Most hated Indian Christians of the year-Vishal Mangslwadi


No poll has been taken to award the “Most Hated” honour to an Indian Christian. If the selection was based on social media, the choice may narrow down to:
Bishop R. B. Lal
Bishop K. P. Yohanan
Bishop Joseph D’Souza, and
Vishal Mangalwadi.

The three of them are facing jail terms on serious charges of corruption. I am hated for asking my Face Book friends to rebuild the church brand as ‘A Religious Community with Zero Tolerance for Corruption’.

I am hated simultaneously for opposing Christian corruption on social media and for defending Bishop Lal from persecution by UP’s Hindutva government. He is being persecuted because of his unique ministry . . . although (thankfully) the government is not yet sending goons. It is trying to arrest him on charges of mismanagement. (Some of the charges have merit, but more on this after New Year.)

India is not the most corrupt country in the world. Earlier in December I was in Ukraine. My host mission bought a property after paying due taxes. They obtained the legal ownership papers after paying due bribes. Soon a fight ensued because an Indian businessman started building his house on “their” property. It turned out that he too had the legal ownership of the land. They were on “his” property. Soon . . . three more owners turned up to take possession of the land that they also owned "legally". Thankfully, these late comers wanted money and not the land itself. . . So, . . . thanks to bribery . . . the mission and the Indian live as neighbours. They are trying to figure out what it means to be a “good” neighbour.

On Corruption Perception Index Ukraine ranks 131st most corrupt nation (out 176) while India is only 67th.

India is less corrupt because its civil services, judiciary, and public education were shaped by the 19th Century Victorian Evangelicalism. In Ukraine, the Orthodox Church baptised people, but it did not disciple them. Martin Luther’s biblical idea of universal education came via Soviet Union’s Communism. Atheism set Ukrainian free from whatever morality the Orthodox Church did cultivate.

After Communism collapsed, Ukraine called Western missions, “Come! Help us.” Most missions didn't go because Ukraine was not 10/40 Window. Thanks to Pasadena Missiology, most missions were desperate to reach the last unreached people group by Y2K (Year 2000), in order to “hasten the coming of the Lord.”

“Fallen” human heart is the underlying force behind all corruption. In India the intellectual dimension of the Fall has built a culture that is based, not on truth, testimony or witness, but on Story. Any priest can turn any good looking stone into a god. We are told, “if you believe, it is a god. If you don’t believe, it is a mere stone.” Faith creates gods and goddesses; and "faith" has nothing to do with truth. It rests not on eye-witness account but on sacred stories in Scriptures such as the Bible and Ramayan.

Naturally, if a priest can turn a stone into a god, there is no reason why a milkman can’t turn water into milk, by adding to it a little bit of milk (or even urea.) So can a clever jeweller turn a copper wire into gold necklace . . . a school can turn a piece of paper (called Diploma) into "Education", and a university can turn a similar piece of paper into a PhD degree — provided the professor and the university are properly paid.

Zeus, the greatest god of the Greeks, was born on Crete’s highest mountains. Greek sages used his stories to create a culture based on religious stories. The consequence? The Apostle Paul quoted a Crete prophet that the Cretans “are always liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons” (Titus 1:12).

Paul’s witness of a God “who never lies” (Titus 1:1) turned every city in Crete upside down. Paul was hated because he created a chaos wherever he went. He left Titus in Crete to bring a new order into the chaos that his evangelism had created (Titus 1:5).

How was Titus to re-form Europe’s culture built on religious stories?

Paul did not ask Titus to hire evangelistic story-tellers to be funded from overseas. He instructed Titus to rebuke the Bible-teachers who preached for “shameful gain” (Titus 1:10-11). Titus was to appoint elders grounded in “trustworthy word” (1:9), and taught truth (2:1).

Titus was not to pay nor control these elders. Each Elder had to earn [a] his position of authority by his quality of life (1:6-10) and [b] his living by diligent work following Titus’ own model (2:7, 14; 3:1, 8 etc.).

A local church was not be look for financial support from visiting teachers. It needed to be led by Elders who taught lazy gluttons to create wealth . . . enough to share with professionals who visited them as public servant (3:13).

Paul knew that the cross was the cost of confronting the culture of corruption. Those who teach stories in Post-truth temples and seminaries will tell “stories” also in witness box.

The Indian Church is blessed by millions of godly believers and thousands of conscientious teachers. Unfortunately, far too many of them think that Jesus took up his cross in order to save us from hell — not from sin. The Indian Church will be reformed . . . it will become a light to the nation . . . once the Church understands that Bethlehem’s babe is called Jesus because he came to save us from our sin.

{This discussion of ‘Christmas and Corruption’ will have to continue as high profile cases heat up. For now, let me share with you my 16-year old grandson’s Year End photo and thoughts. My response to him is in the beginning]

May there be new leaves, flowers and fruits in the New year, as you remain grounded in God’s love and truth, nourished by church, family, and friends. May you be a tree of life for the healing of the nations: exhibiting delightful beauty, radiating fragrance, producing life-giving oxygen.�May the birds of the air and the beasts of the fields find in you shelter and shade. May those weary from life’s journey and burdens be refreshed and restored.�A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM NANA AND NANI.

Miras Daliya’s post . . .

"The leaves they fall. The branches are broken due to many reasons. But the stem (the people I call family) it raises me up. The stem helps me let the dead leaves fall off and the good living ones grow. Here to be a guiding light and a source of water, minerals,sunshine,etc. Maintaining the balance of oxygen and CO2 in my system they do a lot, but I have to play my part as well. Of course on the other side I destroy most of what I touch and always need solutions to problems that I create for others and myself. That's something 'my' family and I work on, because the stem never gives up; consisting of my lifelines, brothers, sisters, panda, soul siblings, God given Angels and of course the brotherhood of riders. Here the stem always plants more and more in me, an endless investment which soon shows with the surpassing of time and constant help and guidance will bloom into the flower they see." #treeofmylife #familyalwaysandforever #loveandlife #thegodgiventree