To Christians, the world over, regardless of denominations, the only one central meeting point is the most authentic, most authoritative and most unambiguous version is the Lord Jesus Christ declaring Himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jhn 14.6). Denominations are, at best, means to helping lay congregations to knowing, accepting and worshipping God for Who He is. It is on the absolute centrality of Jesus Christ that Christian faith, no matter which denomination one belongs to, is anchored. The holistic nature of the Deity of Jesus Christ demolishes and nullifies attempt by human organization, more so by the church to divide and subdivide lay congregation only to suit one’s own interpretation of whatever issue razing the ground. The Bible is replete with instructions urging us to accept the imperative that we Christian can and shall realise the True Self only if we remain connected with the roots as different parts of the organic whole who is none other than Jesus Christ himself. Wanting to act big, strong and smart independent of each other is nothing but the surest way to self-destruction.
Where are we Tangkhuls today? We seem never tired of loud-mouthing our identity as Christian as if loud protestation is what sees us through justified to the end. We are palpably busy with endless exercise to score brownie points and propaganda advantage against one another on perfidious claim as being the always ‘Right’. Such behavior/conduct is a total contrast to what Jesus Christ was all about – wanting to be wronged for being right; no grudge being treated as weak for being strong; in fact, no grudge being ridiculed and shamed for being Himself. Where are we then, claiming as we do ‘ardent followers’ of Christ but known for running helter skelter in search of platforms where we would present ourselves blameless and spotless. We have gone knocking the doors of high and mighty for arbitration or if you will, for adjudication on the issue of Baptist Church break up. Here, I would submit the following:
- God is no respecter of man ( He is ever gracious to man) no matter who he/she is. Therefore God would not be pleased with Church leadership openly soliciting human intervention on ground of perceived superior power of whatever kind that be. Church leadership being the God Anointed ought to exercise and exert moral and spiritual authoritativeness in providing moral and spiritual directions. I am not at all against church leadership humbling themselves to seek prayer support, views/suggestions, even recommendation on important issues from the lay congregations. But indulging in exercise to mean that solution to crisis the Church leadership is facing can only come in the form of verdict/decree would demean your position as God Anointed.
- It would be equally wrong on the part of any human authority/organization to relish suggestion/invitation to take the role of arbitration and consequent verdict pronouncement on any crisis of the Church. Apart from impracticality such practice would be setting dangerous precedent in as much all the parties involved are not on board. Should such request come from the Church leadership, they should be told to mind their business, heal themselves first for theirs is the role to act as catalyst for healing our land. Contribution by way of proffering well-reasoned suggestions/recommendations would, of course be most welcome.
The United Kingdom of Israel was established on the solemn assurance of God that the kingdom would grow and grow to no end and that the throne of the kingdom would never cease to welcome the legitimate heirs. Far from it; the kingdom lived out barely a century. Uncontrolled self indulgence, unbridled arrogance and self adulation driving Solomon in the latter half of his reign had sown the seeds of the kingdom’s break up.
Solomon’s son Rehoboam far from learning how and why Solomon rose to height of unbeatable glory and honor in the 1st half of his reign turned out to be one given excessively to vain-glory, abrasiveness and vindictiveness. Given all indications of imminent danger befalling the kingdom, he should have come down on his knees beseeching God’s forgiveness of his father’s sins and that of himself. What madness; he went about aggressively hunting down all those not found in his blood-soaked good book. Sure enough, people rose in revolt leading to break up of the Israelite kingdom.
Tangkhul Brethren, as we stand on the threshold of the 125th anniversary of the birth of the Baptist Church in our land, we need to resolve within ourselves – individually and collectively and foremost before God that the Celebration would only be on the Epitome of ‘Tangkhul United Baptist Churches’. The alternative can only be on the Epitome of ‘Tangkhul Divided Baptist Churches’.
I just cannot see the 3rd option! Which side of the aisle are we on? The choice is ours! But be sure, God whom we worship is the author and the finisher of the Right. Thanking you all and God bless.
Sword Vashum. Retired additional deputy comptroller and accountant general. Views are personal.