Right from the beginning there were problems in the church in Christchurch. Thomas Jackson was appointed as Bishop designate. However, by the time he left for New Zealand he had a shabby reputation. He was an eloquent speaker, who promoted the Canterbury settlement effectively, but he left behind many debts, and the best that could be said was that his financial management was poor.
Thomas Jackson, his wife and two poorly brought up boys arrived in Christchurch in 1851.
(He was) vulgar, fussy, pretentious, and apparently concerned only with the material aspects of his profession.
It was plain from the first that the Jacksons lost interest in Canterbury as soon as they realized that a palace, a cathedral, and even a road on which to use the carriage-and-pair they had brought with them, existed only in the future.
A month later, however, Jackson and his family set sail again for England, (Godley of Canterbury, p. 120).
Anyway, there were problems with the deed of settlement. Bishop Selwyn had already been appointed Bishop of New Zealand, which meant that a bishop of Canterbury could not be appointed. It seems like God did not want a bishop of Christchurch. He does not want one man to be the spiritual leader of Christchurch.
God had a purpose for Christchurch from its very beginning. However due to the class society that was imported from England, God's work was choked off. Although the gentry, who came to Canterbury from England provided strong leadership and organisation, the left a legacy of elitism, control and snobbery, which does not belong in Christ's church.
As God is bringing restoration to his church in Christchurch, he is determined that elitism and hierarchy will not take hold. He will not allow his church to be controlled by spiritual superstars or become dependent on a few Christian giants. He wants the whole body to grow up to maturity, attaining to the full measure of the fullness of Christ.
When the church raises a few men above the rest, they have no spiritual protection and are vulnerable to attack. They church is putting them in a place where they can easily be picked off by the enemy. It is also dangerous for the church to become dependent on a few men, as if they fall, the whole church will be shaken and weakened. Jesus is the head of the church, we must not raise up other men in his place.
We must be especially careful now as God is restoring the Apostolic Ministry to the church. God will not allow any mixture in what he is doing. He says, 'Don't call apostles what are not apostles. Don't establish bishops and call them apostles.
Return to Christchurch and the Kingdom of God