HIERARCHY HIRELINGS: How Incompetent Posers Gain Authority (Doh!)
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:11-13]
THE PETER PRINCIPLE
According to Laurence J. Peter in his best-selling book, The Peter Principle, “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”
This management principle has proven to be absolutely true. It explains everything. It illustrates why we have so many incompetent people in the upper levels of power. It contrasts the real world of cause and effect, risk and reward, and survival of the fittest with the fake world of herds without predators.
Two hunters deep in the woods are suddenly surprised by a very angry bear. They both take off running for their lives, the bear right behind them. One hunter yells to the other, “Do you think we can outrun him?” The other hunter says, “I don’t need to outrun him. I only need to outrun you.”
This is the real world. It is why God created predators. Predators are the eliminators of incompetence in the natural world. Unless you stay sharp and at the top of your game the bear will get you.
This is why incompetent people don’t survive long in real world applications. Many meet a quick end. There is simply no place for ongoing laziness, lack of ability, foolishness, stupidity, and bad decisions. The natural world teaches this. Incompetence is never rewarded or allowed. Natural selection means survival of only the fittest.
In fake world situations, however, the opposite takes place. Rules are written to protect incompetence. Instead of rightfully being killed and eaten by angry bears, incompetent people not only survive, they thrive. Their bad behavior is rewarded. Everybody gets a trophy.
THE BACKYARD WARRIORS PRINCIPLE
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. [1 Corinthians 9:24]
I remember when I was about eleven years old I had a birthday party at my house. We lived in a well-kept suburban working class neighborhood. As part of the birthday fun I set up an intricate obstacle course in the backyard. You had to run around the perimeter of the yard as fast as you could under and through this and over and around that—just a bunch of stuff I found laying around that I transformed into world class athletic equipment. Not bad for a kid. It was pretty cool. I had an old army tarp tied to the chain-link fence at a 45 degree angle that you had to crawl under. There was stuff to jump over, like a strategically located metal trash can. Things like that. You had to run the course while being timed. Whoever completed the course correctly and the fastest was the winner. We probably had some small prize.
The rules were the same for everyone. I invited a bunch of friends over from school and the neighborhood. But someone also invited my young cousin, who was probably about seven or eight. If that wasn’t bad enough I also had an older sister hanging around who was sixteen or so at the time. She had an inordinate desire to lend what amounted to overwhelming assistance to those such as my young cousin who she thought were in great need, as a way to even the playing field. I had a different perspective. I have always been competitive. My concerns about her ruining the competition were soon realized.
Some of us had already run the course. We gave it everything we had. When a kid was out there running around he was completely on his own. It was sink or swim. Figure it out. Don’t miss anything. Show respect for the process. Everybody else was watching making sure he did it right.
Then it was my little cousin’s turn. And what does my older sister do? She starts running the course with him! He appeared to have no clue what to do but probably would have done okay if allowed to run by himself. I still have this mental picture of her leaning over slightly and running off with him with her arm on his shoulder guiding him around. He quickly yielded to her lead. She then decided he only needed to run less than half the layout! And here they come, cutting right through my well constructed obstacle course across the middle of the yard making a total mockery of the game! She’s still right there with her arm on his shoulder, leaning over, telling him what to do while running him back to the start.
We did not appreciate this. Neither I nor my friends said anything. It was an era when kids showed more respect. She meant well. But what a joke. She almost ruined the whole day with that pathetic display.
This is exactly how incompetence thrives.
THE JEREMIAH JOHNSON PRINCIPLE
Again, in the real world only the strongest and wisest survive. America was founded by such people. So was Texas. The few incompetent people out on the frontier were soon dead if they didn’t manage to get back to civilization post haste.
I am reminded of Robert Redford’s character in the movie Jeremiah Johnson, set in the mid 1800s. There was an early scene when he was way up in the frozen Rocky Mountains trying to catch fish by hand in an icy stream. He was soon in the water. There he was in the deep snow and ice splashing around doing his best to catch a fish to stay alive. The scene then switched to an Indian on horseback silently watching. Later in the movie when the same Indian recognized him in a different setting, he told another, “He fishes poorly.”
But Jeremiah Johnson survived and then thrived. He figured out how to stay alive in a killer environment. Though he met friends, nobody held his hand. He overcame all obstacles, including some personal losses that ripped his heart apart. That movie was about the real world and survival.
It is quite the contrast to our present world. Since that time America has largely become a vast, neurotic, socialist nanny state ruled over by bureaucratic incompetents and enablers with selfish agendas in which everybody, regardless of any achievement, gets a little trophy. Many would never be in their positions of authority without some big sister brotherhood opening doors, scripting their work, showing them the way, and refusing to let them stand on their own. It is the complete opposite of survival of the fittest. Because of the ridiculous policy of allowing incompetent idiots to become our “experts” America is going down fast.
Now, before you think I’m stumping for a certain presidential candidate, I’m not. I’ve been saying this for decades. (That dude stole my thunder.) I have watched this contrary agenda develop over several decades. Of course, many people know what’s going on but almost everybody feels powerless to do anything about it. When some charismatic person comes along who says all the right things and claims to have the answers he gains an immediate following.
But it rarely or never works. It’s always just words. Those that actually gain power never follow through. The only thing that does work in such cases is following the lead of someone who actually knows what to do and has a proven track record. Such good guys, however, are currently very few and far between, and are becoming extinct. The bad guys have taken over. The paradigm shift of rewarding evil and eliminating the good is almost complete. It’s why Biblical prophecy says the world would succeed in blowing itself up without the Lord’s end-time intervention. Corrupt doofuses in places of authority are the sole cause.
THE LORD JESUS PRINCIPLE
There is only one Leader who can fix this mess. The reason America is cratering is due only to the rejecting of His leadership. There is no possible way to remove the preserving agent without falling into gross corruption. The more He has been rejected over the last several decades the worse things have become. Though few acknowledge Him, He is the one who holds everything together.
Also, though the Lord Jesus is the best Father, He never spoils His children. Though He is our Shepherd, He is never the enabler of stupidity, laziness, or incompetence. He only rewards those who give it their all. Whoever will do things His way must be absolutely dedicated and must also be in it for the long haul. One will discover that following His lead allows one to grow stronger and wiser, and possess greater ability to overcome and thrive. He prepares us to be the best. His discipleship methods always work. He is a maker of champions.
THE UNREAL CHRISTIANITY PRINCIPLE
The reason the Peter Principle has become a burgeoning reality is because the people in power have rejected the Lord’s proper authority and correct management principles. They have replaced them with bulky, unresponsive, impersonal hierarchies and shallow methodologies that reward morons and punish the strong, independent, honest, and righteous.
GUESS WHAT? THE EXACT THING HAS HAPPENED WITHIN TRADITIONAL AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY.
Pious pinheads and parading shysters have taken over the outward institutional format and are now the tenured cloth men. We know the majority of these guys have no clue how to right our wayward course or have any desire to, largely because they’re the ones who caused it. They’re invested in it. It serves them very well. These sold-out fakers only exist because foolish people keep throwing money in their coffers, which only enables them and their incompetence. Every time the Lord tries to correct them their supporters reward them. These power-tripping Christian “experts” eventually cold shoulder any real Christians in their vicinity, refuse to support them, and badmouth them, in the sinister effort to eliminate those who would rightfully take their job.
But this has always been true. Thus, all real Christians must first learn to survive in this fallen world, then learn to fight, overcome, and thrive within it, AND THEN TAKE OVER. It’s how the Lord does things. It’s exactly how He did it. When He was crucified He looked like the greatest loser that ever lived. Three days later He became the greatest winner of all time. If we would be successful we must follow His lead, trust Him, and do things His way.
This is why the Lord Jesus never coddles His children. He has no use for perpetual babies and whiners. He never hands out participant trophies. He requires us to run the race well without constant enabling. He calls us to follow Him even through the worst spiritual environments that will test us to the nth degree.
THE PAUL PRINCIPLE
For correct spiritual perspective with respect to real discipleship, consider the fact that the apostle Paul once found himself dead under a pile of rocks. He suffered this fate doing exactly what he was called to do. The Lord Jesus did nothing to stop the brutal attack against him—He let Paul get stoned by a bunch of Jewish religious idiots.
But He did bless him with a preview of heaven:
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows—was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. [2Corinthians 12:2-4]
That’s pretty cool. And He did bring him back to earth. And He did give Paul supportive friends after he was dragged out of Lystra for dead who stood around him when he suddenly got up:
But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. [Acts 14:19-20]
Therefore, it is not that we don’t need help and support from time to time. We obviously should help one another. But such help is usually designed to get us on track or back on track. Both of these should be very few and far between events after our initial discipleship training. After that it’s a matter of running the race well without being hindered or enabled, both of which restrict our mission.
If the Lord has given you honest and competent authority figures at present, be thankful. We need the wisdom of those who have gone before us who have gained the Lord’s wisdom. But in order to be the spiritual success the Lord needs you to be, you must work at becoming a spiritual adult.
For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity… [Hebrews 5:13-6:1] 
Live the adventure.
Climb the Rockies.
But watch out for rocks.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Posted on January 23, 2016, in Current Events and tagged America, Apostle Paul, Christian Persecution, Discipleship, Hired Hands, Lord Jesus, Real Christianity The Nature of the Church, Resurrection, Spiritual Maturity, The Good Shepherd. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
Reblogged this on The Rural Commoner and commented:
This is exactly what I needed this morning and am thankful for the words. I am currently going through a valley in life. Sometimes rugged words like this are what a man needs during a trial.
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Thank you sir. The Lord is in charge. Be blessed and be strong.
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; it rejoices as a strong man to run his course. [Psalm 19:1-5]
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Oh yes. Indeed yes. We have watched a young but arrogant “pastor” destroy a thriving work, which has gone from 100% to about 25% since he came. He was highly recommended, and we believed in him. He rose to the level of his incompetence, and we learned that God’s Word was right when it tells us not to elevate a novice. We’ve moved on, as have 600+ other people. One of the saddest experiences in our lives.
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Thanks Linda. Bummer. But this kind of thing happens all the time. It is why the Lord built safeguards in His original community that spread out the authority over several elders. The apostle’s job was to go out and create spiritual communities starting largely from scratch, then appoint elders to care for them. They never appointed a single “pastor.”
“Elder” was not a title. Elders did not possess an entitled position. Real elders were simply older, wiser, more knowledgeable, and spiritually strong and viable. They made sure the Lord Jesus was always in charge. And that’s the key.
It is always much easier for Him to be in charge when there are several wise and strong elders because they can each hear from Him and will relay His messages. The men then come to a consensus based not on their own reasoning or personal agendas but on what the Lord commands. This New Covenant model keeps a strong man or single individual from taking over.
Of course, traditional Christianity has now developed into a one man show rule model. There may still be elders but many are not real elders (some are very young!), and many are mere yes men. This is incorrect and it is why things are so messed up. And if not “messed up” it is why things are so cold and dry spiritually.
Again, when the Lord Jesus is in charge GREAT things always happen. If great things are not happening, then…
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Great teaching….strong meat, well seasoned, and not drowned in extravagant but needless sauce. Just right, and so very true. I’ve often thought about the “Peter Principle”. To be sure, we reap what we sow. We ought to at least, to be honest with ourselves. If we didn’t start out that way until the Lord got us by the collar, we need to start now. Very encouraging word for today and every day.
Thank you Scarlett. I worked on this post for several days as I had the time. The Lord blessed. It involved a ton of seemingly endless editing and rewriting, trying to find that final form. I appreciate your support.
I agree that the temptation to accept the status quo and routine practice is always lurking around. Accepting such never gets us far, however. I have discovered that we must give it everything we have, then draw down and find much more, then even more, and keep SEEKING, and fighting the good fight of FAITH, and going above and beyond to get anything substantial done. It’s why they call it a “breakthrough” when we get there.
I don’t know if you remember, but this happened for me two years ago this month. I wrote a three-part series describing the experience entitled “Entering The Miracle Realm.”
Two things happened. One good and one not good. On the good side the Lord led me on an impossible journey from which great blessing and accomplishment took place. It was extremely difficult but also very productive. On the not good side I suffered a big uptick in persecution and betrayal. As I was fighting to stay on a very difficult track with the Lord there were “friends” coming after me and doing their best to derail the process even though they probably had no clue. It was weird because some people all of the sudden went from being friends to foes and I had done nothing different to cause it. There was no rhyme or reason. I am very thankful for so many great supporters of this blog who stayed with me.
This is the way things go in the spirit sometimes. Taking ground for the Lord and advancing often invites completely unwarranted attacks. The good news is that I stayed on course. The Lord blessed with great favor and strength. I didn’t know it then but it was a two year plan, and the plan was achieved. ALL glory to the Lord.
Maybe you can find something in the series that you like at this time: Entering The Miracle Realm
Thanks again. Be blessed.
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