Christianity: Save us!
by Richard Ho Lung
WE KNOW it can be done: Christ can save our island. Christianity can save our island. We are losing faith, because we are not one, not united. I am not talking about tolerating one another. I am talking about loving one another and working together in fulfilment of a vision presented to us by Christ.
What is this vision? It is set out by Christ: "I have come to preach the good news to the poor; to set the captives free." Justice and mercy will be exercised when Christ is here. If we really want to know the presence of Christ today in our world, in Jamaica, it is where the Church is doing the works of justice. From the times of the Old Testament to the times of Christ, and now in our world and in Jamaica, justice must be done if we want to give witness to the one true living God.
We must agree on certain points, the fundamentals of our faith. We must not waste time talking and debating whether gay marriages, abortion, euthanasia, this denomination or that, is right or wrong. All these issues are obviously misguided and can be answered by questioning: Does God want same-sex marriages; a mother to eliminate the child of her womb; old and sick people be euthanised?
We need to work with the poor and rejected ones; we need a Church of the poor. Even if Churches are wealthy or middle class, churches and schools must form the consciences and carry out activities of justice and mercy that give glory to God. God will be pleased; God will dispense all the riches of the earth to accomplish His kingdom here on earth, the salient characteristics being justice and mercy.
Powerful Christian faith
I believe the civil state needs us, and I believe our Christian faith is so powerful that it can change the attitudes of everyone, including politicians, if only we as Church really become God's kingdom here on earth. Psalm 72 verses 2 through 4 says:
"O God, give your judgment to the king ... that he may govern your people with justice, your oppressed with right judgment ... that he may defend the oppressed among the people, save the poor and crush the oppressor."
And Psalm 82 verses 3 and 4 asks God to:
"Defend the lowly and fatherless; render justice to the afflicted and needy; rescue the lowly and poor; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
But first and foremost that fundamental principle must be met: to serve justice and mercy to the poor, not only in word but in deed.
Too much talking, too many words; too many belaboured arguments and permissive foreign ways; too much mediocrity and middle-classness, have led us into a wilderness and confusion that are wrought by the devil himself.
Jamaica is still a Christian country, so let us be Christian! United we stand, divided we fall. First of all, we must love one another and work with one another for justice and mercy. Jamaica is a most unusual country. The spirits and souls of Jamaicans are strong and serious. Let us give an example to the world, as we have done in so many other endeavours.
Let us require once and for all a strong moral family life. Politicians are cowards in requiring marriage and fidelity with a punishment for those who are promiscuous and then themselves bear children out of wedlock. Men and women must stop living like animals on our streets. There must be a law that is seriously enacted on those who bear children outside of marriage. That should be so for all classes of people.
Strong moral Christian values must be taught once again by teachers in the schools regarding personal behaviour, sin and virtue, right and wrong, and an absolute sense of responsibility towards the poor.
There must be a right and wrong, punishment and reward, heaven and hell, justice and mercy, not only taught but exercised in family life and in the schools.
We must become a Church of the Beatitudes. I believe we are approaching the Age of the Beatitudes, wherein Christianity will be judged worthy and relevant to the life and benefit of modern man on the basis of how effectively she implements the works of mercy and justice among the most needy and marginalised - materially and spiritually - in our world. Time is running out: the Kingdom of God is at hand! Church, are you ready?
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