Churchill - visionary leader

The current comment on our front page refers to our nation’s need of the kind of visionary leadership Winston Churchill displayed during the dark days of World War 2.  A recent TV series by historian David Starkey on the life and wisdom of Winston Churchill highlighted a crucial element in the great wartime politician’s strategy.  To use Starkey’s words:

His underlying theme was truth, and the gap between the smooth words and high sentiments of the pacifists and appeasers in Britain, and the brute reality of what was happening in Germany.

Starkey goes on to say that Thirties Britain, riddled with defeatism on the right and pacifism on the left and centre, seemed determined to bury her head in the sand and do nothing about the increasingly dire situation in relation to Nazi Germany.  Churchill drew on the insights he had gained from researching his famous ancestor, John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough.  He discovered important parallels between the situation Marlborough faced and the current situation.  By adopting similar strategies to those of Marlborough, Churchill was convinced he could save Britain from otherwise certain defeat.

In order to implement the strategy and inspire the nation to press through to victory, however, Churchill had to face the hardest challenge of all – telling the truth about the situation Britain was in.  He once remarked in 1932:

I cannot recall any time when the gap between the kind of words statesmen used and what was happening was so great as it is now . . . Stop the lies and obfuscation . . . tell the truth to the British people . . . they may be a bit offended at the moment, but if you have told them exactly what is going on you have insured yourself against complaints and reproaches which are very unpleasant when they come home on the morrow of some disillusion.

We desperately need to grasp the nettle as Churchill did in his day.  Only speaking the truth can break the malaise our nation seems to have adopted in relation to the threats facing us.  These threats come, in Starkey’s words, ‘in the form of the rejuvenated authoritarian regimes of Russia and China who have bottomless reserves of cash, huge national resources and, in the case of China, a ferociously efficient industry which looks certain to submerge the all-but bankrupt economies of the West.'

Starkey sees another national threat ‘in the form of Brussels, with its anti-democratic adherence to the collapsing euro, which is stoking enmity between nations, and threatening to drag Britain into a depression that will mean hardship for decades.’

So where are the prophets of today, who, with Godly zeal and passion, are prepared to speak the truth, cutting through our national delusions, and calling us out of our apathy?  Here at Christian Spectrum we are calling for today’s men of Issachar to be released.  People like Churchill, who had the wisdom to know what had to be done, who examined and learnt from the past, and who had the courage to hold through against popular opposition.  He was able to rally the nation and inject realism as well as optimism when it was most needed. 

We’re also calling for the Issachar anointing within the church.  To steer a path through today’s diverse expressions of spirituality, humanism and antagonism, and the impact of national and international trends, the prophetic church needs to develop and exercise the same gift, wisdom and courage.  The men of Issachar were as highly valued by King David as physical ability and strength.  Without it, the army could expend energy and expertise and whilst winning some battles, could still fail to win the war.

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