By Jerry Roker
for Bahamas Press
Some protagonists argue that in this increasingly secular nation, proclaiming the Christian faith should be removed from public discourse and public institutions. I do not agree. As a Christian society, there ought to be no ambiguity about the role of faith-based organisations in making a difference in people’s lives.
The Christian values of compassion, faith, charity, love and sharing are required today more than ever as our society needs to reach out to the poor, the hungry, the unemployed and all those people struggling under the myriad hardships and other challenges.
Christianity in this island has had its moments of shame. It did not always speak out on the issues which affected the rights of the majority, and it has not always reached to the poor and dispossessed as it should have. But the church has been there for many good things. It has been in the forefront of education, it has opened the doors to progress for many, and it is the place to which people turn in their hour of despair and also to rejoice.
We still look to the church even in this time of materialism not only to be the moral compass, but to uphold those values which society still cherishes.
Understandably, there are new cultural flashpoints which the church must face. Perhaps there is none greater than those hot button agenda items which many developed countries want small nations such as The Bahamas to follow. The classic example is the campaign to give gay men and lesbians the right to a legal union.
Christian Bahamians must continue to be tolerant of other faiths and even those who have no faith at all. But this country must stand for something and it must defend the principles of its Christian faith which offers hope every day to so many.
And while our lives may no longer be constituted with an abundance of religious things but rather of technology, use of modern medicines and with various forms of entertainment and exploration, the focus should not only be on secular things.
Those who seek to debunk Christianity are generally articulate, passionate and persistent in their message. The defenders of the Christian faith must not just raise their hands in despair, but by their actions and leadership show their relevance today as it was yesterday and must be tomorrow.