In the light of recent happenings in my nation, the church has repeatedly made the headlines. Features are angled in ways that have civilians confused and asking what the church is doing.
It is not a foreign thing for the local body of believers to come under scrutiny but there are seasons where the glaring headlights directed right into our direction are brighter and more pronounced. This is one such season and every critical thinking Jamaican has pertinent questions about the validity, credibility of an established institution in our society. There have been unfortunately many cases that have brought the church into disrepute and has concretized the disdain that people have had.
Broken people, glorious message
Many shouts under the comments sections of our local e-papers have echoed the sentiments of many Jamaicans. The dangerous minefield of commentators on our newspaper features shed light on how much the church has lost the respect of many nationals. We are called hypocrites, scammers and many other defamatory terms that should not be in the same sentence as the church; and a particularly worse fact is that these are being used as descriptors for us.
The truth is the church is made up of humans, with natures continuously being conformed to Jesus’s. This is in no way to excuse the chaos that has been going on but to remind the body of our frailty and to help us guard against pride which often tries to boast its self-righteousness. We need God, and this is a reality that the body needs to keep before our faces. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation and too often we have found ourselves not being ambassadors of this truth and living lives contrary to Jesus’ mission.
We have unfortunately for too long been a part of the problem in our society, when we have in fact been positioned to be the answer. The church has the answer for the social ills, the church has the means to create stability and renew moral standards. What our nation needs is Jesus and, unfortunately, we have been giving everything else but Him. We must repent and do what is needful, which includes first humbling ourselves and turning, so God can heal our land in every sense of the word.
This dilemma that the church exists in calls for a turning of the body, a cry for washing and purging. We are reminded in 1 Peter chapter 4 that judgement begins in the house of the Lord first.
We therefore must be careful to discern the state of our hearts. Have we wandered from the law of the Lord written on our hearts, have we chosen the counsel of the ungodly? Or are we found complaining and disparaging the church, our very own body? Are we silent and have we placed the message of the gospel on the bottom of our lists? Wherever we find ourselves, let us be quick to repent and follow God’s way, because our nation needs us.
Jhonelle is a Jesus enthusiast and Christian youth leader. She’s a lover of all things related to discipleship and a freelance writer.