Topical Index of Scriptures
God's omnipotence vs. man's leadership strategies
God's almighty power puts man's presumptuous ambitions to shame. Ponder these Biblical rebuttals to Pastor Warren's assertions in "A philosophy of leadership by Rick Warren"
Rick Warren: "Nothing happens until someone provides leadership for it. This is a law of life. [Not true!] For instance, the Civil Rights movement made little progress until a man came along named Martin Luther King Jr., who said, 'I have a dream.' ... Saddleback Church started because God said, 'Rick, I want you to be a leader and get the thing off the ground.' When problems arise in your own family, nothing happens until somebody assumes leadership and says, 'We're going to do something about it.' Everything rises or falls on leadership...."
Truth: "...with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:35-38
"But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases." Psalm 115:3
Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but 'with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
"Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and in earth....
He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.
He destroyed the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast....
He defeated many nations and slew mighty kings....
Your name, O Lord, endures forever,
Your fame, O Lord, throughout all generations.
For the Lord will judge His people, and He will have compassion on His servants.
The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands." Psalm 135:6-15
"He answered and said to them, 'I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” Luke 19:40
"You give shameful counsel to your house,
Cutting off many peoples, and sin against your soul.
For the stone will cry out from the wall,
And the beam from the timbers will answer it." Habakkuk 2:10
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, 'Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees." Matthew 3:7-10
Warren: "Leadership is influence. If I had to summarize leadership in one word it would be influence -- for good or for bad." "The test of leadership is 'Is anybody following?' If you want to know whether you're a leader or not, simply look over your shoulder. My friend John Maxwell says, 'He who thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk.'"
Truth: God's training is the opposite of the world's leadership training. It clashes with today's formula for successful leadership on every point:
And He [God] said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
'Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears....
Then I [Isaiah] said, “Lord, how long?”
And He answered: 'Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant,
The houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate..." Isaiah 6:9-11
But the people preferred false prophets with more positive messages
"Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you...
They speak a vision of their own heart,
Not from the mouth of the Lord.
They continually say to those who despise Me,
‘The Lord has said, 'You shall have peace’;
And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,
‘No evil shall come upon you.’ ” Jeremiah 23:16-17
"'Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! ... They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord!’ But the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed. ...
"Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you,' says the Lord God. 'My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies... Because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace...." Ezekiel 13:3-10
God looks for faith and obedience, not great leaders
"And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore 'it was accounted to him for righteousness.'” Romans 4:19-22
"Jesus said to them, '...if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:20-21