A visiting Anglican priest on Sunday lamented that society has become selfish – not just at an individual level but at the political level, and even in the church.
Reverend James Tengatenga addressed concerns about greed and selfishness as the Anglican Diocese of Barbados held its annual church service at the Kensington Oval.
There was an air of serenity and calmness as the congregation worshipped in prayer and song, with the Diocesan Youth Chorale, the Barbados Defence Force, St Clement’s Orchestra and singer Tristan Layne leading the day’s musical performances.
But in his sermon, Tengatenga labeled the current society as individualistic and self-motivated, saying: “The idea that somebody else’s child is your child does not work anymore. I take care of mine and mine alone is the operating mode.”
The Zimbabwean cleric went on to accuse politicians of being corrupt and church leaders of engaging in “spiritual blackmail”.
“All is done not for the good of the community but for the good of me, myself and I,” he said.
“If they do not get their kickbacks and bribes, nothing works and they do not care who it hurts.”
The former chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council further charged that some countries were unable to develop because of this selfishness and corruption.
“There are some countries whose GDP . . . is not what it should be, not because their country cannot produce enough and not because the country does not have enough reserves, but because some politicians and business people are selfish and inconsiderate,” he charged.
Tengtenga argued that the leaders of the church and politicians had forgotten their purpose in society, which is to serve and represent the people. He encouraged those in attendance to refer to a communal society in which the community was unified.
Stressing that the road to perfection and holiness was to create a society where all are loved, Tengatenga added: “It is a relational stance, a just stance, looking out for one another regardless of status, disability, especially in the face of disability and the disadvantaged. It is not about taking advantage of everyone, it is not about looking after number one, but doing right for the rest.”