|Church leaders-Speak your mind 6th feb.08 NPN|
The abduction and mur-der of one of our shop-keepers last week was the catalyst for two forms of protest this week; shop closures by the business community and a proposed protest march by a student union. The fact that they have chosen to resist the violence in Dimapur in this manner has stirred me to write this letter. Thank God that there are still some among us who have the conscience, integrity and courage to stand up against those factions who use extortion and the threat of violence as a way to satiate their greed.
But while these parties have put their words into action there remains one very large and influential group in Dimapur that appears to have lost its voice (as well as its hands and feet), namely, the Church. Is it not time that the Church leaders too started to speak out publicly and indeed actively resist these evils in Dimapur and the rest of Nagaland?
Leaders of the Church, it is your responsibility to teach and demonstrate what God’s justice, peace and mercy looks like in the here and now. We need good news fleshed out in the form of protection for the weakest amongst us, including the foreigner who has little or no voice in this society. If you do not speak out, who will? If it is true that the God of the Bible has always been a God who loves His world and desires the best for humanity; spiritually, economically, politically and socially then the Church in Dimapur and Nagaland need to get on board with His agenda. The God whom during Isaiah’s time “looked for justice but beheld, oppression; for righteousness but beheld, cries for help” is still looking for people faithful to His cause – shalom. Lest you be accused of neglecting the “weightier matters of the law; justice and mercy and faith” while faithfully tithing your mint, dill and cumin (Mt. 23:23-24), please stand up, have your say and help lead the rest of us to find biblical ways to confront these problems in a peaceable but bold manner worthy of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
B. Schilling, Dimapur