Sunday, August 27, 2006

Do Fiji Methodists drink alcohol?

When Akuila Yabaki was re-instated into the Fiji Methodist Church after his 'lapse' a few years ago in drinking alcohol.

The Fiji Sun wrote this at the weekend:

This week Reverend Akuila Yabaki was reinstated as a Methodist church minister after he was excommunicated in 2001 for drinking alcohol. The rules of the Methodist church clearly states that any minister found drinking alcohol will be defrocked and banned from the church. Reverend Yabaki had always maintained that he drank to socialise, not to get drunk. If drinking alcohol moderately by ministers was not allowed shouldn’t the same be said for drinking grog excessively? That’s exactly what is happening at Ratu Cakobau park.
This connection between Methodism and abstaining from drinking beer, wine, etc. probably developed because of drunkeness and to see a drunk man or woman or teenager for that matter isn't a pleasant sight. Perhaps it's also about the use of money when there's nothing left for the family groceries. Ministers should set an example toa the flock I guess.

But there is no ban on drinking kava - though it is not alcoholic - it also has certain effects - laziness the next morning, it costs money, it separates the drinkers from their kids who might be running wild. Members of the Assembly of God churches, sometimes called lotu tagitagi - 'crying church' abstain from kava.

I wonder if John Wesley had a glass of red, red wine with his dinner?


Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

In Australia there is no directive about abstinence for Uniting church ministers. I found this article from Britain.

The 1987 Methodist Conference Report on Alcohol, Through a Glass Darkly , made the following recommendations -

That all Methodists:

consider seriously the claims of total abstinence.
make a personal commitment either to total abstinence or to responsible drinking
give support wherever possible and by appropriate means to those who suffer directly or indirectly from alcohol misuse
unite to support pressure on government and public opinion for a programme designed to control consumption and reduce harm
recognise the importance of example and education in family life
where they practise total abstinence take special care to avoid authoritarian attitudes which may be counter-productive
where they practise responsible drinking take special care to demonstrate that this also involves self-controls
That the Methodist Church actively engages in the promotion of responsible attitudes to alcohol and in the support (whether directly or indirectly) of those suffering the harmful consequences of their own alcohol misuse, or that of others.

The Methodist Church's Standing Orders state that alcohol cannot be supplied, sold or used on Methodist premises, nor may Methodist premises be used to promote the use or sale of intoxicants. (This does not apply to domestic occasions in private homes - alcohol can be consumed by ministers in their own homes.)

Anonymous said...

Moderation and commonsence is the right policy for me anyway.
Ratu Sukuna said in his time to many Fijians, Na medra wai na vuku se vakaqavokavoka means to use your brain when drinking alcohol or hot stuff

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Yes, that's right. Use your brain, but gosh, a lot of people don't!
I'm a teetotaller and that surprises people, but I think I just copy my Mum who swore off the liquor when she saw the damage it caused in the household of a great-uncle and aunt she had to housekeep for when she was sixteen.
PS As you know I don't need alcohol to act pretty silly and get outa control at times!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I was disappointed to read in the Fiji Village this morning that 'Last Thursday, Reverend Lasaro successfully moved a motion to delay Reverend Yabaki's reinstatement for another year.' Even if Akuila wants to continue with his work with the Constitution Reform group, he can still be a talatala. A variety of political views is healthy and let him be! Talatalas should not be clones of Tomasi and Manasa!

tooners said...

Most churches/delegations in the U.S. look at drinking as a bad thing. The only church where one can openly drink and be given wine for Sunday Mass is the Catholic Church. Other denominations frown upon it. I look at drinking two ways. It's a sin if you go out to purposely get drunk. If you are drinking a glass or wine here and there or having a cocktail on the weekends, then I see nothing wrong w/ it.

What is Kava? I'm assuming if it makes you tired the next day, that it has some pretty strong affects and such on the body. Maybe not though.