By Walter B. Hoye II
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered these words on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., August 28, 1963. I agree with Dr. King. People should be judged or evaluated based on the “content of their character” and not the “color of their skin.”
However, for us to fully understand this powerful statement, it is important to note that Dr. King was a … conservative Black Baptist preacher from the South. As such, I believe Dr. King’s use of the term “character” should be understood to mean “biblical character.”
Unfortunately, we are not living in a nation that evaluates people on the basis of their character. The question before us today is not “what” to evaluate, but “how” to evaluate. This question is especially relevant today. … In terms of leadership “what” to evaluate is clear. We are to judge leaders by the “content of their character.” Yet, without a clearly defined set of criteria for “good leadership” that has been found true, tried, tested and timeless, we do not know “how” to evaluate a leader.
As such, and for your consideration, below are my seven biblically-based and non-negotiable criteria for evaluating leaders and/or a leader’s potential.
Will the leader…
1. install Godly judges (Isaiah 1:26; Proverbs 14:34; Psalm 2:10-12; Ezra 7:25; 2nd Chronicles 19:6,7);
2. protect [preborn] human life (Exodus 1:14-21; 20:13; Leviticus 20:3; Jeremiah 32:35; Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 44:2,24; Matthew 2:16-18; Luke 1:44);
3. oppose the ennoblement of homosexuality (Genesis 1:27; 2:24; Leviticus 20:13; 1st Kings 14:24; Jeremiah 6:15; Romans 1:26,27; 1st Timothy 1:9-11);
4. protect parental rights (Deuteronomy 4:9,10; 6:6-8; 11:18-20; Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20);
5. publicly acknowledge God and honor Him in public policy (Proverbs 3:5,6; Psalm 107:2; Matthew 5:37; Romans 1:28);
6. promote the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17; 34:27,28; Deuteronomy 5:6-21; Matthew 5:17);
7. help the poor (Deuteronomy 15:11; 24:12; Job 29:12-16; Psalm 41:1; Proverbs 14:21; 19:17; 21:13; 31:20, Matthew 19:21; 25:34-40; Mark 10:21; 14:7; Luke 14:13,14; 18:22; Galatians 2:10)?
If an existing leader or candidate for leadership fails any of these biblical tests, he or she fails or will fail as a leader and does not merit our support.
This commentary is reprinted with permission from the Issues4Life Foundation, which targets and works directly with African-American pastors and priests nationwide, and is dedicated to addressing the issues surrounding the inviolability of human life in the African-American community.
Walter B. Hoye II is president and founder of the Issues4Life Foundation and the California Civil Rights Foundation, and holds master’s degrees in sociology and business administration. He was arrested in 2008 and jailed in 2009 for offering peaceful, nonconfrontational sidewalk counseling outside an Oakland, California, abortion business. In 2008, Walter and his wife, Lori, received the fourth annual Walk for Life West Coast’s St. Gianna Molla Award for “courage under fire” in the pro-life movement. In 2009, the Family Research Council recognized Walter with its John Wise Award. As the author of Leadership from the Inside Out, he is in demand as a speaker and consultant. Walter and Lori Hoye are committed Christians and strong supporters of the human personhood movement. They have two adult children and live in Union City, California.