Thursday, February 08, 2007

Should the institutions of the church and/or army dabble in politics?

from w
The Methodist Church President's notion of reconciliation to work nicely with the army might smooth the ruffled feathers caused by the forthright statement.
Methodist Church to Monitor Executives Closely
By fijivillage
Feb 9, 2007, 13:08

The Methodist Church of Fiji will now closely monitor church executives to ensure that they are not part of any moves that may bring disrespect to the church or cause instability in the nation. Church President Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca has confirmed that any statement from the church regarding the current situation in the country will only be issued by him.

Ratabacaca said the church standing committee will now be responsible for drawing up a road map that could see all races in the country working together and helping the interim government move forward.

This Sunday all members of the Methodist Church will be told what the church wants from them (my italics) in helping the interim government and to see that they are not used by individuals with personal agendas.

Some of the letters from ‘YOUR SAY’ are interesting.
So the Military is saying that it is ungodly for the Methodist church to be dallying in politics ... is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? And what did they call their call their act of treason against an elected government ... oh yes ... they called it a 'clean up campaign'!

I remember the comments made by a poster on this forum - 'that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.'

The military should not be calling institutions names because they started a trend of meddling in something that was not their business to meddle in. They disrespected the highest office of this land by saying that they did not recognise him as being their Commander-in-Chief - in fact it was Teleni that said that... They just got back to recognizing the President as their Commander-in-Chief when they were trying to get VB sworn in as PM and to get the immunity decree signed by the President.

Reapi Nayacakalou
• • •
aquamyasia - you quote
"It clearly states in the Bible Romans 13. Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by god. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey god, and punishment will follow."
At present there is a Govt. in place in Fiji that the church refuses to accept and obey.
You say all governments have been placed in power by god.
Is the church refusing to obey God??

y• • •
The last time I checked, Commander Bainimarama is a church goer and he knows the word of the Lord.

Yet he went ahead.

So, if the Church claims blanket veto over all Christians and speaks for do we explain then and women in uniform who are presumably predominantly of the Christian faith and avid Church goers..are they sinners?

And the President himself ... has he no fear of God?

I think the Church propaganda is just pure stirring the pot, they have nothing better to do ... they need to find useful programs to get the community re-energized into productive things.

Vinod Chetty
• • •
The military should do a clean up campaign in the Methodist Church all over Fiji.

Jolly Good
Auckland, New Zealand
We need a new president.

Please be positive, we need someone who can decide for a nation who are clashing on one another, Fiji is like a boat sailing on rough seas. We need a captain that can swim without help! A President who can make decisions when we needed it: right now. This is not politics, I do agree with with the Methodist Church, it's not that I am a member of this particular church, I am a concerned citizen with children who will stand today and tomorrow for my beautiful Fiji. Please think wisely: we are running out of time. Our economy is going down very fast.

Ratu Jiasa Ratumuri
• • •
Just a reminder to all. It is not the church that has an opinion on political situations rather, people who are in the church using it as a medium of fronting their own personal views. Do not speak against the church but against people using it as a front for their own political agendas.

I would like to add however, that these people expressing their views, as silly as it is to use the church, are correct.

A quick return to rightful democracy is what Fiji needs. Frank and his men (and women) must resign and make way for a fair and rightful return to democracy as soon as possible.

One more thing: with the retirement age now set at 55, isn't Iloilo way past that? I wonder how old Frank and his puppets are?

Laughing Fijian
• • •
Can someone tell me which part of the Constitutional or administrative make-up of the Methodist Church gives them the authority to ask for a Nation's Head Of State to resign?

I am waiting for answers: let's really clean up Fiji. because we have too many hot headed leaders representing minority groups who want to run Fiji.

Groups like the Church with very narrow vested interests must be stopped from exploiting the situation because it know the level of gullibility within its membership and wants to take advantage of it.

Vinod Chetty
• • •
Just because the army has lost its way, does not mean that the church should also lose its credibility by by indulging into things they are not mandated to. The church is way above politics and should not stoop this low. It is also unchristian to be malicious and unforgiving.

Places of worship are places where people go for sanctity and peace, not to get stressed over political issues which has a divisive affect. I thought we had come a long way from the colonial days.



Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Monday 12th Feb.
Surprise, surprise! The President of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Rev Laisiasa now says they stand by the original statement 'Here we Stand'. Well, now that is confusing.

bujo said...

I think the Methodist church has realised it made a mistake and has acted to correct its position. Good on them!
Politics is for Politicians. Some military officers have now become politicians - they now hold political positions in Govt.
The church in politics? I believe that the church ought to realise that they major in things 'spiritual'. Back to what Jesus, after he healed the 'spirit-possed' young man, told his disciples ....."this kind can only be driven out by prayer and fasting" (mark 9:29 Amp. Bible). If the church (whatever denomination) stick to this principle, I believe that the church will be better of, and the effects of that will flow on into the political arena.
'Meda masu mada ga ka Lolo vakalevu' - God is no respector of persons, but will respect His word.
Right now - I will say, " And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Rom 8:28 NIV)

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Bujo, it is rather confusing. I think that Rev Lai said no to the statement, but now he has said yes to it!
Fiji Times: Church stands by call for President, interim PM to quit
1750 FJT Monday, February 12, 2007
Update: 5.50pm
Fiji's Methodist church is standing by its call for President Ratu Josefa Iloilo and interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, to resign.This follows talks between the church and Commodore Bainimarama last Thursday.

On February 2, the church issued an official statement titled 'Here We Stand', in which it said the military takeover of December 5 was illegal and called for the resignation of the two leaders.

The statement was withdrawn the next day amid controversy.

However this afternoon, church president, the Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca, in a further statement said the church reaffirmed its stance 'as raised in its official paper'.

''There are issues in which we agreed to differ but we will continue in dialogue in the coming weeks,'' he said.

''The church acknowledges with appreciation the interim Prime Minister's openness in giving us the privilege to have an audience with him.

''The action taken by the church was in line with the traditional roles of the church in nation building by voicing its prophetic and pastoral role in our society.''

The Rev Ratabacaca said the meeting had been fruitful 'as the respective views of both parties were mutually discussed and enlightened, which created better understanding and positive atmosphere for continuing dialogue'.

''We urge all church ministers and members to continually pray for the situation and for God's guidance to the future journey of our nation,'' he said.
Sorry, it's a long post but I shouldn't cut the Fiji Times article. It's very strange isn't it!
Yes Bujo, the church should prioritize spiritual matters, but I think here people like Rev Tui are considering justice for society. Critics will say that they are taking political sides though.

Gilbert Veisamasama, Jr said...

The Methodist Church seems to be contradicting itself in the few times that it has something reported in the papers since the military takeover. I think they should just stick with preaching what the Bible says regardless of whoever they are preaching to. That way, they will avoid contradicting themselves.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

It certainly seems so. I belong to the Uniting Church in Australia which grew out of the Methodist/ Presbyterian/ Congregational churches and in Fiji I associate with the Methodist, and feel a strong sentiment for Dudley and Dilkusha, though we have many friends in the Centenary choir, etc.
But the current situation requires church leaders with integrity who think clearly and don't dither around. The Methodist leaders have not handle any of the coups responsibly it seems. I think I would sit comfortably with the Suva Anglicans and the blue ribbon women these days.