WHAT ARE WE CHRISTIANS FOR?
We profess to be a Christian country. And, indeed, there are many religious denominations, all claiming to spring from the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord. There are numerous places of worship. Our laws, our culture, our values all are thought to be inspired by the Law of Christ, or, at least, by Natural Law. Our society as a whole bears testimony to the truth that there is some element of faith in God.
Yet, there is much to indicate that, in spite of the apparent abundance of religious activity, most people do not take their religious commitment seriously. Often they do not seem to be guided by a Christian conscience. Indeed, it is true to say that most of our people behave as Christians in some cases and as unbelievers in other cases. In other words, people live a double life.
We, Christians, claim to base our lives on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And that is how it should be. Yet, it would appear that most of us, leaders as well as followers, do not believe in the radical nature of the Gospel. Most of us do not preach the radical nature of the Gospel. Most of us do not live the radical nature of the Gospel. This being the case, how can we expect the power of the Spirit to be at work among Christians?
There is ample evidence that this situation is our basic problem as Christians. And it has very disastrous implications.
A former magistrate, Tiyani Behanzin, more than other persons in recent times, has endeavoured to bring some solution to our social problems, particularly as they manifest themselves among our young people. But he has discovered that the problem goes far beyond the indiscipline of our youth. It affects every facet of society.
Our schools are deeply affected by the incidence of alcohol and drugs. The police show signs of links with illicit drugs and criminal activity. Public Servants as well behave irresponsibly. Leaders of Government do not have the moral character or the moral courage to stem the tide. Our Church leaders present a blind eye!
Let us listen to the words of the above mentioned former magistrate: There is a core who finances the drug trade in this place. These people sit inside government offices, they sit inside churches and praise the highest alleluias; they finance the drug trade and those who have to deal with it.
A radical transformation is needed. We are called to review our whole approach to evangelism. What is our vocation? What is our message? What is our goal? What is the relationship between Christians and the society in which they live? Are we, Christians, the salt of the earth and the light of the world? Or do we follow the crowd with enthusiasm for fear of being left behind?
Indeed, our problem is a very grave one. It will take a heroic about-turn to stem the tide and change direction. Christ Our Lord founded a transformation Church, a Church that rocks the world, a Church that is never satisfied with the status quo. Christ founded a restless Church. Throughout the centuries, Christians have had to struggle against the temptation to make it a comfortable Church.
The most influential Christian in modern times, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, understood well our basic problem. Here is what she said: The Church languishes today not because she asks too much of the modern world, but because she asks too little. She has tried to make her faith acceptable when she should have presented the high hard way of Christ, without compromising his demand for total self-sacrifice.