As I contemplate certain things going on in the Church right now, I am reminded of Thrasybulus of Miletus.
The story of Thrasybulus is in Book V of Herodotus’ Histories. A messenger from Periander, a 7th c. BC tyrant of Corinth, asks Thrasybulus, tyrant of Miletus, for advice on how to govern. Thrasybulus doesn’t immediately respond. Instead he leads the messenger into a field. Then, drawing his sword, he slashes the tallest ears of wheat off their stalks. The message: eliminate potential threats to your absolute rule by preemptively cutting down any men who are prominent enough to raise a challenge.
If anyone sticks his head up, chop it off.
Eliminate excellence by all necessary means and with extreme prejudice.