The whole Bible is the most reliable character or road-map of Christian life. Outside of this there is no Christian life and its way.
When a subject such as this is studied or considered, one must feel that all men are sinners before God. All men stumble along the road of life. We get up and go again on the right road.
To come to the specific issues relating to Christian ethics or conduct, we may be in a better position to appreciate the issues of Christian life, if we set aside a certain goal of life. Shall we call it, the Christian? What is a Christian goal like? Shall we say that the Christian goal is to serve the Lord Jesus and his people? Can we, while trying to maintain this goal, maintain a solid ethical way of life? To get ahead in that Goal of ethical life, do we have to compromise our ideas and beliefs?
We as Christians ought to carefully distinguish between right and wrong compromises. At no point of time we should compromise principles of our faith which is obviously wrong. There may be a compromise which is a necessary adjustment to the world in which we live and work which may not be wrong.
A pertinent question of appendage arises whether it is wrong to be ambitious for a Christian? The world over the desire to get to the top as one of the deepest drives of men. It is an essential part of human nature and equipment. It is true that one of the most desperate needs of the Nagas today is dependable, solid and morally strong leadership at the top of the state, the church and the society.
The Nagas need leaders who are ambitious to rise to the top with their dint of talents and character. A leader who is yielded to the control of God in his life.
“….to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey- his servants ye are who ye obey…whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness.” Rom 6:16
The ethical norm for Nagaland is the Christian norm-Nagaland being converted by the Nagas as a land for Christ. The Nagas are well aware that our character is the true replica of our conduct.
We can order our conduct to impress others to gain their confidence to achieve an ugly purpose. We can pretend to be what we are not and do great sins. It is rather a question of what we are, not what we do. What we are when we are alone, off guard when no one is looking at us- this character the Christ like life that follows the foot-step of Christ at all times.
A Christian leader is the true replica of Christ who does not seek great things for himself- power, money, wealth, unnatural desire to become big, who tries to become rich over night at the cost of the people- he is not corrupted who loves Christ and His people is truly the type of a leader, the Nagas desperately need. Do we have God fearing, dedicated, solid and reliable Naga leaders in the church, the state and the community? A Christian state, a Nagaland for Christ-ought to have distinguished and excellent leaders of Christian ethics and character.
Yes, we know that a train gets nowhere without power, neither do we without the right ambition. The lack of ambition is seen today among the youth who have not set an ambition to be in life. Strong ambition may make greater sinners or great saints, lack of it makes nothing. All self-centered ambition is sinful- Mark 10:35-45. Jesus Christ had clearly pointed out that any endeavour aiming at advancement of self is corruption. The selfishness of Eve at the first instance and Adam at the second that their selfishness to become like God- the tempter said, “You will be like God.” Gen 3:5. That led to the fall of man in sin.
Consecrated ambition is what Jesus had taught his disciples and subsequently to His church. This was reiterated by St. Paul: “For me live is Christ.” I Cor 15:10. Jesus does not suppress ambition, but directs it to the welfare of others and the service of God. What about the Naga leaders? One day, sooner or later, the Lord Jesus will ask you to give a account of your stewardship- Luk 16:2. He will X-Ray you and test your blood- you will be laid in the sun-all will be exposed. Can you face His judgment?
Everyone is looking for a good lubricative job. Less work and handsome salary. You get good job without doing anything for the people you serve- this is a bad job. Christian ethics do drive and initiate utility jobs which are directed to the service of God and to glorify Him.
In the scenario of Christian ethics, dishonesty is a real big problem. In Nagaland, as elsewhere, honesty has been marked with Red Ink as declining and degenerating. The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God- the preaching to the Nagas was like pouring water on the rocks. The love, peace and orderliness that the Gospel of Christ brought to the Nagas short lived. Today, Nagaland is virtually a land of hypocrisy. Nagaland is ravished with hatred, jealousy, conflict, theft, robbery, extortion, killings, corruptions, dishonesty, cheating, discrimination, exploitation and sectarianism, regionalism and tribalism- a victim of isms. In the name of borrowings many people are cheated because the same is never paid back ever. Office stationeries are openly used as private property. Illegal extortions of money from the contractors, etc, are forcibly collected as commissions by the officers and the ministers-Govt. Vehicles are rampantly misused for private purposes. This dishonesty is caused by a greedy, insatiable desire to have more than one’s fair share of good things in life. The Bible equates this greediness and grasping desire with idolatry- Col 3:5. Materialism has become a substitute God for many Nagas. Distortion, exaggeration, misinterpretation have become customary and normal. These offset the Christian ethics. All these are sweet forms of lying, which is a sin God hates most.
The dishonest use of time: Is another non-ethical way of life many Christians are used to. We steal a lot of other’s time. Some of us are consistently late at work and just as consistently early in knocking off. Some waste time by having prolonged lunch, tea lunch, doing private works, gossiping. Many of us go the work place but do very little work. Some remain absent from the place of posting, otherwise remaining in their homes, only reporting for the pay.
The Bible rates integrity and uprightness very high. The man who fears God must be straight, genuine honest and upright. Prophet Amos saw the Lord standing beside a wall with a plumb line in His hand- Amos 7:7, Are we straight?
This is like a play ground where the Christians are scrutinized and tested as to exhibit their worthiness. Politics is an activity which is a part of God’s plan for this present life. Christians have a responsibility to take part in politics because it refers to the ordering of the affairs of public life. The Christians are called to serve the community, discharging all the responsibilities of good citizenship for transparent, clean, accountable and good governance of the state. Christian ethics means doing the right thing morally. The Christians ethical witness is one which grows out of love, not out of hope for results. Love your neighbors as yourself is the Lord’s command. That command remains the highest goal of the Christian ethics. Let the Christians rise up in unison to show to the world that we are on earth to live like a colony of brotherhood. The Nagas deserve to live as a people whose God is the Lord Jehovah, a free people from sin, from all its ravishes, to live as a democratic people free from injustice, ignorance, inequality, discrimination, prejudices, exploitations, conflicts and violence- to enjoy tranquility, peace and harmony.
While on earth, the Christians are asked to walk through the narrow way which is the way that leads to
life i.e. the Lord Jesus. The Christians must identify the false prophets, the dishonest and hypo critic leaders who are in sheep’s clothing but they are in reality Ravening Wolves. We are to shun them and not follow them. We rather choose the Narrow Way- the Christian Ethical Way- The Way of Christ.
The right thing is always the thing that is right from Christian ethical point of vies. That means the right thing morally is always the right thing religiously, politically, socially and economically. Anything which is morally wrong cannot be politically right. Moral law’s source is God’s bosom which is the harmony of the World. The Christians are the salt of the earth which has the power to preserve the food. They can save their fellowmen from being perished in sin by the ever saving power of the Lord Jesus. God’s will is harmony, men’s will is disharmony. The Christians Ethic is the will of God. Good will and peace on earth is possible only if the Christians live and love each other and love as well as the Lord Jesus does. Christ is the ethics of the Christians. Are we the true replica of Jesus Christ as to overcome the sin and its ramifications?