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» » » » » » » » » » » » » COPING WITH COMPLEXITIES IN THE CHURCH


                               CHAPTER TWO



SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT I
Gen 3:5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 
Gen 3:6  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 
Gen 3:7  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons

FEW ARE gods
There are few who do the thinking for others. Those are the gods. These kinds of gods can design codes and rules in the name of or for idols. They can create a cult of religious fanatics. They are either passive Philosophers, motivating others or active philosophers championing a cause. They can be scientists or clerics or academics or any professionals or even outcasts like Jefta.
While many of these gods have the interest of others as their priority many simply enjoyed the power they possess with their cultic design.
The most important or critical part is that the majority who are mere followers, who cannot or do not like to think by themselves and for themselves are more intense defenders of the propositions of the thinkers, or perhaps, worthy of the name, leaders. The serpent did the thinking for Eve. She examined it though. She’s pleased with what the Serpent offered. She subscribed and followed Satan. She succeeded in making her husband to join her new religion. And both of them became slaves to the offers of Satan –overtly very good and enlightening but really to destructive and darkening.
MANY ARE VOTARIES
While I was working in a group of schools, report came to us through a parent’s complaint and the parent himself was a teacher. The father wrote seven and the child insisted that the father must strike it as if it were an ‘F’ or a ‘t’. The child insisted such that the father conceded to him and came to complain in the school. That child could not think for himself. Many babes in Christ cannot. And the moment they believe in a person they choose to follow it will be difficult to change their mind. That is exactly the reasons why we have parting instead of bridging. I don’t think it is the babe’s fault. And is it the thinker’s fault? The point is that this situation is the reality we are faced with.
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Whoever cannot think for himself does not need to examine the thoughts presented by any thinker. Verification does not matter. Knowing is not important. Believing is the real thing. And the moment such a person believes in the thinker and surrenders to that ideology it is finished. That is why we may wonder why many a thought very foolish to us is being defended by some others.
TEACHERS DISAGREE
Actually, “scholars disagree” or “critics disagree” is an expression I am familiar with as a graduate of English and Literary Studies. The strength of a discourse is in the fact that the intelligentsia will disagree, perhaps, to agree. To disagree is part of an intellectual exercise. It, however, can generate contempt and hostility, especially if it gets personal rather than intellectual. It is such disagreeing that has made the body of Christ to find it difficult to mould together or to mend the rifts that denominationalism has caused. The mother Church, the Orthodox, the Protestants and Pentecostals and various divisions that emerged from these divisions always have points of divergence that often make us to forget our centre point –our Lord Jesus Christ.
During the camp orientation for the NYSC Batch B stream II in Kusala Dam, Karaye, Kano State, I was a member of the Bible Study unit. And one evening while we had discussion an argument ensued. It was about makeup such as beads, ear rings, and artificial hair and so on. O Blood of Jesus! A larger part was on the rejection side –makeup is bad and sinful. A portion was on the acceptance side –makeup is good and is no crime. A group of teachers now disagrees on a particular thing –makeup. I wanted to mediate but the larger got personal. It was not the rightness of either side that mattered to me. It’s not what should matter to us now. A brother then called us to order; he reminded us that the NCCF is the only Fellowship allowed in the Camp and it must accommodate all willing members from all denominations. The fact that there is something that we couldn’t agree on; the fact that as Christians we were almost divided because we have believed differently on a particular way of living; the fact that each side was ready to defend what it believes and the fact that there’s no way we could make any side agree with another marveled me. We only had to skip that part of discussion. And that was better.
Read Coping with Complexity in the Church Chapter one


SEEKING A PARTY THAT SUITS OUR CHOICE
There are times that we want to do something and we only need a body or platform that allows it. We already have the thought whether it is right or not, we then earnest search for any group that can allow us to freely practice it. After all, morality is more of relativity, depending on a society. Our acts rather than our beliefs or piety is why we join or remain in some organizations or bodies we belong to.
I was at work in my PPA when a group of Muslims lectured me about the Shia Islam that allows contractual marriage. For example, I can be on a journey with a group and we camp somewhere at night and just get married in twos for the night and we’ll consummate such momentary union. I can just get married to someone for two weeks. They told me many things. I don’t know how true though. But they concluded that those ones aren’t part of ‘true’ Islam. Here is the thing –they claimed to know they are the true one. And the Shia, will know their own way as the true one also. However, there are times that people in error know they are in error. But unless a person is convinced of being right and very right there’s no way he or she will agree to kill or be killed for a belief. I do not at this point want us to focus on any rightness but on realities and varieties. One of those Muslims that lectured me later said, “and Mr Sam, it’s everywhere, even in Christianity.” He probably did that to save his side. He needed to make sure I won’t feel we’re better and free of faults. Are we?

“You know it’s there in Christianity too,” he continued. “Some Christians allow drinking. If I want to join Christianity, I’ll like those ones. Some allow you to do whatever you like and … you understand. Is it not so?”  As he asked me, I like to ask you, is it not so? He was right. After all, one of my fellows just declared sometime before that he drinks. “Hope you no dey do girls or smoke or drink …” a female colleague asked. “No, I don’t smoke but I dey high. I drink.” Out of eight Christians among the staff in that school, I was the only one who’s not from that body being referred to. It’s not the right side we need to worry about now but on the problem that the church is facing –deterrent to “coming to the unity of faith.” And we need to identify the origin, the humanity, never divinity of that problems or complexities.

We need to know the different forms in which they occur and how they affect the church as a universal body or as a denomination and as a unit. …
KsooangHopeaceTFW
Eric WordSmith
 

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