BY MZATI NKOLOKOSA
Decades ago, Nkhoma Synod of the CCAP trained Lazarus Chakwera into ministry. But on completion of his training, Chakwera abandoned the CCAP and joined the Assemblies of God Church.
His reason was that baptism of babies practiced in the CCAP was not biblical. He wanted a church founded on the Bible. Chakwera was right on baptism, of course. The Bible, in Ephesians 4:5-6 talks, in part, of “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
What is this one baptism? The Bible explains itself, so we compare text with text. The baptism of Jesus Christ is described in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. All the three writers record the baptism of Jesus as an adult, not a baby. The book of Acts of Apostles chapter 8 tells a story of an Ethiopian Eunuch who met Philip, the preacher. The Ethiopian was converted and baptised. The Ethiopian was an adult, not a baby.
In the Great Commission to His disciples, Jesus Christ, in Matthew 28, says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
The disciples were to teach all nations. The disciples were to teach adults, not babies, and when the adults accepted Christ, the risen, they were to be baptised.
Chakwera got the Bible right. He wanted to follow the Bible and he did well to join a church that baptises adults. But joining a church that followed baptism of the Bible is what Chakwera said, not what he meant. People have a tendency to say what they don’t mean and mean what they don’t say. A critical reading of Chakwera’s change from CCAP to Assemblies of God reveals pursuit of money and power, not truth.
A student of the Bible who finds baptism truth was also likely to find a number of other truths, including truth on clean and unclean foods (Leviticus 11), truth about overcoming evil with good (Matt 4, Romans 12) and truth about the role of the church in a fallen world (Genesis 3, Hebrews, Acts of Apostles). How could a person who finds baptism truth miss Exodus Chapter 20?
Chakwera was looking for a church where he could be the top pastor. The Nkhoma Synod had established reverends and the turn for Chakwera to head the church was not any near. He could not wait. He was a man in a hurry.
Therefore, Chakwera started his ministry with a lie, not truth; in pursuit of money and power, not service in the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. He was a man in a hurry for power and money. He remains a man in a hurry for power and money, even now, in politics.
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