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Division of Labor-Part 3 of 4

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  • E. S. John, Australia
    Spiritual Commitment and Family Life The family life is more important than serving the flock because an ideal family life of clergy itself is a witness of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2008
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      Spiritual Commitment and Family Life
      The family life is more important than serving the flock because an
      ideal family life of clergy itself is a witness of the Lord. "If
      anyone aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task. Now
      a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate,
      sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, no drunkard, not
      violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. He must
      manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and
      respectful in everyway, for if a man does not know how to manage his
      own household, how can he care for God's church?, 1.Tim.3: 1-7. "Just
      as a city set on a hill, let your light so shine before men, that
      they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in
      heaven", Mt.5: 16.
      This is the case of a presbyter too. "If any man is blameless, the
      husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to
      the charge of being profligate or insubordinate. "For a bishop, as
      God's steward, must be blameless…, Titus.1: 5-9. A priest who earns
      disrepute due to his dysfunctional family life and transactions bring
      shame to the Lord and the flock; hence he has to find more time to be
      with his wife and children for earning good credentials and
      credibility for the family that also is a part and parcel of his
      divine mission. A sacramental spiritual life, together with an ideal
      family and social life for a cleric, including the believers, invites
      a full-time spiritual exercise that includes meditation, preparations
      for preaching and counseling. He is responsible for carving out
      salvation for the flock, as well as to his dependants and for himself
      and also looking after the spiritual well being of his dear ones. A
      true cleric is crucified with Christ.
      Parish Administration
      Wherever the humans congregate, it will be solitude for the dark
      powers for their mission work that brings a multitude of problems,
      which manufacture sins on a mass scale, particularly in the religious
      venues, where the Creator is meant to be worshipped with purity of
      heart, full vigour and enthusiasm. Just as what Jesus and His
      apostles had done, there must be a clear-cut distinctive gulf between
      theocracy and plutocracy that distinguish between the temporal and
      spiritual fields. As the flesh is weak, the Vicar shouldn't be
      allowed to handle the administrative and financial matters at the
      same time because his divine work field is unending and unseen. Leave
      the issue of financial affairs to the Parish MC that collect and
      spend money, for which the full authority should rest upon the MC to
      run the parish. The Vicar is there to perform and run all the
      sacramental rites and duties involved in the spiritual arena. The
      Parish Managing Committee, therefore, should have a laity president
      to run the Parish, with a restrictive liaison involvement with the
      clergy at certain point of time where there is a complaint from the
      members or MC members. It simply means that the MC is the overall
      overseer of the parish financial and administrative venues. A Vicar
      in such a predicament will try to become a centre of attraction to
      the parish and the community by his high spiritual and moral life.
      Whatever way the Vicar tries to exemplify as a real shepherd, there
      could be opportunities for conflicts of interests and personal
      gratification to play with money and power games. If Judas could be
      dragged out of the inner circle of Jesus due to money and power
      gimmicks, who else will have the immunity to refrain from the worldly
      magnetism of power, money and sex? How many world evangelical empires
      have crumbled down to dust on accounts of their profligate dealings?
      Despite there is election for the MC and organizational positions,
      the despotic tendency of the Vicar at the present set-up, comes to
      prominence, on accounts of personal interests and selfishness because
      he will be there for only a limited period of three years. His eye
      usually is mainly how to run in a cheap popular way and survive there
      for that short period of time without emitting much smoke and fumes.
      Only few members of the MC will have certain goals and vision of the
      future of the parish that can cater spiritually and beneficially to
      the members on a long time basis.

      What usually happens is that the Vicar tries to get the support of a
      group, usually the youth and women, that doesn't have much experience
      and prognosis of spiritual maturity, so that he gains victory over
      the dissident members to the periphery and make a good harvest of
      implanting himself safely and solidly. Few senior laity members who
      are vying for power also get hold of coming to the front by shedding
      crocodile tears for the youth and women, a copycat culture of the
      secular typhoon, that is insinuated for charity work and bringing the
      parish modus-operandi into a pattern of club and cultural life. Money
      has converted today's human beings as a mad and paranoid species due
      to the club life that instills the passions of the flesh to be
      dominated over the inner instincts; otherwise what is the reason for
      the misuse of alcohol, hard drugs and ecstasy tablets. Today's
      churches and religions tend to serve for mainly the body of man, not
      for souls. Fanaticism and religious extremisms are the escape routes
      of inner profligacy that whet the body for any animal masquerades. No
      hesitation of bringing the parish as a nerve centre of a pagan and
      street culture because of the lust for power that rules the day. In
      this deluxe high-tech life, the exoteric that suffocates the esoteric
      takes prominence in every walk of life.

      -E. S. John, Australia
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