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When The Men Of Cloth Ran From The Devil

When The Men Of Cloth Ran From The DevilThis commentary looks at the troubles of the Antigua Christian Council (ACC) as they affect its “...Church/State relations; ...proposition of a Code of Conduct for politicians and its premature abortion, secular and spiritual human behaviors and other experiences.”

In every aspect of human lives, be it “...secular or religious; ...private or official,” there comes a time when “...adjustments shall be made; ...diversions become necessary; ...abandonment of plans; ...adjournment of proceedings; ...postponement of events; or ...stopping of a boxing bout; ...even the abortion of early human conception. For instance, it might be pressingly necessary to “...Abort a fetus before viability.”

ABORTING/RENEGING

While in many societies across the globe, “...backroom procedures” were obtained, safety dictates that a procedure was “...legitimized through professional medical determinations,” as likely to “...pose danger to the life of an expecting mother.” Similarly, there was also a time, when situations and/or circumstances had forced many into innumerable awkward positions. Thus, “...some plans and/or programmes may be aborted, while some promises or pledges may be reneged.”  Thus, when the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer, promised to make “...an Important Announcement on Thursday March 15, 2014,” then reneged on its delivery, reasonable inferences may have been drawn that “...circumstances,” whether of his own making or uncontrollable” had forced him to “...Run Away.”


THE MEN OF CLOTH

The Devil has not only manifested himself in “...terrorists, but also in a few “...Men of the Cloth” in the religious institutions, and by extension, within the leadership of the “...Antigua Christian Council (ACC).” When the leadership of the ‘ACC’ withdrew its “...Proposed Code of Conduct for politicians,” it had also performed “...an abortion on its organization.” Members knew that as much as it had collaborated and/or cooperated with the “...Department of Ecclesiastes Affairs,” it could neither exercise control over “...God’s Spirit, nor the Conduct” of those who might be influenced by the Devil. There was “...Hypocrisy and Heresy.” On the one hand the ‘ACC’s leadership was proposing a “....Code of Conduct for Politicians. On the other hand, members within the Council were advocating " ...Decriminalization of Buggery Law;"

DESTRUCTIVE INFLUENCES

Empirical evidence has shown that many forms of “...Evil” have manifested themselves in man’s behavior, be it in the “...wider society; ...governments and/or religious organizations.” Yet the more religious leaders preached about the “...destructive influences of the Devil,” and urged congregants to “...resist evil and temptation,” seemingly, it was the closer they have been edging toward, and/or have aligned themselves with him. Social commentator, Slinger Francisco, ‘Mighty Sparrow’ sang about “...evil in the heart of a fellow-social commentator.” He believed that he was as “...ugly as the rumor” he was accused of circulating. Lord Melody had reportedly triggered rumors that “...Sparrow was dead.” In a classic response, he said “...The man who spread this rumor was as wicked as the devil.”

WICKED AS THE DEVIL

Those who have perpetrated evil on others were often said to be as “...Wicked as the devil.” Dominating the hearts of mankind, the “...Devil,” was said to be at work, daily in “...man and beast and within the leadership of religious community. He has been busily “...sowing seeds of discord and hate and corrupting morals,” consistently creating situations that “...Evil Men” may wreak havoc on society’s innocent, vulnerable and defenceless people across the globe. For instance, a “...suspected Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram,” allegedly detonating two massive car bombs that brought down a building “...tragically killing over 118 people in Nigeria.” Evidence showed that the “...Devil was at work.” A dismayed President Goodluck Jonathan had stopped short of calling the group “...Nigerian Devils.” He simply described its deadly acts as “...cruel and evil” [BBC: May 21, 2014].  Earlier that group had claimed responsibility for “...kidnapping some 300 female students from their Chibok School” [May 12, 2014].

DESTITUTE OF MORALS

On the other hand, spiritually corrupt and/or members seemingly “...destitute of good morals,” were encouraging “...Abomination.” When one its members advocated “...Decriminalization of Buggery Laws,” without contradiction,such advocacy reflected the “...Advocacy of the Devil.” Seemingly sensing“...Spiritual and Moral Bankruptcy,” the Baldwin Spencer administration may not have been enthused in giving “...legislative considerations to a crime of abomination.” It may have been for this, and other reasons,thatneither “...incumbents nor opposition candidates” were prepared to embrace and/or accept the “...Proposed Code of Conduct by the ACC,” intended to guide their conduct during the “...June 12, 2014 elections campaign.” 

SEPARATE WAYS

Whether relationships had involved people“...husbands and wives; ...parents and children; ...employers and employees, there comes a time when they shall go their “...Separate Ways.” Even at sea, tragic circumstances may see the “...separation of crew and captains from their vessels” [RMS Titanic: April 14, 1912: M/V Concord: Wednesday May 21, 2014]. When a 14 year-old son allegedly “...pummeled his parent into a state of unconsciousness,” it might be time to separate him from his parents [Caribarena: May 24, 2014]. However, as the Scripture urges “...children to honour and obey” [Ephesians 6:2], it also warns “...parents (fathers/mothers); “...Do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them” [Ephesians 6:4]. The Welfare and Social Services Department may wish to intercede to determine “...Causation” with the view of determining “ ...appropriate solutions.”

TIME FOR RUNNING

In the man’s secular life, there is a “...time; ...season and reason.” Under the Heavens, the Holy Scripture speaks to these” [NLT: Ecclesiastes 3]. Thus, there is a time when persons may “...Run Away from home; ...a matrimonial relationship; ...dangerous situations; e.g. ...ferocious dogs; ...a vicious bouncer; ...fire and/or an armed bandit.” Some may even run away from Gerald and Shabba Quinland, the “...Banks’ Bailiff and authorized hire-purchased Vehicle Re-possessors.” In some instances, those vying for elective office may also have to run from constituencies and/or contenders, if only to avoid the “...Agony of Defeat.” This may have been the experiences of two former Members of the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament, “...Senator Joanne Massiah and Honourable Chester Hughes” [St. Peter/All Saints and St. Luke]. Frequently, the “...religiously unfaithful” had been forced to “...Run from God.” Thus, as much as many people have become “...Fugitive from God” [Bridget Blucher], there was also a time when man shall “...Run from the Devil.” The Antigua Christian Council appeared to have found itself in a position, thereby forcing it to “...Run.”

RUNNING FOR LIBERTY

In man's secular life, there is a " ...time; ...season and ...reason for everything. This had been  made abundantly clear by Kenroy Marshall, that whether or not, he had committed or merely suspected of committing a crime, he would rather be a “...Free man on the Run,” than to be confined in an overcrowded “ ...Detention Center or Penal Institution.” Therefore, if it can be avoided, it will be avoided. It was obvious that in “...securing his liberty,” there was a resolve in capitalizing on any “...window of opportunity to escape.” The official records may show that “...Not for the first time he had been held in Police custody; ...Not for the first time he had escaped with awestruck elusiveness, with pursuits ending in futility; ...Not for the first time he had taken flight, either on foot, boat or aircraft; ...Not for the first time he had skipped town; ...Not for the first time, Kenroy Marshall had caused“...un-concealable embarrassment to Law enforcement.” His exploits may easily have earned him the title “...Kenroy Marshall, Escape Artist.”


DRAMATIC ESCAPE

When “...Kenroy Marshall” made his “...Dramatic Escape at the St. John’s Police Station,” he had reportedly “...Jumped a 15- foot perimeter wall fence” and run as he had done on “...three previous occasions” [Caribarena: May 23, 2014]. When he had left Law enforcement officers, almost immoveable and sprinted down “...Runway 10 at VC Bird International Airport,” in quick time and spectacular fashion, he was airborne to successfully clear the perimeter fence. A commentator to this website “...Telluride” had described him as a “...Genius.”  Adding insult to injury, the escort officer with “...suggestive stupidity,” making the same jump in “...reactive pursuit,” reportedly sustained “...a fractured leg and hand.” Ironically, the detainee made good his escape. His tenacity in escaping from custody; ...unsuspecting cunningness; ...dexterity and evasive skills, have now made him the envy of those he had “...out- foxed; ...out-run and has successfully eluded Law enforcement.”

RUNNING FROM JAIL

Though he was not “...Running from the Devil,” now declared to be a “...Fugitive from Justice,” Kenroy Marshall wasin fact “...Running From Jail.” Irrespective of allegations and/or accusations, two things seemed to have favored Kenroy Marshall. Firstly, he enjoys the prevailing constitutional “...Presumption of Innocence.” The provision states “...Every person who is charged with a criminal offence, shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved or has pleaded guilty” [CO: Section 15 (2)]. Secondly, was his ability and almost effortless ease escaping from “...suspect police security procedures and/or operations.” This was complimented by his running exploit and elusive skills.”

ANTIGUA CHRISTIAN COUNCILE

The ‘ACC),’ areligious organization is comprised the four main religious denominations within the nation, namely, (i) “...the Anglican; (ii) ...Catholic; ...Methodist; (iii) ...Moravian and (iv) ...Salvation Army Churches.” Its denominational titles include “...one Bishop; ...one Chairman; ...one Superintendent; and ...one Major.” Despite citizen’s perceptions of the role of the Council, its members are highly esteemed “...Men of the Cloth.” They were religious leaders of impeccable character and unquestionable integrity. They have shown a commitment in edifying the citizenry on “...God’s words; ...offering prayers and spiritual guidance; ...counseling; ...anointment to those who may have been afflicted by evil; and spiritually reviving weary and recovering lost souls.” Given the existing “...Church/State Relationship,” the ACC had seemingly expected both incumbent and opposition candidates to have readily “...Endorse; ...Accept and Embrace” the “...Code of Conduct.”

THE CRITERION

There was a time when mankind, whether “...individually or collectively,” shall “...Withdraw from a commitment and Run from the Devil.” This may very well have been the case of the “...Antigua Christian Council (ACC), regarding its proposed “...Code of Conduct for Politicians” The umbrella body, seemingly, in good religious faith had proffered the voluntary preparation of a “...Code of Conduct,” that candidates may have appropriately guided themselves. Former ACC President, His Grace Bishop Kenneth Richards, during his presidency had previously outlined criterion that may have been contained in the proposed “...Code of Conduct.” These include “...probity; ...honesty; ...etiquette; and avoidance of inflammatory statements” [Caribbean Elections: January 21, 2014]. These were clearly not “...Criterion the Devil” would have embraced. Thus, these were “...Criterion” more ideally suited to “...Saints of God.” There were no “...Saints in politics.”

CONCEPTUALIZED CODE

When the leaders of the ‘ACC had conceptualized the Code, they had anticipated that in the heat of the political campaign, candidates’ conduct might easily be “...influenced by the Devil.” Thus, when President Major Byron Maxam announced the Council’s aborted decision in the preparation of the Code, good was overcome by evil. Consequently, they anticipated “...irresponsible and detestable behaviors.” They knew that more than likely candidates may spew “...provocative and inflammatory remarks.” The ‘ACC’ also knew that accusatory claimswill be spontaneously and groundlessly made. They had neither seen smoke nor fire, but they knew that before long, they would have been organizing for a “...National Week of Prayers.”

RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL

Those who were considered “...political animal,” neither had regard for “...God, man nor beast.” Thus, when ‘ACC’ President Major Byron Maxam announced that the Council withdrew the proffered “...Code of Conduct,” the members knew that “...God” had guided them away from “...Secularity and political vulgarity.”They knew that as much as they may have endeavored to free those held “...Captive by the Devil,” in a highly charged political environment, the rivalry and competitive nature and tension, in the “...heat of excitement,” without recognition of God and regard to Criterion and the Rule of Law,” impulsively, overly-exuberant candidates were likely to spew “...remarks,” thatmay have toppled their pulpits. Seemingly, before the President could invite “...Dr. Cortroy Jarvis and Reverend Carlwin Greenaway” to lead with “...Praise God from whom all blessings flow” [Thomas Ken: 1674]; and before Bishop Kenneth Richards could say “...Hail Mary full of Grace;” and before the President himself could even exclaim “...Holy Smoke,” all were “...Running from the Devil.”

CONDUCT OF POLITICIANS

Without a shadow of doubt, the ‘ACC’ had concerns over the “...Conduct of the Political Directorate.” This may easily be discerned from a response by its current President “...We don’t want to go down that road, because you prepare things and eventually they break them” [Major Byron Maxam: Present: Caribbean Elections: January 21, 2014]. That said, it may have been a miscalculation for the leadership of the ‘ACC’ to expect “...miraculous behavioral change.” There was no doubt, members of the ‘ACC’ had revisited the Scripture that says “...It is an honour for a man to cease from strife; but every fool will be meddling in it” [Proverbs: 20:3]. The President shall have known that where “...an unholy union” exist, the ‘ACC’ had to contend with the “...resistant attitude; ...vile behavior and banal expressions obtained in politics.” Consequently, its members shall know that “...religious teachings; ...theological studies and conventional wisdom,” dictates that it shall divorce itselffrom the “...Vagaries of Politics.”  

RELIGIOUS IDEA

The “...ACC’s withdrawal” of the proposed “...Code of Conduct” may have been seen as (i) ...Total rejection by candidates (ii) ...Lack of faith and spiritual influence on culture and/or mindset; (ii)  ...Lack of disciplinary control over possible expressively callous, reckless and non-conformist candidates.” When the “...Antigua Christian Council (ACC) withdrew its apparent unsolicited Code of Conduct proposition,” it had in fact “...Aborted” that which it may have been a well-conceptualized “...Religious Idea.” Conversely, the tersely explained withdrawal may have been seen as its desire in “...maintaining its integrity and its religious role.” Candidates, however, may have seen it from the perspective of (i) ...preserving their right to free speech [CO: Section 12]; and (ii) ...eliminating possible hindrances to their aspirational ambitions.” Since those targeted showed no appreciation, then prudence dictated that the “...ACC Withdraw and Run.”

RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE

Consequent upon the established “...Church/State Relationship,” even though the leadership of the ‘ACC’ may have been “...Secularly Powerless,” reasonable inferences may have been drawn that it may not have sufficiently “...invited and invoked God’s Power” in controlling the “...Forces of Evil or that of the Devil.” Instead, the ACC appeared to have lost its religious influence upon the candidates and/or the political directorate.Thus, when candidates urged the electorate to place the nation’s affairs in “...Safe; ...Secure and Sane hands,” it may have been said that President Major Byron Maxam knew that neither his influence, nor that of the Council could impact positively on the conduct of candidates.

SEPARATION- CHURCH/STATE

The concept “...Separation of Church and State,” was said to be the “...Distance in relationship between organized religion and nation State” [Wikipedia]. Such relationship makes clear distinction between “...Secular issues and spiritual issues.” Separation was said to have occurred in Heaven when an angel identified as Lucifer sought to be rebellious, [Genesis 1:31]. Research revealed that Lucifer also known as “...Satan,” became rebellious when “...pride overtook his heart and sin cost him everything.” The Scripture teaches that “...Satan” had entered the heart of Peter who attempted to “...discourage and rebuke Jesus.” In the case of the aborted “...Code of Conduct,” it was obvious that the ‘ACC’ had no encouragement by the politicians.

DANGEROUS TRAP

There might be Scripture lessons for the ‘ACC’s leadership. Prior to that, when the Pharisees reportedly requested a “...miraculous sign from Heaven,” He responded “...Evil and unfaithful people look for a miraculous sign, but the only sign they will be given will be Jonah” [Matthew 16:4].The Scripture further teaches “...Set your mind on the things above, not on earthly things” [Colossians 3: 2]. It was revealed that after Jesus had made certain revelations of His imminent demise, He shrugged off Peter, saying “...You are a dangerous trap to me; ...You are seeking things merely from a human point of view, not from God” [NLV]. This may have replicated itself in the ‘ACC’s advocacy that politicians shall behave civilly and respectfully toward each other during the political campaign. 

RELATIONSHIP CHURCH/STATE

The relationship between the ‘ACC’s leadership and the State appeared not to have escaped public scrutiny and perceptions.Many people had suspected that the apparent “...unwholesomeness of the heretic union,” may have been one of expediency.” Some were said to be “...holding positions on Government Statutory Bodies.” Though some members may have been accused of being “...religiously and secularly corrupt,” they may not necessarily be seen as “...religiously unfaithful to their followers and/or heretically ungrateful to the political directorate.” British philosopher John Locke, advancing arguments on the relationship between the individual and government, posited that “...Government lacked authority in the realm of individual” [1632-1704].

REASON AND CONSCIENCE

Thus, unlike the individual who was endowed with “...Reason and Conscience,” while those who governed were so endowed, “...Government as an institution was not so endowed.” For this reason, decisions were taken on the principle of “...Collective Responsibility.” Hence, decisions were not necessarily based upon “...Reason,” but rather “...unanimous or majority members.”Frequently, this had been the center of controversies, frictions and disagreements and ultimately use of “...Executive Power.” This may have been evident in the stance taken in “...Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP)” by Senators Anthony Stewart; ...Collin Derrick; ...David Massiah and ...Malaka Parker voted against passage of the CIP Bill.” Reasonable inferences may have been drawn that their decision may have been “...guided by their conscience and that of patriotic citizens” [Wednesday February13, 2013]. When the Bill was subsequently passed, it may have been guided by considerations of “...Governmental Policy and/or Continued tenure.”

RESIGN-BEG OR SACK

However, when a distraught Baldwin Spencer advised them to “...Resign” [Caribarena: February 22, 2013], Senators David Massiah and Malaka Parker, reportedly “...bended their knees” and received forgiveness for a “...cardinal senatorial sin.” Senators Derrick and Anthony Stewart remained firmed in their position. As fate would have it, the latter was “...Quickly Sacked.” It was not known whether Senator Collin Derrick had “ ...allowed his conscience to be his guide,” however, when the Bill was subsequently re-committed to the Senate for consideration, except for four Members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition “ ...Senators Lennox Weston; ...Arthur Nibbs; ...Paul ‘Chet’ Greene and ...Samantha Marshall,” by a “ ...Majority Decision,” the “ ...CIP Bill” was passed” [March 19, 2013].

SECULARISM

There was no doubt that the ‘ACC’ was aware of the awkward position it had found itself in a relationship that was predominantly based on “...Secularism,” compounded by its inability to influence the political directorate. The citizens have seen such union as problematic and likely to compromise its “...religious role and confused it with secular governmental positions.” This may have impacted the members’ “...integrity, independence and purposefulness” with perceived negativity in the minds of the citizens. Thus, it was obvious that the ‘ACC’ may not have sufficiently endeared itself to those across the political divide. Thus, the leadership’s evident lack of “...religious influence, independence and/or inability in convincing the citizenry of its mission, had caused many to view the organization with suspicion.

PRESENCE OF EVIL

In the secular world, not only has man’s unpredictable nature and behavior forever seemed disgustedly provocative and offensive, but also his impulsive behavior, have caused his fellowmen to be “...fearful of him and/or shun or avoid him.” The Scripture warns that “...Man’s heart was full of deceit; ...That he was evil; ...and that he was desperately wicked.”A parallel verse reads “...The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on earth and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently evil” [New Living Translation-NLT]. In spite of Scriptural warnings “...Shun the very presence of evil,” day by day, and with every passing moment, man has been “...perpetrating evil against his fellowmen.” A parallel version urges mankind to “...Avoid foolish controversies; ...genealogies; ...dissensions and quarrels about the Law. They are unprofitable” [Open Bible].

CONCUBINAGE HOMOSEXUALITY

Though the ACC’s leadershipmay have had issues with “...candidates’ unresponsiveness to the“...Code of Conduct,” they had seemingly taken a “...unanimous or majority decision” in withdrawing the apparent “...unsolicited proposition.” Research revealed “...religious and moral differences” among the leadership of the ACC. For instance, while Holy Family Catholic Church Bishop, His Grace Kenneth Richards had advocated “...Decriminalization of the Buggery Law.” Two members of the ACC were in agreement that no matter how (i) “ ...progressive” the society may become; (ii)“...Fictional Interpretations assigned to spouse,“ ...Concubinage Homosexuality,” in whatever shape or form” [former Education Minister Bertram Joseph], and/or in whichever “...Congregation, including the “...Catholic; ...Methodist; ...Moravian and Salvation Army Churches or the ACC,” in a Christian society, shall not be “...advocated; ...encouraged, counseled by the Clergy or be given legislative sanction.

MORAL EXPECTATIONS

On the issue of “...homosexuality,” the leadership of the ‘ACC’ had been, rightly or wrongly, divided over its legalization. Advocating its “...Decriminalization” may not only have run counter to the “...Moral Expectations” of the candidates and that of the society.” It may or may not be presumed that ACC members “...Bishop Kenneth Richards; ...Dr. Cortroy Jarvis; ...Superintendent Carlwin Greenaway and ...Major Byron Maxam” may not have emulated the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer and “...Consult with God,” before they had proffered the preparation of a “...Code of Conduct.” Seemingly, they may have encountered “...Stiff Opposition by the Devil.” 

RELIGIOUS FORTITUDE

Clearly guided by his “...early childhood religious teachings and theological studies,” Superintendent of the Methodist Church only “...distanced” himself from such advocacy. Demonstrating...religious fortitude,” Reverend Dr. Cortroy Jarvis, Chairman of the Provincial Elder’s Conference of the Eastern West Indies Province of the Moravian Church, showed a deep sense of  spiritual and societal responsibility. This was evidenced by his firmness in position as quoted by social media “ ...I am surprised that we seem to be re-introducing things we had settled long ago; ...I totally disagree with the call to decriminalize Buggery; ...There has to be a moral compass for our society.” Supporting his spiritualistic stance, he referred to the Scripture that “...warns” of harsh punishments. It states “...If a man lie with a mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; ...They shall be put to death” [Leviticus 20: 13: Archive: March 6, 2012].

CONCLUSION

Though the “...Antigua Christian Council” may have lost the battle over the “...Code of Conduct for Politicians,” the majority of its members had demonstrated that that they were not prepared to join Bishop Kenneth Richards in his “...advocacy for repeal of the Law prohibiting Buggery.” Dr. Cortroy Jarvis had made it clear that he was not prepared to “ ...advocate, encourage or embrace” that which, according to his spiritual, teaching, preaching and practice, was “...abominable unto God.” It appeared that ‘ACC’ member, Bishop Kenneth Richards, maynot have removed thoughts from his heart that the Scriptures have declared “...Deceitful and Evil.” Hence, Reverend Dr. Cortroy Jarvis’s adamancy, not only reflected “...society’s abhorrence,” but also that which he deemed “...spiritually objectionable and secularly and morally objectionable.”

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3 Comments In This Article   

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RE: When The Men Of Cloth Ran From The Devil

#3 good citizen » 2014-05-31 13:06

Good writer. Too many big words.
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good citizen

RE: When The Men Of Cloth Ran From The Devil

#2 Nitpicky » 2014-05-26 14:05

Very true Skye, police officers too !!
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Nitpicky

RE: When The Men Of Cloth Ran From The Devil

#1 Skyewill » 2014-05-26 04:54

Christian counsel and the politicians have the same code of conduct.
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Skyewill

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