The papers read “protestors threw beer and peanut shells at Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham; McAlpine tells leader not to be petty; Student attacks teacher; Prime Minister Perry Christie said I can’t forgive songwriter for his insults to my family.” The list goes on and on. No respect for our leaders.
I usually don’t have anything remotely close to do with politics, but today I have found reasons to delve just a little bit into it. The talk on the street is politicians are corrupt. But didn’t we know that before we voted for them? Didn’t we know that when they paid us to vote for them? We knew it then and we know it now.
Because this is not my forte, please forgive me if I meander just a little. A few weeks ago in separate incidents it was rumored that students at different schools attacked their teachers. What do we expect when we are the ones who set bad examples by going to the schools to beat up the teachers for, as we put it, “laying hands on my child?” Unbelievable.
We are protesting, which is our democratic right, but does that give us the right to attack those who we are protesting against? Is it okay for us to throw beer and peanut shells at the leader of the country? Is it alright to bring family members of a prime minister into the fray? I would just like to quote the former Prime Minister Perry Christie: “We are now entering a stage that the Americans have entered – a silly stage where you call people anything you want to call them.”
Well Christie, that’s just a small part of America’s culture that we are mimicking. Lest you forget The Bahamas is now contemplating legalizing marijuana. Oh by the way, Christie you have to let it go. You can’t go to heaven with malice in your heart.
The union leaders are leading unruly charges against the government. Yet, they are telling their members to respect their bosses. One member of the government is referring to his leader as being petty because he is on the bench. Pray tell me whether I’m right or wrong, team players are on the field. Disgruntled players warm the bench.
Deacons are ganging up on the pastor, then turn around and tell the other members “we gats to get along”. This is some serious business.
This brings us to the crux of my contribution. A Christian asked, “Why should I submit to leaders that I believe are headed in the wrong directions? I love The Bahamas and want to do what is right for my country, but I am finding it hard to go along with what is in the Bible.”
Good question. But let us look, according to Paul, at what the Bible tells us. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications prayer, and intercessions, and giving thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and reverence,” 1 Timothy 2:1-2. We are not only supposed to pray for our leaders because the Bible tells us to. We are to pray for them because it makes good sense. Our leaders are in position to affect the conditions we live in and what happens to our families, our churches, our workplaces and our country. When our leaders are in sync with God, it is easier to live peaceful and quiet lives. We are not just talking politicians, but policemen, pastors and teachers – everyone who is in a position of authority.
Question: Is there a correlation between the disrespect for our leaders and the violence that is being perpetuated throughout the country? There are many other biblical scriptures that speak to respecting our leaders. But what is so remarkable is when we realize that Paul penned most of them during the reigns of Nero and Caligula, two of the worst tyrants in history.
The point is clear. As long as we can do so without denying Christ or being wishy-washy in our faith, we must always strive to cooperate with our leaders. Plain and simple.
That doesn’t mean that we will agree with all of their policies or approve of everything they do. In a free society, it is expected that we pay attention to what our leaders are doing. Nevertheless, The Bahamas as we know it is built on spiritual values and as Christians we are supposed to uphold biblical righteousness in a controversial culture while still having respect for those who lead us. There are no excuses for us to denigrate our leaders, and because we dishonor them we fail to comprehend that our disobedience to God is working against us. God set up governments and based on their performance they will be dealt with in due time and according to his will.
I beg your pardon for taking you all over the place. And as I leave I would like for you to ponder on the following anonymous quote: “May we be faithful, informed and thoughtful when praying and talking to others about our country and as we ask for God’s wisdom and righteousness to be evident in our nation’s policies and leaders.”
God bless our leaders. God bless our Bahamaland.
– Anthony Pratt