What causes church con­tro­ver­sies? (Part 1)

The Manica Post - - Health / Faith - Mor­ris Mtisi

THE above ques­tion ob­vi­ously has more an­swers than one. But first is it true that there are con­tro­ver­sies in Churches? The an­swer is one: Yes! Yes there are many con­tro­ver­sies, some of them verg­ing on the brinks of wars...holy wars maybe. . .Ji­hads of sorts be­tween men and women who hate each to death. They hate each other and op­pose ev­ery­thing the other says but trade hand­shakes and smiles in pub­lic.

Our main ques­tion is, ‘What causes con­tro­ver­sies in Church?' The word ‘‘con­tro­versy'' can be in­ter­preted as ar­gu­ment, dis­agree­ment, debate, storm or hul­la­baloo.

I will de­fine the word to mean dis­agree­ment cul­mi­nat­ing into a storm or hul­la­baloo. ‘Ar­gu­ment' and ‘debate' do not speak to ex­actly what I have known and seen to hap­pen in churches since I was a small Chris­tian.

You may be tempted to think that the is­sue or is­sues of church con­tro­versy can only be iden­ti­fied and ad­dressed by bish­ops, rev­erends and pas­tors. Not at all! Truth does not come out of these peo­ple alone.

In God's grand plan or scheme of life, He proved to be a Mas­ter-Plan­ner and great strate­gist. He po­si­tioned His peo­ple in ev­ery place and sit­u­a­tion you can think of: schools, col­leges, uni­ver­si­ties, hos­pi­tals, armies, po­lit­i­cal par­ties, par­lia­ments and gov­ern­ments, busi­nesses of var­i­ous shapes and sizes, gov­ern­men­tal and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions, in ev­ery fam­ily even. . .lit­er­ally ev­ery­where.

In each of these places there is or are God's peo­ple spe­cially po­si­tioned here for His pur­pose. The fact that such ap­pointees do not know or are not aware of their pur­pose in a par­tic­u­lar work place or sta­tion in life does not mean that God's plan is skewed or off-cen­tre. It is only a mat­ter of time be­fore such ap­pointees dis­cover or re­alise their pur­pose in a given sit­u­a­tion or sta­tion in life.

These ap­pointees do not have to be pas­tors, rev­erends or church bish­ops. Many of them are sim­ple peo­ple, what­ever that means, who have no names or dec­o­ra­tions. They may not even be anointed per­sons and may not even be­long to any church at all. They are just where they are be­cause God-knows-why, how and when they will serve a par­tic­u­lar pur­pose.

Some of them are just bridges to carry across God's peo­ple to where He wants them. Oth­ers are sim­ply mes­sen­gers to carry ap­pro­pri­ate mes­sages to the cor­rect places at the cor­rect time. Some are just voices to pro­nounce God's in­struc­tion. Oth­ers are sim­ply go­ing to be used to ac­com­mo­date or feed His peo­ple at the right times and places. Je­sus did not use only his dis­ci­plines on his mis­sion to de­liver hu­man­ity from sin and to the Fa­ther in Heaven. He used many peo­ple who were in the right po­si­tions and cir­cum­stances at the right time.

But what hap­pens in many churches? When these many or­di­nary peo­ple God planted or po­si­tioned in var­i­ous places dis­cover their pur­pose and want to do what God espe­cially cre­ated and ap­pointed them to do, the church lead­ers or recog­nis­ables stop them. They want to re-as­sign them and tell them to do what they want and think or be­lieve is cor­rect, not what God wants them to do.

When a cat­tle farmer of­fered Joseph and Mary the mother of Je­sus his cat­tle kraal to de­liver Je­sus, no one stopped him. He was in po­si­tion for Je­sus to be born where he was sup­posed to be born. When Joseph of Are­mathea ne­go­ti­ated with Pi­late and bar­gained for his body to be brought down the cross for proper burial, he was there close to Pi­late, in the right place and time, to use his dig­nity and re­la­tion­ship to en­able this to hap­pen.

When Moses was be­ing hunted down by Pharaoh af­ter is­su­ing a de­cree that all Jewish boys must be killed, his mother hid him in a bas­ket floated on top of a river. Miriam was there po­si­tioned (by God) for an ob­vi­ous pur­pose. . .to save Moses. Then a He­brew woman was there, looked for by Miriam, also read­ily avail­able to look af­ter the lit­tle boy.

If these or­di­nary peo­ple were not in place, of course po­si­tioned by God, the his­tory of Moses would not be there or would be dif­fer­ent. When Je­sus wanted to feed the five thou­sand men plus women and chil­dren in a val­ley where there were no shops to buy or sell food, a small boy with two fish and five loaves was there to sup­ply what in Je­sus' life be­came one of the most fa­mous mir­a­cles: The Feed­ing of Five Thou­sand.

If Ni­code­mus, a rich busi­ness mogul of Jerusalem, was not in the right place at the right time, who would have supplied a suit­ably valu­able tomb or cof­fin for Je­sus to be buried in? The dis­ci­ples were all around. No one could af­ford this ex­pense. None of them could af­ford a tomb in Jerusalem. Only busi­ness moguls like Ni­code­mus could af­ford to buy a burial space in the big city of Jerusalem. But he was there for Je­sus at the right place at the right time. He stood up for Je­sus to play his role in the great plan of God. And no one stopped him!

Why am I cit­ing all these ‘or­di­nary' peo­ple? They and many more in the Bi­ble were found in the right places at the right time, po­si­tioned strate­gi­cally by God Him­self for His pur­pose.

But what do mod­ern church lead­ers or dis­ci­ples do today? They are busy stop­ping or­di­nary peo­ple in their churches to do what God strate­gi­cally po­si­tioned them to do.

They blame them and rep­ri­mand them for push­ing pri­vate agen­das. But are these not God's spe­cial agen­das as only God po­si­tioned them to do?

They (the church el­ders, lead­ers and recog­nis­ables) know ev­ery­thing. They are the anointed. They only, and only they, have the Word and know the di­rec­tion. They only, are God's ves­sels and no one else can or must do any­thing un­less it is their idea or vi­sion.

Vamwe vese vanhu varimuChurch havazivi chinhu. They are sin­ful small in­signif­i­cant ba­bies in the church and they can­not champion any cause no mat­ter what it is. In­signif­i­cant church ba­bies and sin­ners of course! And these were who Je­sus came for. Je­sus came for the sin­ners, did he not? He did not come for the right­eous. And when he died, he died for all. . . lit­er­ally ALL of us.

The spirit of the dis­ci­ples who were too pos­ses­sive and jeal­ous about Je­sus when Zacheus climbed up a tree to see him and he (Je­sus) said, “Zacheus, come down. Tonight I will have sup­per with you in your house”, only to be met by sharp dis­gruntle­ments from the dis­ci­ples, is dom­i­nant in churches today and caus­ing ter­ri­ble con­tro­versy. Who are you lis­ten­ing to, fol­low­ing or sug­gest­ing to hav­ing sup­per with? Who is this or that man or woman in Church to be sug­gest­ing this and do­ing that? Such ques­tions by church lead­ers and el­ders, who feel chal­lenged and be­lit­tled, cause great con­tro­ver­sies in churches.

Of course lead­ers de­ter­mine the di­rec­tion. They are anointed to shep­herd the flock. They must be listed to, obeyed and re­spected.

There is no doubt about that. But they too are hu­man and must re­mem­ber God strate­gi­cally po­si­tioned small men and women, lit­tle Josephs, Dor­cases, Deb­o­ras and Es­thers, lit­tle Davids and Ti­tuses in the church to help re­flect the glo­ri­ous name of God. Even those with­out names, and with no hon­our; they too are part of God's grand plan in the scheme of His work. Do not stop them from ful­fill­ing the pur­pose for which God strate­gi­cally po­si­tioned them. Use them. Do not frus­trate them.

Do not ask, ‘Why the lit­tle David to con­front the gi­ant Go­liath yet he (David) only has a stone sling?'

Je­sus knows why. It is these stop-it ques­tions that cre­ate ide­al­is­tic havoc in churches today and cul­mi­nate into un­nec­es­sary and un-Godly noises, di­vi­sions and con­tro­ver­sies.

It started in the an­cient churches. But 21st cen­tury churches have failed to find an an­swer to such di­vi­sion­ist at­ti­tudes.

Is this all that causes con­tro­ver­sies, loud and quiet noises in church today? Cer­tainly not! Do not miss Part 2 of this in­ter­est­ing truth in next week's edi­tion of The Man­ica Post.

◆ You can give me feed back if you feel like. Feel free. My con­tact de­tails are 0773 883 293 (also APP) and email mtisi­mor­ris41@gmail.com You can also write to me and in sealed en­velopes leave your let­ters ad­dressed to MM @Mat­ters of Faith at our Di­a­mondFM Ra­dio se­cu­rity point. I will pub­lish those let­ters.

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