SDA church dispute on assets heads to court

    Last month leaders of the SDA church in the South Pacific Division (SPD) met again in Australia with pastors from Samoa and Samoan pastors representing Samoan churches in New Zealand and Australia. The bible conference discussed the impasse in Samoa which is detrimental to a fundamental doctrine of the SDA church where there are now two seventh-day Sabbaths, some worshipping on Saturday and the majority worshipping on Sunday.

    An outcome of the meeting is the matter to be referred to the Biblical Research Committee of the South Pacific Division for further research.

    But in Samoa, the local church administration has instructed the law office of Schuster-Betham-Annandale to write to the Leauva’a-uta SDA members who are worshipping on Saturday to refrain from using the church facility there. The letter dated 6th February warns that failure to comply within 7 days will result in the matter been taken to the High Court for an order regarding ownership, demolition and removal by the church of assets.

    The letter from the lawyer however states that the church does not dispute the land belongs to the title Sala (held by Fonoti Peteli). This is further confirmed in a letter from the Register of the Lands and Titles Court stating the ownership of the land known as Laumasa is with Sala Fonoti Peteli and is not being disputed. The Register however goes further advising the parties involved to seek legal advice from lawyers in regards to dividing of church assets.

    The SDA Sabbath dilemma in Samoa today centers around which day is the seventh-day of the week after the IDL change in 2011, the second time Samoa has changed its location to the IDL. Is it Saturday or Sunday?

    Seventh-day Adventists keeps the Sabbath on the ‘seventh day’ of the week which is Saturday like everywhere else in the world. Most Christian churches in Samoa however also call Sunday the Sabbath but for a different reason; to commemorate the day of Jesus’ resurrection which falls on Sunday the ‘first day’ of the week,

    On the TVNZ program Tagata Pasefika last year, President of the SDA church in Samoa, Pastor Uili Solofa stated that “now in Samoa, the seventh-day falls on Sunday”. The same argument was published in the Samoa Observer 1st July issue saying, “The practical result in terms of Sabbath keeping is that Sunday not Saturday has become the seventh day of the week.”

    In a document dated 29th December 2011, Pastor Uili Solofa wrote, “The majority of church leaders, worshippers and villages (in Samoa) are not saying they are happy that Seventh-day Adventists are keeping Sunday, instead what they are saying is that – we are going to keep the Sabbath of the Seventh-day Adventist church; praise God!” 

    In a separate correspondence, Pastor Uili Solofa also wrote, “You have to know that all the other Christian religions in Samoa have publicly testified that they have moved to keep the seventh–day Sabbath of the Bible.”

    Catholic Chancellor Ono does not appear to share that view. Asked about casinos opening on Sunday, Father Ioane says that personally, he had no problems with it. “For Catholics or any Christian for that matter, Sunday is a day of rest, a day of giving thanks and praise to the Lord. It is also a day of joy and celebration because for the Catholic Church, Sunday is the day of resurrection of Jesus.” ()

    Such statement by SDA leaders in Samoa and the Pacific that Sunday is the ‘seventh-day’ in Samoa today contradicts why Christian churches worship on Sunday being the first day of the week to commemorate the day of Jesus’ resurrection.

    Photo 1: SDA church at Matatufu

    AGAI LE MATAUPU A LE EKALESIA ASO FITU I LE FA’AMASINOGA E SUE LE PULE O FALESA

    Tusia: eventpolynesia.com

    O Fepuari na tea nei na toe fono ai foi i Ausetalia taitai o le pulega a le Ekalesia Aso Fitu i le Pasefika ma faifeau Samoa mai Samoa fa’apea sui faifeau mai Ekalesia Samoa i Niu Sila ma Ausetalia mo le toe lauliliuina o le mataupu i Samoa ua o’ia ai nei se tasi o mataupu silisili a le Ekalesia, lea ua lua ai nei o latou aso tapuai i Samoa, o nisi i le Aso Toanai ma le toatele i le Aso Sa.

    O le iuga o lea fonotaga o le a tuuina atu ai le mataupu mo le suesueina e le komiti fa’apitoa o mataupu silisili a le Ekalesia i le pulega a le Pasefika, le BRComm.

    Peitau ua aliae mai nei se isi tulaga fa’aletonu i Samoa lea ua taulima ai e sui o le Ekalesia Aso Fitu o le Toe Afio Mai o loo tapuai pea i le Aso Toanai i Leauva’a-uta le tusi mai le ofisa loia o loo tu mo le ofisa ulu o le Ekalesia i Samoa, fa’apea le tusi mai le Matagaluega o Fa’amasinoga ma le Fa’afoeina o Tulaga Tau Fa’amasinoga.

    I le tusi mai le loia na tusia aso 6 Fepuari o loo fa’apea mai ai, “Ua poloaia e le Peresetene (Ekalesia Aso Fitu) ina ia aua le toe fa’aaogaina le Malumalu ma meatotino a le Ekalesia ae taliga se fa’aiuga mai le Fa’amasinoga Fanua ma Suafa e tusa ai ma le talosaga ua ta’atia nei. A le utagia mai lenei poloaiga i totonu o le 7 aso mai le aso e taulimaina ai lenei tusi, o le a tuuina atu loa le mataupu i le Fa’amasinoga Maualuga mo se poloaiga i le pulea, talaia ma le aveesea e le Ekalesia o meatotino ia pei ona taua.”

    O loo fa’aalia foi i lenei tusi e fa’apea, “E le tu’ufesiliina pe aia foi le Ekalesia i le pule o le fanua e patino i lau afioga Sala. A o le talitonuga o le Ekalesia, o le Malumalu ma meatotino o lo’o i totonu ma fafo aua le fa’afoeina o galuega a le Ekalesia o meatotino ua uma ona fa’amatu’u i le pule a le Ekalesia e tusa ma faiga fa’avae ma masani pea fa’atu ma amata se Ekalesia i totonu o se nu’u ma alalafaga.”

    I le tusi mai le resitala o Fa’amasinoga Fanua ma Suafa o loo fa’apea mai, “O loo manino le pule a le suafa Sala i le fanua o Laumasa e pei ona tulai mai ai Sala Fonoti Peteli na talosag mai, e pei foi ona tau fai lagolagoina e o tou finagalo fa’aalia. Peitai, o le tulaga i le vaeluaina o meatotino a le Ekalesia, o lea e fautuaina ai ma le ava tele le agai e sailia se fesoasoani fa’aletulafono mai se loia e sailia ai le sa’o o lenei mataupu, e pei ona feteenai ai o tou finagalo.”

    E pei ona silafia, o le Ekalesia Aso Fitu o lo latou Sapati e faitau lea i le aso e fitu iai aso o le vaiaso ma e pau lea i le Aso Toanai i soo se vaega o le lalolagi. Ae mo le tele o ekalesia Kerisiano i Samoa o loo fa’aigoaina foi le Aso Sa o le Aso Sapati e fa’amanatu ai le toe tu o Iesu i le aso muamua o le vaiaso.

    Peitai i le polokalame o le Tagata Pasefika a le Televise a Niu Sila i le Tausaga na tea nei na saunoa ai le Peresetene o le Ekalesia i Samoa, Pastor Uili Solofa ua avea nei le Aso Sa i Samoa ma ‘aso fitu’ o le vaiaso. O lea mau sa fa’apea foi ona lomia foi i le Samoa Observer i le aso 1 Iulai o loo fa’apea ai, “O le tulaga ua iai nei i le tausia o le Sapati ua suia ai le Aso Toanai ae ua avea le Aso Sa ma aso e fitu iai aso o le vaiaso.”

    I se pepa na tusia e Pastor Uili Solofa i le aso 29 Teseam 2011 o loo fa’apea mai, “O le toatele o taitai o Ekalesia, tagata lotu ma nuu e le o talanoa ma faapea ane ua fiafia o le a o atu le Ekalesia Asofitu e tausi le Aso Sa, ae o le latou gagana o loo gagana ai – O le a tatou o e tausi le Sapati o le Lotu Asofitu. Viia le Atua!”

    O se mau e feteenai tele lea ma le talitonuga o isi Ekalesia Kerisiano o loo tapuai i le Aso Sa, poo le aso muamua o le vaiaso, e fa’amanatu ai le toe tu manumalo o Iesu.

    MAEA

    ATA 1: Falesa Ekalesi Aso Fitu o le Toe Afio mai i Matautufu

    Source: eventpolynesia.com

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