Will the Church Put Its Vote Where Its Mouth Is?

At some point, the government says it will put a referendum to the Bahamian people about the legalization of the numbers business.

For the information of readers, the expected referendum is not a constitutional referendum, meaning, the vote will not change anything in the Constitution – it is simply a public opinion poll in this instance. It would be a constitutional referendum on the subject of gambling if there were to be a vote on allowing Bahamians to gamble in the nation’s casinos, because the Constitution currently says we cannot do so. But the Prime Minister has said casino gambling will not be put to a vote, and so we are not being asked to consider changing an article of our Constitution.

And now because of the “advice” of foreign consultants, the question of a national lottery might also not be added to the ballot. If so, the opinion poll referendum will be about one thing only – legalizing numbers houses.I will not be voting if and when the poll is put to the people, because the vote is not needed to legalize numbers houses – all that is needed is legislation – legislation incidentally that was left in draft form by the former government. If my vote won’t change anything, and I won’t be able to vote to remove discrimination from our Constitution, I won’t bother – especially since I’m quite certain that if Bahamians vote “no” on legalizing the numbers houses, the numbers houses will not be shut down by the government anyway. So for my part, I see no point in bothering to vote. That is my view.

But there is a sector of our population that says it is firmly against the legalization of the numbers business, and that is the church. I have no argument with their point of view as it is theirs to have, and I know and understand their reasons for it, but what I am very anxious to see is if the church does what it is not always known for – walking its talk.

Now before I continue let me state for students and regular hearers of Scripture that I am using the term “church” to generalize churches and/or congregations, not to identify “The Church” as defined in Scripture as being the body of believers throughout the world, regardless of congregational affiliation).

If the church truly believes that legalizing the numbers business will bring more problems to our nation and will displease God, then every churchgoer in The Bahamas should be the first on line at the polls to vote “no”.

After all, if churchgoers do not vote, they would have no say in what the outcome of that vote will be. Preaching behind a pulpit or holding press conferences will not get the result the church says it wants to see.

If churchgoers don’t turn out to the polls, then what would all of the protests have been for? Faith without works is dead, so if one believes a particular thing, but does not vote that belief – he or she would get nothing, and would have done nothing to help bring about what he or she believes is the will of God.

Whenever the Prime Minister decides to put the poll to the people, I for one will have a particular interest in seeing to what extent the church turns out to make its voice heard.

Why? In part because I used to be regular churchgoer at one time, and ceased when the church in my view, ceased walking its talk. I am interested in seeing to what extent things have changed.

I am interested in seeing to what extent churches in our country are more concerned about talking about what should happen, than actually living it out and storming the gates to see that it does happen.

Yes, I for one am interested in seeing whether churches in our country will put their vote where their voice is on the issue of legalizing numbers houses.