Our young people are confused!
RICHMOND, St Mary:
As the youth evangelist at the Shiloh Apostolic Church of Jamaica in Richmond, St Mary, Devon Murdoch believes that the biggest issue affecting his parish is the wider society's failure to tackle the increase in alternative lifestyles.
The passionate church leader believes that the prevalence of homosexuality and wholesale adoption of decadent international cultures have left many young people confused and unsure when it comes to their understanding of moral and ethical issues.
He told Family and Religion last week: "Oftentimes, it would appear as though the secular society wants to sweep issues such as homosexuality under the carpet. As it relates to crime and violence, the same society would chastise the Church to say it's not playing its part but would not allow the Church to impose its core principles, which I honestly believe waters down the power of the Church.
"As a result of this, we find there are going to be generational changes. So if the 18,19, and 20-year-old men and women who are having children today are of that mentality, their children are not going to go to Sabbath or Sunday School, and that affects the wider society.
"I would really like to see the powers that be stop letting outside forces influence the foundation of our country, which our forefathers built with hard work, the help of God, and the principles of the Bible. I just wish we would take our future in our hands, try to build this country, and not let outside influences dictate our moral values."
Murdoch insists that many of the problems Jamaicans currently face can be traced to their embracing that American and European lifestyle choices but insists that the situation can be reversed.
He said: "The other day, I was explaining that in other countries, they talk about depression and you have young students who, because they have been bullied, get a gun and go and spray it around in school.
"My theory is that if you should investigate these children, they have not been brought up to fear the Lord, so there is no firewall that makes them say to themselves, 'God will take care of this' or, 'I know better'. That wall of defence doesn't exist, so they just look to pick up a gun.
"And if we look at the killings that are taking place in our society, we need to do an intrinsic examination, go into prisons, and interview these criminals to find out their socialisation. I think what we will realise and understand is that some of the persons were far removed from the family traditions of their mothers and grandmothers who were up in the church.
"We take people from all over the world, bring them to Jamaica, and pay them huge money to try and solve crime. And our nearest neighbours, Cuba, who are 90 minutes from us, have a country that is almost crime-free. Why are we not independent, sovereign, or democratic enough to say to them, 'Hello, can you give us a hand?'."