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Op-Ed

Can the Church?

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By EMN Updated: Oct 14, 2014 11:40 pm
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Jonah Achumi, Dimapur

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]uch water has flown down the rivers of the Naga heartlands since the NTLP Act 1989 came into force on the insistence of the NBCC and the NMA. Now it has reached its 25th year and many writers of different shades and opinions for both pro and anti prohibition have given their views according to one’s individual intellect and wisdom whether the state government should continue with the implementation of the act or not I have been asked by many people why I have not yet written anything about the Prohibition saga that has been going on for quite some time now but I just used to answer them, ‘Everybody’s business is nobody’s business ’. Though, I am an active member of the church and am pro-prohibition because I have to either be on the right side or I may get left and I don’t want to stand in the middle of the road because it’s the most dangerous place where one gets run over. Yet living in this world one cannot escape from the harsh realities of life and the world. If the eternal fires of hell cannot scare the drinkers, will just the ill effects on their health and family life can? Or the consequent effects of drinking on the society will? Prohibition or no Prohibition people will continue to drink. I don’t want to dwell on the advantages and disadvantages of prohibition since everybody has their own views. I have also written earlier, it is high time the public also should stop blaming only the Church and the government for its failure on Prohibition. In reality, we all have failed the Prohibition and it is not that Prohibition failed us. As the Shepherd the Church has every reason and right to enforce the Prohibition for the good of its flock but the Church also has to make it really clear about some challenges on Prohibition and come clean on the questions below which many people seem to be confused.
1. Can the Church stop accepting all forms of donations from liquor sources? As some of the biggest donors in many major churches are engaged in liquor business and alcohol syndicates?2. Can the Church reject offerings and contributions from the sources which has alcoholic roots? Many liquor barons and big-shot liquor bosses finance church buildings and missionary projects from the money directly or indirectly that are obtained from liquor.
3. Can the Church be clear that money extracted from poor pensioners, old widows, widowers and orphans or belonging for development works which are siphoned by some people will not be accepted at the Holy Altar?
4. Can the Church deny the offerings and contributions from extortion sources which belong to someone’s honest blood, sweat and tears?
Many contributions from these sources are proudly announced at the pulpits as ‘Blessings’ in many churches without giving a thought where these sources are coming from, which is in fact bringing misery and paucity to the down-trodden. These ‘Blessings’ for some are causing poverty to many who have no one to speak or stand for them. Can the Church stand for those denied and deprived ones by rejecting it saying firmly that it will not accept from such sources?
When even a person like Adolf Hitler, one of the most dreaded and hated dictators said, “As a Christian, I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated but it is my duty to stand for truth and Justice”. I know I will be hated by many for writing this, but let it be. As a society starts to drift itself away from the truth, it starts hating more and more the speakers and the writers of truth and I am one. No matter what, Truth has to be told. Because GOD IS LOVE AND GOD IS TRUTH! We stop living the day when we stop speaking about the things that really matters. In the final analysis it is not between us and humans but it is between us and God. As the Editorial Column of the Nagaland Post October 7 stated, the NBCC has to regain the lost ground and do more than issuing mere declarations with the way which it has been dealing on liquor prohibition act.

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By EMN Updated: Oct 14, 2014 11:40:43 pm