“Shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).
I once asked a pastor friend, “Are you afraid of (a certain member of his staff who was causing him grief)?” He said, “No, I’m not afraid of him. But I fear the damage he could do if I were to fire him.”
Therein lies the dilemma: What to do about a team member too powerful to fire but too difficult to keep.
I’ve been reading H. W. Brands’ The General vs. The President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War. Dr. Brands is a highly respected professor of history at the University of Texas. Back when Brands taught at Texas A&M, Stephen Ambrose brought him to New Orleans for the 1998 conference on the Spanish-American War. My son Neil and I took in the conference and have been big fans of Professor Brands ever since.
In April 1951, Truman fired the most popular general in American history, becoming in one act the most reviled President in memory. During this period of his presidency, historians agree that Truman had become one of the most unpopular presidents in history. Interestingly, however, history vindicates Truman in his decision to dismiss the egotistical and out of control general. You will search long and hard to find a military historian who thinks that MacArthur should not have been fired.
Someone asked Dwight D. Eisenhower once, “Didn’t you serve under General MacArthur?” (Ike had been his right-hand man in the Philippines in the 1930s.) He answered, “I studied dramatics under him for eight years.” He is quoted as saying, “MacArthur could never see another sun, or even a moon for that matter, as long as he was the sun.”