Reformers need self reformation

By – Shamim Masih

ISLAMABAD: I along with many others have been desperately looking for someone who could conscientiously lead the Pakistani Christians with conviction, determination and above all love and care. In my most recent article, I mentioned that we are not demanding for an ideal situation but there should be a balance and fair condition. I presented the lack of political visionary leadership among Christian in the country. In this episode I wanted to mention the religious leadership is also responsible to care the community. When religious leadership at any level are accused, discredited, denounce and charged with failure the word “impeach” begins to emerge. If a leader unable to do what he was placed in office to do, he becomes worthless and useless; this is when in my view “public impeachment” should be considered.

It could be wrong, but majority of the priests are self-centered. Reforming and leading the nation is not a game for armatures, it needs solid commitment, professional attitude with accredited degrees from recognized universities or seminaries and ability to represent the masses at all levels. I don’t challenge their calling, but self-esteem is important most of them overestimate themselves. Thus they misguide the masses. I don’t judge them but they think for a while in a good faith; what they are doing is exactly according to the teaching of Christ.    

Let me give you an example, I personally know many of the priests, who have hardly passed their matriculation in third division and some have been graduated from “single room university”. Now when I see writing them Dr. or Professor so and so…. I fail to understand about those degrees and people proudly using these titles. When I Google the eligibility for Ph. D, most of the universities defined the criteria having 1st division throughout and minimum 3.5 GDP in M. Phil…… so how come these matriculate uses Dr. ……. These priests teach wrong theology and practice false doctrine to people. This should be discouraged.

Secondly; see the word of God; Deuteronomy 14: 28 -29

28At the end of three years thou shall bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shall lay it up within thy gates:

29 And the Levite, (because he hath neither part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.

Deuteronomy 26:12

12When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;

Nehemiah 10:39 and 13:5

39For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.

13:5  And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.

And 1- Samuel chapter 8

If we carefully observe; how many of the Pakistani priests observe this teaching. Do they pay tithe to stranger, widow, musicians, or to those who serve at gates, simply no. Instead they keep on asking bring, bring and bring. See Ezekiel chapter 34; the prophecy against shepherd

1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, thus said the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe is to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

It said woe is to the shepherds that do feed themselves…… the same is here in Pakistan. Do our shepherds care for their sheep? How many Christian students are there in missionary schools? How many Christian employers are there in Christian based organizations like Church World Service – CWS in Islamabad?

It’s good to obey the great command as mentioned in Matthew 28:18-20

 18 And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

But one should remember 1- Timothy chapter 3:1-13

 1 This is a true saying, if a man desires the office of a bishop, he desires a good work. …….

And chapter 4: 12 ….. But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Let us be practical, our bishops are involved in land grabbing and our missionaries are found in corrupt practices. In unlikely places in recent months I have heard people talking about the disappointment in their priests. People are worried, fearful and troubled with those who pretend. An appropriate sign might read, “Leaders needed, Dictators need not apply.” Needed leaders are men and women who by example, intelligence and wisdom are willing to forget about their personal gain and seek to lead to a better kind of life. (Continue ….)