The Third Perspective: A Confession and its Aftermath

R.B. Thohe Pou

A Confession – only two words which many people might have ignored to read in detail as they glanced the headlines on 24th July 2007. However, for some people – that was the day the controversial issue on Dr. Shishak Tuisem’s confession began. Any controversial issue is an eye opener to the people and I personally believe that it may give a great impact to the Nagas to learn a good lesson. There are many people who are supporting Dr. Tuisem’s confession just as there many who are against his confession on behalf of the Tangkhuls…

There were copious articles published in response to Dr. Tuisem’s confession. I do not know if he was expecting such a good response from others – may be against or in support of him. I am sure that some of those who responded to his confession might have not had a second thought before they responded to Dr. Tuisem’s confession.

A Confession – was something like a small Pandora Box that was opened. Reading all the responses from religious leaders, politicians, student leaders and concerned Naga people – a question came to my mind as, “if you are going to write an article in response to Dr. Tuisem’s confession and TNL’s excommunication, how would you react? Personally, I do not want to support him nor against him. However I have some expectations from both the groups – those who are against him and those who are supporting him. For everything, there is cause and effect; everything that we do should have the impact – whether we support or against him.

I personally believe in practicing what I talk and write. If we become a talker or writer without putting it into practice in real life – we become another hypocrite. I am also very religious like others; at the same time, I can also be very irreligious. Henceforth, I can give my full support to him by accepting him since no one is perfect or be against him by pointing out his mistakes.

It seems many people are confused with the word, “Confession” and “Freedom of expression”. We also need to understand the Biblical meaning of Confession before we condemn or give our support to him. I believe that repentance leads to confession but confession may not lead to repentance. Is Dr. Tuisem’s confession a repentance to confession or confession to repentance? There are different Christian denominations; some believe in confessing their sin to Pope, Father, and Pastor. However some Christians believe in direct contact with God and confess their sin to God with repentance. There are some people having strong faith, while others having a weak faith and people having weak faith may not accept confession of any crime and pleading to forgive.

There are pros and cons in public confession. We all need to repent our sin and confess our sin to God. But it may not be necessary to confess a sin that brings chaos to the society. Will God not accept our repentance and confession without confessing in public? How will you react if some one confess to you that he had raped and killed your sister or mother? Is that a confession and repentance or is that an insult to you? Will God not forgive us if we repent from our heart and cry to the Lord in private? Or do we need to confess publicly? God is the God of love and peace. God may not want us to confess like the hypocrites and bring chaos in the society. If we go according to Dr. Tuisem’s confession – I am afraid that those who support him may confess to serious crimes and bring chaos to our society. Personally, I do not believe in public confession but we all need to repent and confess our sin to God. Some times it may be good to have public confession but I think it is not necessary to confess our sin publicly.

Freedom of expression seems to be another confusing word for many people. Some of the people who are in support of Dr. Tuisem also claim that the excommunication restricts freedom of expression. I think freedom of expression never means that we can defame our own tribe, other tribes or put to shame someone intentionally. Many people may think that Dr. Tuisem calling his people as arrogant, with false pride, disunited and then asking the forgiveness of the crime committed by the Tangkhuls may be freedom of expression. But what about those who do not believe in such kind of public confession and freedom of expression?

There are many people who are in support of Dr. Tuisem and they want to revoke the TNL’s decision to excommunicate Dr. Tuisem. However they are also many people who are against him.

To those who are against Dr. Tuisem:
1. How can we have better unity and peace in our society without being called to repentance and confession?
2. What are the other means to bring more unity and peace in our society?
3. How can the political system survive without involving the church leaders?
4. Is it Nagaland for Christ? If yes then why is it not relevant to confession of sin?
5. Why don’t you believe in public confession and confession of sin on behalf of his tribe?
6. Why should or should not politics and religion mix together?

To those who support Dr. Tuisem:
1. Should we expect all those who support Dr. Tuisem to confess their own sin and come to repentance and bring more unity in our Naga society?
2. As there are many who are supporting Dr. Tuisem’s confession – shall we expect that all the leaders will help the others to bring into repentance and confess their sin – bringing great revival in Nagalim within a few years? If there is no great revival in Nagalim, then people might have just blindly supported him for the sake of supporting him.
3. Dr. Tuisem’s confession and its supporters will be proved right if more leaders come out to confess and are in turn accepted by their tribes.
4. Should those who support him also confess the sins on behalf of their tribe and ask forgiveness from other tribes?
5. Do you believe that one person can confess the sin for whole tribe? If you believe in this kind of confession – are you ready to confess the sin of your tribe?
6. Do you believe that God will forgive our sin only through public confession?

If Dr.Tuisem would have written the article calling to repentance and confession without confessing the sins of the Tangkhuls, many people might have accepted to his call to repentance and confession to God. If we are not ready to repent and confess our sin from our heart, the repentance and confession by some one for our sin may not be acceptable by God. We need the inspiration and the work of the Holy Spirit to repent and confess our sin but we may not need some one to repent and confess for our sin. If our sin can be forgiven through some one’s prayer and confession – we may not need to pray and believe in God since we have our Pastor, Father, Brothers and Sisters in the church to pray and confess our sin for us. Should we be against him because we have personal problem with him? Or should we give our support to him because we respect him? It would be unfair to against him because of our personal problem; it would also unfair to support him because of he is a respectable person.

Personally I don’t want to defend and I don’t want to condemn him but I think we have differences in our Philosophical and Biblical understanding of partaking of sin, public confession and confession of sin on behalf of the whole tribe. Some of the Tangkhuls might be arrogant, have false pride, harass, torture and murder others – but what about those innocent villagers? It seems he has generalized the whole tribe taking into consideration of partaking of sin. When we read his article, he starts with, “they say, ‘confession is good for the soul’ but I am not sure. Individuals, peoples, and nations the world over have confessed with no tangible results”. I think he knows that confession without repentance cannot bring any tangible result; it brings more confusion and chaos in the society. But I don’t know why he has to confess the sin instead of calling them to repentance and confession. When we talk about partaking of sin, which he is talking about, I think not a single Naga will be saved because we are still living under India and we are also partaker of the Indian sin; more than 80% of the Indians are non-Christians. However if we are going to be condemned and will go to hell, because of our family or village sin – I think our God is not our personal Savior or God. The Bible says that you and your households will be saved if you believe in me. Then the Bible also says that because of Achan’s sin the Israelites could not defeat a small city Ai unless Achan repented and was put to death. Now the question is shall we put our God as our personal Savior or common God in which we cannot be saved if some one in my village or tribe commits a sin?

Dr. Tuisem’s call to repentance and confession is very appreciable. However his repentance and confession on behalf of his tribe is not appreciable; it may not be helpful to confess without repentance from other side. Shall we also pray and encourage one another to repent and confess our sin before God instead of us confessing and repenting on behalf of others? Who is sinless in this world? We are all sinners and we need to repent and confess our sin to God from our heart. How can we kill some one in cold blood when our heart is filled with God’s love and peace? We all need to repent and confess our sin before God then only we can have a better society in our nation. Shall we also compete in doing good thing for our people instead of trying to compete in creating more problems in our peace loving society?





If, for confessing of sins, seeking forgiveness to God for our people amounts to excommunication from the people, for whom with tears we are pleading before God day and night, Dr. Tuisem is no exception, I also deserve the same fate for praying and confessing the sins of our Naga people before God these seventeen times from January 1, 2007 till today. I should have been excommunicate seventeen times now.

Thousands of believers in Naga churches including NBCC’s office should have been closed and sealed because very often the believers pray seeking forgiveness of Naga sins before God. Are we so righteous, clean and sinless before God as to live without needing repentance for all the heinous crimes we have committed? Do you not hear the cry of the forced orphans and childless parents? Where do their tears flow? Where does the blood of your victims flow? Do you know how many innocent, precious lives our peoples have been killed? Can we escape scot-free from God who created them in His image? Have we not realized till today that we are not worth living after destroying our kid and kin? Which God do we believe? Which Bible do we read and believe in what way?

The reckoning day is coming soon. What ever you have done in your body will be given to you. If you have destroyed the innocent lives, rest assure, the day is coming when all your children and their children will face the same brunt, because no wicked man is going to escape from the wrath of the Living God. We Nagas, individually and corporately should seek God’s forgiveness in sack clothe and ashes now with tears. We dare not play with God as we do amongst us.

The Israelites willfully committed sins thereby grieved God; therefore those who disobeyed God were debarred from entering Canaan. Only their children and children’s children entered, that too after 40 years. Even the most trusted leader Moses, who spoke face to face with God, could not enter Canaan, just because he did not glorify God in Meribah in the presence of his people. Naga leaders! if you want to bring your peoples to Canaan, glorify God with all your heart, soul and strength. It’s now more than 60 years but our Canaan seems a long way.

Dr. Tuisem and Margaret came to Nagalim with visions from the Lord to impart the blessings of God to our children. Today, most of the churches and institutions are manned by their students, who are committed believers. Not only that, thousands of musicians are mostly of Patkai Christian college alumnus. The most unfortunate people are those who do not see the good things one has done for us. Tuisems have given their best enduring suffering, shame and disgrace, knowing fully well that there is in store for them great reward in heaven.

I know Tuisem since 1977. He is a real gem of our Naga society. A man of integrity rare gift bearer from God. A man who translates in deed what he preaches. An exemplary figure transforming many through him. I know he is undaunted for excommunicating him by our people, because he counts on God more than what the world serves him. Here goes a song for warriors in Christ-
If when you give the best of your service, Telling the world that the Savior is come, Be not dismayed when men don’t believe you, He understands; He’ll say “Well done.”
Misunderstood, the Savior of sinners, Hung on the cross; He was God’s only Son; Oh! Hear Him call His Father in heaven, “Let not my will, but Thine be done. “
If when this life of labor is ended,

And the reward; of the race you have run; Oh! take the sweet rest prepared for faithful, Will be His blest, He’ll say” Well done.”
But if you try and fail in your trying,
Hands sore and scarred from the work you’ve begun; Take up your cross, run quickly to meet Him,
He’ll understand, He’ll say, “Well done.”

I salute you, brother in Christ. I envy you for all the wonderful things you have done for our people, for which you are going to receive rewards from the Lord. You once wrote in Nagaland Post on
May 05, 1997 – “I believe, true Christians are above mere human consideration”.
It is so true that I noted down in my diary and rewrites here. May God, who sees our innermost thoughts and deeds, preserve you and your family to carry out His wills even when people misunderstands.

K.L.Merry, Dimapur

In defence of Rev. Dr. Shishak

I was awestruck to come across in the local dailies under the headline Rev.Dr.Shishak ex-communicated, which reads, The Thangkhul Naga Long (TNL) took cognizance of Rev.Dr.Shishak Confessional Statement and has debarred him for 6 years in any activities of the Community concerned.

It is astounding to note the action of TNL (The apex body of Tangkhul Naga Tribe), the Long which is considered as a torch bearer in safe guarding and upholding the sanctity, dignity and rights of the Nagas in general and the Tangkhuls in particular over these years, has cast the shadow of doubts in the mind of the people by portraying a slanderous campaign on the integrity of a person in the likes of Rev.Dr.Shishak, whom I guess is an iconic figure to many if not all the Nagas.

It has also caused considerable damage not only to the good personality of Rev.Dr.Shishak but on the other way round, to tens and thousands young minds and alike, who takes pride to accord him as academician of repute and an exalted Naga hero particularly in the field of contemporary education, thoughtfulness, down to earth and above all due to his remarkable and outstanding services he has rendered painfully all through these successive decades. I am indebted to Rev. Dr.Shishak for his brilliant contribution as an educationist/academician.

Today, as a vigilant and concern Naga, I wish to acknowledge his brilliant contribution. I also hold my head high with pride and exalt to salute and convey my solidarity to my Principal emeritus Rev.Dr.Shishak, especially at this point of time when his CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT ran/went into rough weather (misconstrued) and subsequently ballooned into a crisis, (ex-communicated).

I should say that, as a human being every one has its own short comings. No matter whatever is the nature of offence, I perceive that each and every issue concerning its interest can be logically solved keeping in mind the positive aspects. But unfortunately Rev.Dr.Shishak had been victimized by own fellow brothers, for his outspoken nature which in turn is a vivid indication of undermining the very edifice of our democratic structure.

I perceive that Rev.Dr.Shishak doesn’t deserve such sanction up to this magnitude or degree and I personally felt that it would lead to the loss of trust among Naga brethren.
Considering this facts, and without any bias and prejudice to any individual/groups/NGOs etc.I joint hands, with a sea of humanity belonging to different strata of society and organized set of working class to humbly appeal for reconsidering its decision i.e., To annul ex-communication against Rev. Dr. Shishak.