one head pastor for a congregation is neither wise nor entirely biblical.  You ask an average church member who keeps the pastor accountable and they will say, as they have been groomed to say, “God does.”

I have learned and observed in others that one of the main things we need in this life is accountability.  I need it, and so does everyone else.  Without it we grow lazy, unlikely to accomplish anything, and very likely to degenerate morally.  Knowing this, as laymen, we voluntarily submit ourselves to those structures that keep us accountable.  We attend church, we join a life-group or Sunday School class. We make good friends.  We become members of upright organizations.  We even encourage others to ask us the tough questions.  Without all this, it is a “Slow Fade” as the song says.  We go our own way, stumble, and fall.  The value of accountability cannot be overstated.

Ok.  Who keeps the pastor accountable?  To whom does he submit for accountability?  God? Does not God give us structures like those mentioned above to keep us accountable?  Is this not also the way the pastor becomes accountable?  If he answers to no man, then does he hear God’s voice in a way that his people do not?  Does he have a divine connection that is denied to his people?  Or is he rejecting the accountability available to him?

We have been groomed in America to accept an unaccountable authoritarian demigod president in part because for years we have set up little religious kingdoms across America who unquestioningly accept a man in a bully pulpit as having a divine mandate.

Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  This is a proven principle.  The man or woman does not exist who can be uncorrupted by absolute power without the building the structure of accountability around him or her.  One only has to look at the long line of fallen leaders, religious, secular, and political to understand this.

It is up to the people to hold our leaders accountable and to insist that they accept the counsel, yea even ask for it from those around them who are knowledgeable in the pertinent fields.  It is also up to us to demand answers when questions arise and integrity seems compromised.

Of course how can we hold others accountable unless we submit to it ourselves.  We generally vote our lifestyles, and perhaps that is a large part of the problem.  If we don’t want accountability, it makes pleasant company to elect those who do not want it.  We must have integrity in order to demand it from others.  It behooves us then to take care of both obligations.  The future of our churches are at stake as well as the future of our country.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Grooming of Americans… by the Church?

  1. Daniel December 7, 2012 / 5:28 am

    I agree. We have, for a long time, accepted pastors in protestant churches as a law in themselves or as having special access to it. We like to be told what to do by these men because it takes away the responsibility of attending to our own spiritual lives. So, why not do the same thing politically? You’re argument is a good explanation for how we’ve become a nation of children waiting for someone else to lead and rescue us from our miserable condition.

  2. jessemelon December 22, 2012 / 4:05 am

    Yes, Daniel, I do believe that our desire for rescue without personal responsibility paves the way for an authoritarian dictator. We have nurtured the concept of entitlement to the point that we are willing to give up freedom after freedom in order to live the way we want to live without working for it. That in turn, feeds the dictator with power, and we end up enslaved.

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