I am glad and thankful to the Dimapur based seven Civil Societies for their quick response to our appeal on Sunday Business Closure. Such response gives us an ample opportunity to share our thoughts for better understanding. It further brings us closer to one another for dialogue. I really appreciate the leaders of the societies for their openness. Kindly accept my appreciation.
The Bible says, faith without work/action is death, meaning, it is not faith. We demonstrate or prove our faith by action. No doubt about it. Therefore, when faith is put into action, naturally opponents, conflicts, obstacles etc. come in our way. We have to appropriately measure it, ascertain it, prove it, settle it and push our faith forward without hurting each other as much as possible. That is the real Christian.
On the subject matter of our discussion, there are a lot of Bible Scholars and Religious Leaders in our society who can also give their opinions. Let us also invite them. It is not a matter of who will win the debate. But it is all about discovering something better for our society in the light of our faith in Christ. At the end, let us choose the biblical one for social actions. I hope, this is an acceptable suggestion. Every suggestion and social practice should help the people draw nearer to God, not distance from Him. We must not break our relationship with God on account of human necessity. God is God, after all. He holds the future not we.
Here, I have some more pertinent questions for which, I feel, we need to come together, understand together and give efforts together, collectively, if necessary. What shall we do with these? Making : –
- Christmas Day into Good Governance Day
- Good Friday into Digital Day
- Sunday into Competitive Examination Day
- Third Sunday of June, the Father’s Day into Yoga Day
- Keeping Hindus’ Important Days untouched
- All Hair Saloons’ closure on all Tuesdays round the year.
- I want shopping on Sunday whereas many Naga salesmen/women, shopkeepers, boys and girls want a holiday on Sunday and after the service they want to be with their families and friends free from their jobs in shops, stores, markets, workplaces etc.
- The employees/servants have imposed schedules. They need holidays. But the rich and the powerful make any day a holiday for themselves because they make their own schedules at their own convenience.
All such pertinent questions are serious issues. We need to ponder on all such issues philosophically and theologically for the benefit of all believers for faith-living in Christ. Other faith have entered into our land with power and have rooted deeply in our soil. At such juncture, we seem to be paving ways for them to flourish their paganism in our land. Because, before they forcefully destroy us, we have begun destroying our own faith and culture. It pains many of us. In such precarious time, the Church and the Civil Bodies must come together and rescue our society and faith.
I am aware that almost all the Naga shops in Naga Towns remain closed on Sundays. In some cases, the civil societies took the decision for closure of shops on Sundays to promote Christian Worship. In spite of inconveniences, many commoners, who are living hand to mouth also consider it to be a noble decision. The nonChristian residents are also extending their cooperation to the decision taken by the leaders. Such understanding and cooperation among the citizens is highly commendable. I am also aware that almost all the shops in Kohima also remain closed on Sundays. Citizens of Kohima are used to it. The principal city and the leading men/women become exemplary for others to follow suit. What a laudable job it is! “Bravo” to them. Because, this is one significant way to speak of the Naganess to the world of assimilation.
Some more questions I want to bring in for discussion.
- 40 lakhs immigrants expelled from Assam State may probably settle in Nagaland State and Naga Areas of Arunachal Pradesh.
- If the “CAB” is passed, more immigrants will come and take their residence in all Naga Areas.
- I am told, that about 7 lakhs immigrants are residing in Dimapur and Peren Districts alone, and millions in the peripheral.
- If you look around the Dimapur Markets, especially the New Market, you will hardly find Naga vendors or shops. Naga women are frequently molested in that area. The immigrant culprits remain scot-free.
- Sadly, Brothels and Flesh Trade is thriving in Dimapur. The identities of the prostitutes are yet to be verified – Nagas or immigrants? I guess, most of them are Naga women.
- Bootlegging is flourishing in the Christian State, Nagaland. The declaration of Dry State has been made a mockery by whom – the Nagas or nonNagas? It is yet to be ascertained.
These are not small menaces. Nagas can be swallowed up any moment from now. Where is the remedy and salvation if not God’s Gracious Intervention? Without worship and prayer, can we do it away by our might and power? No, not at all.
In Arab Countries, all shops and establishments are closed down five times a day for prayer. It’s their religious duties. In Nagaland, because of our openness, simplicity, hospitality and too much liberality in faith on account of human necessity, Nagas are being exploited by the shrewd migrant settlers. Without restraint, they are doing anything as they like. If lakhs of illegal immigrants take their residence in Dimapur, we are going to experience the reality of foreignness. Naganess will be vanished in thin air. They will come and live with their culture and religion. They will practice their religious duties and we have no say on others’ religious practices. We are in danger. Today, we have no say in our own faith also on the ground that faith is individual business. Yes, salvation is purely of our personal position before the Lord. That we don’t question. But we want to say that from the peripheral of faulty faith we must turn in to the true faith in Christ. If not, then, at the end of the day, Naga Christians and Naga population will be reduced to minority. The nonChristians and the immigrants will be thriving. Then comes, Nagaland shall no longer be a Christian State, not even Naga State. It happened to the Tripuris. Tripura is no longer a state of the Tripuris. Therefore, let us be watchful and be prayerful. Worldliness and doing anything for monetary gain will at last destroy us completely.
Let us hope and pray that no one will belittle our community faith anymore. It is true that no force can destroy us so long as we remain strong in the Lord. Naga Bible Scholars and the prominent Church Leaders will be good enough to guide and direct us at such time of choice making. Most of all, let us seek God’s guidance so that we don’t get lost in sin. That will be our greatest wisdom.
It is also my sincere apology that if anyone’s feeling and pride is hurt while expressing my view, please forgive me.
Now, in conclusion, allow me to take a space for a short homily.
Every one of us will end our life’s journey some day at the door of death, the gateway to the other realm of world. Then, we shall be no more here on earth and realized the reality of our eternity, where we shall be forever – in Hell or in Heaven!
In 1877, Charles C. Luther heard Rev. A.G. Upham tell the story of a young man who was about to die. He’d only been a Christian for a month, and was so sad because he had so little time to serve the Lord. He said, I am not afraid to die; Jesus saves me now. But must I go an empty handed and thus my dear Redeemer meet? This incident prompted Luther to write the song. Stebbins wrote the music. This song was first published in Gospel Hymn No. 3, 1878. (from web: with a little editing). You may take a good look into the song and take a wonderful time of meditation. What will be our position when we meet our redeemer on that day?
Here is one more beautiful narrative – While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Matt 26:6-13. NIV).
Like the disciples of Jesus, as human, we also measure everything in terms of money. We seldom go beyond money. That’s our problem. But see the phrase at the end of the narrative – “in memory of her.” How lovely it is, and what a Rewarding Service it was! Let us think, what have we been doing in the last gone by days? We forget but God remembers. We betrays but Jesus remains faithful. We deny and disown but Jesus keeps according to his words. We fail but Jesus never fails. See, how the singer regretted:
Oh, the years of sinning wasted,
Could I but recall them now,
I would give them to my Saviour,
To His will I’d gladly bow.
We cannot roll back the past. “Now” is the only opportunity that we have in our hands. Think about it so that we may have no regret in future. We may missed many thing on Sundays with or without any regret but we cannot afford to miss what is eternal. Worship is of eternity. It is here on earth and also there in heaven. It is for always. Therefore, let us not undermine anything that is of everlasting on account of anything terrestrial. Therefore, may I encourage all the faithful Christians to be sincere to the faith and be regular in attending the Church Worship Services. In fact, no engagement is more important than worship, a Time to be with God. At the end, we will reap the reward of our work. Blessed be to God. Amen.
Through this writings, may I also beg the pardon of the Seven Day Adventists and other religious bodies for not properly inserting the time schedule for them while calling for a nationwide prayer for the Naga Political Prisoners. It is my prayer to overlook my weaknesses and thus the SDA Churches may kindly make the Prayer in one of their Sabbath Worship Services within March 2019. In the same manner, other Religious Bodies, who have no specific day may also kindly uphold in any one of their Common Worship Days that occurs within March 23-31/2019. We want everybody to join their hearts in prayer for the political prisoners of Naga Freedom Movement.
May God Bless you all, as you faithfully come to the throne of the Almighty.
Rev. Seksim Kasar
General Secretary, CNC.
* Disclaimer. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and participants on this page do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Nagaland Page.