Humility and Authority

John Ashcroft was Attorney General of the United States when 9/11 occurred. In that position, he was the man primarily responsible for making sure it didn’t happen again.

What a heavy burden to bear.

Congress passed the Patriot Act, and Ashcroft’s task was to ensure it was carried out faithfully yet cautiously, keeping in mind the rights of American citizens. In my opinion, he acted maturely in his efforts to deter terrorism while maintaining basic freedoms.

Yesterday, I had the privilege to hear John Ashcroft speak to approximately 400 Christian businessmen in Orlando. His message was upbeat, concentrating on the promise of America for all citizens and crediting Christian faith as the bedrock of our freedoms and values.

Beyond the speech, however, I appreciated the opportunity to speak with him in person. Actually, I had prayed for that opportunity as I have a desire to bring Mr. Ashcroft to Southeastern University as a special guest next year. In those few minutes with him, I came to the same conclusion as the man who introduced him before he spoke—John Ashcroft is a man of humility and openness. He had no idea who I was, yet gave me his time and offered to speak with me again about my request.

I firmly believe God prepared Ashcroft to take the reins of the Justice Department at that critical juncture. I always feel more secure when I know those who wield civil authority understand they aren’t the final authority. They must answer to the One who granted all authority. They need to humble themselves before that Authority.

I wish I could feel that same security at the present time.