(May 14, 2015)
Once again, my mind is drawn to our own willful blindness when it comes to leaders. The political (and religious) leadership at this time was willfully leading the people astray to maximize their own power and authority, and they brought down destruction on the heads of those who followed them. Basic economic theory postulates that any position that offers disproportionate power over others will attract a greater than average percentage of those who seek for such power. That isn’t to say that all politicians are power-hungry, but just to say that more politicians are power-hungry than the percentage of power-hungry people in the general population.
What, then, about the Church? After all, the leaders of this time were both religious and political leaders. Here, I believe, is the great benefit of the lay ministry. While there are undoubtedly those leaders in the Church who exercise unrighteous dominion (and we shouldn’t be surprised that most will, at some point and to some degree), the fact that we have a lay ministry comprised of leaders chosen (rather than those who chose themselves) will inevitably lead to – at worst – a composition of people proportional with the general population (which represents an improvement over the political arena). Throw in the facts that those with propensities toward unrighteous dominion can be weeded out, and the fact that the Church teaches and inspires selfless service, and so forth and you are left with a ministry that, while imperfect, gives every indication that it is structurally better than the general population. There may be bad apples, but as far as systems go it clearly shows the Divine inspiration behind it.