Original Research

The pastor as spiritual mediator between God and the congregation: Corruptions of the relationships of the ‘under-shepherd’, the ‘flock’ and the ‘chief shepherd’ in a Zambian context and their implications for spiritual maturity

Misheck Nyirenda
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6349 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6349 | © 2021 Misheck Nyirenda | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 October 2020 | Published: 07 July 2021

About the author(s)

Misheck Nyirenda, Department of Biblical Studies, Beroea Centre of Excellence, Chilanga, Zambia


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Abstract

This article examined an ecclesiology that has led to the administrative and spiritual subjugation of members of local assemblies as God’s will and modus operandi under the New Covenant. The article will help adherents to re-examine the conclusions of the ecclesiology through a careful exegesis of the texts used in support. This article aimed at highlighting to Christians the potential dangers of this ecclesiology. It provided an analysis that can be consulted by any Christian who has been affected by this ecclesiology. This article examined a specific articulation of the teachings supporting a new ecclesiology and its bases in a local assembly in Lusaka, Zambia, during a ‘re-envisioning’ process. The author participated in this process, purchased the videos, transcribed the teachings and used them as his primary research data. The research was based on transcriptions of a series of teachings that were recorded in video format. The author explored key themes in the teachings, identified the texts used in support, examined those texts by critically using the historical-critical method and drew conclusions. A careful examination of the ecclesiology and the texts used as its proof-texts showed that it was based on flawed exegesis of the texts. The ecclesiology extracted from the transcripts was based on grounds other than careful interpretation of the texts used. The outcomes of this study were that proponents of this ecclesiology must find biblical texts that support it, or consider it to be wrongly derived doctrine.

Contribution: The primary contribution of this article is re-examination of a specific teaching that is purportedly derived from the Bible, through a critical analysis of the texts used in its support. The article fits with the scope of the journal to be a critical forum for theological reflection and praxis.


Keywords

shepherd; good shepherd, under-shepherd; flock; mediator; congregation

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