COPING WITH COMPLEXITIES IN THE CHURCH
NO ONE IS IGNORANT, MANY MAY JUST BE UNLEARNED
One day, a group of servants decided to mock an enviable servant. The servant was very ambitious. He became very close to his master such that the master always discussed plans and journeys with him. But who would blame the mockers or the jealous. They had served the master for many years and suddenly he brought in a new servant and made that new one his favourite. They had spent years learning the ways of their masters and so they believed their junior was ignorant. They wanted to vex him with their pedantry. “And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace (2 Kings 2:5).” They were all of one order, one faith, one practice, one master and one God. They were all sons of the prophets and were of God. In our text we can deduce that they knew that Elisha knew about Elijah’s imminent departure. Yes, they did. Elisha had become of the order of the prophets and was expected to know. But they supposed he had a dull mind or weak memory. That was because of the crazy thing that Elisha was doing –following Elijah everywhere.
How many times have we ridiculed some person(s) because we think we know or truly know something than such ones? How many time have we become irritated because someone who should know about something seemed to be acting as if he lacks knowledge about that thing? Maybe we’re not the ones who ridicule others. Maybe we’re actually the one ridiculed in such a case. How many times have we restrained others because they were new or junior to us in terms of years spent in the fold? Perhaps we’re the one treated ‘somehow’ because we’ve spent just few years in the church compared to other people.
When someone is ambitious that person must be strange –he or she has to be. And often times, those who are complacent, those who fear risks, those who fear change, those who do not see the vision that the strange fellow had seen and those who do not understand the mission of the strange one will wait for the eventualities. Their expectation is not for the success of the strange but for the failure and regret of such one so they can gloat. This is not unknown in the household of faith. “And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan (7).”
There was a man whose sagacity and manoeuvring surpassed that of every other person. He was well known among the nobles and soon rose to become a beloved friend and one among the chiefs of a king. But he never believed that anyone should have an idea contrary to his. The king, to this man’s vanity, must always seek and follow only this man’s advice. “Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith … And Hushai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time. (2 Samuel 17:5&7).” Ahithophel’s counsel was perfect. “And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness (2 Samuel 15:32).” David and all knew that Ahitophel was learned and cunning. But David told Hushai to return to Absalom. He trusted that Hushai could convince Absalom of loyalty and he trusted Hushai wouldn’t betray him like Ahitophel. “But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel (2 Samuel 15:34).” Obviously, the sagacity of Hushai was also known to the king and other people. David prayed to God that the counsel of Ahitphel be turned into foolishness. David di’n't pray that Ahitophel should die. David, after praying now chose Hushai and sent him to Absalom with the faith that with God’s backing, Hushai shall defeat Ahitophel. Where then is Ahitophel’s invincibility or exclusivity to knowledge?
How many times have we felt hurt because our own idea was not implemented or was turned down and another person’s idea was valued? How many times have we felt hatred just because some had another view of what we think is best? As Ahitophel was sagacious so also was Hushai. And both were cunning. Yes, Ahitophel’s counsel was perfect for the good of his new lord and Hushai’s counsel was good for the safety of his own lord.
No one is ignorant, some may just be reticent
None is ignorant, some may just be yet uninformed of a thing, but of other thing(s) they’re informed. That is why some believe that all are born ignorant. That is why Socrates asserted that man does not know. And that is why man has been trying to know. To be ignorant is to be uniformed. So, it has a context. Someone informed in a context or on a subject shouldn’t gloat on the ones that are not informed on that. None is ignorant in so much as no one, no human, is knowledgeable in all.
No one is ignorant, some may just be unlearned. Then it is learning that has caused a difference and developing, a further difference.
No one is ignorant some are just observant and are yet to talk. Maybe they’re not yet allowed to speak. So, not all who seem uninformed or unlearned are actually so. Some are waiting for a better chance or right time to talk or contribute. And it is wisdom to keep quite where one’s opinion is not needed.
Anyone born of human being is capable of knowledge (of good and evil). The search for knowledge has directions and the development of knowledge has paces for knowledge, to man, is inexhaustible but not exclusive. On to this issue of knowing what is right, having the right idea, having the best option or thought for a mission was what caused division between two chosen heralds of the Gospel.
“And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus (Acts 15:37-38).”
Contentions in the church?
Argument in the church?
Grudges or malice in the church?
Envy, jealousy, factions and so on in the church?
Well, it happened not only in the Corinthians Church and Paul and Barnabas had their differences too, which they couldn’t resolve but could have or ought to resolve. We might say that it was good that they separated to cover more lands. After all persecution that scattered the church caused the spread of the gospel even on to Samaria. Yes, that’s true. But they could have separated without contention. And we’re not without such occurrences in this age.
Complexities were found in all churches: the Galatians, Ephesians, Corinthians and so on. Most of the time, knowledge, –that one person knows better and must be listened to and that his word must be revered above others –has birthed these contentions or grievances and most of such are not spoken or treated.
Nevertheless, we cannot despise the gift of the words of wisdom and the gift of the words of the knowledge which the Holy Spirit gives to certain people as He chooses..