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Leadership, and the challenges of our time

Thought Leaders Series: 2018

Seldom do we see leaders stepping up at a time of adversity as we see with the Elders at a time that can be best described as their worst crisis.

Amidst the destruction of the Temple (the place they met with Yahweh), destruction of their institutions; power vacuum leading to political and social instability; the Elders were able to come up with ideas that will not only sustain them through Exile, but also preserve them as a nation.

On reflection on their trajectory, and with exposure to ideas in Babylon they came up with the philosophy of monotheism, and the idea that God does not need a visual representation (idols), but, is in fact a spirit. And that he works through them as co-creators or stewards in the continuation of his purpose on earth.

Interestingly we also see the early developments of other ideas that will later form the basis of Christian doctrine. These include: the idea of a contrary force (Satan or the devil), although we are not privy to the source of this entity or being; the concept of resurrection of the dead and judgement in the afterlife; a messiah (one that will lead the people of Israel against their enemies); and in the absence of The Temple, fasting and prayers as means of atonement and connecting to Yahweh, and as a means of resisting Satan.

These Elders were wise. They saw that the tides were shifting, and that what was held as ‘truth’ in time past were no longer so. Rather than forcing these old ideas on the masses, they reimagined, reengineered, re-envisioned, and reinvented their faith not only to address present challenges, but also future challenges. In simple terms, instead of going backwards, they chose the more difficult option of moving forward.

In the words of Nehru:

Crises and deadlocks when they occur have at least this advantage, that they force us to think.” – Jawaharlal Nehru (first Prime Minister of India)

Consequently the present crisis we face in our world should force us to think. These challenges can act as a catalyst to move us, but there are only two polar opposite directions: forward or backward.

The choice for us as leaders is binary.

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

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Thought Leaders Series: 2017

Old Habits Die Hard.

The word anti-intellectualism is nowadays synonymous to Christianity, especially Evangelicals and Pentecostals.

By way of background an anti-intellectual is simply a person who believes that intellect and reason are less important than actions and emotions in solving practical problems and understanding reality.

Anti intellectualism is alien to Judeo-Christian culture or history. In fact as well as others the term ‘Teacher’ was one of Jesus’ titles. Judges, Kings, Priests, Rabbis, Prophets, the disciples, and even Paul were all seasoned intellectuals. We can still see this today in the priority the Jews give to academia, and the position they hold in most professions in leading economies.

Anti intellectualism crept into Christianity by stealth. As churches became elitist, break away faction (who were mostly from the poor and underclass) started reorienting towards the idea of “being led by the spirit”. These poor uneducated well meaning leaders were solely dependent on “signs and wonders” as they lacked basic education, not to mention theological training. Doctrines, exegesis, and interpretation became skewed; and those who dare question them were ostracised from their congregations.

One of these breakaway factions is the Pentecostal movement, which came out of the Methodist movement. As this group attracted the poor and underclass, they found affinity with the oppressed, especially those within Black communities in the West and developing World – owing to their common struggle.

Much later some within the movement saw the need for theological education and training, but by this time habits had been formed which made their way into the curriculum as doctrines. Besides, most people within the movement did not see the need for training or education as all they needed was prayer, fasting and “signs and wonders” to vindicate their activities.

For those who have “eyes to see”, when we fast forward to the 21st century we see the damaging effect of poor theological understanding, epitomised in anti intellectualism. As a result, ignorance and mediocrity prevails.

Jesus challenged Nicodemus,

“Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? – (John 3:10)

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

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Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Miracles were not unique to Jesus. In fact, there were mystics before his time, in his time, after his time, drawn from other cultures, and faith.

However, a number of lessons stand out with Jesus. For instance, miracles were acts of love and compassion. He freely offered them. He was not after gains or fame. In the synoptic gospel, he refused to demonstrate any ‘signs’ when his opponents made demands. By the way, their position was based on the signs Moses performed before the elders of Israel and Pharaoh to vindicate his Calling by Yahweh to lead his people out of Egypt.

He also warned his disciples to follow his model on many occasions, for example: ‘freely receive, freely give’. Not to ask for money or favour, but as an extension of The Father’s love and compassion, knowing that “God is not unjust to forget our labour of love”.

To this end, I will be exploring the subject of Miracles from the accounts of the Evangelists (the gospel writers), with a view to recapture it’s essence.

Join us this for Jesus’ Miracles within the series: God was in Christ.

3pm – 4:30pm

The Parish Hall

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road,

Sidcup,

Kent DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk