Monday, 5 September 2011

The Negotiators and Consultants in the Church.

Sphere: Related Content According to the Webster Dictionary, a negotiator is one who confers with another so as to arrive at the settlement of some matter. He is someone who specializes in mediating agreements between two or more parties.

From the definition above, the negotiator is partly a peacemaker and a conciliator. He reaches an agreement that is mutually agreeable and satisfactory to both parties involved in the feud. For a good negotiator, his purpose is peace in the long term.

However, in the church, we have seen another set of negotiators. They pose as the intermediary between God and church members. They act as lords who are the link between God and the people. They cannot be offended because offending them means that God will no longer be happy with you or hear your prayers. They negotiate favor, prosperity, promotions and blessings for the church members and those who pay them homage and believe in them as God's mouth-piece. They expect members to consult them before they travel, marry, engage on business trips etc. They sit in their offices as consultants and expect members to come and tell them their problems so that they can connect to God and bring answers back to them. Oftentimes when they are done with the negotiation, they make the person feel obliged to share the benefits they obtained as a way to appreciate them for the services rendered.

The different between the dictionary definition of a negotiator and this kind of negotiation is the fact that the interest of God, who is supposedly the other party in these negotiations are not considered. The goal is not making peace or reconciling man back to God. The whole focus is on how to get what we want out of God and make the Christian happy and comfortable with all the good things of life. Whatever God is saying in His Word is immaterial.

These consultants do not visit church members because that will be bringing themselves down. They do not jeopardize their honor, respect and pride for anything. They cannot bring themselves down by relating to the poor church members with honor and dignity. Their class is a special one and those who are not 'consulting' with them are labelled as rebels and fought against. They do not have interest in developing the spiritual life of members nor do they encourage members to have personal relationship with God because this may affect their position as the 'negotiators and consultants'. Everything goes well when every member is a zombie and does not ask questions.

I do not think that this is the kind of ministry the Lord Jesus calls us into. As God's ministers and bond-slaves to the Lord Jesus Christ, we are to humble ourselves, lead the sheep under our care towards Him with sacrifice and commitment. When the Lord will appear,He will reward us as His faithful servants. May God bless you!
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