Christian Leadership

Author: Archpriest Theodore Bobosh
Date Published: 09/17/2009
Publication: Fr. Ted's Blog

Religious leadership has always had a prominent place in human society. However prominence easily leads to pretension which gives birth to hypocrisy and pomposity. Our Lord Jesus warned against such leadership.

”And in his teaching Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation’” (Mark 12:38-40 RSV; parallel Luke 20:46-47).

”In the meantime, when so many thousands of the multitude had gathered together that they trod upon one another, he began to say to his disciples first, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.’” (Luke 12:1-4 RSV)

Sometimes Christians act as if these words of the Lord were directed only to the Jewish leadership and not to any leaders who practice pretension and hypocrisy. However, only a dangerously legalistic and literalistic reading of the scriptures would lead to the conclusion that Jesus was opposing Pharisees and not hypocrisy itself. One would have to have the narrowing mindset of the Pharisees to come to this conclusion!

Jesus really does advocate transparency and integrity in leadership