President of the Jamaica Baptist Union (JBU) Reverend Norva O. Rodney is concerned that some Christians are falling into moral decadence due to a pre-occupation with wealth and the acquisition of power.
“Ours have become a church and a society that seem to value material goodness as an expression of our righteousness,” said Rodney who is the pastor of the Kitson Town Circuit of Baptist Churches in St Catherine.
The Rev. Rodney was speaking on Sunday, February 28, during the Closing Service for the JBU’s 171st General Assembly which was held under the theme, “Keeping Faith with the Word in an Ever-Changing World – Reaffirming Identity.
“Reaffirming identity remains a challenge, because we are living in a world where human pre-occupation, material things and creature comforts are dominant, and this at the rejection of things spiritual, moral and of cultural value,” he lamented.
The pastor believes that there has been an obsession with material things that has fed a spirit of compulsive self-absorption at the expense of wholesome relationships. This has manifested itself as freedom without responsibility, and relationships without personal sacrifices.
“Today, the call upon our lives to reaffirm Christian identity comes amidst circumstances which signal the need for change and for radical reformation of our character,” Reverend Rodney said.
The JBU General Assembly started on Wednesday February 24, and featured several events, including a convention lecture, a town hall meeting and a mission blitz which saw members engaging in social outreach in selected communities across the country.
“For the first time since Baptist witness began in 1783, we have to come together, using various virtual platforms and, oh, how we thank God that we were able to do so amidst the pandemic.” said the JBU’s General Secretary, Reverend Karl B. Johnson.
Pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church, Half Way Tree, Reverend Dr. Glenroy M. Lalor is now the President-elect of the JBU and will assume the post of President in March 2022. He became the pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in September 2018, replacing the outgoing pastor of more than four decades, Rev. Dr. Burchel K. Taylor.