Our Readers' Opinions
October 3, 2017
The National Day of Prayer should be restructured

Editor: I must first say upfront that I am very saddened by the way that the National Day of Prayer here in St Vincent and the Grenadines is being organized and presented, I believe it is too superficial in its delivery to this nation, and from where I stand, it seems that our Church leaders and elders have not grasped the real significance of this day, and have lost the divine and spiritual willingness of one common understanding of this concept.

I am also of the view that the Church has become too money-oriented, which allows corruption to set in; there seems to be a new way they conduct their worship services, which I believe if King Solomon was still here, he would have called it a vexation of the spirit, and Jesus would have shouted out ‘hypocrites;’ he may have also overturned the seats and chased them out of the Church buildings. It is my opinion that there is too much focus on the collection of the tithes and offerings during worship services, which, to my mind, is a stumbling block in the churches. It is imperative for them to review this.

If we are a praying, Christian nation and our beliefs are rooted and grounded in Christ, the Church should possess Christ healing powers and no Christians should be complaining about illness; our prison should not be overcrowded; the many social ills that are plaguing our society should be at an all-time low; and most importantly, the Church should be giving sound spiritual guidance and directions to the political leadership of our country. And if they do, it is certainly not working; there is need for a new thinking; the Church needs to get it right. It is, however, ironic that as a Christian nation, we look to the politicians for the forward development progress and economic sustainability of our country, but fail to understand that the Church and State must work together for the betterment of all people. There is a grave political divide that is hurting the moral fabric of our society, and to make matters worse, the churches are also dangerously divided, even though they claim to serve and know the same God.

Yes, I know as you read, you are wondering what all this has to do with the topic at hand. Well, it is one thing to be religious and a different thing to be spiritual and another to be political, but at the end of the day, they all seem to have the same agenda.

I must, however, confess that it took me this long to understand why Jesus was not sent to the churches in his day, and to understand why he chose fishermen and the like as his disciples; and the wisdom that was hidden from the wise and prudent has been now revealed unto babes and sucklings. However, I will conclude by trying to put this into perspective.

Vincy Mas/Carnival has just concluded; some 10 days, two of which are national holidays and it is a fixed national event on our calendar. And though most churches think it is ungodly, most of their members attend and support it; thousands of people near and far also attend this event. The Government claims that it brings tangible financial benefits to our country; be that as it may, my question is though, at what social cost?

Notwithstanding, our National Day of Prayer and Reconciliation seems not that important enough to be considered to be a main feature on our national calendar, or a national holiday; this is truly breaking my heart; of a population of over 100,000 people in St Vincent and the Grenadines, fewer than 200 people turn up for this event yearly. I often wonder why this is so. But for Carnival, thousands of people turn up to those events. It’s a very sad state of affairs, don’t you think? Are we to have double standards as a people? As a nation? I think the Vincentian people need some serious retrospection on this issue.

I, therefore, make this urgent and definitive call for a well and properly structured organization to be put in place to implement a National Day of Prayer and Reconciliation for St Vincent and the Grenadines. For the entire country: no stone left unturned and to declare this day a national holiday in St Vincent and the Grenadines and it must not appear to be a mere sideshow, as has been done at Heritage Square in the past. The Church has to get this right, and if the Church is not too sure as to what to do, my advice to them is to ask God in Jesus name, through much praying and fasting. I humbly believe that the Church is too laid back, somehow waiting on God to speak, but as ironic as it may seem, the truth of the matter is that God has already spoken; righteousness will always exalt any nation, but sinful actions are the downfall of any nation and people. Righteousness simply means to do what is right, but having a clear vision is very essential to its manifestation. But from where I stand, I can safely say God is not happy with us at all.

Clearon Cleave Francis

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