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May 16, 2009

We are informed that Friday night was early to sleep for devout Methodists who have heard of Rev Lasaro’s detainment. After burning the midnight oil in prayers, meditation and in telephone discussions of options to be taken, the news of Rev Lasaro’s release proved to be an anticlimax. While it provided the opportunity for much needed rest and sleep, the dawn of Saturday morning however came with the realization that the nagging social, political and economic issues in Fiji will just not go away- that 40% of our people are below the poverty line and the figures are steadily increasing, that parents are finding it increasingly difficult to put food on the table, to send children to school, that there are no foreign investments, the policies of the Bainimarama junta is isolating the nation, increased food prices through devaluation, has put thousands out of employment and deprived God’s people of their sources of livelihood , that young lives are being lost to immoral activities to make ends meet, and the detention of a Man of God who had stood up for God’s justice is a direct affront to the rule of law, the Church, to freedom of belief and expression.

Under these circumstances, leaders of the Church would do well to meditate and remind themselves that holistic mission should involve both evangelism and social action; that the Church’s concern for the justification of sinners cannot be divorced from the provision for the needy and advocacy for the freedom of the oppressed, that the work of the Church in saving souls must go hand in hand with the freedom of conscience of people to choose their leaders, that redemption and providence should go with protecting the dignity of people made in God’s image through holding government accountable for any breaches of their rights to be free from arbitrary arrest and detention of the sort which Rev Lasaro had just been subjected to.

The support for the Church in the long run now depends on the choices of those in leadership. They should be guided at this important juncture by the dedication and courage shown by Rev Lasaro as well as the Christian principles in the opening remarks by Dr Carl Henry at the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin in 1996, “that evangelical Christians have a message doubly relevant to the present social crisis . . . for they know the God of justice and justification. . .Whenever Christianity has been strong in the life of a nation, it has had an interest in both law and gospel, in the state as well as the church, in jurisprudence and in evangelism.” The long suffering members of the Church and Fiji now look to the leaders of the Methodist Church to take up and champion the cause of peace, human rights, democracy, justice and the rule of law in accordance with decisions of the annual conference.

Have a blessed Sunday tomorrow!
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark Manning permalink
    May 16, 2009 7:34 AM

    Time to repost this :-
    Two replies to my comment I made in the Fiji Times Online in September 2007 :-
    Subject: response to my comment today !

    Mark Manning of Sydney,Australia (38 minutes ago)

    It matters not what anyone thinks , this regime decided years ago just exactly what it had in mind and how it would achieve it’s goals . Anyone who believes otherwise , is deluding themselves ! The processes this regime have put into place , are merely a smokescreen to hide their real intent . And one can only assume that that is total dominance over all facets of fijian society . Hasn’t anyone in Fiji understood yet , that Fiji is being sold out to the asians from under your feet , by your own countrymen ?
    Indian of India (29 minutes ago)

    To Mark Manning of Sydney Australia-#34

    These silly Fijians do not know- ha!ha!ha!ha!ha! We are controlling their Military now. We will do it slowly until we destroy all the Fijian Institutions and the their land rights. The silly Fijians including the selfish Ganilau and Bai do not know and do not bother. GENOCIDE is the MISSION. It can achieved politically.

    Crash Stock Exchange of United States (14 minutes ago)

    To India and Manning

    hahahaha…yeah lets start with crashing the South Pacific Exchange dominated by India and the banks! Maybe the Fijians can start thinking about the 6 billion deal now…hehehehe Take your pick!
    Fijians are lousy merchants anyway because their eyes have always been to big for their stomach(traditionally) thus the need to have a corporate body(GCC new look) to curb the crooks that take advantage of the Natadola projects etc. I say Code of conduct is necessary because no chief should be above the law neither are accountants!

  2. Mark Manning permalink
    May 16, 2009 10:00 AM

    Someone has said that Frank has ordered his subordinates to shoot unarmed civilians in Fiji if they protest in the streets ;-

  3. Mark Manning permalink
    May 16, 2009 10:03 AM

    If this is an example of Indian Justice , then I’d rather live in Australia :-

  4. May 16, 2009 7:20 PM

    Good call! Correct me if I am wrong, but was it not the Methodist Church which first supported the trade union movement, to achieve social justice by supporting the plight of the workers?
    Well, in Fiji today ‘social justice’ is a thing of the past, something we talk about in bedtime stories to our children, or around the grog bowl, recalling past days of glory, peace and harmony. Under this regime, the motto has become ‘every pig for himself’.
    Please Lord, let the Methodist Church remember its devotion to social justice and the path of the righteous. Let our Methodist brothers and sisters show this illegal regime that they do not rule our hearts, our minds or our land.
    Let the Uprising begin.
    God bless Fiji

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