Adventist leader admonishes Christians to stop finger-pointing
With Jamaica celebrating its 54th year as an independent nation last Saturday, the spotlight has been turned on the Christian community to examine itself and "stop the finger-pointing".
The call came from president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, Pastor Everett Brown, as he addressed congregants during the denomination's day of prayer for the nation, celebrated on the first Sabbath in August each year.
Referencing Jeremiah 29:10-13, Brown said, "The call today is for us to pray to seek God with a clear conscience, because God is ready to forgive."
He, however, lamented the state of affairs of Jamaica and opined that for some time now it has been experiencing severe pain, not from an evil force that has captured the hearts and minds of a small minority who are making life difficult for the majority.
"Before God fulfils His promise to bless and rain down His blessings on us, we must seek him, and expunge corruption, injustice and inequity from every area of our national and private lives," he said.
"The Church - you and me as the called-out people - must take the lead role in the crusade to seek God, to love, respect and value neighbours. The Christian community must stop the finger-pointing and set the right example in terms of how to conduct ourselves as good citizens, in the sight of God and in the presence of those we are called to influence and lead. Justice, equity and honesty must characterise the modus operandi of the Church of the living God. That is the kind of leadership we are called to offer this nation ... spiritual leadership, to lead people who are lost in the darkness to the light, Jesus the Christ, by precept and example."
POWER OF PRAYER
In turning his attention to the area of prayer, both individual and corporate, and in response to those who believe that the Church is all about prayer, and God does not answer prayer, Brown declared that the God who spoke and acted in times past still hears and answers prayers today.
"Sometimes we believe that God is a little Santa Claus who, when we ring a bell, He comes and then we go back and do what we want to do. He is willing to heal and bless this country, but He cannot forgive us of our sins until we repent of the sins we have committed against God and against our neighbours," he said.
"This nation must repent of her sins and seek God. Individual confession repentance and national confession and repentance must take place before national transformation, healing, progress, prosperity, redemption and restoration can take place."
The service was held at the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church under the theme 'Transforming Lives Through the Power of Prayer'.
In attendance were custos of Manchester, Sally Porteous; mayor of Mandeville, Brenda Ramsay; Finance Minister Audley Shaw; and member of parliament for Central Manchester, Peter Bunting.
Scores of Jamaica Constabulary Force members, including officers from the Mandeville Police Station, were also present.