Lemmings are iconic rodents. They are the mascots for those who follow the crowd to their own demise.
The cry of authoritarian leaders everywhere is, “Follow me without question.” It doesn’t matter if it is a political leader pointing a flag, a husband playing Bill Gothard tapes, or a church leader thumping the Bible–they all say the same thing. Despite the protest of history, reason and the Bible, there are always a plethora of lemmings who will follow them.
Is there a place for rightful authority? Of course there is. Is there also a place for people under authority to think for themselves? Always.
Being a leader is a tremendous responsibility because there will always be a segment of the population who would rather follow than think. Responsible leaders ask them to think–they beg their followers to think. Dangerous leaders take their authority and use it as a lever to slow the thinking of the thinkers and quicken the pace of the lemmings.
Though Jesus had all authority, he refused to lead with it. Yet He, who would not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick, led with great effectiveness by quickening men and women to dare to think beyond the authority of their oppressors. Under His leadership bruised reeds healed and smoldering wicks burned with intense heat.