Consider This

Wanting That New Car Smell

Is anyone out there who can drive the car?

President Barack Obama surprised a lot of people recently when, interviewed on ABC television, he candidly acknowledged Americans are ready for a new leader. They want “that new car smell,” he said, continuing the metaphor with, “They want to drive something off the lot that doesn’t have as much mileage as me.”

It’s really about the driver, though, not the car, so Americans will soon start searching for the next savior who they hope can take the wheel and successfully negotiate the dangerous challenges they face. Every candidate will promise they have the skills, but history says they’ll end up where Mr. Obama is now, having basked in the glory of the great office, only to later wither under the heated scrutiny of one’s ineffectiveness.

Buckle your seat belts when you’re going off the cliff?

The president is hardly alone. Leaders around the world today share that fate, as they grapple with problems that are simply bigger than their abilities to solve them. Our lead article, “The State of the World 2015,” highlights four serious global threats. We could have written about eight or 12—so many are looming that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon alerted the world that its “fasten seat belt” warning light is on! Transportation analogies must be the flavor-of-the-month imagery of world leaders. 

Well, I don’t know about you, but fastening my seat belt as the world teeters on the edge doesn’t boost my sense of security one bit! I’m more concerned with who’s driving—who knows how to back us away from the precipice? Who can show a little problem solving? Who can chart a new course for a better future? Who can rally us around that common cause? I don’t see anyone. Do you?

Of all the perils the world faces, perhaps the greatest is the dearth of leaders who have the ability, knowledge and power to do anything about them! 

The time for change is not just for Americans— the whole world needs a new leader, someone else to drive the car.

When problems outstrip solutions

It’s not that smart, capable people don’t exist, but the magnitude of world problems is simply outstripping our human ability to solve them. As a result, world leadership is morphing into a defensive posture. That is, rather than tackling problems that are virtually insoluble, they focus more on not making things worse. Leaders who try to just avoid disasters (especially to preserve positions or reputations) operate from weakness, not from strength. Followers sense that and become even more frustrated and fearful.

The time for change is not just for Americans—the whole world needs a new leader, someone else to drive the car.

We’re not going over the cliff, but …

Discern takes a nonpartisan stance toward politics and nations, offering instead an analysis of world events through the lens of Bible prophecy. As a result, we lay out a global view that usually ends up combining pessimistic short-term assessments with optimistic long-term forecasts. After all, this is prophecy’s theme: Things are going to get worse, then they’re going to get better!

So, in a nutshell, the world is not going over the cliff. But it’s going to be close! Prophecy assures us that in the not-so-distant future, just as a bad mix of egomaniacal leaders and uncontrolled events hurtle us recklessly toward disaster, Someone is going to step in, put on the brakes and take over the driver’s seat.

Do you want that “new car smell”? After thousands of years now, is human government smelling pretty old? Then it’s time to look elsewhere—for a new driver, Jesus Christ, and the coming Kingdom of God!

Clyde Kilough


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Discern Article Series

Christ Versus Christianity
Walk as He Walked
Christianity in Progress
Wonders of God's Creation