Today, 30 November, is our 57th anniversary of independence and we should be very thankful on reaching this milestone. We can all testify to the fact that it has not been easy. Indeed, had not the Lord been “the people’s guide” as verse 2 of our anthem says, we would NOT have been here today.
In the last three years, we have been touched by volcanic ash, covid-19 – a deadly disease concocted by evil people – a hurricane and just yesterday, another earth tremor.
So, to God we say: “Thank you from the depths of our hearts for letting us reach 57 years as nation and as a people”
But even as we speak, our fair land is facing challenges from within and without. As we transition into our 58th year of independence, we need to be very mindful of what we at the Barbados Liberation Front see as a very serious challenge to our nation.
Bajan is Bajan
When you travel you hear two things about Bajans. First, Bajans have a distinct way of speaking – which, when translated means, “Bajans speak really fast”
The second thing you hear is that Barbadians are complainers. We complain about everything, we are told. We complain about the prices of everything from the supermarket to the wayside vendor – and often with good cause.
We complain about the weather and weather man. When it is too hot, we complain; when the rain falls to fill those “empty” reservoirs or cisterns, we complain about the weather man because we also get some flooding.
Now, we do NOT recommend that we embrace the perception that we are a nation of complainers. That will not help us at all. What is much more important at this juncture is the complaint filed against us.
While we are busy thanking God today – and hopefully every day – we may want to pay attention to the tacit complaint God has filed against us. But who has ever heard of God complaining? Does he?
He does and there is one generic complaint he has made that we ought to consider very carefully on this 57th anniversary of our independence.
In Jeremiah chapter 2, God – Jehovah – files both a complaint and charges against Israel. As Israel began to go further and further away from Him, God said this to them by the prophet in verse 5:
This is what the Lord says: “What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me?
If you think about it, the fact that the Sovereign God was filing a complaint against the ancestors implies that the current generation, the descendants, were in a much greater state of breakaway and disarray than the ancestors.
Too many of our fellow Barbadians, the descendants of slaves, are no longer willing to identify with verse 2 of our national anthem, “the Lord has been the people’s guide for past 300 years”.
Many instead, both old and young regrettably, are asking in angry tones: “What God?”. Not only are they asking, “What God?”, they are throwing religion altogether under the bus. As one Facebook commenter said, “All religion is a Ponzi scheme”.
God’s complaint is focused on two key players, the priests and lawyers:
The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols. Jeremiah 2:8
For the record, our nation is a plural society and that means the there is a place for every faith because faith is ultimately a matter of choice. The fact of the matter is that on the basis of sheer numbers, we are a majority Christian nation.
But despite our claims to be a God-fearing, Christian nation, our Christian religious leaders retreat further and further from the forums in which they ought to be vocal and active, either through fear of men or willful compromise, neither of which is scripturally sanctioned.
Through the prophet, God further complains in verse 11:
Has a nation ever changed its gods? But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. Jeremiah 2:11
Is this complaint true of Barbados and Barbadians? Are we guilty of worshipping other gods? Regrettably, we are; but it is not what you might think. The false god which more of us are worshipping is not made of gold or silver or stone or wood. But it is definitely made in OUR own image.
That false god is providing a formidable challenge to the church and society in general, even at age 57, when we should be getting wiser and know better.
This idol is what is behind the LGBTQ+ and transgenderism. It is what drove the judges of NIFCA 2023 to violate the right to free speech by disqualifying a theatrical piece by Praise Academy of Dance entitled “Speak Life”, a challenge and rebuttal to the transgender and abortion on demand movement.
It is all happening because our elected leaders are worshipping at the altar of this god: the UN or United Nations as well as its temples such as UNESCO and the WHO.
This god is the source of the foreign ideas about transgenderism and CSE – Comprehensive Sexual Education- that are finding their way into our schools through the ideological and moral porosity of our elected leaders. It is what is driving the passing of laws that go both against God and common sense such as the Child Protection Act.
There is a name for this god. It is called Secular Humanism. And how does it describe itself?
Humanism is “a…system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters” and secular humanism is a brand of humanism that “rejects all religious beliefs, including the existence of the supernatural. It stresses the importance of logic, the scientific method, and rationality when it comes to understanding the world and solving human problems”.
Secular humanism is a comprehensive trap of godlessness that is leading us into direct conflict with the Creator. Consider this punch line of God’s complaint as well as his indictment of this ideology through the prophet:
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water”. Jeremiah 2: 13
We do not expect the atheists and secular humanists among us to agree with the first two lines of verse 2 of the national anthem which we cited above. The moderates among them may say, condescendingly:
“Fine, maybe: but God is no longer relevant to our time”.
But let us turn our attention to line 3 of the second verse of the national anthem:
With him still on the people’s side
We have no doubts or fears.
Is he…still on the people’s side? We submit that the more important question is: Are we, the people, the nation, still on God’s side? Is our government on God’s side. Is the church on God’s side?
As we move forward into our 58th year of independence, these are the core questions we must address with urgency, especially as we move to revise our constitution.
We respectfully submit that the fundamental issues facing our country are not primarily economic, social or even political. We submit that they are essentially ideological.
Religion and spiritual orientation are fundamentally ideological because they have to do with what we truly believe and therefore, with what guides our relationship with God, with each other and the things we claim to hold dear such as freedom, justice, fairness and happiness.
Having been made in the image and likeness of God, we have a sovereign choice as to what to believe. That sovereign choice is the foundation of true freedom and we embrace it whole-heartedly.
However, while we have choices, we have little or no latitude in choosing their consequences because in many ways, the consequences are hard-wired into the choices. Therefore, here is what God put before the ancestors of Israel many years before Jeremiah’s time:
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you, life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.Deuteronomy 30:19 – 20
God’s principled verdict on nations that forget Him has been given long ago and we have the benefit of history to confirm that the principle cannot be broken:
The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God. Psalm 9:17
May the Lord bless Bim as it holds fast to Him!