Christian Council: Be careful of trying to censor sermons

Bahamas Christian Council President Bishop Delton Fernander yesterday advised politicians to be “very careful about demonizing the voice piece of God” and becoming “sermon censors”.

On Sunday, Mount Tabor Church Bishop Neil Ellis accused Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and other members of his Cabinet of having a god complex and slammed members of Parliament as a “spineless” group of men and women who refuse to demand accountability from Minnis.

This led Free National Movement Chairman Carl Culmer to accuse Ellis of unleashing a nasty political attack on the prime minister from the pulpit.

Fernander warned Culmer to tread carefully.

“The Bible is clear that the prophet is answerable to the prophet,” Fernander told The Nassau Guardian.

“Someone must speak out for those who cannot speak out for themselves. I want to advise all politicians that, when sermons seemingly aren’t of your liking, be very careful about demonizing the voice piece of God…

“…It is that we do not talk about anybody’s soul, salvation from the pulpit. That has been clarified. But, I want to go on record, as the president of the Bahamas Christian Council, we will not stand for political quarantining of the voices of the church, that if it doesn’t fit into a nice, neat box, we don’t want to hear the word of the Lord.

“The same thing happened before in the Bible that we had to remind the king that, ‘You are not that man.’ So, prophets must be free to speak what God is saying.”

Linking his assessment of the prime minister’s performance to scripture, Ellis said, “You’ll see in the text that while feeling the success and the weight of his power, and caught up in an exaggerated sense of his own self-importance, Nebuchadnezzar, the head of Babylon, developed what Dr. Tony Evans calls a theo ego; theo means God. Ego is mindset.

“…Nebuchadnezzar developed a god mentality. What do I mean by that? He sought to deify himself. What do I mean by that? He put himself on the level of God.”

He added, “Your one-man stand is killing our economy and it sure doesn’t help when the one in the chair does not believe in God.”

Culmer said it was an “absurd and irresponsible assertion that our leader ‘does not believe in God’”.

Fernander responded, “I think we have to be careful. I have spoken to Bishop Ellis and he has done some interviews. But, it was not his intention to say that the prime minister of our country is not Christian.

“That was not who his statements were geared toward and I accept those to be the general context of his sermon. What I am careful of is that we are now becoming sermon censors.

“I want us to be really, really be careful.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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