Many years ago, a politician fiddled while Rome burned and he blamed the Christians. Today, Christians fiddle while the world burns and they blame the politicians. — Anonymous
MAY was a month of contrasting events screaming messages at us crying for our attention. They are not new messages, but messages that seemingly are not being heard, as there is often no corresponding action to show evidence of change.
The king is dead, long live the king! This is a traditional message or proclamation that used to be made in nations which still had an old-time monarchy.
“The King is dead” is the announcement that a monarch has just died. “Long live The King!” refers to the heir who immediately succeeds to a throne upon the death of the preceding monarch.
What this proclamation really does is announce the step down of one leader and the step up of a new one to fill the vacuum.
Edward Phillip George Seaga, the man with a British king’s name, served Jamaica with distinction from 1962 to 2005. He died on May 28, 2019, on his 89th birthday.
His was 43 years of commitment to Jamaica’s developmental transformation. His commitment to service to Jamaica is undeniable. His tenure brought critical multifaceted development and transformation on many fronts. There is really not enough column space to list his visionary and practical initiatives. But they span economic and financial development; as well as planning, social, cultural, institutional, parliamentary, political, and constitutional reforms.
Edward Seaga, is one of perhaps just two or three visionary political leaders this nation has had.
He was one of the foundation layers who helped shape the constitution and many of the noble institutions we have today.
His death, having occurred on his birthday, is a prophetic statement by the Almighty God to signal the completion of an era — to close the old Jamaica. It also portends, for his protégé, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, that he must now, in honour of his service, birth the new Jamaica with the same boldness and tenacity of spirit. Holness should see his privilege of leadership of our nation at this time, by design, to fulfil the vision of our founding fathers. They envisioned a Jamaica, under God, increasing in beauty, fellowship, and prosperity, playing her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.
The proclamation I offer is: The King is dead! Where and who are the persons to step up and replace the King?
Take stock of your passion and zeal for change. Do you have what it takes to fill the vacuum? Then step up!
Reports are that about six men with assault rifles held up store in May Pen last week and made off with an undisclosed amount of money. They also kidnapped three store personnel. The shocking thing for many is the brazen manner of the incident and the sophisticated weapons used. They signal a new level of evil and speak of serious moral and social decline that must be remedied before anarchy sets in.
What is happening to this Jamaica, land we love?
We have a crisis, it is not a government problem or a police problem, it is our problem. Every citizen must engage the process to defeat the crime monster. We have to face the reality that governments of the last 30 years have tried yet it is getting worse. We must therefore conclude that those in the political system that created the problem are unable to solve the problem. Hence, the need for new leaders to emerge, unfettered by the tribalist trappings and not beholden to the system. Individuals who have the integrity, will and courage to apply the solution. Will such people step into the vacuum created by the king? It is time for active engagement of more men and women of godly character and love for people to offer to serve. Both political parties desperately need some fresh hearts and minds to commit to serve the nation. Those who have been steeped in the old system cannot by themselves create the necessary change.
But as disheartening as these negative reports are concerning the psychosocial condition of our people and our penchant toward murder and corruption, God provided a glimmer of hope. One news agency put it like this:
“Her honesty in the face of personally trying circumstances is proving to be a winning formula for Ackaisha Green, who recently handed over millions of dollars that she stumbled upon at an automated teller machine (ATM) in downtown Kingston.” (Loop News)
This message by Ackaisha Green is a refreshing glimmer of hope that all is not lost in this Jamaica, land we love.
Transformational leadership guru Rev John MacArthur says “…virtually everything that truly qualifies a person… is directly related to character. It’s not about style, status, personal charisma, clout, or worldly measurements of success. [Character] is the main issue that makes the difference between a good leader [person] and a bad one”.
If MacArthur speaks truth, then Ackaisha Green, a young lady from one of our disadvantaged and marginalised communities, has shown that the leadership character qualities for real change is in our nation.
The leadership vacuum, mentioned earlier, created by the passing of men committed to service to nation, like Seaga and Martin Henry, must be filled with fresh leaders with a new mindset.
CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP NEEDED!
I believe it’s time to call Christians to action. I am not talking about action to go start to preach or put up a tent to start a church, but action to engage your community with the love of God in visible activities and character differences. It’s time to rise from our Bible talking to practically walking out the principles of the Bible. Model the person and work of our Christ in your community. If that means running for public office, then do so and model the person and work of Christ there too.
Never stop praying for our God to transform family, friends and difficult situations. But, remember, victory over serious societal issues, like slavery, was not just won by prayer, but by the actions of people in government, like Wilberforce and Gordon, and church leaders like Sam Sharpe and Paul Bogle.
Nehemiah saw the broken walls of Jerusalem during his Old Testament era and was concerned and prayed, but he also engaged action… serious action! If your Christian strategy doesn’t include prayer and action, you are missing the whole counsel of God’s word; you’re missing how life should truly operate.
The book of Proverbs makes the point powerfully clear: When the righteous rule, the people rejoice, but when the wicked are in authority, the people mourn. I challenge genuine, mature Christians and God-fearing persons to rise up now and serve your country to build the new Jamaica.
Years ago, a month before election 2002, I decided to run as an independent candidate with the primary aim to send a message to Christians [evangelical, charismatic and Pentecostal] that it is okay to enter the political arena. The mission was accomplished as many did so subsequently at the local levels and few have advanced on both sides of the political spectrum with my encouragement.
I hear the naysayers: Christians and politics don’t mix! But let me quote from Christian writer Phillip Yancy: “Politics draws lines between people; in contrast, Jesus’s love cuts across those lines and dispenses grace. That does not mean, of course, that Christians should not involve themselves in politics. It simply means that as we do so we must not let the rules of power displace the command to love.”
Wise words, especially for those naysayers who would say that they already know of Christians in the political mix who are just as bad as non-Christians in walking pathways of murder and corruption. Those are Christians who have allowed money and power to displace the command of Jesus to love.
The notion we have carried, that Christians should not be in politics, armed forces, and top level business is ludicrous and contrary to serious biblical teaching.
Political parties and their leaders can only work with the quality of representatives that make themselves available. The church and well-thinking citizens must be willing to give full backing and support to such leaders.
The need is urgent!
Copyright © 2019 by Rev Dr. Al Miller.