Saturday, April 14, 2012


AP Photo/Stefano Medici
Who is she? Does this photo look familiar?  It probably is, if you are familiar with the dramatic Trial of Amanda Knox last year, an American student convicted of murder by Italian court, but later acquitted, declared innocent and was free. 

Today as I was reflecting on the alleged infallibility of Christian leaders' decision, I was reminded of where I originally got the idea from. I borrowed the statement 'no one is infallible' from a lawyer. Last year, I learned about the 'infallibility' of leader’s decision after my exposure to media coverage, specially the internet, about Amanda Knox Trial. As I dig into my files today, I found something I had written concerning the trial of Amanda Knox. 

Knox had become a media sensation after her arrest on November 6, 2007—four days after Meredith Kercher’s body was found in the apartment they shared in Perugia, Italy. Kercher, 21, a British student was brutally stabbed to death, and Knox, an American student convicted and sentenced to 26 years in prison for murdering her roommate.

In 2009, Knox appealed for the verdict. As the trial getting closer and the anticipated verdict would soon be announced, Dalla Vedoda, the defense lawyer on Amanda Knox Trial said,  "Knox has been crucified in a public square, subjected to the most sinister of speculations".  He pointed out that the lower court that had convicted Amanda had made a mistake. "That's exactly why we have appeals — courts can make mistakes," he said. "Nobody is infallible."[1] The lawyer called this mistake as a “tragic judicial case” for convicting an innocent person who was crucified in the public square by media. 

Is this all about lawyer’s tactics? Even if Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, she appealed for the verdict, and the court acquitted her of murder in October of last year. She was freed and returned to Seattle. There were some speculations surrounding the trials whether Knox was guilty or innocent. Others questioned the credibility of the judicial system in Italy. One thing is certain, no one is infallible-even the court will make mistakes. In February this year, Italian prosecutors launched appeal against Knox acquittal. Whatever will become of this appeal is going to be another court debate. 

If nobody is infallible, why do some Christian leaders think they are? Leaders are fallible beings; therefore, their decisions are not infallible. Because leaders believe they represent God, they fall into the trap of thinking that their decisions are also infallible. Such infallibility trap is obvious when leaders are not willing to bend on ecclesiastical decisions they make, and other non-biblical issues they formulated. The decision is often imposed with the notion that submission to leadership authority is required biblically, requiring subordinates to submit willfully or they are classified as unruly. 

Oh, the trap of human pride hidden behind the curtain of being God’s representative! Death to self, expressed in humility is lacking among leaders who claim God's anointing. Oh that everyone learns from his mistakes! Leadership authority does not, in any way, imply infallibility of decisions.

[1] Defense: Knox 'crucified' in the media. ALESSANDRA RIZZO - Associated Press.