Happy Easter Sunday!
Justice and Peace:
Church leadership has much to do with the question of peace and security of any nation. Since the late 1970s, religion has become as disruptive as ethnicity, and the youths are involved. The struggle for political power has come to entail the manipulation of the symbols and beliefs of Islam and Christianity. August 26th, 2011, was a sad day for Nigerians as it went down in history as the suicide bombing brought the Country to international prominence and focused the world on the giant of Africa. The Muslim terrorists bombed the United Nations (UN) headquarters office in Abuja, killing UN staff and non-staff. This event was just one of the atrocities of the Islamic jihadist militant sect called Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-jihad, which in English means “people committed to the propagation of the prophet’s teachings and jihad” called ‘Boko Haram.’
The Country witnessed its nakedness in security and vulnerability and turned Nigeria into a state immersed in violent conflicts. The reasons for various violent conflicts range from ethnic conflagrations, religious insensitivity, and political authoritarianism; to ethnicism, political power, defeat in elections, mass poverty, youth unemployment, intolerance, the rigidity of opinions, and selfishness, among several others.
The world today has become a global village. With all the changes around us, relational changes are the most critical. Globalization is forcing people to think more about relationships (at least in economics) beyond their provincial boundaries and comfort zones. These relationships, however, focus only on an exchange process (e.g., of labor, goods, and services), not a relational process. The exchange process shows the ways many personal relationships are conducted, even with God. We must know that relationships should be based on Love (koinonia; agape). The simple lesson this relational connection teaches us is to love one another, serve one another, obey God, and always do God’s Will and commands. It is better to stop a conflict than find ways to resolve it.
Most Church leaders have stepped aside from the teachings of Jesus Christ for a prosperity message. Martin Luther King’s conviction was that any religion that professes concern for the Souls of men and is not equally concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion only waiting for the day to be buried. Therefore Church Ministers must be concerned about economic crises and injustice.
I concur that, at times, War is a ‘negative good’ in preventing the spread and growth of an evil force. But it is incomparable to the power of an evil force and to the power of Love in solving social problems. Mahatma Gandhi, during his lifetime, did Salt March to the Sea and fasted several times to press home his points. Gandhi’s concept was ‘SATYAGRAHA’ (Satya is a truth which equals Love, and Agraha is force; Satyagraha means truth force or love force). It conforms with Jesus’ teachings. It has great potential in the area of social reform.
Gandhi was the first person in history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere interaction between individuals to a powerful and effective Social Force. Love for Gandhi was a potent instrument for social and collective transformation. This philosophy of Gandhi is highly recommended for militant Youths. Leaders have failed woefully, maybe because of their greed and selfishness. The Comatose situation is mainly due to unrighteous leadership.
Conflict Resolution is a MUST: no more violence, kidnapping, no militancy but a dialogue. Let a true disciplined leader emerge like Gandhi of India or Martin Luther King Jr. of the United States of America, who will lead the people to the Promised Land with a nonviolent approach. It calls for a godly leader who will use Love’s weapon to resolve the conflict. Life is good for the living, not for the dead. The Youths should live out their whole life and not be cut short by bullets, which happens in a militant approach.
Peace is good, and Justice is supreme, but an illegality cannot and must not be allowed to replace an illegality. The people deserve to have basic amenities, and the people deserve to enjoy abundant life, a good environment, good shelters, gainful employment, good Infrastructures, etc. The actions and inactions of today are tomorrow’s history. Historically, Capitalism failed to see the truth in a collective enterprise, and Marxism failed to see the truth in an individual enterprise.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Present-day Capitalism fails to see that life is individualistic and personal. Nurture and the Environment play essential roles in the Etiquette of Youths. Love overrides all things, and Love for Gandhi was a potent instrument for social and collective transformation. The youths need to imbibe Gandhi’s Philosophy of Nonviolent Resistance. Martin Luther King Jr. gave 3-dimensions of a complete life. The 3-dimensions are:
- The inward concern for one’s welfare.
- The Breath of life is the outward concern for the welfare of others.
- The height of life is the upward reach toward God.
And without the due development of all, any life becomes complete.
Evil is so entrenched worldwide today to the extent that the virtuous, the law-abiding, the innocents, the charitable, and the generous are scarce. At the same time, charlatans, swindlers, villains, fraudsters, traitors, dishonorable men and women, murderers, robbers, manipulators, and hypocrites want to be in charge of affairs. Justice is thoroughly perverted, everything is upside down, truth is crushed, and evil repressed good.
God has endowed humankind with tremendous wisdom and capacity for good and evil. That is the whole essence of Free Will. Free Will needs to be trained in a deterministic positive dimension. In unity, man can achieve anything, even the most challenging task. It is like the Biblical Tower of Babel; men can achieve their aim in the unity of Mind, Will, and Emotion, the three faculties of the Soul of Man. I am using this opportunity to advise the militant and fundamental youths to desist from violent resistance and embrace nonviolent resistance. Let them use their votes to empower good leaders to address their needs and bring peace to the world.
The Church has Social, Economical, Political, and Spiritual Responsibilities to the people but has refused to act to bring everlasting peace to the nation. The Church must be concerned about land degradation, unemployment of vibrant youths, and insecurity in today’s world. The Church must set an excellent example of good etiquette, transmitting a good code of conduct and good doctrinal teachings for the youths to imbibe.