The Church must change focus… and our prospects
A morning radio show host recently had three invited panellists on his programme, two of whom were “men of God”. As the end of that segment drew near, one of the religious leaders, a bishop, was asked by the radio journalist — who himself is of religious faith — how the Church can help ameliorate Jamaica’s unenviable crime situation.
The response — which was centred on “funding” — was most disappointing, and, for those of us who are of any faith at all, was also embarrassing.
A wide cross section of the nation, and this world by extension, might insist that this is the cold truth, but the Church, whose platform being one that is spiritual and truthful, cannot think and operate like the world.
The following are biblical reasons Jamaica is having such a horrendous crime problem:
First is our justification of our beliefs and actions, whether they are considered to be “good” or “bad”. Much of the laws of the land are founded on traditions, and this is why there is, at times, a disconnect between what is moral and what is legal, or what’s illegal, but still covertly and widely endorsed.
Too much of what Jamaicans do every day is grounded on the premise that “a nun nothing”. We scam, we sexually assault the vulnerable, steal, and kill, and consider it as “nothing”. We stand by and let lies and disobedience prevail and consider it as “nothing”. We have lost our passion as a people, and what little passion we have left is passion for “nothing”, which is what it is without the consideration of God. See Mark 7: 5-13.
Secondly, it is said that “one bad apple spoils the whole bunch”, but if “you are the salt of the Earth: [and] the salt has lost its savour, with what shall it be salted? It is therefore good for nothing, but to be cast out and be trodden under the foot of men — Matthew 5: 13-16).
That same bishop who proposed that Government funds the Church, left the host grappling with the suggestion and with the gentle criticism of the notion. The bishop had to go on the defensive in worldly fashion, asserting that the Church pays tax sums that are larger than people would expect or suppose.
A clearly frustrated show host abruptly moved on to the next panellists. The Church, which if being as precious as it is, as “a very good apple” in the bunch, can restore the value to that bunch, even with spoilt and rotting ones being among them. But the Church has to stop being hypocritical and contrary to the truth. We must stand up for what is right, even when it seems to be nothing, for “the faithful in the least is also faithful in much; and he that is unjust in the least is also unjust in much” — Luke 16: 10.
Finally, those who have money, have coined the expression, “It takes cash to care.” As a result, from the heads of Government to the common man, no one is willing to do ‘something’ without it generating money for somebody. We would die before we start or finish an important project without ‘financial assistance’.
The apathy that is prevalent in every aspect of Jamaican society, including civil duty to vote for our leaders, is because we are waiting for “a sign”, which is often, but necessarily, a dollar sign. For us to save our people, their souls, and that of the whole human race, it is going to take us being obsessed about something, anything.
The Devil is not only the father of lies, but his being is one of the heights of folly and idleness. Too many Jamaicans don’t take enough seriously, and too many of us don’t believe in anything. The Church can change this and our prospects for the better.
Andre O Sheppy
Norwood, St James