Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Letter of the Day | Dick, Roper - practise what you preach!

Published:Monday | August 22, 2016 | 8:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Jamaicans are unkind people! Even the Christians! Why is unkindness such a part of our national psyche?

This theme takes centre stage in the ongoing pastoral spat of unkindness currently trending because of the Al Miller case. Did you see the recent column by the Rev Devon Dick towards his brother in Christ, Rev Miller. In case you missed it, it was titled 'Miller's time to show Christian maturity'. The writing that followed was unprecedented, especially so because it was set in the public domain!

This was followed by an article by another Christian brother of Pastor Miller's, the Rev Garnett Roper. His unkind missive was titled 'Al Miller the 'Dudus' fall guy'. One comment that specially caught my eye praised Rev Dick for speaking his mind! Another indicated that he knew both from their Baptist days and alleged that Rev Dick might have been 'carrying feelings' for Rev Miller for a long time.

Christians, especially pastors, don't have the option of speaking their mind or 'carrying feelings' - even if they are newspaper columnists! The Bible mandates that even when truth is spoken, it must be done in love (with kindness). The Bible says: "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." (Matthew 18:15)

Both Rev Dick and Rev Roper slew their brother in the public domain, like Saul, the first-century lawyer of the Bible, led the literal slaying of Christian missionary Stephen, as recorded in Acts chapters 7 and 8.

 

TRANSFORMATION

 

It would really be unprecedentedly kind and nationally transforming if both Christian columnists had the kind of epiphany experience like Saul, which changed him from public slayer to public lover of God's people and all people. For it is he who wrote:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Maybe if they set the example, we will have kinder parliamentary sittings, less violence and murder, and the memes about Justin Gatlin's replacement in the 2020 Olympics will take on a kinder tone. Maybe my next article won't be so unkind.

God help us all!

MICHAEL AIKEN

transformationjamaica@gmail.com