Pastor urges security officers to be agents of change
We are living in the world that has become callous, and in some cases, devoid of emotion, the presence of which makes the job of those who swear to serve and protect, difficult. But president of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Glen Samuels, says that even in the midst of our suffering, there is a God who defends the defenceless.
"The Divine God, the One who would have us remember that the presence of evil is neither ultimate nor final. This God led them (children of Israel) with a mighty hand."
Samuels, who was speaking at the 18th Annual Prayer and Thanksgiving Service for the Security Forces (Area 3) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force at Northern Caribbean University, said that the nation has to be forthright with enforcement of morality that is intertwined with biblical instructions.
"We cannot, as a people, squander the value of morality. We cannot divorce our sociology from biblical rootedness. What is the problem of our nation? Ours is a world of a growing gender neutrality, where how you were born is not important; it is what you feel like. My society says that righteousness and morality ought not to be guided by any god or Bible, but by the sociological context of who you are."
He further established his position by citing that humanity removed from God has no life of its own.
"I want to challenge you, members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, you were sworn to serve and protect and every station I walk into to pray for an officer or to deal with an issue, your mission statement is boldly declared. But for times when I am flustered by actions that do not reflect that, I must remind you that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch."
He continued: "Persons who wear your uniform must have an unflinching support and unwavering commitment to integrity, morality, and bravery."
Samuels, who resides and carries out his pastoral duties in the western region of the island, a section plagued by bloodletting, said that he knows all too well the issues of reprisal killings, having stood before five or six caskets - sometimes with one casket bearing a mother and child - all murdered in cold blood.
He said that, as a Christian country, every individual must work towards impacting one life positively.
"I know that there are those of us who sometimes feel we are too busy to be agents of change in mentoring a life ... . The problem with us is that we have no problem spending money on stupidity: we will buy horse hair, but we won't by a textbook for our child in school, and we wonder why they have become murderers and scammers."
With so many young men taking to crime and violence, Samuels said that fears have now changed.
"I remember as a child, little boys were afraid of grown men, now grown men are afraid of little boys. We cannot put enough police officers in Jamaica to keep this nation safe and sane. We ought to be framers of our own future. Godlessness is at the heart of our problem.
"People will ask how can I believe in God that allows all these things to happen, a God that I cannot see. But the reality of my faith tells me visibility is not the only proof of reality. His power is evident in changed lives."
Samuels ended with a charge, "We hold life and property in connection with our loyalty to a higher power. If nobody else should understand the need for divine protection, you (Members of the JCF) should."
Eight police personnel were awarded for outstanding service to the JCF while 35 fallen soldiers were remembered and their service honoured.