"Are we still teaching the subject, 'Apologetics' to our pastors and Christian leaders?" Good question!!!
Apologetics means defense of the Christian faith (wikipedia). During the biblical days its scope covers the defense of Christians who were accused of breaking the law as a result of their commitment to and declaration of their faith in Christ. These days people who stand in defense of propagation of authentic gospel are persecuted by satanic synagogues that have infiltrated the church of God.
The focus no longer appear to be Christ in many churches. 'Rulers of synagogues' appear to have supplanted the One who died on the cross. Apostle Paul admonishes us to set Christ apart as Lord in our hearts and always to be ready to give answer to anyone who asks about the hope we possess (1 Peter 3:15) The purpose of 'apologetics' is to establish the truthfulness and integrity of the gospel. This is an important dimension of the calling of a Christian leader. The responsibilities include bold defense of the gospel.
Rulers of synagogue syndrome has metamorphosed into layers of spiritual fatherhood that makes mockery of authentic spiritual fatherhood. The relationship of spiritual father to a child naturally evolves through direct discipleship and effective mentoring, as epitomized by Paul-Timothy relationship.
The hallowed name 'spiritual-father' has been trivialized to the extent that once somebody is appointed to perform ordinary administrative task of writing a report, we begin to call him spiritual-father even when there is nothing spiritual in his assignment.
Yes Organization Behavior permits every organization to have a system of reporting in order to make management easy. The idea is to make organizational communication become broad-based and effective in the system of management and control. The fact that someone is appointed to collect and record statistics of performance does not make that person a spiritual father.
In his book titled SONS TO GLORY, Paul Jablonowski wrote, "Fathering involves the loving heart attitude displayed in raising children. A father exhorts and comforts and implores and sometimes chastens when necessary (1 Thess. 2:11, Heb. 12:7-11), but only after establishing you through much encouragement. A father is always around through thick and thin. A father does not forsake you when you fail or leave you when disagreements arise. A father not only goes with you into battle, he leads the way (Joshua 1:5-9). Spiritual fathering is the major leadership method for building the body of Christ."
We Christian leaders need to understand that spiritual fatherhood has to do more with teaching, guiding, coaching, mentoring, sympathizing, encouraging, disciplining, etc., and sharing what we have received with our spiritual children. The temptation to consolidate our administrative positions and appointments will always be there but it should never be at the expense of other less privileged co-laborers.
We must at all times allow the Holy Spirit to turn our hearts away from self-centeredness, greed and insensitivity toward the true purpose of the gospel. We must operate in full consciousness of Malachi 4:6 “And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse”. We must preserve the goodness of 'the good news' and not truncate it to bad news through excessive levies that do not glorify God.
EPILOGUE - Paul's Paternal Care I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. (1 Corinthians 14-15)
DR. Niran Fafowora