I HAVE APPLIED MY MIND to fathom why corruption, murder, thief, rape in particular and immorality in general seem to be permeating all the more in our society despite the existence of law courts, prison camps, and tough penalties.
I have also applied my mind to understand what the source of all these evil things is – and I arrived at the human heart as the source.
My inquest into the above two questions has borne me one profound conclusion which constitutes the actual conclusion of this article. Most of you may agree with me whilst others may not, depending on your own judgment and religiosity.
Depravity & corruption of the human heart
We can introduce strong laws to deal with crimes of all degrees; we can conduct national hauskrai over brutal rape and murder of our innocent women and children as we did some months ago; we can introduce death penalty as we already did earlier this year for serious crimes; we can complain bitterly about corruption and set up anti–corruption organizations to combat corruption but these are all in utter vain.
All of our efforts will not obliterate corruption, rape, murder and such other social ills completely. These social ills will continue to spring up time and time again. This is simply because the human heart is depraved.
When the heart is corrupt, the results that it produces are also corrupt. Murder, thief, greed, unscrupulousness, bitterness and jealousy but to name a few are all fruits of a corrupt heart.
There is absolutely nothing that we can do about it. There is no drug under the sun that can cure depravity of the human heart. Since creation, the law has tried to deal with depravity of human heart but to no avail. Not even death penalty can change a human heart that is corrupt by nature.
Limitations of all human laws
All laws have their limits. They are good at imposing penalty on criminals and locking them behind bars, but beyond that the laws can do nothing. Take the late renowned criminal William Kapris for instance. The law had a full grip of him. He was brought under the full power of the law. He was subjected to the stern scrutiny of the law courts and was found guilty. He was given just prison terms.
This was all the work of the law. If the law could change him, the law would have done it long time ago. However, his last escape is a clear proof that the law had not transformed him one bit. He was a criminal at heart when he robbed Bank South pacific of millions of kina, he was still a criminal at heart when he we was arrested and was charged.
He was still a criminal at heart when he underwent a rigorous court battle until he was found guilty and was sent to Bomana. Moreso he was still a criminal at heart when he eventually escaped and was shot dead by the police officers.
I then ask: if the law cannot change the nature of a criminal like the late William Kapris, then what exactly will change the nature of criminals like Kapris? Certainly not law because the law is only good at imposing penalty on the criminals and attempts to deter them and others from committing further crimes but nothing more.
The law only deals with the action aspect of men and not the ‘heart’ of men. The heart is that centre of men where all human thoughts and motives are conceived. All acts and omissions of men are conceived in the heart but coordinated by the mind.
All other body parts are at the mercy and command of the heart. If the heart is corrupt, then the mind is automatically corrupt, too. The mind in turn affects the whole body. If the heart is clean then the whole body is clean. Whether or not the heart of a human is pure is determined by the fruits it produces.
All social evils are fruits of a corrupt heart
All bad things happening around the country for which we complain about everyday are the fruits of wicked and a corrupt heart. No detergent can cleanse it pure. No law can deal with the state of wickedness of human heart. The human heart is absolutely depraved. There is nothing we can do about it. Does this mean that we have no hope at all? No, we have hope.
The only hope
What then is the hope that we have? The hope we have is none other than Jesus Christ. The Blood of Jesus Christ is the only detergent in the whole universe that can successfully cleanse our human heart.
You can be a criminal but the moment you come in to contact with the blood of Jesus, you can be cleansed into a saint.
This is not a mere theory. About 2000 years ago, a worst criminal – a murderer who was sentenced to death together with Jesus Christ. He was crucified alongside Jesus. The moment he came into contact with the fresh blood of Jesus which was dripping out and down from his side, he was convicted and so he confessed all his sins and automatically he became a saint.
Jesus assured him that that very moment he would be in Paradise with him. Mind you, if that man was set free after his contact with Jesus, he would be a totally transformed man for the rest of his life. He would not become a criminal again. However, the Bible says that he died together with Jesus but died as a saint.
The other example is about a short and yet a filthy rich man – a chief tax collector. His name was Zacchaeus. He was a real criminal – a white collar criminal. If it was in our country he would be the Commissioner General of Internal Revenue Commission.
So he was a professional man, and yet he practiced corruption in the high office he held. But his story changed abruptly when he came in contact with Jesus Christ. He was totally transformed the moment he met Jesus Christ.
His meeting with Jesus brought upon him such a tremendous conviction that he pledged to return four times what he had stolen from each individual victim of his white collar crimes. For his detailed story read Luke 19:1-10.
Papua New Guinea surely needs tough laws to address ever increasing criminal activities in the country but more so PNG needs the word of God. When the law reaches its limit, the word of God takes over. A society that is governed by both the word of God and the law is most likely to be a just and peaceful society.
The law addresses outward actions of man whereas the word of God addresses the inward depraved nature of man. Just as tough laws are necessary to address serious crimes in the society, the word is equally needed to address depravity of man’s heart.
Actually the word of God is more necessary than tough laws. This is so because all forms of social ills spring forth from the depraved nature of man.
Thus, unless our country humbles itself, acknowledges God and abides by God’s word, we will continue to see increase in law and order problems irrespective of enactment of tough laws. Our country surely needs God and his word more than ever.
God bless PNG!
The author is the Assistant Registrar of the National Court of Papua New Guinea and is based in Port Moresby. He is also a member of the PNG Law Society council. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the organisation for which he works or is a member of. For comments email the author at email@example.com