Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written” (John 19:19-22 NIV).
Pilate was not an authority in the Jewish religion. But he insisted on writing a provocative statement, incensing Jewish authorities. Those protesting were not ordinary men, but Chief Priests, assuming to protect the values of the Jewish religion. Pilate even demanded that the sign be written in three major languages, for everyone not be mistaken for the Man being crucified.
“For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength” (1 Corinthians 1:21-25 NIV).
This blog does not produce what is acceptable to Christian authorities. I suppose it is assumed to be authored by a Christian renegade. Like the Chief Priests, embarrassed by Pilate’s inscription, Christian leaders may feel embarrassed, being challenged by an uneducated fellow. Like the Chief Priests, they behave without knowing what they would be doing.
Authority is glamorous but very deceptive. Scriptures like Matthew 18:1-6 are highly inflammatory to authoritarians, supposing Jesus was out of His mind when teaching those words. Paul surmised that such things were deliberately designed to confound the wise. “God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” When rejected by authoritarians, one feels discouraged. Yet being rejected should make one feel encouraged.
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord’”(1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NIV).
One wishes authoritarians could come out of their slumber and see God’s power, interpreted as weakness. However, just as it was impossible for the Chief Priest, it is impossible for authoritarians to see the truth. It takes God’s miracle to open their eyes. Otherwise, they ridicule; rather than take cognizance of God’s truth.
The one who knows; knows that he knows; but how does he convince those invalidating him? Paul revealed God as one who calls so that the messenger does not have to feel guilty when denounced. No one can show anyone, the exciting revelations, unless God opens that person’s eyes, as Jesus stated:
Jesus said, “For judgment, I have come into this world so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains”(John 9:39-41 NIV).
All problems of humanity need addressing through a spiritual perspective. The deception of humanity is physically induced. Those protesting against Jesus’ inference that they were blind were physically convinced, of not being blind. They could not perceive their Spiritual blindness.
They were completely oblivious to spiritual blindness, through the avenues of pride. Short of God’s miracle, it is impossible for theologians, to ever appreciate what comes from uneducated people.
What is even more amazing is that some of those uneducated people, actively defending authoritarians, are willing to commit murder on their behalf. They presume God would be pleased with their actions, defending those authoritarians. They project this without Scriptural support but being an aberration, condemning such people.
Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded(John 18:19-22 NIV).
Protocol demands respecting high-ranking officials. There was nothing unusual about the official who struck Jesus in the face, but being terribly wrong. The accused man represented the Creator of the universe. In that official’s mind, the high priest represented God. The man was angry, on behalf of the high priest.
Those observing that spectacle may have approved of that conduct. God can use anyone, to perform greater miracles, but invalidated, as long as not coming from recognized authorities. Jesus was despised; not because He did not have knowledge. Even His detractors were aware of His superior knowledge, but invalidated that knowledge, as not coming from authority.
In the Information Technology industry, great geniuses remain unrecognized by scholars, although having produced workable discoveries. In some instances, such achievers are awarded Honorary Degrees, rather than being professionally authenticated. The citadel of education is authoritarian. While Jesus specifically instructed behaving differently, Christians, comfortably, practice the same ideology.
“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (John 5:39-44 NIV).
Regardless of background, there is no need to assume being limited, when baptized. A baptized person is no longer that person, but God living in him (Galatians 2:20). When recognizing authority, more than what God wants; one would be idolatrous. The first Commandment stipulates having no other gods before God. Christ is the only authority.
Paul likens God’s Church to a human body. The starting point is to understand the functionality of the human body. I use my fingers to type material, right now. The fingers are not conscious of how the material is structured, although used for typing. With poor eyesight, it might be impossible to control the keyboard. Both my eyesight and typing fingers are controlled by me.
My butt is comfortably anchored in the chair, as I type this material, with the proper balance of my feet on the ground. Among the highlighted parts, which one can claim to be in control of other parts? Suppose the eyes claimed to be in charge? How truthful would that claim be?
All the body parts are controlled by me, at any given time. I do not have to consult any other part if intending to stand or walk outside when feeling tied. However, every part cooperates as controlled by me. The analogy used in 1 Corinthians 12, cannot be acceptable to authoritarians. Jesus controls, just as I wouldn’t allow any of my body parts to superintend over other body limbs.
While it is acceptable that no organism can exist without leadership, God’s church is controlled by Jesus, whose leadership is invisible, but actively involved. Any person can be fascinated by the dexterity of my fingers, as I type. But, those fingers cannot take recognition, separately from other body parts.
Christiano Ronaldo is an internationally recognized footballer. Some may describe him as ugly, others describe him as handsome. But that has nothing to do with his ability to play football. We think of Christiano as a player, and not about feet as players. It is possible to think about his isolated body parts, but that would be considered abnormal. Christiano is described as an entity.
According to authoritarians, does it really matter, if God used an uneducated person, to reveal His truth? Some people may respond affirmatively but without any reason for that dogma. They would not be Scriptural references, to back their standpoint. It is unnecessary to argue with such people; as such an argument would be unwinnable.
“None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:8-10 NIV).
True Christians do not recognize rulers of this world. Like, Jesus, they take their instructions directly from God. Christians respect authorities, as long as such authorities would be in line with God’s viewpoint. The most horrible thing about humans is that one can be used by God today, but be the same vessel used by Satan, tomorrow. That justifies the reason; Jesus should be taken as the only authority. The information giver needs respect, only as his/her information agrees with God’s words.
Paul said: “Follow me as I follow Christ”(1 Corinthians 11:1). I have high respect for Paul’s writings, but I am not blind to his departure from God’s word. I have a knack to observe differences. The example of Jesus stands; where there is variation between Paul’s and Jesus’ examples, as shown below:
“Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now, the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap”(1 Timothy 3:1-7 NIV).
For Jesus’ sake; this is not trustworthy, as inconsistent with Jesus’ example. One has to scrutinize Jesus’ teachings, to validate the trustworthiness. Jesus said flesh and blood could not reveal God’s mysteries (Matthew 1 6:13-20). This does not suggest the consideration of the good reputation of the incorporated ones. Let alone that Paul was called when on his mission to murder Christians in Damascus.
That, then, shutters the trustworthiness of Paul’s statement. Of course, what Paul says is good music to authoritarians, but serves to sift authoritarian characters. God’s truth is accessed only by those God intends to communicate with. In setting up authoritarian Christian structures, 1 Timothy 3:1-7 is assumed as the most important. But what is said there, is unchristian, although recommended by, probably, the most hardworking God’s servant, in the New Testament.
As long as feeling vulnerable to stand up for the truth, one is vulnerable to God’s Kingdom. Jesus never said standing for the truth is a walk in the park. Cowards can never make it into God’s Kingdom. The comfort obtained in this world is as temporary as this world is temporary. It is better to die standing on the truth than die standing on falsehoods.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99