Thursday, May 21, 2015

Church and politics

from w
I agree with Akuila here when he says that people in the church do need to be political in the sense of caring about justice, injustice in society.  Okay, don't promote one party of course, but to be distant from the power grabs etc. is to make Christians focussed on heaven instead of earth. The Kingdom of God surely started with our local society.
From letters to the Editor of the Fiji Times.  (Bold words are my emphasis.)


Akuila Yabak, Suva | Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Thanks to communication secretary, Reverend James Bhagwan for saying as reported (Sunday, May 17) that the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma has maintained itself apolitical at the same time allowing church halls to be used on request.
This I take to mean that any political party of whatever creed or colour could use Methodist Church premises so the offer includes others than just SODELPA.
However, the Methodist Church as "apolitical" needs further scrutiny for the benefit of those who have observed the twists and turns within the church during the coup years since Fiji's first coup in 1987 and in particular the takeover led by Voreqe Bainimarama in 2006.
Describing the church as apolitical could have these three meanings which seem at opposite - uninterested in political affairs; politically neutral or of no political significance.
In order to meet the new challenges facing the church at this time, the Methodist Church cannot remain uninterested in political affairs nor can it pretend to be of no political significance.
At least the church while remaining politically neutral with no specific party affiliation could collaborate with other faith leaders on speaking out on exploitation, injustice and oppressions as these continue to occur at this time within Fiji and West Papua.

And a response from the Methodist Church media man:
I AM appreciative of Akuila Yabaki's voice and note his comment in Tuesday's The Fiji Times letters.
For his information and that of others, may I clarify that the Methodist Church in Fiji's "apolitical" stance, as within the context of the statement last week, refers only to the definition of "apolitical" as "being not connected to" or "does not identify with any one particular party".
The church, as a nation-wide faith community, will continue to speak on issues relating to issues of justice, peace and society which we believe is part of our expression of our Christian faith, as protected by the 2013 Constitution.
Methodist Church in Fiji

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