Opinion | WEEKEND

Churches’ Responsibility is to Empower Members Spiritually

The mainstream Methodist and New Methodist Churches focused on mem­bers wellbeing in their conferences. The Methodists were told of their member­ship decline. The New Methodists were told that if they
04 Sep 2017 19:25
Churches’ Responsibility is to Empower Members Spiritually
New Methodist Christian Fellowship conference at the ANZ stadium on August 27, 2017.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

The mainstream Methodist and New Methodist Churches focused on mem­bers wellbeing in their conferences.

The Methodists were told of their member­ship decline.

The New Methodists were told that if they were to choose between vanua and the Bible they should choose the Bible. Their church is one of the fastest growing churches in Fiji.

There is no doubt that some from the main­stream Methodists have joined the New Methodist. Others would be spread among the other churches.

New Methodist style appears to attract a lot of people under the 50-year-old group. The use of music and instruments in worship is attractive.

Whatever the churches preach, the chal­lenge is how they address the standard of morality of their members.

The sad fact is that the majority of people in our prisons are Christians.

That’s an indictment on all Christian churches. The question must be asked: Where are they going wrong?

Outgoing Methodist Church president Rev­erend Tevita Banivanua highlighted the se­rious crimes like rape and teenage pregnan­cies.

The disturbing thing about it was some of­fences were committed within the home or the family.

This is serious because if the family col­lapses under the weight of these crimes, it jeopardises the security and peace of the community.

This is because the family is the foundation of a community.

The churches have an obligation to their members.

They have a responsibility to teach their members their spiritual responsibilities and how these are applied in their daily lives.

If the members are well grounded in spir­itual knowledge and application they should have no problems overcoming life’s chal­lenges.

Crimes and anti-social behaviour indicate there is a serious disconnect between knowl­edge and reality. The number of Christians getting offside with the law is alarming to say the least

If there is one issue Christians should focus on now is to look at how they can arrest this moral decline and empower our people to do good at all times and detest evil.

For Christians, what does it really mean when they say they believe in God or they believe in Jesus Christ.

They declare their faith in a deity.

But the Holy Bible (King James edition) says faith without works in dead. James Chapter 2 Verse 14 in the New Testament says:

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?

Verse 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

Verse 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; not­withstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Verse 17 – Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Faith, by definition, is to believe in some­thing you cannot see. You may have faith that you can score high marks and pass your exam.

But if you don’t do the hard yards like stud­ying, then you can’t expect to pass with fly­ing colours.

That principle applies to all facets of life.

Life in the family at home fails because the application of spiritual knowledge has fallen short.

Churches should be zeroing in on this cru­cial area. They command respect and they wield a powerful influence over their flocks.

Members should be taught in very simple terms how they should apply that spiritual knowledge in real life.

This means exercising their faith.

They need to know what’s right and what’s wrong and be able to live it.

Knowledge of what’s right alone is not enough. It’s application is equally important.

It boils down to our choices and their out­comes.

A good choice will lead to good outcomes and joy all around.

A bad choice will lead to bad outcomes, grief and pain.

If members gain a testimony of this prin­ciple, it will help them make good choices in life and become happy.

Christians believe that all human beings are created by God in a spiritual sense.

When people are born in this world they are endowed with God’s spirit and attributes in­cluding gifts and talents.

Their spiritual DNA has a divine origin. Their physical DNA is from their parents. When they make bad choices or do some­thing wrong they become restless and un­happy because their spiritual side cannot mix with bad stuff. It’s like trying to mix oil and water.

Churches must teach their members that if they want to be happy then they must do the right thing and obey the law.

We want our people to be wise. Wisdom is the righteous or correct application of spir­itual knowledge.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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