Till date, the Dark ages remain one of the most excruciating and embarrassing moments of Church history. It’s like the Bible story in Genesis where Judah slept with his daughter-in-law thinking she was a prostitute. Quite an embarrassing story.
Under the pretense of protecting the original Bible and avoiding misinterpretation, men and women who desired to know more were arrested, imprisoned, and executed together with their Bibles.
Bibles were burned along with their Owners.
‘Owning a Bible in english, or even quoting scripture in english, meant death for countless men and women of God’.
One of the orders from above read, “No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days, so that they may be burned…”– The Church Council of Tarragona 1234 AD
“Tyndale wrote that the Church authorities banned translation into the mother tongue “to keep the world still in darkness, to the intent they might sit through vain superstition and false doctrine, to satisfy their filthy lusts, their proud ambition, and insatiable covetousness, and to exalt their own honor… above God himself.” –William Tyndale’s New Testament. Worms (Germany), 1526
There are cases on record - of people executed by order of church for the “crime” teaching their children the Lord’s Prayer or the Ten Commandments in their own native tongue.”
In Italy, it was still illegal to own a Bible until 1870!
And since the people had no Bibles to check such things for themselves, they were at the mercy of the corrupt religious leaders behind these efforts.
But I dare say, all these people died in vain.
They endured the pain of death with the expectation that ‘The word’ would be translated into several languages and become useful to modern day Christians. But the sad truth is – you and I didn’t really need those Bibles.
They didn’t know we would have pastors, prophets, priest, bishops, archbishops, and other men of God who would easily become our Bibles.
In fact, why read the Bible, when they’re the only people who hear from God, or so we are made to believe.
It has gotten so bad that faith has been replaced with fanaticism and magic for miracles.
Now pastors decide which schools and courses people should do and what color of dresses to wear on certain days of the week , and we all acted surprised when Pastor Lesogo Daniels of Rabboni ministries got his members in Pretoria to eat grass as a sign of getting closer to God, and two years later same pastor asked same grass grazing members to drink petrol which would be turned to pineapple juice in their bodies.
I’m sure you just told yourself, but this is too much. But be honest to yourself, how many times have you ‘eaten grass’ in many forms and shapes by following a supposed direction from your ‘Daddy’ whom you hold in high esteem.
It gets quite obvious when these practices are led and executed by local pastors who don’t speak much english, less educated, not so mega churches and don’t have a lot of power and influence in the council of Churches. Those ones are not always smart so they would go bath people’s wives at the river side, sell some lotions in funny bottles, insult one another openly and come online to show off their 10 cars and houses, make their wives catwalk in church to show how they’re more beautiful than everyone else and later get entangled in petty police issues et al.
Whilst some of these may be gifted, their craft is targeted at a certain cohort of society and quite focused on their niche group.
The other group of very educated, suit wearing, english speaking mega pastors and priest are also focused on middle and upper class of society.
They are the ones who are able to decide who to marry, which country to visit, which chair to sit on in the office, the hall to choose in the University and whether or not God is happy with you.
It is true that God works in mysterious ways, He still reveals Himself to His prophets like days of old and has given some people special varied gifts to fulfil His work and to bring glory to His name, but we have changed the order and are now giving glory to men. Hero worshipping them to a point they feel they’re some sort of supernatural beings.
We are the problem!
We have approbated ‘men of God’ to special unthinkable powers and sometimes forget they’re men and are as fallible like any of us. Everything is about Papa or Daddy and whatever he says is final – even if God has said otherwise.
We literally worship the so-called men of God instead of the God of men and have succeeded in making a fetish out of them and made think they’re some form of gods and should have a final say in our lives and destinies.
Please note: Your Pastor is not God
They don’t have a special pass to Heaven. All of us will appear before God to give account of our lives; whether good or bad.
Whatever he says, no matter the foreign language that precedes what he says can never be the final word unless is in tandem with the word of God.
Please note: Your Pastor has no authority over God’s blessings on your life
If God wants to bless you, He sure doesn’t need your pastor’s approval. It’s good to trust God with your substance and put Him to test but you can never buy your 24 hour or 1-week miracle from God by paying 24 dollars and 700 dollars respectively, to a man. How would the widow with 2 mites have survived our current prosperity message?
In renouncing the prosperity gospel, Pastor Benny Hinn who is arguably the biggest proponent of this style said “I am correcting my own theology and you need to all know it, the blessings of God are not for sale. And miracles are not for sale. And prosperity is not for sale.”
Hinn said he now believes such give-to-get theology is offensive to God. He specifically repudiated the practice of asking for “seed money”.
Please note: Your Pastor is a man
Ravi Zakarias had always been one of my all-time best contemporary preachers until his death in May last year. And the investigative report commissioned by his own team at RZIM post his death, after receiving a plethora of allegations, is one of the most damning of a Christian leader in modern history.
My point is, your pastor, you and I are all poor struggling Christians badly in need of a Saviour.
Your loyalty should be to God not to any man, no matter his status in the body of Christ or what name or label he chooses to call you.
Please note: Church is not about your feeling, get serious
Be like the Berean church in Acts 17 and search the scriptures, it was the reason why the fathers were burnt.
For us to feel comfortable, the look and feel of church auditoriums are now laced with special dark and neon effects akin to a disco house, just so you and I can feel ‘at home’. No serious introspection, just praying in unknown language, shouting, and dancing. Let’s get serious!! Otherwise our pastors would forever be our gods.
As one writer puts it, ‘there is danger of trusting in men, even though they may have been used as instruments of God to do a great and good work. Christ must be our strength and our refuge. The best of men may fall from their steadfastness, and the best of religion, when corrupted, is ever the most dangerous in its influence upon minds. Pure, living religion is found in obedience to every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’ – Faith & Works, 89.
We may not be eating grass or drinking petrol now but if we don’t change the direction of where we are going and stop moving like ordered soldiers in a cantonment, we’ll surely end up at where we are going and alas, it would make sense to burn all the Bibles again.
Source: Samuel Asare
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