Atlantic Caribbean Union

ACUM's President speaks at the Bahamas’ 39th Independence Service

The event which was held at the historic Clifford Park brought together thousands of Bahamians, including, governmental officials, religious and civic leaders. The message which was entitled “Attributes that Make for a Great Nation”, was based on the experience of Joseph and his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Using the occasion to address the issue of the proposed referendum on the legalization of gambling, Pastor Johnson affirmed the churches stance and Biblical injunction, regarding honesty, truth, hard work, discipline. He admonished every listener to learn from the life of Joseph. Despite all the difficulties he faced he had faith in God and did not take chances to gain success. Dr. Johnson ended by saying that the nation must forget the things that can retard its forward movement and that when we commit to the will of God, He will be committed to our success.

“Do not resort to the easy way out, do not seek shortcuts," said the president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union, Dr. Leonard Johnson, as he addressed the citizens of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, residents, and visitors at Clifford Park, Nassau, on July 9, 2012, the eve of the island nation's 39th anniversary of becoming an independent country.

Speaking at the 2012 Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving, celebrating 39 years of Bahamian independence, the president of the Adventist Church in the Atlantic Caribbean region (comprising the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands), Dr. Leonard Johnson, explained how the Biblical Joseph was given to self-discipline, industriousness, loyalty, unity, and respect for God despite the thirteen years he lived under constant trials and pain in Egypt. He admonished listeners to revisit the preamble of the nation’s constitution and note that the same qualities that Joseph adhered to are the same ones listed in the preamble.

With the Bahamas on the brink of a national referendum to determine whether gambling should be legalized, Dr. Johnson advised every listener to learn from the life of Joseph. Despite all the difficulties he faced he had faith in God and did not take chances to gain success. He went from prison to palace with a steadfast trust in God and keenness to hard work and honesty. These qualities are what the Bahamas should place as its foundation for moving forward.

He pointed out that Joseph’s success was a result of industriousness and faith in God, underscoring that the Bible does not support gambling as a means to succeed. Quoting one of the nation’s forefathers, Mr. Carlton Francis, Dr. Johnson listed the damages that the social fabric of the Bahamas can experience due to casino gambling and similar gaming.

Dr. Johnson explained, however, that the choice to gamble or not to is in the hand of each individual. “We cannot legislate morality,” he said. “But we can declare that the Bible is relevant and true.”

Entitling his address, “Attributes that Make for a Great Nation” and referencing Genesis 41:50-52, Dr. Johnson implored the Bahamas to, like Joseph, forget the things that could retard its forward movement and commit to the will of God to receive His blessing and healing as a nation.