The President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), Rev. Kortu Brown, says it is time that Liberians stop lying and falsifying stories about one another, which have resulted into “too many lies being told in the quest to dominate one another.”
Speaking at the induction ceremony of the newly elected leaders of the LCC at the Eliza Turner AME Church on Camp Johnson Road on Dec. 15, he said “there is too much undermining of each other, which is ungodly.” He said Liberians will have to live their faith in the public square if the country is to move forward.
Bishop Brown is the head of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church.
He said: “It is shameful for a people who pride themselves to be a nation built on Christian principles to so badly embrace lying and undermining one another as a way of life… If you fight to destroy someone to go up, no doubt, you will also be destroyed no matter how long it takes.”
He defined deception as “dishonesty, trickery, trick, sham, con, cheating, pretext, duplicity, deceit,” which he said “is all over the place” – in the family, home, market, school, hospital, church, office, government and worse, in the politics, and warned that “we are keeping ourselves in a vicious cycle and we should remember that the Bible calls on us to do unto others as we will have them do unto us, which is the Golden Rule.”
He called on Liberians to employ “lifestyle evangelism” in their everyday walk with God and their fellowmen, which if we did, he said, “we wouldn’t need to legislate Christianity in the country because the Bible says we will know them by their fruits and we should let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is heaven.”
Rev. Brown noted that “It is time for us to go the extraordinary mile.”
The LCC leader called on the Christian community to recommit itself to the core values of the council, which is unity, witness, and service “through which we will build unity, strengthen our Christian witness and promote Christ through our service. We will be able to consolidate peace, strengthen religious harmony, and contribute to expanding social services, among others in the country.”
Rev. Dr. Brown said “without peace and religious harmony, it will be difficult to achieve some of our aspirations as a people. There is a time for everything under the heaven, the Bible says. A time to make war and a time for peace, and this is the time for peace in Liberia. That’s why we commend all the political parties and all Liberians for eschewing violence during the electoral process so far and resulting to mediation and litigation based on the 13-point-resolutions adopted in the Farmington River Declaration in June this year.”
He added: “To maintain peace, we must reconcile and forgive each other and reach out to one another, both offended and offender. That’s why we think there is a need to teach forgiveness education in all of our schools and communities so that the next generation of Liberians will learn to live and work together in greater harmony thereby consolidating the stability and prosperity of our country.”
Defining forgiveness as “the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven, which is an intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, let go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.”
He, however, explained that “Forgiveness is different from condoning, failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness, excusing not holding the offender as responsible for the action, forgetting, removing awareness of the offense from consciousness, pardoning, granted for an acknowledged offense by a representative of society, such as a judge, and reconciliation, restoration of a relationship.”
In the current Liberian experience of so much animosity and deception, he said: “forgiveness I think is the key.”
A New Spiritual Order
Bishop Brown spoke of the need for a new spiritual order in the land to enable the people to return to God, as in Judah in the days of King Josiah in the Bible. Therefore, he said, there has to be a revival because “our spiritual passion as a people will help influence the country and bring about public reform.”
He added: “Outward reform begins with inward renewal,” and decried the worship of idols, false gods and the heightened disharmony within the Christian community, which is undermining true worship and service to God.
He called for the establishment of a one-thousand voice mass choir, an intercessors fellowship, a national evangelism commission to promote Christian witness, among others, to enhance Christian unity, witness and service to the people and nation of God.
The Pentecostal prelate called on the Government of Liberia and the National Elections Commission to ensure that the runoff elections are free, fair and transparent and that the country is peaceful and stable when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf turns over power to a newly elected government in January 2018.
“This is our moment to make history. We have to show the world that we are a civilized people too and can deliver democratic transitions just like the other evolving nations,” he said, while commending the Supreme Court for its opinion on the runoff election.
He, meanwhile, called on political parties to continue to abide by the tenets of the Farmington River Declaration as the framework for engaging concerns or disputes arising out of the election process.