A Word of Concern
[dropcap]I[/dropcap] come from Medziphema, formerly known as Ghaspani. I am not yet 50 years, and as far as I can remember, when I was younger and we would commute between Ghaspani and Dimapur, I did not ever hear of many of the village churches in the Dimapur area which have, since then, celebrated their Golden and Platinum Jubilees. Our church in Medziphema, which is not that young, is yet to celebrate its 50 years, and will do so only in 2018.We are all aware that the year of reception of the Gospel by a particular village or community is counted from the time the first person of the village or community is converted, never from the age the convert had when he/she got converted. Subsequently, the year of the establishment of the church is counted from the time the church in the village/town was established. These are the logical reasons why I am wondering how villages that we have not heard a whisper of in erstwhile years have started celebrating jubilee years, rather mysteriously and rampantly, and according to the revered Naga religious jargon, “to the glory of God.”
Nagas, in general, are increasingly coming up very short on the ethical front – this is seen on a daily basis in our habits, lifestyle and demeanor. This matter assumes greater concern when custodians of the church in Nagaland can, without any qualms, affix their seal of approval on many questionable matters whatsoever, as long as their villages or communities can forge ahead of other villages or communities, especially when it comes to matters tied to claims to land and resources.
What also of some of the guardians of the church in Nagaland who have no hesitation to trumpet their latest acquisitions of questionable theological degrees (the most sought after are the doctorate degrees!)? Interestingly, these degrees become the passports to greater positions, fame and glory for aspiring “leaders” of the church. No wonder, we have spawned a whole lot of nominal Christians who live a “powerless,” “Christ-less” faith! We are losing our teeth, and our land reeks of the stench of compromise!
I am a church minister and I humbly consider it a sacred heritage for church ministers to be people of utmost integrity, and that it is their sacred duty to set holy trends in family and societal living. However, it is sad to observe that the ethical standards in our society are getting corroded over time due to the carelessness and collusion of those in church ministry who act without thinking properly about the grievous consequences. Instead of church ministers setting godly standards, we are giving in to the designs and demands of a world gone crazy over pleasure, money, fame and power. We like to act religiously, and we use God’s name so liberally and many times, for all the wrong reasons. Our sins will surely find us out one day, and I rue the day when God will come calling on us to account for the serious and wanton lapses that have resulted in our society because we have been careless and untruthful in the small and big things of life.
Sanyü Iralu, Medziphema Town