The spiritual and material responsibilities of humankind to human affairs
Kaka D. Iralu
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n a recent talk about the present political instability in Nagaland by some concerned citizens, one of our friends expressed his opinion that our present political and socio- economic problems are all spiritual problems in nature. I for one fully agreed with his analysis of our present problems. But the question I asked the group was “Who has created these spiritual problems in our land?” After all no human problems come into existence without someone causing it to happen. However, as to its cause, we of course cannot say that spiritual problems are related to spiritual things and since God is a spirit, God must have created these spiritual problems in our lands.” That being an obvious illogical explanation, who then has created these spiritual politico-social and economic problems in our lands?To begin with, let us first be clear about the following spiritual and material facts:
1. The material has not created the spiritual but it is the spiritual that has created the material.
Now, we all know that the material universe was not created by material human beings or material objects like stones, wood or material living cells like plasma or chemicals whatsoever. Here, so called scientific theories like the Evolution theory are just theories and not proven scientific facts. Only the naïve and the credulous blindly believe whatever the scientists say. In fact, at the end of the day, evolutionary scientists are asserting a most unscientific theory when they defend the theory of evolution. This is because modern science has now shown through Thermodynamics Law 1(The conservation of matter), that matter is totally incapable of creating itself. Hence, the only other logical and rational option is to accept that some other non material spiritual being created the material universe and all that is in it. And this is precisely where the theological explanation gives the only reasonable explanation. Now, the theological explanation says that God who is a spirit (Jn.4:24), has revealed through the Bible that the material world was created by him. In Gen. 1:1 we are told: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Again in Heb. 11:3 we are told: “By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear.” The material therefore rests on the spiritual and not vice versa. And that being the case, the material has its existence from the spiritual.
2. The spiritual has given commandments and laws for the running and operation of the material.
This second fact means that all social, political and economic problems are ultimately connected to spiritual things and are therefore ultimately spiritual problems. Now, in Nagaland, there is a tendency to think that when we talk about spiritual things, we are only talking about matters related to God, the Church and its activities. We think that by spiritual matters, we are talking only about salvation, attending Church services, tithing, baptisms, holy matrimonies etc. What we fail to realize as a result, is that when we talk about political, economic and social matters, we think we are talking about material and non spiritual things! We however must get out of this mindset and understand that, besides our spiritual and religious duties we also have political, economic and social duties which are all spirit related and therefore equally spiritual duties. For example, when the Pharisees tested Jesus and asked him what the greatest commandment was, he replied them saying that loving the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind and our neighbors as ourselves was the greatest commandment(Matt. 22:37-40). Now, we cannot divide this verse and say that the first section is towards God and therefore spiritual; but the second part being towards man is material. What I mean to say is that all duties of man- whether religious duties or political duties or economic duties lies in the realm of the material world. (After all, we don’t go into a spiritual world to perform a holy matrimony or to worship God). Now, in this spirit-material relationship, only God is outside the material world and is not dependent on the material world for his origin or survival. He is also not limited by the physical laws of the world. For example Jesus was not bound by the physical law of gravity when he ascended back to heaven after his resurrection. But the important thing that we have to understand is that the invisible God has given us both religious spiritual duties as well as religious political and social duties for our survival in this material world. Consequently, when we fail in these spiritual political and social duties, we have spiritual political and social problems.
Let us now consider how our irresponsible as well as deliberate acts of indifference to God’s political laws have brought about our present political mess. In my last article I had pointed to the fact that God is both the giver of our political as well as geographical identities. On this matter, Acts 17:26 says: “And he (God) made from one (Adam) every nation of man to live on the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation.” Now, our ancestors have inhabited the allotted boundaries of our habitation for thousands of years. But when our “allotted time” to become a modern nation state came in the 20th century (beginning from the 1929 Simon Commission onwards), we hoisted our flag on 14th August 1947.
In the subsequent years of defending that declared independence, the illiterate Naga did his duty but what did most of us other educated Nagas do? With the exception of Scato Swu who was a graduate, what did our other graduates and post graduates do for God and for country? Yes where were all the Naga IAS officers when our soldiers were marching to Pakistan and China? Some of these retired officers are today pointing their fingers against this leader and that leader for all the political and economic mess of Nagaland today? The counter question to them is: What did they do for the nation and the national cause for all these years of their lives living in Nagaland?
Can a nation run away from its spiritual political duties and still hope for a political miracle to fall down from the heavens? On the contrary, if we fail in our political duties, we will reap the consequences of that failure not only in the political dimension but even in our economic, social and religious dimensions.