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EDITORIAL: Hardline Stand On Discipline Important For Church Image

The Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma has done the right thing by showing no mercy to talatalas (ministers or reverends) who commit serious offences and breach its code of
23 Aug 2018 09:59
EDITORIAL: Hardline Stand On Discipline Important For Church Image

The Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma has done the right thing by showing no mercy to talatalas (ministers or reverends) who commit serious offences and breach its code of ethics and conduct.

Before, offenders were suspended for five years. At the end of the term they could request for pardon and reinstatement.

Now that provision is no more. They will no longer be reinstated as talatala. That’s a major decision and no doubt will make the ministers think very hard before they break the church law. When they are defrocked, they lose all the money, privileges, perks, dignity and respect that go with the position.

The ministers are expected to serve as role models of unfailing perseverance in faith, love, and purity.

They are viewed as leaders and with leadership comes the obligation to set a positive example. If they exercise poor judgment, it can negatively affect individuals and reflect poorly on their congregations and churches.

Ministers are expected to be truthful in life and character and live the truth of the scripture they teach, modeling Christ in a very sound and robust way that befits their calling.

The Church’s Code of Ethics and Conduct covers the:

  • ministry relationship;
  • Power;
  • Boundaries in ministry;
  • Personal relationships;
  • Justice making and forgiveness; and
  • Confidentiality.

The code is designed to lead the ministers, deaconesses and leaders for effective ministry for the people of God and for the protection and wellbeing of those they serve.

Any person may report an alleged breach of the code to the divisional superintendent or to the general secretary of the church.

The code cites the church’s responsibility to make its community of faith a “safe space to do all they can to make all their places, their worship, their meetings, their homes, their fellowship gatherings and all their church activities places of safety and free from abuse.”

In all the 58 Fiji Methodist Church divisions around the country, members are faithfully carrying out their church responsibilities.

All they need is a faithful and hardworking leader or minister.

As leaders they should lead by example.

They should influence others by their Godly example and by their teaching of God’s word.

All ministers know the code.

They know if they breach it they are going to face the consequences.

The church has already set up a committee to look into cases of alleged breaches.

The life ban penalty will act as a deterrent. It will protect the members of the church and the ministers. The tough position by the church is expected to eliminate this behavioural problem in the long term and improve the church’s image. MAIKA BOLATIKI

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj




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