For me, this theological understanding is a critical component of good leadership, namely the ability to call what is, is. Many writers on leadership have noted that leaders must name reality for others and for their organizations. The ability to do this - to name reality - allows an organization to move forward by fixing issues and not ignoring what might be holding them back. This is not an easy task for leaders, who are often promoted to their positions because they were good cheerleaders of others and their organizations. Rather than calling what is is, leaders will often cover up the problem by fixing it themselves, not having to worry others with the situation. Yet it is precisely the ability to name reality - to act in the same manner as a theologian of the cross - that will serve leaders and organizations well.
This past weekend saw evil manifest itself through the protests in Charlottesville, where a group of people decided that their race, their nationality, and their status was more important and better than others. The philosophy behind this group, the remarks that were made, and the actions that were taken are nothing short of wrong...nothing short of evil...nothing sort of sin. For them, their lives are more important than the lives of others, and they saw nothing wrong in making that known and bullying others for that right. And that, for me, is sin.
It is easy to dismiss these actions as a group of fringe lunatics...it is easy to blame both sides for the bad behavior...it is easy not to be concerned with what happened because it does not affect one's own life or beliefs. But for me, the beliefs, words, and actions of this group of people made me angry and left me in a state of flux, wondering what I can do to make a difference. Thus this Friday Morning Blog.
There should be no fear in calling out evil and sin...there should be no fear in naming reality...there should be no fear in calling what is, is. Leaders, it is time to stand up and call out bad behavior, both in our organizations and in the world. Those who claim to be white nationalists or believe in their manifesto are nothing short of evil and sinful. I know those are harsh words...I know those are words that bring division...I also know those are words that name what is, is...and I also know those are words that leaders should speak.