Video of Indian Church administrators arriving at Regal Pomp goes viral

September 22, 2022

A message from Indian church administrators returning home after their successful re-election to the General Conference session was recently posted on the Seventh-day Adventists South Asia Division (SUD) Facebook page, where it has been viewed over 15,000 times. This again raised concerns about leadership in this vast mission field of the church.

The video shows three flower-draped floats arriving, carrying newly re-elected SOUTH President Ezra Lakra and his wife, along with North India Union President Binoy Tirkey and his wife in a following float . The third float contains Shekar Chand and Parvez M Lal, Treasurer and Secretary of the North India Union respectively.

Besides the way of arriving, some were concerned about the specific Hindu customs displayed, such as prominent dancers and drummers. Another pointed out that the whirling of money above the recipient at 2:05 a.m. is a Hindu ceremony of purification.

The legend says

The Seventh-day Adventist gods have arrived, because either the laity is sleeping or the laity is simply allowing such ridiculous behavior. Why do we worship these arrogant leaders of the SDA? We claim to be a remnant church with ultimate truth, but I disagree because there is no humility in this act. Don’t tell me it’s our culture. It’s just Adventist cronyism.

Wrote Alex Samuel in a note to To“The people who put on this pomp and show are trying to find favor in the eyes of [President] Lakra to quickly climb the ranks.

Answer

There were no approving responses from commentators.

Some were concerned about the use of the money in an area that has a reputation for closing churches, selling off church and school property, and starving low-level pastors and teachers of their salaries for decades. months in a row.

Many churches have closed and schools are unable to pay employees. But you’re the one doing this.

Very sad to see all this happen. Abusing church power and money.

Many disliked the appearance of rulers behaving like royalty:

So sad, Pr. Lakra. You should discourage such activities. Send e-mails to all your leaders to stop all these activities. It has spread through unions, sections, regions, conferences and several churches adopting this vain and ungodly practice in the name of welcoming newly elected leaders.

When Christ entered Jerusalem, he asked that a donkey be brought to him to ride…These leaders want to surpass Christ’s entry into Jerusalem!

The GC Chairman gets a similar welcome and he loves it.

India is officially a Hindu country, and the small Christian minority is understandably keen to protect the edges of its faith from idolatry:

When a Bidar pastor garlanded a picture of a Hindu god, he was disqualified from election to high office. Here leaders who know the living God take his place. Total shame. We have forgotten our ancestry.

Are they really Seventh-day Adventists? The way money was given to cart drivers and men who play these noisy instruments resembles very Hinduism-oriented behavior.

It is like welcoming a Hindu priest or a holy sadhu. Coming in floats and garlanded with flowers is a Hindu practice. He should have worn a saffron suit to match the reception style.

It is widely believed among church members in the SOUTH that some senior church leaders are guilty of bribery with church money. (Some of these allegations have been reported in Adventist today.) Several commentators have noted this reputation:

These Indian church leaders have more than enough money to pay for these horse-drawn carriages as well as the dancers and musicians, with pagan customs such as swirling coinage on the heads of those who drove them. Yet they claim not to have a bit of “paisa” to offer lower class workers. And what you call “the religious”, men and women of God?

The worst part is that no action will be taken against them. The leadership of the Adventist community is corrupt…

Concludes a commentator:

Some of them are over 65 and have trouble getting off the float. They should plan for their retirement.

An email to Elder Lakra for comment received no response.


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Jerry B. Hatch