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Keep politics separate, says church


April 10, 2014 04:39:09 AM

Methodist Church in Fiji has reminded members in leadership positions to keep politics and the church separate.

In line with this, the church has advised those members appointed to leadership positions by the church’s Circuit Quarterly Meetings, Divisional Annual Meeting and National Annual Conference they must give up their leadership positions if they choose to stand in the nation’s forthcoming General Elections on September 17.

Although they will retain their status as lay preachers or lay pastors or ministers and deaconesses, these church officials will not have any appointment during the election campaign.

“This is to ensure that they are not tempted to abuse the power and influence they have in the church to further their political aspirations,” Methodist Church in Fiji General Secretary Rev Tevita Nawadra Bainivanua says.

“What we are talking about is those who serve in positions of authority such as stewards, treasurers, presidents of fellowships, cell group leaders and at higher level – members of church committees such as department advisory committees, the President’s panel or the Standing Committee. This will be part of our code of conduct for the church.”

Candidates will still maintain their membership in the Methodist Church and be able to participate fully in the life of the church.

“We are not discouraging our members from campaigning, far from it. If they are prepared to serve the nation with integrity, humility, compassion and servant-hood based on the principles of the Kingdom of God, we encourage anyone to do so. However they will have to give up any position of leadership. They can worship, sing in the choir, take part in Bible study and cell group meetings, teach in Sunday school, and participate in the Youth, Men’s and Women’s Fellowships, but not as a leader.”

Caution on sermon messages
Lay preachers, catechists, ministers and deaconesses have also been urged to ensure the messages they are imparting during their sermons are limited to the gospel and the church’s forthcoming jubilee celebration and not on elections or party manifestos in the lead up to the elections.

“We are to preach the Good News, the Kingdom of God and call people and society to live in righteousness, compassion and with justice. We are celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Church’s independence from the Methodist Church in Australasia, so we are to preach the themes of Jubilee: freedom from oppression, slavery, debt, sin – God’s liberation; freedom for forgiveness, love, reconciliation – God’s favour; and freedom to consecrate, proclaim, tend the flock, save lives – God’s commission,” Rev Bainivanua said.

Political Campaigning
The church has also prohibited the discussion of issues relating to political campaigns during official church meeting.

Rev Bainivanua says the Bose Vakarau (Preparatory Meeting), Leader’s Meeting, Circuit Quarterly Meeting and Divisional Annual meeting are for discussing the work of the Church.

“Political meetings, campaign or information meetings must be done outside of these meetings so that no political party, candidate or lobbyist use the church for political purposes. They are welcome to speak to individual members as citizens.”

Rev Bainivanua further says church halls or properties of the church may be fired for the purpose of meetings or rallies, but worship services, official church meetings and programmes are not open for political campaigning.


27 thoughts on “Keep politics separate, says church

  1. Rev Tevita you must be in another world. This illegal government has victimised our church for the last 8 years. We all have to get together and punish them in the election in September 2014 by not voting for Bainimarma / Khayium. How can we forget Khayium for vitimising the church using Bainimarma.
    The church is and will always be part of the political destiny of Fiji. We will not accept Bainimarma and Khayium to how they treated in particular our church.

  2. The saddest thing here is that the leadership of the Methodist church has had to be reminded of something so obvious.

  3. Methodist is and will always be political. The Muslims are full time campaigning in there mosque and the Hindus are doing the same in there temple. Why can’t we do the same.

    Khayium is going to every mosque telling people to support him. Dewan Maharaj of Quality Prints is doing the same going around and temples telling people to vote for Bainiamara.

    So why can’t the Methodist do the same. Methodist will support SODELA.

  4. Reverand Tevita wake up to the reality in Fiji. The Methodist do not want a TALIBAN to set direction for our country. We need more Ratu Tevita Vesikula in our country then ever before.Vinaka Ratu Tevtia to talk about our land. Khayium as A.G has lot of powers regarding the land.

  5. Well, the leaders of the methodist church do what Fijians do best: Kiss the hairy arse of Khaiyum. In the meantime anticipating subservience has become the most common behaviour in our society. Is it really possible that an entire people give up on their culture, their religion, their beliefs and their culture only because Khaiyum has a sun set plan for us? Do we really want to bend over forever and invite Khaiyum and his RFMF thugs to rape us?

  6. All Methodist is to remian united and not to vote Bai and Khayium. Bianimarma is an idoit and is used by KHAYIUM. kHAYIUM’S removal is imminent and we vote for SODELPA.

  7. Ya mate you may say kaiviti ulukau but let me inform you that we are not fools to give vote to bai/khaiyum because ” a vote to bai is a vote to muslim taliban” so that can only happen over our [fijian taukei’s] dead body.

  8. You have to laugh at the posts here that so clearly reveal the true value of the church for some.

  9. The efforts by the Methodist Church are warmly welcomed and appreciated.

    Our people are grateful for the great and wise steps being taken in ensuring that darkness does not creep into the light.

    Politics and the Church are separate and should always be kept separate as the Church should be a unifying factor for all people of different political views who have given their lives to their God.

    Vinaka Methodist Church of Fiji.

  10. This Meth statement is typical kai viti double speak ie say something publicly while the masses plan and vote against Bai…………..the usual game plan

  11. i Taukei and Methodist are not a batch of people who do not know the reality. We will not vote a Taliban lead party. Now you see the fun as we will ensure that Bainimarma and his sidekick Khayium are taken to court and charged for treason. The 2013 constution is an illegal document as the 1997 constution remains legal.
    Khayium you are trying to destroy the i Taukei since 2006 illegal takeover.
    You have framed Qarase and Chaudhry as these two were the biggest threat to your political career. Your turn is coming closer.

  12. Reverand Yakabki of CCF your booklet on the illegal constitution is perfect. This is document and many decrees has been forced on us.
    It is sad that only a handful of i Taukei are with this illegal government because they are filling their own pockets and having a great life style while the majority people are suffering in silence. We i Taukei remain united and vote for SODELPA.

  13. Khayium tell the people of Fiji what you had before before 2006 and what cash and asset you have now.
    Khayium tell the people of Fiji how much you have earned over 8 years in salary
    Tell the people about the $1.2 million you earn.
    Why your salary is processed by your aunty nur bano ali?
    How much were you paid by aunty nur in the restrucutre of Rewa Diary?
    Nur Bano was paid $500,000 without any tender.

  14. Some racist methodist is putting all those hate posts. The truth is the Frank will win and win big.

    Most poor methodists that have to give so much soli will vote for Fiji first to be free from all this.

  15. Methodists will teach Bai/ Khayium a lesson. Let me remind you Jesoni other churches will join to vote SODEPLA. i Taukei will not allow a Muslim to tell us what to do.

  16. Annon

    Again my friend you don’t speak like a christain. You sound as if you need god’s help. If you see others diFferent, you must repent.

  17. So the church has no desire to mix with politics, but is quite happy to declare Fiji a Christian State. The hypocrisy is a joke. So before the “chosen ones” cast the first stone, the Church’s sole concern is its own flock. What happened to social justice, what happens to the other Fiji, rich, poor, Indian, Chinese,Muslim, Buddhist. Last I heard Jesus was an inclusive, not devise Leader, something the current Methodists seemed to have conveniently forgotten for the past 5 years. Silence is indeed golden!

  18. The subject matter goes without saying; so who is Nawadra trying to pacify? The church should just get on with the job they are supposed to be doing; for action speaks louder than words.

  19. The Methodist Church is much bigger than politics as it represent GOD ALMIGHTY.
    The church officials report to GOD rather then men including political parties.
    Members of church will vote after praying and checking on candidates integrity and track-record.

    Greedy people, drunks, too much yaqona drinkers , adulterers , smokers , racists, etc must not be voted to parliament.

  20. @Nagatalevu

    That’s would be great news but I fear you are living in your own small dream world. Stick to performing in your weekly shows at the bus stand and leave the realists to decide on the important things in life.

  21. Ratu She…………….

    Mack is right – you’ve lost your way and have become more blind and filthy!!!

    Your heart is filled with too much hate,divisiveness and evil.

    So go to the light before it’s too late!!!

  22. Rev Tevita. Its very simple. What does the lordship of Christ mean to you? Do you want to have Christ as the Lord God of Fiji? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the only way, the truth and the life, as He declared more than two thousand years ago? If your life was snuffed out today, and you were to stand judgement before God, how will you account for your stand in Fiji’s politics today? Will God be pleased with you?

    If God is not of supreme importance to Fiji as a nation, then He is of no importance at all. If God’s prophets will not stand up and speak out to the nation, then do not be surprised that He will choose others to speak for Him. Nothing and no one, will ever diminish or affect the lordship of Christ because He is separate from and is unaffected by any part of His creation.

    We derive our humanity from Him and as long as we are His subjects, we can hope to reach our very highest. But we become less human and become dehumanized when we choose to reject His lordship and sovereignty over our personal lives and that of our nation.

    Please prayerfully rethink your stand and seek the wise counsel of the Holy Spirit and His Word. Fiji needs God’s voice and wise counsel at this very critical moment. Vinaka.

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