What has the Church become?
The Editor, Sir:
When a nation faces tough times then those who lead must be creative and courageous, and those who follow must demand this. Jamaica is not unaccustomed to tough times but our present troubles far outweigh what we have faced at other times because of their complexity and magnitude. Many are predicting social upheaval during 2010. That can be avoided if leader-ship rises to the challenge.
There are many church leaders and churches who continue to commit their lives to righteousness and social justice. We laud the efforts and commitment of my faithful sisters and brothers in every nook and cranny of this country who continue to toil in the name of Christ. But there are far too many of us who are more concerned about material wealth and personal popularity. Isn't it a disgrace when, on New Year's Sunday, members can be closing the doors of a church because of personal, petty, internal rivalry? What have we become as a Church in this nation?
Fighting for glory
The words of Gospel music artiste Sandra Brooks are harsh and piercing but perhaps painfully true. Delivering what she deems a message from God she says: "You are my servants but yet you have become so high-minded, greedy, selfish and proud. You are practising spiritual envy and jealousy. Everybody wants to be in control. Everyone wants to lead. You worry about money too much. Every man wants to take the glory unto himself. Don't you see the nation? Don't you see how many of my children have been slaughtered?"
Very soon the leadership of the country will gather for its annual leadership breakfast led by the Church. Perhaps this year it needs to be different.
These are unusual times. This is hardly the time for pomp and pageantry. Maybe we should gather in a school auditorium for fasting, confession and recommitment. Politicians on both sides of the fence must confess to the nation how they have wasted its resources and gambled with its future. Church leaders must confess how we have indulged in immorality of all kinds. Some have tricked and bamboozled many, used many and driven many away from Jesus. Who will confess on behalf of the Church? Here I am, Lord, guilty and burdened.
Perhaps all the Church is being called to do is proclaim and practice the Gospel of Jesus Christ or close our doors. Let's try this simple way!
I am, etc.,