By Rev Angela C
I AM writing and submitting this article on Monday, June 6, because our votes on the four gender equality bills have not yet been cast. No matter what the final verdict is, we have some questions that we need to ask as we move past this moment in our nation’s development.
- How will we treat one another as we live out our Christian faith?
I trust that we will treat each other with the respect that is due to persons made in the image of God, redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ and being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. I believe that we are all blessed with gifts with which to serve the Lord here on earth, and favoured with the gift of eternal life to be in God’s nearer presence forever.
- Who have we hurt over the past several months for whatever reason? Are we willing to ask, receive and offer forgiveness if we have been hurt in return?
We will all have to face God one day. I hope that we have conducted ourselves in a manner befitting a child of the King. There is no excuse for inexcusable behaviour. Not only are there individuals who need to make peace with one another, there are persons and even groups who may need to ask the forgiveness of the youth of this nation for acting in a manner that was not mature. This is a matter of conscience for each of us to determine for ourselves. There need be no accusations. Let God be your judge, godly principles your guide, and govern yourself accordingly.
- How will those who have been disappointed keep from sinking into despair and what will we do to comfort and console them?
Whenever a decision has to be made, someone will not be happy with the outcome. Is there room for compromise on any of these matters? Is there a way forward that embraces the best that each side has brought to the table?
- How will those who are jubilant celebrate the victory?
Will God be pleased with what is said and done? Let us never forget that we represent Christ at all times, and we want to bring souls to Christ at every opportunity.
- If there is a tie vote, what will we do next?
How do we peacefully resolve such a dilemma? If people vote along party lines will this prepare us for the national elections? Of course, there will be no way to know how people voted as there are many arguments heard on both sides that may be quite unrelated to party politics.
- What will generations to come read about our current events when they become Bahamian history?
Only time will tell how we will see ourselves from the perspective of hindsight. I pray that we will be able to defend the position that we took with no regrets.
- Have we drawn closer to God as a people?
This was definitely a time for much prayer and the seeking of God’s will. I pray that whatever the outcome we will direct this same energy and passion to the reduction and elimination of the following blights on our spiritual records:
• Domestic abuse, incest, rape and violence against women and children and not an increase.
• Poverty and the tendency for it to be experienced by single heads of household, who most often are women.
• Babies born out of wedlock and all of the implications that this carries socially, morally and spiritually.
• Crime and the desire we exploit, harass and oppress all those perceived as weak or vulnerable.
When all is said and done, how will be judged by God for our part in this week’s proceedings and how will it influence our choices to be made in the future.