Rev. Fr. G. L. Khing
There were days when the Christians fought against non-Christians and vice-versa. Both the party tried to dominate kingdoms and territories. The fight became endless. A small issue is seen with the eyes of Christian vs non-Christian. The hot burning fight began to subside for some years. But with nationalism and fanaticism coming into the picture of country and religion respectively, there began another war, the war of the Christians, i.e. Church Vs Church. And Nagaland is no exception to this fight which is both external and internal.
I am sure you must have experienced or heard stories of conflicts between one church with another church. Yes, both are trying to survive the game, yet this has proved to be injurious to body and soul. The victims suffer the most, the doers escape through the holy doors. Today, many churches are finding difficult to face the other church because of their vast or little differences.
Even a small village is infected by the disease of conflicts in term of ‘Church.’ One criticizes the other for one’s own personal gain. But criticism comes about due to insecurity. The church which remains in fear and is insecure within will be the loudspeaker of criticism. Some churches remain united in showering bullets of rumours and false propaganda against the other. This is the only joy they get in being Christian, apart from this, they are just hollow. Christians are called to be another Christ to stand for truth, work for justice and love God and neighbours. This is our daily task. To confront evil and falsehood is also the work of every Christian. But if Christians become evil themselves, and if they propagate falsehood, then where are the ‘real Christians’? Failure to live a sincere Christian life has given way to conflict among Christian brethren. The root cause is found on the edge lips of many church leaders.
We should not allow church leaders to preach rumours in the pulpit nor spread false visions to the members. A recent letter from a certain Pastor to the Catholic Church is really an insult to God. I do not know which spirit revealed such visions to him. All the same, may God bless him to work for God and not for the devil.The Scripture has enough insights to preach for eternity.We should not diminish the spirit of Christian life by our lies and defamations. The truth of the Gospel is becoming orphan in Nagaland.
Some true events in Nagaland will tell us the face of Christian life in Nagaland. A Pastor refused to partake the wedding party of a girl (his close relative) because she married a Catholic boy. He may be mad with his love for God but hatred against other Church made him ever madder. Another girl married to a Catholic boy. Their happy marriage brought disaster to the girl’s sister. She was immediately removedfrom the post of Youth Director in a certain village. This is how we run the great show of Christian life in Nagaland. Funny yet true!The same show must be happening in many places in Nagaland. Yet, no one dares to bring up such issues for fear of greater misunderstanding and conflicts. But burying the reality is increasing the number of spiritual cemeteries in Nagaland. It is high time that we confront this type of wrong attitude and living in our Christian State.
Many denominations wanted to increase the number of flocks so that Pastors and church leaders could graze happily. For this they search all opportunities to jump into the boundaries of other church to steal innocent sheep. The best way to steal is when the sheep are injured or sick. They would come to the family and pray with the best words possible. The tears of empathy would flow to make the scene of the film looks real, and then follows some slideshow of prophecies and visions. They would say, “Ohhh, my dear brothers and sisters, we are so sad to tell you that this sickness in your family is because of your religion. You need to change your religion/church/denomination so that no such sickness would visit you again. If you join our church, you will certainly get well.” Such tempting words from the smelly holy mouth induce the sick family towards them. The injection of spiritual drugs is too strong but it works for them.
How many families have changed their Church because of such wrong spiritual interpretations? Did any family gain physical health by the change of denominations? Do only members ofcertain Church get sick? I do not think so. There may be some families who move from one church to another church every year to get the taste of being ‘all-round Christian.’A young lady gave birth to a baby boy with little deformity on the rightleg. Knowing this, a certain pastor came to meet the couple and told him that this is because they belong to a certain church. Change of church would definitely heal the child. Listening to this comic story, the couple changed their denomination/church. But the saddest part is that the boy remains the same without any physical healing till today. A spiritual leader has cheated them for no good.
Are sickness and suffering related to our worship, church or denomination? No. Even after the change of denomination, the sick person continues to be sick without any better and later dies a miserable death. Are Christians called by God to cheat and steal other members without any guilt and shame? The internal conflict still continues even in our generation, a generation in search of change without any change.
As Christians, we need not be wolves among the sheep. If this continues Nagaland will be a dangerous place for our fellow Christian. We create our own disharmony and blame others for our own failure. Allow simple Christians to live as ‘true Christians.’ This will invite the Spirit of God to dwell in us to live as brothers and sisters in Nagaland.