Legal & Moral authority – Rev. Patrick S. K. Ndyanabo

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In all spheres of leadership, including Spiritual, Cultural, Political, Educational, Military, Medical, Judicial etc, it’s imperative to have both moral and legal authority.

As a matter of fact, moral authority should be strictly evaluated before a person is entrusted with any position of authority.

Whether it’s through an elective process of choosing or through an appointment method of bringing people into leadership roles, the candidates must satisfy an acceptable standard of moral uprightness – INTEGRITY.

Admirable Morality refers to the godly and humane qualities of character, which are sustained by our value system. These inner attributes are weightier than a person’s verbal charisma (Eloquence) and generosity in giving (Benevolence).

POLITICALLY, people can be easily swayed to vote or support someone because of his/her oratory skills; or they may be won by his financial / material endowment. In doing so, society gives authority to immoral people that are “democratically and legally” chosen. Yes, they may have won the majority votes, but, lamentably, lacking any iota of moral authority. They glide on lofty winds of lies; they have no respect for humanity; they pride in making empty promises; they use bribery to get numbers behind their selfish wishes; they can threaten, torture, and (at worst) kill their political opponent without conviction!

When such people end up in any leadership position – local, constituency, institutional or national, subjects in their jurisdiction become prey in a hungry hunters’ territory!

“When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan” (Proverbs 29: 2).

RELIGIOUSLY, minister that claim to love and serve, yet without any fear of God are rampant these days.

Writing to the Philippians, Paul described them in very clear terms: “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things” (3: 19).

Prophet Ezekiel said, “Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choicest animals, but you do not take care of the flock. “You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strayed or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally” (34: 3-4).

[“Touch not the anointed!” Is a popular scarecrow in Churches]

This is a graphic biblical description of people in spiritual leadership positions who lack moral authority. They may be well trained (Possessing Professional Qualifications); they may be duly ordained (Obtained Religious Credentials), but deeply wanting as regards to moral authority. They have no heart for the sheep. They are people users – manipulators who make others ladder to get to the top!

Publicly, they adorn themselves with very attractive titles, such as Bishop, Apostle, Reverend, Doctor, Pastor, Teacher, Major, Chain breaker etc.

Practically, they are better representatives of the present world than they are of the life to come. Their sermons are promising heaven on earth, and their hunger for money is insatiable. They live luxuriously to make unique human impression. They make endless competitions in stylish clothes and special cars numbers! In fact, its a flamboyant show of greatness! Crowning the emptiness of the moral tanks, we see some spiritual leaders barbed with carnal body guards and inapproachable, which makes them almost to demigods! Others gladly bask in the warmth of human worship! Alas!

Unfortunately, such people misquote and misapply scriptures such as “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he become poor, so that you, through his poverty, might become rich” (2 Cor 8: 9). Whether ignorantly or intentionally, they fail to acknowledge that the scripture points to spiritual NOT material riches.

Such people may have been legally appointed or gradually evolved into positions of power, but they lack moral authority.

Therefore, effective and credible leadership or power should not only be weighed on grounds of LEGALITY and popularity, but also on the the scale of godly MORALITY. Otherwise, Slave Trade in America and Apartheid in South Africa were Legally Right, but Morally Wrong.

The basis of Legal Authority is MORAL AUTHORITY.

Jethro advised,
“Choose capable men, who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens” (Exodus 18: 21).

Rev. Patrick S. K. Ndyanabo

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