Great Bay, St. Maarten – When the news broke that the Sint Maarten Christian Party will be contesting the upcoming Parliamentary elections there were numerous reactions. Many people were very elated as they saw the SMPC as a positive alternative; while some others expressed reservation and even fear. Unfortunately, some people who are called by the name Christian have not always lived up to the name and as such many people are skeptical when they hear the word Christian.

That is why, the Indian Leader Mahatma Ghandi is quoted as saying: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Christians have lived hypocritical lives and have watered down the meaning of the word “Christian”. The word “Christian” means a follower of Christ. One who has accepted to live according to the teachings and principles of Jesus the Christ! The fundamental teaching of Christ is: Love God, love your neighbor and love yourself. And the only way one can love God is by demonstrating love and compassion towards your neighbor.

Certain principles follow from this fundamental Christian teaching such as loyalty, honesty, respect, integrity, transparency, ethics, accountability and justice. Aren’t these the same character traits everybody in St. Maarten is clamoring for at this time? There is a great lack of these characteristics in government as well as in our society. Integrity in Government is the latest buzz word. As many as four integrity reports about Government’s integrity or lack thereof, with recommendations, have been written within the last two years and nothing has come out of all of these reports. The Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) is of the opinion that it can offer leadership in this area of Government.

Note that most countries in Europe and South America have parties based on Christian principles. The Netherlands has the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Aruba has the Aruban People’s Party (AVP) and Curacao has the National People’s Party (PNP), all of them founded on Christian principle. And none of these parties have brought the church into politics

The word “Christian” represents a belief system and not a church or a particular religion. For this reason, the Christian Party embraces people of all faith-based religions which ascribe to the party’s fundamental principles. The SMCP acknowledges the sovereignty of the Almighty God over all the affairs of man, including government. The Party is also further guided by Christian values, norms and principles. These characteristics are found in all faith-based religion on Sint Maarten and as such we welcome everyone, who loves Sint Maarten and who wants a change, to join with us and serve with us as we endeavor to improve the quality of life for every inhabitant of this country.
And that Change is now!

We cannot deny the fact that the values, norms, principles, ethics and morals embedded in the Sint Maarten society are Christian based. This is because prior to the economic boom in the 1960’s, the Christian faith was dominant here. The indigenous St. Maartener and those who grew up here lived according to the teachings of Christ. This is the reason why we call Sint Maarten a Christian nation. We also must not forget that the first line of the preamble of our constitution acknowledges the Almighty God as the source of our principles and values. And when our parliamentarians and ministers take the oath of office they swear by the Almighty God that they will uphold the constitution and carry out their duties in an upright manner. Which means that they would function according to Christian principles which are universal and found to a great extent in every faith-based religion. Regrettably, many of our parliamentarians and ministers seem to have forgotten the meaning of the oath of office that they have taken.

People need to know that not a single Church will be taking part in the elections. But, on the SMCP’s list of candidates you will find people whose lives are guided by Christian principles and who love Sint Maarten to the extent that they are offering themselves, their skills, talents and experience to serve the people for change and for the betterment of the country and that change is now!

Government is about offering quality service to the people. That is why government officials are called civil servants. The SMCP wants to reinforce and improve the service element in Government. Why do you think thriving businesses and companies do so well? Because they stress quality service to their clients. It goes without saying that service in Parliament and Government needs improvement. This will be one of the areas that the SMCP will be focusing on and leading by example when in government.

Our next article will deal with Separation of Church and State. If you would like to know more about the Sint Maarten Christian Party or you would like to become a member, a supporter or a donor kindly email us at call the President at 580-9474 or the Secretary at 522-5803 or 523-3858.