Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Devon Dick | Deal with sin in society

Published:Thursday | April 18, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Recently, a minor in the Waltham Park Road area witnessed her father killing her mother, against her pleas, and then he committed suicide.

This is a grave wickedness to beset a 12-year--old. For her to become an orphan in broad daylight and in the public square under such gruesome circumstances is unpardonable. This is unimaginable grief, horror and pain. This is sin at its ugliest, vilest and foulest.

How did we reach here as a country? We have embraced sin most foul.

There are different words for sin in the Greek language. These are important distinctions if we are to deal with sin effectively in our society.

There is sin such as aiming to do the best for God but falling short or missing the mark. This could include failing to do good for someone in need or standing up for someone in the light of injustice. Then there are sins which could fall in the category of slip-ups, such as annoying habits. But there is rebellion against God. This is intentionally, deliberately, presumptuously and lawlessly going contrary to God’s known and expressed will. So premeditated murder falls in that category while crimes of passion would not be so described.

The father of the 12-year-old girl had ample time to reconsider. He was self-absorbed. His love was selfish. The attitude is, if he cannot have her, then no one else will.

Why is it that we do not hear of women killing their lovers and then committing suicide?

Some special and specialised attention needs to be directed towards Jamaican men who too often kill their loved ones and then take their own lives. Why don’t they just kill themselves first?

We need to face up to this murder most foul by this husband and father. It could be a test case to understanding the Jamaican male and what makes him tick and get ticked off and how to resocialise them. Perhaps the first thing is to admit that there is a sin problem.

It is not good enough to say murders happen everywhere in the world and have been happening since the time of Cain and Abel. It is not necessary to try to find mitigating circumstances such as disrespect, stress, getting ‘bun’ or weakness of the flesh. It is time to call a spade a spade. This is wanton wickedness. This is brazen brutality. This is egregious evil.


There needs to be national repentance for sin. There needs to be genuine collective apology for sinful word, deed and desire. There needs to be a change and a desire and deliberate commitment to right thinking, right living and right acting. The country needs serious soul-searching to identify what is the ethos of this country, that we have little regard for the sacredness of human life and sanctity of human dignity. Something is seriously wrong with the dominant mood of the country. This murder-suicide is happening too often and is causing too much agony.

Tomorrow is Good Friday, and it is a good time for the nation as a whole to examine itself and acknowledge our wicked ways and ask God for forgiveness and pledge to walk in his desired path so that Jamaicans can flourish.

The Christian faith claims that Jesus died on our behalf for our sins so that we can experience forgiveness, have guilt removed and have the possibility of a bright future based on God’s righteousness.

As we experience God’s forgiveness, we too must forgive others. More persons need to confess sins and ask God for forgiveness and help and be willing to forgive. Jamaicans need to own up to this murderous spirit and pledge to live, respecting the life of every human being.

Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of ‘The Cross and the Machete’, and ‘Rebellion to Riot’. Send feedback to