ROOT OF CHURCH DISUNITY
“Inflated egos are symptomatic of a lack of personal holiness. It is even more debilitating to a church when they are found in its leadership. That is the root of disunity and division in the church.”
ONE OF THE OFT-HEARD DESIRES of many Methodists is that of revival in our church. I have heard of wonderful stories of personal renewal experiences of many. However, expecting a John Sung-type of a movement is something still to come. Why, you may wonder. After pondering and observing our churches for more than almost three decades, I can hazard a simple theory: big egos have been the great stumbling block.
Inflated egos are symptomatic of a lack of personal holiness. It is even more debilitating to a church when they are found in its leadership. That is the root of disunity and division in the church. Imagine a revival taking place in such a setting, and there will be persons rushing to claim credit for it! Humanly speaking, we ask ourselves: how can revival ever come in that kind of situation?
The truth is that even in that setting revival can come. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray … then I will hear from heaven and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Revival is not solely dependent on the leaders in church, especially when they are embroiled in petty carnality. We may have such persons from time to time. However, revival can also come when God’s people humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways. It would hasten the process, I believe, if they are led by those chosen to lead. But if somehow the leaders have their eyes off the ball and are navel-gazing, the people themselves can, in a movement inspired by the Holy Spirit, turn things around. It may take a bit longer, because the movement will have to surface defacto leaders for themselves. Think of revival as the wave of a tide: as it increases in strength and keeps hitting against a wall it will eventually cause it to collapse.
It is also true that revivals have also been observed to fizzle out when the leaders overstep their authority and stumble. Egos not only are stumbling blocks to revival, they also eat away at the heart of revivals, eroding its force.
I take comfort in the saying of Jesus: “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Ever since the first Pentecost, He has used revivals as one of the ways to wake up the church, clean her up, in order to present her as His bride, without spot or wrinkle, holy and unblemished. (Ephesians 5:27).
The Rev Dr Wee Boon Hup is the President of Trinity Annual Conference.
Touching lives with love and kindness
A MAN VISITED TIFFANY’S JEWELLERY STORE in New York City.
He was shown a magnificent diamond with its gleaming yellow light and many other splendid stones. But he observed one stone that was perfectly lustreless and said, “That has no beauty about it at all.”
The friend who was with him put the stone in the hollow of his hand and held it there for a few minutes. When he opened it, the man said, “What a surprise! There is not a place on it the size of a pinhead that does not gleam with the splendor of the rainbow. What did you do with it?”
His friend answered, “This is an opal. It is what we call the sympathetic jewel. It only needs contact with the human hand to bring out its wonderful beauty.”
How many lives there are that need only the warm touch of human sympathy to make them gleam with opalescent splendour.
Aquilla and Priscilla ran into Apollos, who needed to know the way of the Lord more perfectly. With love and kindness they touched him with the truth, and Apollos became a brilliant apologist for Christianity.
Saul of Tarsus was a much-feared persecutor of the church, but a friend named Barnabas (son of encouragement), stood at his side and defended him to the other Christians. As you know, Saul the persecutor became the apostle Paul, touched by a messenger Ananias and an encourager Barnabas.
A confused eunuch rode along, not understanding what he was reading. What a blessing that the Spirit urged Philip to join the eunuch’s chariot and to preach the Gospel of Jesus to him. The confused man found answers and went on his way rejoicing.
The hopeless jailer, fearing the worst from the earthquake, thought of taking his own life. But two beaten and imprisoned men, who knew the grace of God, cried out, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here!” They kept him from taking his life by giving him the Lord
Jesus Christ. That very hour, the man who had no hope, found great joy in Jesus.
Do you know a downcast soul you may touch? The warmth of your love coupled with the truth of the Gospel can turn a dull soul into one of the lights of the world, like a city set on a hill. – KneEmail.
Phil Sanders contributes to KneEmail, a Christian resource organisation.