In the wake of political campaign across the country for the October elections, a United Methodist prelate is cautioning Liberian electorate to be on the alert as politicians are coming with false promises that some of them cannot deliver in their entire life time.
The Rev. K. Richard Tonnonlah, Senior Pastor of the David Gueh United Methodist Church near Du-Pot Road in Paynesville, urges Liberians to keenly investigate track records of those seeking political power before electing them saying “Is it corruption, rape, or they are the old lairs coming every election with the same platform.”
Preaching on Sunday, 6 August during divine worship for the celebration of Holy Communion at the Church on the theme: “A Valley of Dry Bones” with text from Ezekiel 37:1-14, he says the Lord Jesus Christ has allowed Liberians to be alive so they can make the right decision at the ballot box that would restore sanity to the country, stressing “Our land is in the valley of dry bones.”
He recalls that Prophet Ezekiel’s purpose was to announce God’s judgment on Israel and other nations and to foretell the eventual salvation of God’s people, adding that Ezekiel was on a mission to encourage the Israelites in captivity by helping them to understand that God was in control of all things.
“I went to bed one night and the spirit of the LORD set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. Everywhere I looked there were bones and they were very dry. When I opened my eyes and turn on the radio, I heard that the zogos [criminals] have taken over Redlight, Center and Broad Streets, Waterside. Outside of Monrovia, people are killing children for power; there are dry bones everywhere.”
He explains that research of the Holy Bible shows that right after the death of King Solomon, David’s son, who was the third king of the United Kingdom of Israel, civil war started and the kingdom degenerated into chaos with separate leaderships –one king in the north and another in south.
He continues that the Northern Kingdom lasted for 210 years, and none of its leaders worshipped God or did what was right, while the southern kingdom of Judah had nine kings out of a total of 20, who walked after the Lord, but eventually Judah became so wicked and there was really no difference between the people there and God’s chosen people, and pagans who surrounded them.
“As a matter of fact” he says, “those who were supposed to be God’s people were often worse and so God sent prophets after prophets to proclaim the message of salvation.”
Coming home, Rev. Tonnonlah notes that there are similarities between ancient Israel and Liberia, explaining that the nation of Israel ignored the poor; sexual immorality was the norm, dressing half-nicked was pleasant for the eyes, coupled with lack of respect for leaders and elderly people, while worship of the one true God was replaced with man getting marry to man and woman marrying another woman, vices that are prevalent today.
“People of Liberia, we are living in the valley of dry bones; in this valley of dry bones, there are very dry bones of dishonesty, people cannot be trusted, We are in desperate need of resurrection of life, God is willing and able to supply that life both to us and even to our nation.”
According to him, Liberians’ refusal to keep faith in the one true God, has finally brought God’s judgment on the nation, lamenting, “Stop by on your way home and see how the markets are packed on Sunday, we have even changed the principle that the nation was founded on; re-writing the laws that Liberia is not a Christian nation any more, we replaced it with circular.”
He says Liberia, a nation that just turned 170, is in a state of depression, and the problem is not economic alone, but failure to manage what is entrusted to us by God.Rev. Tonnonlah continues that even the church and church-run institutions are underpaying their staff, wondering how can the church addresses the issues of corruption, bad labor practices and other illness in the society when there are corrupt leaders in churches, and as a result, the church is struggling for resources, friends and families struggle for job, while the public cry for justice, saying “The dry bones are everywhere.”
Rev. K. Richard Tonnonlah-Story by Jonathan Browne