Bishop Duleep de Chickera - a Right Reverend with an Agenda
The Church in Sri Lanka does not seem to be short of folks who are no strangers to controversy. With the liberation of the Mannar sector, the famously political Bishop Rayappu Joseph has gone into solitude. His political place has now been taken by his Anglican counterpart in Colombo, Bishop Duleep de Chickera.
Bishop Duleep de Chickera may proudly say that he is different from Bishop Rayappu Joseph by making a theological distinction: Bishop Rayappu Joseph, a Catholic, believes in the Virgin Mary and Bishop Duleep de Chickera, an Anglican does not believe in her. But Bishop Duleep de Chickera, instead, seems to believe in the ex-virgin Mathivathani, the wife of Velupillai Prabhakaran. Rev. Duleep de Chickera's determination to give the LTTE respite at the slightest opportunity, reveals to the Sri Lankan nation where his loyalties really lie.
Both Rev. Rayappu Joseph and Rev. Duleep de Chickera have one thing in common; both do not care about what the Bible explicitly says:
In the Bible - Romans Chapter 13 Verse 1 and 2 - the word of God is as follows:
1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
The Good Lord knew that the removal of existing institutes leads to certain anarchy. That is why, time and again, He said that these institutes must be protected at all times.
Of course, democratically elected governments are not perfect; nor is the divinely inspired institute called the Church. However, this does not warrant the destruction of both.
An impartial observer can collect bad things from both camps: the politicians in the government may be corrupt and the hierarchy in the church may be obsessed with the sexuality of the junior priests; some politicians stray from their marriage and so do the priests if they are allowed to marry or they are supposed to practise celibacy. The list goes on and on; no one wants to take the lid off a can of worms.
The plight of civilians in Vanni arose as a result of the breakdown of civilian institutes. Against this background, Rev. Duleep de Chickera wants to boost the sagging morale of the LTTE. By doing so, he contradicts the teaching of the very book that he is supposed to follow to the letter. No other rational argument can explain his desire to open up so-called 'peace zones' in trouble spots at the eleventh hour; we have been there before, Reverend!
Rev. Duleep de Chickera's desire to elevate a terrorist outfit to the level of a legitimate government is, in the context of Biblical teachings, not divine. Since in the eyes of God, everything is black or white with no room for grey, Rev. Duleep de Chickera's attempt, by default, becomes classified as outright evil.
As this is the case, the followers of these priests must look into this disturbing phenomenon of the church in Sri Lanka.
What has driven these high priests to behave in clear breach of Biblical guidelines? Is is because of funding from questionable sources? Or is dwindling numbers in the Church audience that is the root cause?
Whatever the reason, the damage they inflict on great institutes is irreparable. The silly stance taken by Rev. Duleep de Chickera and Rev. Rayappu Joseph is going to haunt them for years to come.
Neither Bishop Duleep de Chickera nor Bishop Rayappu Joseph has the divine privilege to interpret the great book, the Bible, to appease their sentiments. Its teaching is simple enough for any folk with an ounce of common sense to understand. If they think the audience they cater for is so gullible, it is also a miscalculation of epic proportions; this is the 21st century and not the Middle Ages.
It is high time both Bishop Duleep de Chickera and Bishop Rayappu Joseph
stopped pulling theological wool over the eyes of the hapless congregation
and the Sri Lankan masses - at least for God's sake.
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