The Last Beastly Act In Manipur Electoral Politics
Rev. Mangthianlal Thangniang
President & CEO, Glocal Volunteers
“I will shake the nations (including Manipur).” Haggai 2:7
It is God’s word that He will shake our world at any given time and place. The nation island Japan has, never like before, been shaken again and again in the last one year. The grim crisis in Middle East and media feeding us daily of the horrifying events are a reality that the world has indeed been shaken up. Refugees swarming across the European nations and USA. Jerusalem once again has become the attention of the world. Manipur up in flames and without endless conflict or natural disaster coming at our front door like never before. Our world and the world around us have witnessed unprecedented shaking. The word of prophet Haggai has come truer in our generation that God says he will shake the nations.
On one hand it is very clear that God is shaking our world due to the evil within us. But there is a glimmer of hope in the midst of confusion, struggle, suffering, despair and anxiety. The shaking of God is not for our destruction but a call for a change of heart and a transformed thought and life (2 Cor. 7:14). C.S. Lewis stated, “God whispers in our pleasure but shouts in our pain.” Yes, so true. We have political and social pain and struggles. We have many and countless problems. Our values and ideas have long far gone away from the truth and from that of God’s will. We have never ever experiences God shouting at the top of his voice in our recorded history as he is doing now. He calls us to renew our mind and not to conform to the ways and ideas of the world (Romans 12:2) around us – not to the worldviews of Imphal or Delhi! And in that lies our safety and future welfare. Everything holds within the covenant of God. Outside the covenant and commandments of God, we will only find shame, shattered community-national life and sorrowful disappointment! Of all the people in the world, God punished the Israelites most because they know God but they did not follow His ways and values. As God’s children, we also must have an independent political worldview and system which conforms to Kingdom of God and not be swayed by the political dictums and values of Imphal or Delhi.
In John 14:6, Jesus Christ said, “I am the way”. Without Him - the way, we will never go forward in our political journey. We may think we have long taken the journey. We may say we have sacrifices and put up a valiant and honorable struggles for decades. But we will never ever reach our destination. It will be only like walking around a mountain covered by clouds or walking in circle that we have always returned to where we have started. This is precisely because we have not travel upon the way – the way of Jesus. Jesus continues to say, “I am the truth.” Without Him - the truth, there will never be a true knowing. We may think we have good degrees and experiences in historical-political affairs and the art of making wars and geo-political strategies. But the truth of the matter is that we will never ever really know how to go and which way to go without the giver of truth and knowledge. The word of God says that he is the embodiment of wisdom (1 Cor. 1:30). Our earthly wisdom will only take us far from His will and prepared way. Our best calculations will only be ruins and political illusions. We will heap upon ourselves geo-political surprises – surprises of socio-political disillusionment - as long as we are far from the truth. Further, Jesus said, “I am the life.” Without Jesus – the life, our streets, roads, homes, villages, land and society-Nation is dying. Look around us, literally we are dying. A sinful of dust hovering our roads. No proper water in our homes. No proper delivery of government schemes. Agriculture fields are almost lying without tenders. Running short of creative ideas. Widows, orphans and people under poverty lines are looted. The poor are dying in their poverty and the rich and mighty are dying in their wealth and power. All around us is shallow and hollow – like a dead tree ready to fall at any moment. Our land and generation is dying in all sense.
The cold war eras in our context had ended. But the smell of its activities are still very fresh and alive. Mutual distrust and enmity are the result of a Christ-less community. Jesus calls us for love, cooperation and unity in oneness of heart and in the body of Christ (John 17:21 cf. 13:34,35). Without this as one of our fabric and foundation of our community life and fellowship, our political survival and flourishing is a foregone conclusion.
From April 2017 onward – after the declaration of election result - (by this I do not suggest that we must not do it now…those who are already creating the ripples for transformation and working for a free and fair and godly election and society…please do it with all your might. But what I refer here is about a concerted and unified efforts of all Churches and people of God in our region pulling our resources together for the larger picture and lasting vision of transformation), let us arise Church and men and women of God – whoever come into political power (if they wronged, we must lovingly and truthfully confront and meet with them with respect and God-given dignity of the Government and try to make them right) and whomsoever do not make it. We must work with the government – “since civil government is necessary and divinely ordained by God (Rom. 13:1–7), it is ultimately under God’s control (Kerby Anderson).” Let us pray, work, strive, hope and call on God on our knees and fast whenever we can in every Churches, homes, streets, villages and neighborhoods for God’s transformation miracle. We will surely see the fruits in all areas of life and in the next election. Let us pray a prayer of faith and trust this will be the last of the beastly act of some elements and individuals.
For a sustainable and overall transformation work, Christian transformational workers around the world agreed on this model of transformation by Arnold Toynbee.
This model is about God bringing crisis in the culture (generation) as they drift far from Him. Then prophetic men and women understood the signs and the time and calls for taking up the challenges and opportunities of the generation with clear divine guidance. Then the Holy Spirit raise up a committed minority for the movement who will down the history raise up a convinced/convicted majority. This leads to transformation of the culture and generation.
With God’s leading we will start a spiritual movement which God has started in small ripples in many nook and corners of our land. Let us come together for the Kingdom of God (not neglecting the smaller Kingdom of God, the local churches).
Let us work for the renewing of the Church and the transformation of our culture. With God’s help we can transform our culture by the systematic and sustainable address of the seven spheres of culture (7 mountains or mind molders) – arts, business, church, dissemination of information (media), education, family and government (including traditional administrative system and governance). Transformation need to focus on the regional challenges too – justice, poverty, orphans, ideological (socialism, communism, identity, etc), celebration (prayer) and family; And if it is to be a lasting and sustainable transformation, three generations must be intentionally reach out and transformed – 4/14 window (children between the age group of 4 to 14 years), Gen Y or Millennials (youth between the age group of 15 to 30 years and slightly above); and Gen X (those who are above 30 years of age group). Champions who have a burden and vision for these special age groups must intentionally reach, rescue, root and release them (Transform World 2020 movement).
With God’s creative ideas, like – we can plead to God to remove His protection hand upon leaders or individuals or groups or institutions who deliberately oppose transformation mission of the Church in our land and those who consistently are agents of the devil. God will definitely listens to us (James 5;16 cf. Luke 18). We can also think about systematic and scientific profiling of development works, government schemes and welfare measures functioning, departments performance, etc. We can bring out a quarterly public and reliable, but transparent, just and unquestionable, grading system. Outsourcing information is another creative ways we can collaborate with national and global media institutions and freelancers. This is the age of media freelancers. They are not tight to systems and institutions. They can be a great ally in the works of transformation. The list is endless, if we ask God – the giver of creative ideas in our mission of transformation. We can work side by side with the global church who have a vision and strategy for Global Transformation like TW2020 Movement.
My humble, sincere and folded hands plea and prayer to the people of God and the Churches in Manipur is that let none of us be hurt by the results of this last beastly act of Manipur politics. Whatever sides we take and whoever forms Government, let us work together with that Government for the larger cause of transforming our neighborhoods, villages, towns and land. God has called each of us to work for transformation. Then our next election will no longer be a beastly act. He will one day requires of us an accounting. I pray that you and me are found not wanting but being reward, “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master (Matt. 25:21)!” God bless you transformers and meanwhile let our minds be constantly renewed from the electoral process!