Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull once revealed the deadly nature of politics:
There are a lot of people who have been destroyed by political setbacks and I could have been - it was very, very gut-wrenching, it was devastating. It's a devastating business, a terribly cruel business, politics. Because all of your mistakes and blunders are out there in the public arena. You've got nowhere to hide. There is not an ounce of privacy.
Mr Turnbull reported that his family had got him through the lows. And the net effect? ''I am a stronger and wiser person as a result. Believe me it is a furnace, politics is a furnace, and it either breaks you or it makes you.''
Katharine Murphy the National Affairs correspondent for The Age said the subject of being human in her family conversation, and considered how Turnbull binned the standard dot-point formulations about what it's like to lose the party leadership, and tell the truth. "Gut-wrenching.'' ''Devastating.''
Murphy stated: "I thought it a particularly honest outing. No pretending it didn't hurt. No pretending there was no residual ambition. But resigned to the lessons life bowls up."
Therein lies the cataclysmic point of political life.
Reverend Dr Rowland Croucher of John Mark Ministries the Pastor's Pastor has spoken of this in the life of Ministers and Pastors, well over 14,000 now who have chucked in the "cloth", some out of deep self depression, burn-out but many, way too many out of false accusations which have led to total dismay and heartbreak.
Dr Croucher has been dealing for 30 years with ministers and mission leaders who have been "attacked politically". He has 23,000 hours of clinical pastoral care and counselling and his John Mark Ministries web sites case after case of such heartache and despair.
A growing awareness
There are countless such actions taken against colleagues and associates from the corporate board room, to the business situation, in the arts world, in every field of endeavour, including churches and missions.
Those cited in a recent Christian Today article spells out 'political bastardy' within the cloisters of the church and missions.
The Christian Today articles sites: The heartache and anguish that accompany such false and misleading accusations are legion. Dr Croucher recently noted that for decades Pastors and Mission leaders took all this, saying very little, suffering in silence while their reputations were thrashed in the ecclesiastical swill.
Again, Dr Croucher says, that today, "a very different story is emerging where it's no longer being tolerated. A type of reverse 'political correctness' is coming to the fore where bad behaviour is no longer tolerated. There will come a time that false and misleading accusations will head toward litigious outcomes. It will not be pretty."
Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard said the basic essential of politics is arithmetic. Malclom Turnbull lost the leadership of the Liberal Party in opposition by one vote to Tony Abbott and after Abbott won the election he challenged two years later and won over a first term Prime Minister. He states openly and objectively, he was devastated and the experience was gut-wrenching and he equally understood how Tony Abbott was feeling.
But how much more so for those in Christian ministry and within missions who feel the political guillotine by false accusations and misleading innuendoes and the playing of politics. In another recent Christian Today article it was shown that an Australian court deemed that the playing the political tool was in the first instant culpable. And names were named.
All this is not dissimilar to what cyclist Bradley McGee said about drug cheats and how they "stole rightful honours and Olympic berths" and what of the track and field athletes in Australia and New Zealand awarded Olympic Gold after the event in similar circumstances. How might even one even start to fathom the inner turmoil of such horrible and wronged experience.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html