NATION

Use Scriptures As Reference For Moving Forward

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say from yesterday’s FBC programme 4 The Record   I wish to start My Say tonight by categorically stating that the
26 Sep 2016 07:00
Use Scriptures As Reference For Moving Forward
Holy Bible

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say from yesterday’s FBC programme 4 The Record

 

I wish to start My Say tonight by categorically stating that the provisions in the 2013 Constitution pass the test when they are compared with the teachings of the Holy Bible.

I am using the Holy Bible as the point of reference, because that’s a holy book that I am familiar with compared to others.

I think the other holy books share the same principles.

I am also aware that a majority of our Parliamentarians are Christians and are familiar with the Bible.

Outside of Parliament there are politicians who also are familiar with the Bible.

I said last week that our politicians should use the Holy Scriptures as their reference points.

If their statements fail to agree with the standards set by the scriptures, then they may not good for us.

This exercise rules out selective use of the scriptures to suit a political agenda. Scriptures must never be quoted out of context.

It could mislead people and cause unnecessary contentions.

The Bible and other holy books should be our manual for life and we should constantly refer to them as our manual to achieve peace, unity, stability and prosperity.

These should be our personal and national goals.

The 2013 Constitution embodies Biblical principles. Because of time constraints I will look at only some provisions that match Biblical standards.

Chapter 4: Secular State —(1) Religious liberty, as recognised in the Bill of Rights, is a founding principle of the State.

(2) Religious belief is personal. (3) Religion and the State are separate, which means— (a) the State and all persons holding public office must treat all religions equally; (b) the State and all persons holding public office must not dictate any religious belief; (c) the State and all persons holding public office must not prefer or advance, by any means, any particular religion, religious denomination, religious belief, or religious practice over another, or over any non-religious belief; and (d) no person shall assert any religious belief as a legal reason to disregard this Constitution or any other law.

In the Bible we learn about prophets and apostles who were martyred because they preached what they believed in.

They were the pioneers in the battle for religious freedom.

We get an insight of what can happen when we don’t separate the State from religion and or when the state gives preference to a particular religion.

Often inequality ensues which can lead to oppression, distrust and religious contentions.

It can also lead to the politicisation of religion. Because of that religion can get a bad wrap or tainted. When Jesus Christ came on the scene and lifted the Mosaic law (Law of Moses) to a new level, he was persecuted and finally crucified. He preached loving your enemies instead of the Mosaic law of an eye for an eye.

He preached equality. He was against class divisions and discrimination.

In James 1: 27 of the New Testament of the Bible, James, an apostle of Jesus Christ, speaking to the 12 tribes of Israel said: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their afflictions, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Jesus talking to his apostles and people said in John 13: 34: A new commandment I give unto you that he love another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

He spoke on equality, that everyone is equal before God, even the poor and the needy and the vulnerable are to be visited and helped.

In this Constitution, there are provisions in the Bill of Rights that ensures that no one is left out.

Right to equality and freedom from discrimination; 27 Freedom from compulsory or arbitrary acquisition of property; 28 Rights of ownership and protection of iTaukei, Rotuman and Banaban lands; 29 Protection of ownership and interests in land; 30 Right of landowners to fair share of royalties for extraction of minerals; 31 Right to education;  32 Right to economic participation; 33 Right to work and a just minimum wage; ii 34 Right to reasonable access to transportation; 35 Right to housing and sanitation; 36 Right to adequate food and water; 37 Right to social security schemes; 38 Right to health; 39 Freedom from arbitrary evictions; 40 Environmental rights; 41 Rights of children;  42 Rights of persons with disabilities.

We are not only equal under the equal citizenry provision and have a common name, these economic rights ensure that no one is forgotten or left behind. The inclusive and caring nature of this Constitution is consistent with scriptural standards.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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