By: Kaka D. Iralu
In all my years of attending Church services for over the past half a century, I have never heard of a sermon preached on the subject of nations or politics which is related to the existence of nations. Is this because the subject of nations or nationhood is a non existing theme in the Bible? As for me, to my utter surprise, I discovered in 1997 that the Bible mentions the word “nation” and “Nations “481 times in the Bible. On the other hand, the word “salvation” is mentioned only 163 times in the Bible. (This statistics is based on Google search and I am not here implying that the word nation is more important than the word salvation)The point that I however want to make is that, though the subject of salvation is almost always mentioned in our church services, why have we been silent on the subject of “nations” for all these years? Another point I would like to mention here is the fact that, without the fact of nations and their existence, the subject of salvation would have no meaning whatsoever. After all, God did not send his son into the world to redeem the material world or the animals inhabiting the planet earth! Sadly, the word or the theme of nations or politics is almost a word of anathema (Forbidden) in our Churches. As for myself, I have been writing and speaking on this subject for the past 17 years.
As far as we Nagas are concerned, this subject of our nationhood and its implications has devastated our lands for the past 62 years (1947-2014). In this long period of time, many thousands of Nagas have sacrificed their lives for our national politics and cause. The survivors have also been so badly affected by its repercussions that today; our society has now become a society where our economic lives, our professional futures and even our very survival as a nation is under threat. And yet, will the theologically trained Nagas still keep mum and silent over these issues and only preach about heaven and the afterlife?
The Bible clearly declares that God is the creator of nations. It also states that He is the giver of our geographical lands (Acts 17:26; Dt 32:8 etc). As such, it clearly infers that the political and geographical sovereignty of any nation on earth is a right already granted to all nations by the sovereign God of the universe. Can India then forcibly occupy our God given lands and claim that Nagaland is Indian Territory and Nagas are Indians? Can they butcher over two lack Nagas with their military might and impose heinous laws like AFSPA and persecute Nagas for over half a century? When all these most ungodly and sacrilegious activities have been perpetrated in our lands, will Naga theologians and the Church just stand by and watch? Is the Indian state imposed in Nagaland a divine will of God to which every Naga must bow their heads to? When some of our own so called national leaders are rampaging across our lands killing our own fellow Naga Christians and extorting every citizen of Nagaland with their slogan of Nagaland for Christ, will the Naga theologians and Churches just cower behind the four walls of their Churches and say nothing? Fellow theologians, is there really nothing in the Bible to be said against all these evils in our lands?
When will we ever search the scriptures and come up with Biblical injunctions and teachings to combat all these evils perpetuated in our lands for the past more than six decades?
Any reader of the Bible will inevitably discover and realize that the Bible is a book about creation, nations, anthropology, history, and political rights. In fact almost all the Constitutions of the world and Civil Penal Codes of Governments on earth (including that of India’s too), are based on the Ten Commandments of God as enshrined in the Bible. Also all the universal declarations of human rights declared by the UN are based on Biblical laws and rights commanded by God. Besides this, the Bible is also a book about ecology, economy, agriculture etc. and man’s responsibility to nature as God’s regent on earth.
Why then are Naga theologians silent on all these issues of life that are pertinent for our survival and our existence on earth? “Glory hallelujah” will be the day our Churches and theologians begin to speak on these issues from the thousands of pulpits across the length and breadth of Nagaland. Only such a day will usher in the Kingdom of God into Nagaland and make our land a glorious land whose God is the Lord (Ps.33:12).