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  • john_aliceau
    Dear Moderators, Kindly post this message. with prayers and regards E.S John, Australia Separation of Spiritual and Temporal By E.S. John, Australia The bridge
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2008
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      Dear Moderators,
      Kindly post this message. with prayers and regards

      E.S John, Australia

      Separation of Spiritual and Temporal
      By E.S. John, Australia

      The bridge between the seen and unseen is a microscopic thread that
      launches one, however, to indescribable and unimaginable lands of
      multi-stellar distant lands of differences; the one is the land of
      the Living and the other the gloomy regions of silence that creates
      violent cries and furies of hopelessness. That which is a blessing
      eternal is unending and unconquerable by simple terrestrial means.
      The present transitory plane of existence is a bonus given to us for
      working our own destiny, whether to be transported to the lands of
      gardens, Paradise, or the dark dungeons where democracy is an
      outdated fashion that has no rights or permission to complain in the
      darkest region of the unknown. Our secular Governments give us
      choices, whereas the subterranean dark continents don't entertain any
      memorandums; the ombudsman there is Beelzebub who is even craving to
      rule the celestial land of the Creator by destroying God's
      handicrafts. This is the time and place that give us the choice of
      selecting who our lord should be after we exit from this plane. This
      choosing place of our destiny is a blessing given by the Most Holy
      One.

      Understanding that there is lately a move to bifurcate between the
      spiritual and temporal administrative affairs of the Parish and the
      Church, I would like to shed some of my thoughts on this topic that I
      am familiar with for years, at least in a microscopic form. Jesus,
      our role model and His apostles have shown us a clear-cut policy of
      how one has to deal with what is due to God and what is due to
      Caesar. Despite the Son of Man was a pauper, not having any money,
      wealth or a place to hide His head, He set apart a portion of what He
      received from His faithful followers for the sake of helping the
      destitute and the downtrodden ones. The omniscient Saviour knew well
      in advance the way how His financial manager Judas had been
      manipulating the charity fund. In spite of having crystal knowledge
      of his derailed mind, Jesus, instead of changing his portfolio,
      warned him that he was pursuing a policy that befits him to be
      identified with the powers of darkness. "Did I not choose you, the
      twelve, and one of you is a devil? Jn.6: 70; 12: 5-6; 13: 18; Mt.26:
      24-25. Despite all such grievous and heart-breaking warnings, he
      weaved his own destiny to receive the blood money of 30 silver coins
      that pushed him to his destiny, in spite Jesus had spelled out the
      true nature of his mission in His Sermon on the Mount, Mt.6: 19-24.
      Few of them are explained clearly below for our perception.
      Wealth
      "Do not lay up yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
      consume and where thieves breaks in and steal,….For where your
      treasure is, there your heart be also. The eye is the lamp of the
      body…but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of
      darkness…If the light in you is darkness, how great is the
      darkness….No one can serve two masters;…you cannot serve God and
      Mammon". The dichotomy meaning of `eye' is very significant here. The
      external eye that has a focus of wealth and money certainly can
      darken the inner eye of the heart that emit light to every cell of
      our body, the light which washes our body from darkness. This light
      of the inner eye is the sparkle from the Holy Spirit who indwells in
      us. When our dark inner eye that disseminates darkness all over our
      body, we come to a state of not able to serve the Lord of the Light
      of Life, but only the Lord of Darkness. Money and wealth that can
      plunge us into the darkness weaves our share in the land of silence,
      where gnashing of teeth and biting of worm is the legacy that we
      benefit out of our glamorous earthly life. "Take heed, and beware of
      all covetousness; for a man's life does not consist in the abundance
      of his possessions, Lk.12: 15.
      The Builders of the Church
      Knowing such Heavenly message, the apostles also followed a similar
      lifestyle of penury and frugality after quitting from their skilled
      fishing work. St.Paul earned his livelihood by carpentry work, while
      working hard in his Master's vineyard. "If we have food and clothing,
      with these we shall be content….For the love of money is the root of
      all evils; it is through these craving that some have wandered away
      from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs", 1.Tim.6: 7-
      10. St.Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I
      have…", Acts.3: 6. They translated such code of ethics in their
      actions, not only in their preaching. Not only that they forgo all
      their worldly wealth, family and lifestyle, they became the fishers
      of men by laying down their precious body and spirit that no living
      animal would like to part away with. They crossed the boundaries of
      earth for the evangelization of the gospel truth by spilling their
      lifeblood as a pawn to animals and bigots. Those who celebrate their
      birthdays and wedding anniversaries with pomp and decoration and
      leading a high-tech deluxe life should remember that those pioneers
      of faith had nothing in this world except Jesus as their Lord and
      Saviour. This has been the lifestyle of hermits and ascetics who shed
      their blood during the first three centuries of persecutions by the
      imperial Roman rulers and other rulers of other lands where the
      disciples devoted their life time for the Messiah, the root cause for
      them to break down the fortress of gloom. If our clergy claims that
      they are the heirs of the apostles; they also ought to have followed
      a narrow track that is full of trenches, puddles and wild animals.
      Apostles' modus- operandi
      "And the 12 summoned the body of the disciples and said," It is not
      right we should give up preaching the word of God to serve
      tables....Pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of
      the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we
      will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word…",
      Acts.6: 1-6. The apostles selected 7 men exclusively for their daily
      distributions of food and service. There is a difference between
      serving at Lord's Table, Altar, and serving at the tables; many
      people have conceived a wrong notion that giving to charity work is
      as equivalent to serve the Lord in parish works, despite both are
      aligned to be together because there is no faith without charity
      works, but there can have almsgiving without faith for an everyday
      person.
      Serving at the Altar is a Holy Spirit's special clerical call that
      entirely requires full dedication and devotion. There is not much
      room for them to get muddled up with administrative and other works
      of paraphernalia that includes financial and other social dealings.
      Clergy's mission is to serve food for the souls, for which they need
      their full time in a sort of monastic way of life; frugality,
      detachment and denunciation is the language of that life culture
      because their field is an ocean that has no bounds and limits.
      Religious ministry, which embraces both spiritual and physical
      service, should be the only mission for the clergy that mainly
      administers the food for the spiritually hungry, not administration
      and financial dealings that breeds cronyism and animosity. St.Paul
      even didn't baptize many into the church, so also Jesus.
      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.
      Deficiencies of today's religious ministers
      Right carpenters for seasoned woodworks. Before the dawn of modern
      academic theology, the devotees used to sit at the feet of Malpans or
      Gurus for acquiring knowledge and wisdom that equip them for a higher
      spiritual attainment. Such monastic discipline that caters a frugal
      and denunciation life used to regulate their whole life with high
      potency of spiritual enlightenment. Materialism and modern education
      swallowed everything that was there once conducive for our spiritual
      nourishment. One who is only lisping into the young adulthood and
      inducted into a theological course has not enough insight in sifting
      between the ideal and pedestrian; implanting the seeds of a hybrid
      theology that germinate and bloom into his heart flower tend to make
      him an ordinary religious stereotype.
      As a young minister has no knowledge and experience of today's
      financial and market economy, high-tech miracles and its fall outs
      and backlashes and secular apathy for religiosity, his style of
      running the parish can fragment it into different layers of activists
      and propagandists. Once when his survival is threatened, he is likely
      to adopt a policy that appeases the inexperienced and misguided
      because his deficient spiritual literacy and numeracy and its
      applications in all fields of life leave him as a rudderless minister
      who fails miserably as a caterer of inner food. The real threat that
      befalls on apostolic faith in such occasion is apathy and aversion,
      bringing in all materialistic, pagan and street culture into the body
      of Christ. High pompous celebrations and decorations are the outward
      sign of inward moral and religious turpitude. Autocracy and cronyism,
      the artificial yardsticks, only can be the saver of such a regime.
      Even God finds it difficult to control a sophisticated and
      stereotyped laity that is in sixes and sevens due to materialistic
      acrobatics. Serving food on all celebrations as `nercha', oblation,
      is the symptom for attaining salvation. Emotional spirituality that
      substitutes the devotional one is the only menu that the modern
      clergy can offer to the chronic spiritual deficiencies of the flock.
      Reading and writing
      The higher inner ability that comes by the synchronization of body
      and spirit of man by rigorous training within the age of forty years,
      according to the theory of Plato's philosopher king, is a rare
      commodity of today because artificial ripening before the fruit is
      allowed to maturity will be a thing that is not useful to society.
      Wisdom is a product of maturity and age. Practical wisdom comes by
      being with natural laws and keen observation, whereas piety and
      religious thirst is an outcome of meditation, denunciation and
      reading and writing, despite it is usually an inborn impulse.
      Parumala kochu thirumeni, Puthenkavil kochu Thirumeni, Kuriakose
      Sahada and many others belong to this species because every universal
      rule has exception too. Reading is a communication with other souls
      who are alive and beyond the veil of the grave. To be conversant with
      the autobiography and biography of Church Fathers and their writings,
      not the animated mass media inculcation and cheap magazines that
      thrill the senses, will have an impact upon the life in the early
      chapters of one's life.
      The present theological students are the products of either religious
      extremisms and banal writings of crossbreed theological hyperboles of
      pagan nature. Theology has become a science now, not a medium of
      spiritual high rises any more. As our modern clerics don't get a
      chance to be in communion with any of these qualitative mental and
      social or secular qualifications of higher values, due to their
      induction into the control of the flock at an early stage in life,
      they are likely to be drifted away to any direction to any wind that
      anchor their small canoe to any bank, adding more head weight which
      harness the community that they are leading. This is only an
      observation that should help the hierarchy for taking a U turn and
      examine our strengths and weaknesses, not for shooting at the
      messenger who is only a fragile mechanism of flesh and blood.
      Classical studies and literatures are inevitable recipes for our
      spiritual and inner development because most of what we have produced
      under the glimmer of electric light and heat has proven to be is of
      mundane and materialistic. We have choked our souls for over feeding
      our bodies that find its anchorage in ephemeral and banal impulses.
      Exoteric versus esoteric
      That which is terrestrial is always against celestial. In order to
      compensate the celestial, people nowadays switch to fake and fancy
      spiritual dynamites. Every Perunal festivity now a days is in the
      model of opening and closing ceremony of the Olympics games, the
      outward show that kills the essence of spirituality. Electrical
      decorations that carve out the saints' and Jesus' image upon the
      church, graveyard and other buildings are the signs of a showcase
      spirituality. Our religious ministers who like to harvest fame and
      money blindly support the groups that make use of such simulations
      for their glamour and glory. Choir group, the match-making place, is
      an unwanted appendage that performs orchestra for enhancing their own
      magnetic personality. Candles or censors, portraits and icons that
      are only symbolic expressions have become excesses of our
      paraphernalia which have been substituted for our repenting tears. We
      don't have the glow of our inner eyes to realize that self-worship,
      such as birthday and wedding day prayers and celebrations and
      heretical fasting and festivals, is suicidal. The cosmetic
      theological veterans who indoctrinate their teenage students with
      fanaticism of materialistic nature take the budding generations as
      their toys that dance to their tune and remote-controlling. Though
      the war against the exoteric against esoteric has been there from the
      very beginning, the electricity age that killed the inner eye and its
      light has driven out the grieving Spirit from us, leading the way for
      the infernal forces to do gymnastics of their darkness in our system
      that infect all sort of maladies and lethal diseases.
      Sound Systems
      The serene and tranquil countryside is polluted with thunderous sound
      of electrical sound system that neither allow one to sleep during
      day or night nor think profusely for the cleansing of the inner sound
      system that run man who is formed from cosmic and coherent sound. We
      were not allowed to film or record our worship, but now it has become
      an industry even for the clerics to sell the liturgy in tapes and
      CDs, thereby annihilating the sanctity of our worship that once used
      to soothe and wash our body systems and natural environments of rural
      lifestyles. Sound pollution is a disastrous phenomenon that can
      pervert and distort our whole being because the Word, sound, became
      man. "Silence is the best speaker". Even if the influence of pop
      culture and secular stereotypes are a threat to the main stream
      churches and becoming a carbon copy of the charismatic avalanche is
      not the remedy to stop the flow of believers into other pop churches
      and cults. Mixing the heterogeneous with homogeneous and making an
      impure amalgam is not an ideal set-up in any religious venues. The
      carnivorous anarchy in the main stream churches is a sound harvest
      for the charismatic denominations, the place of sound and fury
      signifying nothing. The basic element of man is sound and colour;
      sound and pollution is suicidal.
      The clergy that don't have a clue of the esoteric knowledge
      misinterpret the word of God and thrive by the net profit of it in an
      irreligious way. This is how the blind lead the blind. Both inside
      and outside of man is important here and hereafter. Allow the clergy
      to undergo rigorous training up to the age of 40, or at least 35
      under the Gurus of the first order, and then throw them into the
      vineyard of clerical works. As the trend is in an adverse direction,
      the late move to separate between the work of the clergy and the
      laity, spiritual and temporal, in each parish and church as a whole
      is a healthy change; despite there could be problems in any sphere
      due to animal magnetism, particularly when the social and moral
      anarchy rule in this doomsday culture.
      When there are disputes in the MC presided by the laity, there must
      be enough room for the Vicar to negotiate in ameliorating the
      situation in an amicable manner. Such a system will only give enough
      chance for the clergy to devote more time in his spiritual exercises.
      Meddling with parish administration and money and political
      spirituality is a volatile and firebrand cocktail that can overturn
      the real life into a carnival of pandemonium. Don't think that I am
      accusing the clergy or laity; as we don't have time to brood over to
      the inner instincts, when the adults in the family are all working
      for daily livelihood, the ultimate casualty come to our spiritual
      life that affects us and everyone around us.
      If the so-called role model swerves out of the way, the flock or the
      followers also either accuse or pursue the supposed lodestar who
      finds no time in coping with the pressures of daily life and
      spiritual crises, which devalue the institution that finds difficulty
      in catering the sumptuous spiritual food. Physicians, first heal
      thyself. The laity that tries to influence the clergy for spiritual
      holocaust also is equally responsible for the moral turpitude that
      affects one and all in that parish or community. We know that time is
      money in this sophisticated, organized chaos that certainly affect
      our religious vigour; it is seemingly better to demarcate between the
      temporal and spiritual because both serve as the head and tail of our
      ephemeral earthly life. "You are not your own; you were bought with a
      price. So glorify God in your body, 1.Cor.6: 19-20.
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