FEW ARE THE TRUE LABOURERS (two)
(…continued from part one)
In Luke 10:1 Jesus appointed 70 more to preach in a land that had for centuries been in an expectation of the Messiah. History points out that at a point in His ministry about a hundred thousand people followed Him. So, how come He could not send forth at least six or seven thousand disciples? It is because the labourers are indeed few. And if He should ask us to pray about it, then it is a grave matter.
The idea of planting branches of churches is of the Catholicism of the Romish Church of Vatican. It is not scriptural, hence, alien to Jesus, the head of the mystical body of Christ. Somebody asked me during an evangelization, “What about Paul?”, when I told him that our Church does not run branches owing to its unscriptural standpoint. Paul, in his apostolic fatherhood and pillar of the nascent Church, like his contemporaries, were vested with that principal roles of teaching, planting and nurturing of as many churches as possible. Before and after the demise of the Apostles you would not hear or read of Timothy (Paul’s most trusted Pastor), Titus, Philemon or the famous duo of Aquila and Priscilla (his industrious wife in the Lord’s vineyard) in an involvement of planting of churches.
A resultant ecumenical ill-health is inevitable when a called pastor proceeds to plant other churches, bringing them under his own superintendency. It is extremely difficult for the pastors of the satellite branches to teach or even believe all that the G.O. believes. There will always be something each wants to add or subtract. Today, the Church is in so much confusion and too many of it is quite evident in churches with so many branches. The founder, as the primate, may not find it difficult in handling a succession issue; but after the demise of the one who is the founder and primate, check the turmoil that is brewed amid God’s own children. I know of one Church of the Lord (Aladura). The brouhaha that ensued was best imagined until of them, quite junior to many of the highest ranking bishops brought out an unmistakable note from the late Dr. Oshitelu. They could not believe their eyes (and ears)! If God is truly involved I do not see the need for any ecumenical leadership contest (or rather tussle).
Jesus Christ told His disciples before the inaugural founding of the Church, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” [Luke 24:49]. ‘Endued’ is the Greek enduō (en-doo’-o): ‘to invest with clothing (literally or figuratively)’; it comes from two root words of: en (en): ‘a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively)’ & dunō (doo’-no): (to sink); to go “down”. Into what investiture did they sink into? Acts of the Apostles chapter 2, verses 1-4 tell us. Verse one gives the historical ‘the day of Pentecost’. Verse 2, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting”. We know, therefore, where the enduement comes from. “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them” (verse three). Fourth verse (4, in scriptural numerology, is the number of creation), “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” The Holy Spirit is the tabernacular power in which they were clothed: the unguentary authority for the functionality of the newly established assemblage of God’s own, called out, people. Note that the first empowered Christians spoke with other tongues. (…to be concluded…)
Get part one here.