In Search Of Leadership

Over the past few weeks there has been an influx of bad news throughout our world, from the earthquake/tsunami/radiation in Japan to the troubles in the Arab states, and all apparent points in between. Just for once I’d like to hear that things are getting better—somewhere—anywhere.

I bet you would, too.

Seemingly lost in the midst of these global calamities are our very own troubles at home here in the United States. The budget deficit is escalating out of control and all that our leaders seem to be able to do about it is to bicker and argue over points that are only frivolous at best. Somehow they managed to cut monetary support for Planned Parenthood and NPR, thus saving a few million dollars, while billions more in debt was fast accumulating in other areas—even as they proudly clapped each other on the back for the historic cuts they had implemented. Now they bandy around the option of increasing our taxes while gas and grocery prices go through the ceiling. Truly the inmates are in charge of the asylum, or so it seems.

Democrats refuse to budge in the area of cutting welfare and entitlements, while Republicans remain staunch supporters of fat military budgets that keep their favorite contractors in the black. We need our military to protect us from, well… everybody. We need our entitlement programs to protect us from the vast unwashed, in effect paying them to behave and not begin rioting the moment the free stuff runs out. And so they compromise—the Republicans allow yet even more entitlement spending while the Democrats give in on greater defense expenditures—meanwhile the deficit continues to escalate. There is no logic in Washington. There are no real answers to be found inside the Beltway.

Elections are to be held next year for the Presidency along with a large number of congressional seats, but I’m not going to kid myself as there is no relief in sight. The Democrats will run on the platform of protecting the sacred entitlement programs, and as fifty percent of Americans now receive some form of government subsidy, they will have strong support to lobby their case. The Republicans have no one with either enough charisma or a viable enough plan to run against this platform with an actual fighting chance of winning, and if by some miracle they do, past experience tells me nothing will change anyway. It’s a depressing state of affairs if you ask me.

We need true leadership, and where will we find it? To paraphrase the ancient question of Yeats, “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Washington to be born?”

There is a leader on the horizon, and he may be closer to ascending to power than we may know. All of the major religions of the world agree on this, though the characteristics of said leader differ from each sect. The Christians believe (as I do) in the impending return of Jesus Christ. The Jews are looking for the Messiah, and have been since the days of Abraham in the Old Testament. The Muslims are anticipating the arrival of the Mahdi, who they believe will judge the world for either seven, nine, or nineteen years (depending on whether the Islamic beliefs are Sunni or Shia) before an impending Day of Judgment. Even the Buddists are not immune to this apocalyptic manner of thinking—they have the Maitreya—who is supposed to be the great teacher for all of mankind scheduled to arrive in a future near you. I can go on and on—from the American Indians to less-known sects in the backwaters of Indonesia—the world is earnestly looking for the one who is to come.

I’m no Jay Galle when it comes to forecasting the days ahead, but the thing I fear most is there is in fact a future leader coming who will be all of these things, and yet none of these things. Sadly, I believe the world in all of its wisdom will not understand this until it is much too late to realize they’ve been duped once more by a leader who promises the moon, yet in the end brings exponentially more trouble and destruction than we already face at the present. Jesus explained it this way: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

He’s out there somewhere, this much sought after leader, and his time is surely at hand. Our world is currently and spiritually ripe for the picking, so to speak. But don’t be deceived—he may not be all that he purports to be once he arrives on the scene to rescue us.

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