Many claim that PNG is a Christian country, but I wonder what we are referring to. Is it the constitution, the religion or the people who make PNG a Christian nation? I wonder if we are what we claim to be. You can embrace Christian principles into the constitution. You can have the freedom to practice your religion and make it become the biggest religion. You can put Bibles as magic charms in the parliament, in your offices, in hotel rooms, in your cars or in your houses to create a religious presence. Yet that does not make a country become a genuine Christian nation. A true Christian country is depicted by the present thoughts and actions of its people, and not its history or the religious symbols it possesses.
A true Christian country is identified by the conducts of its citizens who claim to be Christians. Being a Christian is not about attending church services on Sundays or becoming a member of a Christian denomination. Though these are important, they are not the purpose of being a Christian. Being a Christian is being a “little Christ” in the world we live in. Christians are ambassadors of the kingdom of God. They have dual citizenship for both their own country and the kingdom of God. In the case of PNG Christians, they are to respect the constitution of their country by displaying a better pragmatic Christian approach in their lives as citizens of the kingdom of God in dealing with issues of injustice.
Papua New Guinea is going through a lot of political crises. As citizens we have a duty to contribute towards the betterment of our country. And part of it is to fight corruption at all levels of our society. However, we have to know how to do it the Christian way. Sadly, at this stage, most Christians are not sure what to do. Often many Christians fight corruption using other unchristian methods. To help us understand where and how to stand in our fight against corruption, there several things we need to avoid.
1. Use or support crime and violence as a means to fight corruption
The Black American civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr, once said, “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.” Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Independent India said, “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary… non-violence is a weapon of the strong.” Christians should support the fight against any injustice. Yet they are not to instigate, use, aid or pledge their support for crime and violence in any form as a means to fight corruption or gain attention. Even if you are successful in achieving justice through any of these means, the end does not justify the means in any way for a Christian. You are still accountable for every action you take. The recent fights happening among students in the three universities that destroyed public and company properties and the loss of human lives have prompted a lot of people to raise their voices to justify the actions of the students. Many blame the cause of all these to the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neil and his cabinet ministers. Non-Christians can, but a Christian will not in any way support these violent actions of the students. Christians are not even supposed to support the police shooting of the university students.
2. Carelessly destroy public and/or other people’s properties
Humanity was created with a mandate to be the stewards of God’s garden. They were mandated to create, redeem and sustain the creation of God. But not everyone seems to understand that. Therefore, Christians are required to display the attitude of good stewards in caring for the environment. God is not a careless God; Satan is. Therefore those who are God’s children should not be careless. We should be taking care of both the public and private properties. Christians should not support the students who burnt down the school buildings and other private properties. Any government, religious or private property that was established to help the people are to be cared for. Harboring arsonist or crime suspects is against the law.
3. Use illegal and dangerous elements to further the cause of justice
The use of guns, bush knives or any lethal weapon intended for destruction of lives through different mediums including sorcery and magic should not be supported. People using such weapons of destruction for the purpose of destroying human lives should not even be praised. Justice should always be voiced by Christians only through non-violent means.
4. Support Racial and ethnic discrimination
Racial and ethnic discrimination is an age-old issue all over the world. Christians are not to favor a particular ethnic group and discriminate against another. They are the glue that are meant to hold people together in peace and unity. Since everyone is unique, Christians are not called to be activists of any religious or social uniformity. Instead, they are called to initiate and promote “unity in diversity.”
5. Use vulgar or obscene languages to express anger or frustration
There are so many vulgar and obscene languages used by people commenting on Facebook posts made against corruption. The use of such filthy languages discourage healthy dialogues that are intended to contribute towards a better conflict resolution. Christians should not use such languages or be entertained by them. Such languages shows the content of the heart of the individuals who post them. The use of obscene languages displays a lack of maturity in the use of proper language communication to discuss pressing moral issues. People’s opinions should be respected. Any comment made as a negative response to people’s opinions should be made not to destroy another fellow brother or sister but help them see things differently (the way you see it). After all we are all fighting for the same cause.
Thank you for taking your time to read these first five things we should avoid as Christians when fighting corruption. But these are not the only ones. Like my Facebook page to keep yourself up to date for the next five things I will be posting again next week.