I think it is no co-incidence that the historical period now known as the dark ages in Europe corresponded with a time when the church was or had been taken over by the Secular political leadership, the era of the Popes as the voice of God was a disaster not only for the church but for the whole world. For survival, the Papal system depended on corrupt practices such as patronage.
There are many reasons why this marriage between the spiritual/Kingdom leadership and Secular political leadership became possible, but the two most important reasons for this marriage was the desperate craving by the religious elite of the day to be accepted by the Secular political leadership and a misguided view by the religious elite that influence is only reserved for those that occupy political space. Also, it is fascinating to note that the period of the renaissance coincides with the time when Apostle Martin Luther began to question the legitimacy of the corrupt religious/secular/political leadership of the day.
What this infers is that whenever the church gets its acts together the world becomes a better place. But if and when the church keeps silent about issues of justice and corruption, and joins in the unholy alliance with the corrupt secular- political , then the poor have reason to despair. This is not to suggest that we are not supposed to work with the secular-political nor to suggest that the Lord is wrong in giving some in the body a mandate to work with and in the secular-political, but this treatise seeks to argue that we must be weary of the mentality that seeks to hobnob with the secular-political and go around bragging about it without bringing any Kingdom influence to these sectors of society.
To avoid another Dark Age, let us not be afraid to nail our 95 thesis in Wittenberg. Let us appreciate and take advantage of the space that the Lord has given us, in the neighbourhoods where we live and minister, let us shape the lives we encounter everyday rather wish we had some opportunity to shape a life of some individual with whom we presently enjoy no friendly interaction, when we are failing God as far as our present responsibilities are concerned.
Let me add that the politics of tenders (land ownership, paying of indulgences) and patronage destroyed the work of the 1st church Apostles and had a huge destabilising influence on society. Society thought that the Clergy together with the secular-political (Emperors and Kings) were just a network of Fat cats, only concerned with what they can get from the populace.
There has never been a continent where religious thought has been discredited as it has been in Europe.
To be continued…Share