So many things are happening in the Church all across the world today that are shocking, to put it mildly. I am not particularly surprised that we keep hearing of one bizarre occurrence after another involving Pastors and other church leaders. I have attempted to address some of these issues and their causes in some of my articles. I will like to add at this point that this is just the beginning. Just as the systems of this world are fallen apart, so also is the church going to experience the shaking of God, and inaccurate teachings and practices would be exposed in the process.
Hebrews 12:26-29 says:
“When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.”
What is currently being shaken is the religious structure of Christianity that is evident all across the world, which has held the people of God bound, while the true Church is being built. I will continue to say this that Jesus Christ is building His Church in spite of all these disheartening events. In particular, the remnants who have embraced the Reformation of the Church that started in the late 1990s are moving advancing and emerging as a company that would fulfil God’s end time agenda and bring this age to a close.
What we hear and read all over the place about the conducts of believers, particularly leaders in the church are heartrending. If it’s not financial impropriety, it’s adultery, and in some instances, manipulation of the sheepfold to do many unthinkable things, which in other word is witchcraft. In the series: DANGER OF LAGGING BEHIND GOD’S AGENDA, I explained why these things would continue. And this is not about placing unrealistic expectations on anyone. In our journey to the finish, we will continue to fall short of His standards every now and then. But when we refuse to address those issues properly, they fester, and in time blow open. Someone put it succinctly that “When you give the devil a foothold, he turns it into a stronghold”.
The crux of this article is actually on one of the many practices Christians engage in that are clearly a misapplication of the Scripture, which usually come with grave consequences to the individuals. These consequences may not even be evident in the immediate, they always manifest somehow. Some of these practices have simply become strategies for manipulating the people. One of such practices that would be considered today is FEET WASHING. Eating of grass and drinking of fuel that hit the media recently in one of the Pentecostal local churches in South Africa are too ridiculous to be subjected to Scriptural analysis.
Those who have had their feet washed by their Pastors will be able to relate with this. I have had my feet washed once or twice myself in one of Nigeria’s mega local assemblies as a young believer. The practice is a literal washing of the feet of members by the Pastors and Bishops themselves, and in some cases assisted by their assistants. There are different motivations for this practice. I will only share the one I have experienced. If you have others kind drop your comments and share your thoughts.
This practice is the literal application of John 13:2-17, when Jesus Christ washed the disciples’ feet to teach them service-centred leadership. Let’s take a closer look at that passage:
“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:12-17 (NIV)
I added the emphases to draw your attention to those terms used by Jesus. He was telling them if their Lord and Teacher could descend that low to serve them, then they should also serve one another. It is important to note at this point that back in those days, the people walked around on their feet a lot. The means of land transportation was the use of animals, such as donkeys, camels and horses, for those who could afford them. Therefore, one of the ways to receive and entertain guests was to provide water for them to wash their feet. This does not only cleanse, it also relaxes the muscles. I know some of us must have experienced this. That was why Jesus Christ pointed it out to Simon, one of the Pharisees He visited that he did not offer Him water to wash His feet – Luke 7:44 as his guest.
To further buttress the emphasis on service-centred leadership, in another instance, Jesus Christ told them:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matt 20:25-28 (NKJV).
To be continued.
Mr. Adetiba, a graduate student at the University of Stellenbosch, in South Africa, is a staff of Premium Times. Please give him feedback via email@example.com and on twitter: @fredor4c