Rulers to Be Wise Men, God-fearers, Truthful and Haters of Unjust Gains Ex. 18:21 By Tegga Lendado

April 5th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Moses was playing the role of a law-giver, teacher, judge and an administrator to his people when Jethro, his father-in-law told him what he was doing was cumbersome for him and for the people he served. He advised Moses to focus on teaching and tending his people, delegating power at all levels to wise men that feared God, spoke truth and hated unjust gains. Accordingly, leaders of high caliber and integrity were immediately elected to represent the people governing themselves. Hence, Moses, divinely chosen man facilitated the principle of self-rule, representative democracy, a rule by, for and of the people. In the case ancient Israel, both the people and their leaders had the fear of God such that it must have not been so difficult to find leaders possessing these virtues.

I appreciate and would like to respond to Prof. Tewodros Kiros’s article, The Future Leader of the New Ethiopia, published on Abugida, March 3, 2011. I approach the subject from socio-spiritual stand-point, whereas the writer seems to approach it from socio-psycho-logical and socio-political angles. Although we both see the same prism to get different colors, we may not end up using it for the same purpose. In the interest of brevity, I will not dwell on the analysis of the article, leaving that my esteemed readers.

True that a leader must have exceptional tactful, emotional and logical intelligence but never lack comprehensive qualities the writer mentioned, namely, ‘truthfulness, uprightness, balance and justice’. Virtuous leaders will certainly have all these and other qualities if they have true LOVE of God and respect for the people. Remember, Jesus summed up the Law saying, “Love God and love your neighbor as your self” (paraphrased). Reverential fear of God obliges you to love your brother, sister or humanity as a whole. Samuel Adams pointed out, “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty nor happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupts. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country, who tries most to promote its virtue, and so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into office and trust who is not wise and virtuous man”. (Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, 1:22). Adams further asserts that public officials should not be chosen if they are lacking in experience, training, proven virtue and demonstrated wisdom.

Aside from, or even in light of the political tsunami wrecking northern Africa and the Middle East, both leaders and the Ethiopian people should search their hearts with humility before God with the right attitude and state of mind. The type of LOVE I mentioned above is one that helps you to love and even forgive your enemies. Current and future leaders may want to set an example by sacrificing their ego, possession, pride, power, greed, gain and glory for the greater good of their people. That way, they will save themselves and their people. And God will bless them and their children. To me, that is patriotism par excellence! The people in return should be magnanimous, tolerant, truthful, forgiving and loving because we all sinners in need of God’s mercy. Peace, justice, reconciliation, progress, security and stability are the outcome of LOVE and respect to one another.

Rev. Tegga Lendado, PhD. is a multi-cultural church organizer, international ethics, peace and justice consultant, forestry engineer, educator, legal and medical linguist, residing in Atlanta, GA, USA. He can be reached at

  1. Samuel
    | #1

    Are’nt you people tired of these kinds of messengers. Where on earth does it say that the people should not question the unjust political setting of any government? What is wrong with Ethiopian evangelicals? They disarm the public with a passifist ideology which only helps the dictatorial regime.

  2. teodros kiros
    | #2

    I admire reverend Lendado’s masterful spiritual analyis. He is write that I forgot to add the foundationAL VIRTUE that a leader must have, the love of God. I am ashamed that I did not emphasize this cardinal virtue.

    Thanks reverend for teaching me.

    Teodros kiros

  3. Compromise
    | #3

    The problem is not only that of the leaders, but also that of the public! As far as the Ethiopian empire is concerned, the right step to the right direction now is to rise up in unison, if we want to move from dictatorship to democracy, which is actually possible only in the decolonized nations, who are suffering under dictatorship of the rulers from their own respective nations. Even though I don’t think that liberation through democratization is so effective in empires like Ethiopia, where nations are fighting firstly for collective NATIONAL liberation and then secondly for individual CITIZENS’ liberty, we can take the unique situation of the Ethiopian empire into consideration and try to find a unique solution, such as a public uprising in unison (revolution)! Here is the necessity of reconciling the difference between the two opposition blocs against Woyane regime: the Amhara pro-integration bloc struggles for only ‘individual liberty’, whereas the Oromo pro-independence bloc fights for both ‘collective liberation and individual liberty’! This suggests that the struggle of the Amhara bloc (for individual liberty) can be considered as part of the struggle of the Oromo bloc (which includes individual liberty to collective liberation). Unless there is a sort of such compromise between these two opposition blocs to cooperate and coordinate their actions against the Woyane fascists, it is very easy for the Woyane to play the divisive political game by balancing the two blocs, beating them turn by turn as it did till now and by further making the two neutralize each other.

    Oromo nation is the one who loses nothing, when Woyane loses everything through the possible revolution and especially if both freedom and democracy be realized in that country in the future, whatever the future type of sovereignity as a result will be: independent Oromia, true ethnic Federation or unitary Ethiopia. But, I think an independent Oromia in an integrated Ethiopia (collective national liberation including individual personal liberty) is the possible compromise solution for the hitherto face-off between the pro-independence Oromo forces and the pro-integration Amhara forces, so that they can work together to help the expected revolution erupt and to get rid of the fascist and racist Woyane. As far as the Oromo are concerned, I hope all Oromo patriots in all Oromo political organizations will agree with each other in the future and act in tandem to struggle for Oromian independence and Oromian unity, also taking into consideration the the necessary unity of the region at the following levels:

    - at Finfinne level: to attain and maintain that Finfinne be the cultural, economic and political center of Oromo and Oromia; to be build as a core of our Oromo nation, that means Finfinne is like our Oromo heart; and to promote it be the center of all the other levels of unity; i.e the capital city of the unity at the level of Oromia, level of Ethiopia, level of the Horn and level of Africa.

    - at Oromian level: in addition to having Finfinne as a core, to attain and maintain our national liberty and national unity in a form of Oromian independence and Oromian integration unconditionally, because Oromia is like our Oromo body.

    - at Ethiopian level: after securing Oromian independence and Oromian unity, we do have no problem with a possible Ethiopian union, which can be considered as our Oromo inner clothing, like a shirt, which we can put on or take off based on our political will and our necessity.

    - at the Horn level: a union, which will be based and build on an independent and an integrated Oromia, will be just advantageous for Oromia in particular, and for the Horn region in general, which is our Oromo middle clothing, like a coat.

    - at African level: a federation/union with Finfinne as its capital or with Oromia as a center of African politics is simply a glory for Oromia, which is like our Oromo overcoat.

    Last but not least, a compromise solution is not an optimal (best) solution. It is always a temporary solution till one will be in a position to demand the optimal result. That is why ‘Oromian autonomy within Ethiopian union’ (true ethnic federation = independent Oromia within integtrated Ethiopia = national self-determination with multi-national democracy = self-rule with shared rule = internal self-determination =…etc) is ONLY a temporary solution for the Oromo question, as a prelude to the optimal solution, i.e a prelude to the REFERENDUM on: ‘Oromia autonomy within Ethiopian union’ vs ‘Oromian independence within African union’. A lasting and optimal solution is only the one, for which the Oromo majority will vote during the public verdict. The Oromo people have nothing to lose if we can decide per REFERENDUM in the future, be it for ‘independent Oromia’ or for ‘ethnic Ferderation’ or for ‘unitary Ethiopia’, as long as we can and will achieve both FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY. So, our future common values and virtues are these two concepts (freedom and democracy), for which we can have an all-inclusive alliance against the fascist and racist Woyane. I do believe that our colonizers (Abyssinian ruling class) also will be compelled in due time to learn accepting and respecting this vision as their own long term goal. Hopefully, the popular mass of both the Amhara and the Tigrai also will slowly start to struggle for the self-determination of their own respective nations in order to then forge the lasting commonly advantageous union of independent nations in the Horn region, based on the public verdict of all the stakeholders.

    - Can Overcoming the ‘Amhara Elites Vs Oromo Elites’ Face-off Help the Possible Revolution in Ethiopia Erupt? ( )

    - My last advice for the suffering Amharas and Oromos! ( )

    - G-7 and OLF discussing on UNITY: enjoy! ( )

    - Oromian National Liberty & Ethiopian Regional Unity!( )

    - ALL against one EVIL: current slogan of the opposition! ( )

    - Why was it easy for Meles’ regime to rule over Ethiopians? ( )

    - Independent Oromia in Integrated Ethiopia: fact or fancy? ( )

  4. anon
    | #4

    Thank you the Rev.Tegga Lendado, PhD for your insight in this article. In principle I think everyone will agree with what you and Prof. Tewodros Kiros has said. The question is when it comes enforcing this moral sanction upon present and future leaders how much successful can we be.It is true believers don’t have any problem living virtuous live assisted by the grace of God on a daily basis. When it comes enforcing these virtuous for any political leader to adhere to it, I am not sure whether we can achieve this ideal.
    The easiest approach might be, first, to find a way to preach the Gospel to government officialls, so that they can learn the way’s of the Lord, fear of for him. Somehow we have to start somewhere to make changes in the lives of others in practice.

  5. rezene kadissaba
    | #5

    In case you guys missed it – the Rev also said

    ” The people in return should be magnanimous, tolerant, truthful, forgiving and loving because we all sinners in need of God’s mercy. Peace, justice, reconciliation, progress, security and stability are the outcome of LOVE and respect to one another. “

  6. Ethiopian
    | #6

    Dear compromise,
    I read your comment and make me to ask a question. Is being an ETHIOPIAN mean a rain coat you can use when the rain falls and an umbrella that you can hide under from sunlight(truth). May god give you the wisdom and leads you to found truth than falling for darkness. What ever you plan could never be better than the current woyane plan. That was the same very way shabia went and look at them now.

    May God help ETHIOPIA and her children.

  7. Argii
    | #7

    Aite Ethiopian,
    is it so painful for you Dedebites to see such a compromise move b/n Amhara democratic forces and Oromo liberation fronts together against your fascist and racist regime? Hear the MERDO and got to sit LEQSO; we will come to comfort you!

  8. Ethiopian
    | #8

    Dear Argii,
    Thank you for your post,for your info i’m not deddebit or woyane. I did not mean that woyane policy or action is neither best nor what we Ethiopian or other nation deserve. What i was talking about was compromise’s post and his taught on the direction we, ETHIOPIAN,should take.If i don’t agree with his twisted and wicked plan or wish, that is mine to keep,and make me really to think what kind of ETHIOPIA we would see if a person as he was got the power to lead. Watch out what you dreaming?
    I wish we can discuss more fulfilling taught and productive ideas to share for the one country we always love.

    Respect and much love to ETHIOPIA.


  9. Tegga Lendado
    | #9

    My dear Samuel, I feel I am obligated to answer some of the question you raised. You can call me anything. I am not going to sue you for libel (just joking!). But, I am no one’s messenger but God’s (I believe). You have all the right to reject that too, by God’s grace, I will not be offended and will always forgive you. Please, forgive me, if I offended you here and now.

    Let alone people as a whole, any individaul citizen should be able to challenge his/her representative in his government. That is the game of democracy. More so, ministers of the gospel as well as all Christains are mandated to speak the truth as prophets of the time. I am not aware that the Ethiopian Evangelicals are for or against the dictatorial regime with any “pacifist” ideology. What is the pacifist ideology except preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and living rigtheous life before the world? It was Jesus who said that we ought to be salt and light to the world. They ought to “arm” their followers with the truth, the word of God as related to their lives. They/we have to be like John, the Baptist, who, telling the truth was beheaded. That is the true Christianity. What about the Old Testament prophets? What about Abune Petros, the EOC patriarch during the Italian occupation? I know of many who stood for justice during Haile Selassie’s time. I beleive they would engage constructively if or when they need to. I also think the government is approachable. I think I would live it there.

    Thank you, Dr. Kiros and I appreciate your humility and God will honor you as you say, “I am ashamed that I did not emphasize this cardinal virtue.” I takes a brave man/woman to say like that!

    My dear friend, Compromise, I like your name becuse I sometimes resort to compromise when I do not it my way. There so many things I just cannot compromise, like my faith in God. He is so real to me! Any way, my brother/sister, I wholehearedly agree with you: “The problem is not only that of the leaders, but also that of the public”. That is the fundamental problem. I admire you that you are succumbed to believing that the problem is always with leaders. Are not the leaders members of the “public”? Thank God for the selected few who have less problem than the “public”. That is why they are leaders but they are not perfect! That is you, I and others are here. We all have problems. Let us fix them.

    What you are saying here does not make clear sense to me. Are we to dismantle and reconstruct a new Ethiopia empire? It took us thousands of years to be where we now. Even so, we are many years behind languishing in backwardness! You know your own forefathers, the Oromos paid a huge price to reassemble us one people with common destiny and identity. Mind you, the Ethiopian terrain is rugged and difficult to travel from one place to the other. You find tribes and people groups every few kilometers. The language and culturee makes it difficult to communicate with each other but the add beauty to unity. It must sound or look like a choir to the Creator! You are entertaining independence! Aren’t we interdependent in this world? Why is the West bombarding Libya? Think of the effects of El Nino and the recent earthquake in Japan, etc. Oh! How, we are alike and need each other, first and foremost as human beings created in the image of God. You see, it is my tribe or my ethnicity that is created in the image of God but I. Therefore, you and I as a persons matter to God more than our tribe or ethnic or national or political or religious affiliation.

    Like Ethiopian, I ask, “Does being Ethiopian mean a rain coat.. umbrella, etc.?” I think the real compromise is in thinking outside of the box th our endeared politicians have invented. You are already in the right track, think big, think Afica. Africa needs you.Ethiopia needs you. Africa needs Ethiopia free of tribal trivialism.

    My friend, anon, you said, ” It is true believers don’t have any problem living virtuous life assisted by the grace of God on a daily basis.” I agree. We are called to that and leave the consequences to the Lord.

    “When it comes to enforcing these virtues for any political leader to adhere to it, I am not sure whether we can achieve this ideal.” I also struggled with this for so many years. How can we impose heavenly standard on unChristian world? Well, didn’t the Lord command us to pray: Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven? Are we not called to influence the non-believe by our life?

    Interesting enough, the framers of the American constitution were leaders who had the fear of God. They expected the same standard from their collegues also. I guess it is like a call to church ministry. Political leaders need to live above reproach by sacrificing their self-interest. Hopeful, the Public would emulate them. God bless you.

  10. Tegga Lendado
    | #10

    Please read with corrections-
    Please read: That is WHY you, I and others are here. We all have problems. Let us fix them.
    It is NOT my tribe…
    “Are we not called to influence the non-believeR…” and more

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