I remember the movie “the Lion King” and a song something like that. The young Lion couldn’t wait to be King. The phrase itself comes from Mel Brooks movie, “History of the World Part 1.
Life in a fallen world is such that most of us ‘want to be King”, or at least be in charge of something. Responsibility and power are considered to be good things to strive for, but life in a fallen world tells us that most of us want the power and not the responsibility. We hear commercials all the time that most of us desire a job where we can “be our own boss”. That also means bossing someone else.
Once again Jesus turns our desires upside down when he tells his disciples in Matthew 20, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
We piously use that in the church for offices and officials and ideas of servant leadership. We hear the phrase that no one should seek these positions but should be ‘chosen’. We lay the responsibility on the Holy Spirit to guide and choose the leaders of our church and churches and auxiliary organizations and then once He guides us and chooses that person we proceed to shoot at them verbally and seek to undermine them by action or inaction. Most of the time we just ignore them. Those that seek to be servant leaders find out very quickly what Jesus did – that the result of faithfulness is some kind of crucifixion, usually at the hands of our own people. Pretty sad stuff really.
Todd Gitlin is an author that wrote a really good book a while back called, “The Twilight of Common Dreams”. He coined a phrase – “egalitarian irreverence” that he included in a speech he was going to give in Taiwan. Of course to give the speech he would have to use interpreters and they asked him as they went over the speech if that was a ‘typo’. Did he not mean ‘reverance’? He said it was interesting to explain to these people that one of the hallmarks of Americans is a singular disrespect for authority.
In the political realm, the “Kingdom on the Left” that may be necessary within reason. In the church, in the Body of Christ, it is pathetic.