Magaya Gossip,

Churches And Private Sectors Now The Same

My Perspective:  From 1 Peter 2:9-10 one can draw a meaning to the effect that after Jesus saved us, we become something new in his kingdom.

One has a feeling that brethren have some equality, are in an exalted state and we are going to all inherit eternal life. It, therefore, goes without saying that people in the church should be treated fairly and equally. This also applies even when giving leadership positions.

All brethren are part of a “royal priesthood”. It is after observing the above points that, it becomes inconceivable that there should be a dynasty in church. A simple definition of a dynasty is “a succession of rulers from the same family or line. A family or group that maintains power for several generations”.

Now if generally people are equal how does it happen that a family or group maintains power for several generations? How are others disqualified from holding that power? That concept does not seem to align very well with the Holy Scriptures.
Churches And Private Sectors Now The Same
The Church today is modelled on the precepts of the New Testament and not on the Law. Perhaps at this juncture we need to separate between a church and what has been referred to as a “ministry” although this definition can be thoroughly misleading.

People who lead a “ministry” tend to style themselves as not being bound by issues of doctrine, leadership structure and many other formalities found in established churches. A “ministry” is centred on the founder and his personal vision. Everything starts and ends with the founder. The charisma and gifts of the founder carries the ministry.

It even goes further in having the ministry being named after the founder. You tend to have a feeling that the founder owns the ministry.

While people can call themselves a “ministry” for all intents and purposes they behave like the formal church we all know. Hence the difference becomes superficial, it is in name only!

Because the founder “owns” the ministry, in terms of assets and financial resources in a ministry it may make sense to allow the son to inherit the father’s assets. It becomes a simple matter of defending “family assets” and not church assets!

The reasoning is that we cannot allow other people to just benefit from our family sweat. It follows that those who worked harder and contributed more in the founding of the ministry should be natural successors and beneficiaries of whatever the founders did.

Other church members must be mere observers while family members in succession call the shots. Looked at closely, there is then no difference between a company and the church.

The business profits and cash flows become the price for defence by the family. And they will defend these riches aggressively and ruthlessly.

In the Old Testament, Moses was both a political as well as a spiritual leader although the spiritual aspect was then transferred to his elder brother Aaron, beginning the Aaronic priesthood.
Moses had two sons by his Midianite wife Zipporah. Their names were Gershom and Eliezer (1 Chron 23;15). It is one of those interesting facts in the bible that we never hear about them again nor them achieving anything else!
Instead Moses passed the leadership of the Israelites to Joshua son of Nun. In fact Joshua had been deliberately groomed and developed by Moses. Why did he not groom his own blood sons? What about all the hard work, pain and suffering Moses went through leading the nation of Israel out of Egypt?
Simply, what Moses did was in God’s will.

Now looking on Aaron’s side the first High Priest, his first two sons were Nadab and Abihu. These two naturally were assistants to their father and one day they decided to offer strange fire in the Tabernacle. The Lord immediately consumed them and they died on the spot. This marked the first problem of family succession.

The other notable occasion was
during the priesthood of Eli. He also had two sons Hophni and Phinehas who did priestly duties. The bible describes Eli’s sons as “wicked men who had no regard for the Lord,” (1 Sam 2 v 12).
The Lord also eliminated them after displaying gross irresponsibility and from that occasion the priesthood was taken away from Eli’s house forever.

Our last example of these family succession issues comes from John 18:13-24. Historically Annas had been high priest from about AD 6 to 15.The Romans had removed him from office yet he still wielded considerable power behind the scenes.

Five of his sons succeeded him as high priest. He was the father-in –law of Caiaphas – the high priest who
was in office at the time of Jesus’ ministry. I had always asked myself why there were two high priests during Jesus ministry.
The truth is there was only one official high priest but through the unashamed shenanigans and politics of Annas he ensured that almost all males in his family line took the priesthood throne. It even went further to the son-in-law whom strictly speaking did not qualify.
Though the argument of church inheritance will never reach universal consensus, it is important to note that leaders should try as much as possible to be impartial and fair.

Reverend Ncube is with the United Pentecostal Church

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