Quote of the Day:
According to Wiker, Machiavelli believed "that it is not only permissible but also laudable to do evil so that good might come – one must reject God, the soul, and the afterlife. That is just what Machiavelli did, and that is the ultimate effect of his counsel."
Wiker said, 'Because Machiavelli discarded notions of good and evil in 'The Prince,' he could confidently call good evil and evil good. Don't guide your life by what is good, but what is effective. …'" Machiavelli in the House by Ellis Washington
Christ warned us in Matthew 20:25, "But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them."
I certainly don't pretend to know the mind of Christ or to be capable of plumbing the Wisdom of the Only Wise God. I do believe that genuine Christian leadership is never cruel, cunning, duplicitous, double dealing, deceitful, arrogant, unapproachable, self-serving, or guided by pragmatic expediency. True Christian leaders serve with Christ-like humility...the kind of humility that I find, as a proud American male, shocking, counter-intuitive...and, very humbling.
It is the kind of humility that Christ demonstrated in John 13:
"Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him."..."When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."
The All Powerful One Who spoke the worlds into existence took the office of the lowest-ranked house servant. What a contradiction of His deity. He served and He led by example, not only in foot-washing, but in presenting Himself as a Lamb to be slaughtered for unclean creatures.
I have watched modern-day fundamentalists leaders embrace and employ Machiavellian principles and practices while the rank-and-file within the movement give active or tacit approval. Christian standards of conduct have been separated from Christian ethics. That is bad. But, what is worse is that it affects and hurts good, honest, trusting Christians. Many BJU grads - most notably, BJU trained preachers and religious professionals - have adopted Machiavellian ways as the norm.
In the past few years, I have met an increasing number of BJU graduates who have become disillusioned with Christian society and its institutions in general and Independent Fundamental Baptists and BJU in particular.
We came to BJU convinced that it was the 'Fortress of Faith' and stood for "the absolute authority of the Bible". We were more separated, doctrinally purer, adhered to higher standards of conduct, and were ethically and academically superior to all the other schools. We were proud of BJU and being BJU students and grads. That pride was bolstered by frequent criticisms of those who the Joneses judged fell short of BJU's standards. Ours was a religious utopia.
It seemed there was a subtle shift in our attitudes and, instead of 'standing for the absolute authority of the Bible,' BJU decided what constituted biblical authority.
The leadership did not act in concert with Christ's servant/leadership example. Rather than acting like servant/leaders, the Joneses acted like Machiavellians. They excoriated those who disagreed with them. They ridiculed those who didn't hold to their pet dogmas. They ran roughshod over students, graduates, supporters, and anyone who didn't unreservedly support BJU and the Joneses.
And, despite the talk about separation, doctrinal purity, high standards of conduct, and ethical/academic superiority, the Joneses turned out to the be hypocritical; they didn't meet the standards they applied to others. And, that inconsistency coupled pragmatism and cruel, authoritarianism, and disconnection from Christ's example seems to have led to disillusion within the BJU-styled religious utopia.
That disillusionment is consistent with the effects of 'secular' Machiavellian society as Mr. Ellis Washington concludes in his article:
"...What does this tell us? Liberals, progressives, socialists, intellectuals, academics and others adopting Machiavelli's separation of morality from politics and the end justifies the means – both atheistic notions – have no other choice than to create a paradigm where metaphysical concerns are unconnected to public policy, and the only real and relevant heaven one needs to be concerned with is right here on earth.
We can thank Machiavelli for separating politics from morality, which turned the rule of law into tyranny – also for deifying cruel, perverse, unconscious leaders, denigrating heaven and transforming it into a utopia on earth … thus making earth a living hell."
One of the reasons that led me to leave BJU-styled fundamentalism was because many fundamentalists seem to have diefied "cruel, perverse, unconscious leaders" who denigrate heaven and Christianity.