By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Gambian Christian Leaders have condemned Corruption and urged believers to resist falsehood in their new year message delivered over the final weekend of 2022. Aired on West Coast Radio’s Coffee Time on 1st January 2023 the Bishop of the Methodist Church and the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Banjul were both featured.
Bishop Bannie EF Manga who is also the Chairperson of Gambia Christian Council declared that “we cannot continue to look at poverty, greed, wickedness, selfishness and sufferings in their various shades continue to flourish within our national walls”.
Meanwhile, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Banjul Dr Gabriel Mendy encourages “believers and citizens in our country to be hard working dedicated and steadfast and resist the tendency and temptation of falsehood, incompetence and exploitation”.
Below are some of the statements from the 2023 New Year speeches aired on Coffee Time.
Most Reverend Bannie Ebenezer F. Manga, Bishop of the Methodist Church The Gambia and Chairperson of the Gambia Christian Council
We cannot continue to look at poverty, greed, wickedness, selfishness and sufferings in their various shades continue to flourish within our national walls. It is unacceptable that our beloved nation and its people continue to struggle in our developmental quest but we see selected individuals thriving and flourishing in wealth and prosperity. This cannot be the plan of God that only a select few should prosper and the rest of us seem to suffer. We must seek to participate with God in redefining the status quo for all our peoples in our beloved land of The Gambia.
The prophet Isaiah encourages us to have noble plans. We must seek to reason together for the realizations of the words of our coat of arms – Peace, Progress and Prosperity for all within our jurisdiction called the Republic of The Gambia.
We are described as a nation whose people are very religious. The book of Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6 reflects thus ‘And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him’. This position suggests that our relationship with God must not only be a rhetorical position but must be demonstrated in what and how we relate to ourselves, to work, to community and nation. James chapter 4 verse 3 sums it well for us in these words ‘When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures’.
Within the understandings of the above, may I suggest that the year 2023 could be anchored differently. It could be, under God, our year to decide to be responsible. We would take responsibility of our destiny into our hands and work to make ourselves better. We will decide to be honest, ethical, faithful and resolute to be the best we can be. We would say to ourselves that ‘I choose to do the right thing always’.
Most reverend Dr Gabriel Mendy, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Banjul
We live in our various works of life to be committed and determined to accomplish our duties and responsibilities towards God and our fellow human beings. In some cases, God puts us to the test to observe our reactions. So, we need to endure, be patient and steadfast in doing what is right, virtuous and honourable regardless of what other people around us are doing.
This is often frustrating and disappointing for us as if we are the only ones who cannot gain or profit from our position in life. But we should never be guilty for our integrity. God always grants us the blessings and true values of human life. Even if our rewards are not always immediate and tangible for all to see. We gain God’s peace, fulfilment, freedom, commendation and justification that those who fail to persevere cannot experience in their lives.
St Paul would therefore, always encourage us in Galatians Chapter 6 Verse 9 to 10 “not to grow weary in doing good for in due season we will reap if we do not lose heart”. He said “as we have the opportunity let us do good to all people especially those who are of the household of faith”.
The trials and challenges, problems and opposition we experience in our works of life should not for that reason discourage us from persistently doing what is right, honourable and pleasing to God. Our perseverance in duties and responsibilities enable us to correct others failures, be successful, improve the state of our Nation and attain God’s rewards here on earth and in heaven.
So, I encourage everyone as believers and citizens in our country to be hard working dedicated and steadfast and resist the tendency and temptation of falsehood incompetence and exploitation.