The Prime Minister’s claim that there is nothing in the Bible prohibits the taxing of pastors is absolutely wrong. That wrong claim is a warning sign for our country because it is not a sign of success. The Prime Minister’s claim is based on his preferences because of his concern about his political affairs.
Therefore the Prime Minister’s claim is political but not Biblical. So the real Prime Minister that is exposing right now is a man of preferences. Characteristics of preferences are double standard and double dealing.
He believes in something else few months ago and then the next time down the line he changes his mind and changed his belief from that thing to something totally different.
That is few months ago, he added Christianity as the Official Religion of Samoa in the constitution of Samoa and then just sometimes of the last two weeks, he contradicted both Christianity the Official Religion of Samoa and the constitution of Samoa with his new passed law that aimed to tax pastors.
According to the Bible, doing anything different to the tithe and offerings that is not commanded by God is unnecessary and wrong. So what the Prime Minister and his HRPP had done which is taxing of pastors is absolutely humiliating and disgraceful.
All things that have been commanded by God to set apart for Him are a commandment. And all those things that have been set apart for God to be inherited by the priests are a commandment as explained in the books of Hebrews and Deuteronomy. [Hebrews 7: 5] “And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham;” [Deuteronomy 26:13] “then you shall say before the Lord your God: ‘I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.”
So it is very clear that tithe and offerings are God’s commandments or God’s law and only God can change His commandments and His law such as the priesthood inheritance. There is no other power or authority above God can change God’s commandments and God’s law. Jesus as a non-Levite priest inherits the priesthood because of God as explained in the books of Deuteronomy, Malachi and Hebrews.
Also, the presence or the appearance of Jesus on earth is the fulfilling of God’s promise, the prophecies and the law as explained in Genesis, Deuteronomy and John. [John 2:45] “Phillip found Nathaniel and told him ‘we have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the book of Law and whom the prophets also wrote about. He is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
Jesus himself introduced himself to the people of Israel just like what Phillip had told Nathaniel in [John 5:46] “If you had really believed Moses, you would have believed me because he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say.” According to Jesus in the book of Matthews, he acknowledges and respects the law. [Matthews 5:17] “Never imagine I have come to destroy the Law or the prophets; I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
Jesus shows us a part of that ‘fulfill’ mission in [Matthew 22:15-22] “15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. 16 And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. 17 Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. 20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this? 21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.”
When Jesus said “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” it means that Jesus was responding to the Pharisees’ disciples according to God’s commandments or God’s law that God gave to Israel. That is the truth and the righteousness for them to obey and follow. They should not mix up God’s law with Caesar’s or Rome’s law because Caesar is not God and Rome is not Israel.
There are four unique things the Scripture has taught us from there as part of the ‘fulfill’ mission. Firstly, Jesus exposed the Pharisees’ hypocrisy. Secondly, Jesus corrects the Pharisees about the law and that no one can manipulate or change God’s commandments and God’s law. Thirdly, Jesus proves to them that God’s Supremacy is the most higher and God is the King of Israel but not Caesar. In other words, the state of Israel is the Church, not Rome and Jesus is the head of the Church, not Caesar. And last one, Jesus proves to them by his answer that He is the truth. So it is plainly understood according to that passage, Jesus never destroy or change those commandments and law of God about the tithe and offerings for the priests to inherit. Therefore the tithe and offerings are God’s things that should always be rendered to God and should be freed from manipulation and robbery like taxation.
I thought Mr. Editor that our Prime Minister is a man of convictions or a man of faith but he is not. As Christians, we are convinced that the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the truth and we take a stand for it regardless of the consequences. We listen to the Bible but not the other way round. Christians are to live by those convictions but not preferences.
As leaders of our country that is founded on God, they should not be tempted by preferences or give in to their preferences when the country is surrounded by critical circumstances and other difficulties such as money issues. When it comes to political affairs that involve Biblical matters then their decisions should never be based on preferences, temptations and circumstances. Their decisions should always be based on the truth (Bible) and obedience (Obey God’s commandments or God’s law). Also, the laws of our country should always be based on the law Giver, the God of Israel and Samoa.
Ua fua pau e le Palemia ma lana HRPP le atunu’u aemaise lava Ekalesia. He avoided and ignored the Churches and as a result, he interpreted the Bible with his own political method of going with words with words only or reference details only. It means, the Bible gives no details at all or the Bible does not explain anything at all that prohibits the taxing of pastors because the Bible does not spell out any words of the Prime Minister’s claim or any words of the Prime minister’s preferences. Because of those findings from that method of interpretation, he thought, his interpretation is right but it is not right. That is why it is so important for our Government leaders especially the Parliament to listen to the Council of Churches and refer Biblical matters to the Council of Churches to be studied and checked for the truth.
These are the two accounts from the Bible that will show us the right way for interpretation. The two accounts will also prove to us that the Prime Minister’s claim and interpretation is wrong. [Mark 12:18-27] and [Exodus 3:2-6]. The first account from the book of Mark 12 is about the resurrection. The second one from the book of Exodus 3 is about Moses and the bush fire. Pay strong attention to Jesus’s teachings about the resurrection and the difference between the two accounts. The account from Mark 12 is about the resurrection but the account from Exodus 3 is not about the resurrection and that is their difference.
[Mark 12:18-27] “18 Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying: 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise. 22 So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also. 23 Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.” 24 Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.”
[Exodus 3:2-6] “2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” 4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.”
Although Exodus 3 is not about resurrection but in Mark 12:18-27 when Jesus responded to the Sadducees about their issue about the resurrection, Jesus quoted a passage of the Scriptures from the time of Moses and that passage is in Exodus 3 to enlighten the Sadducees about the resurrection because the Sadducees, they do not believe in the resurrection. So even though that Exodus 3 is not about resurrection because it gives no details at all about resurrection and it does not explain anything at all about resurrection and the words ‘resurrection’ and ‘rise from the dead’ are not spelt out in there but according to Jesus’s teachings about resurrection in Mark 12:18-27, the account in Exodus 3 is also about resurrection if we ‘understand Scriptures and the power of God.’
The episode about tithe and offerings set apart for God and priests is appearing more than hundred times in the Bible but it did not help the Prime Minister with his interpretation because he relies only on his own political power. So the Prime Minister’s and his HRPP’s new passed law for taxing pastors is all about absolute power because of politics and money.
O le a le mapu le atunuu i le tulaga le mafaufau ma le le migao ua faia e lenei faiga malo mata’utia a le HRPP i auauna a le Atua atoa ai ma le Atua lava ia ma lana galuega. Faatoa toe mapu lava le atunu’u pe a mae’a ona togi i fafo mai i le malae i Ti’afau ma le faavae o Samoa le le mafaufau ma le le mata’u ua faia e nei ta’ita’i e leai ni ate ma le le fa’atuatua.
O so’u lagona i lea tulaga matuia ua tula’i mai, e leai a se case e faia i lea tulaga le talafeagai ua faia e le HRPP aua o lo o malamalama le mea moni i le Tusi Paia atoa ai ma le pito laau a Ekalesia i upu fai a le malo ma le tatou atunu’u. E tauaao sa’o a finagalo fa’afautua o Ekalesia e ala i tusitusiga po o nisi auala o fesootaiga i le Matagaluega o le Ofisa o Faamasinoga fa’apea ma le Ofisa o le Palemene.
Lau Susuga i le Faatonu, e mai i le taele o le loto ma le agaga, e fa’afetaia ai nai sui o le Tautua Samoa sa tutu mo le Atua ma le mea moni. E ui lava ua faaaogaina e le HRPP le malosi o le to’atele o le latou numera e fa’aleaogaina ai le mea moni, ae e le malo se mea malosi e faaaoga sese i luma o le silafaga a le Atua, e malo lava le mea moni. O se tali fiafia lea mo lo tatou atunu’u aemaise lava i Ekalesia i Fatafaitaulaga e fia i totonu o Samoa, o lo o fa’afale le malu ai auauna a le Atua aua le galuega paia a le Atua. Pe to’atasi pe to’alua pe to’atolu nai sui ia na tutu mo le Atua, ae ua iloa ai le auro moni i le afi. O toa manumanu ia o le atunu’u ma le Talalelei.
O le Atua e tauimasui, e taui e le Atua le moni ma le faamaoni o lo latou faatuatua ma le alofa i le Atua ma lo tatou atunu’u. O ta’ita’i tonu ia ua mana’omia e le atunu’u i le vaitau lenei o le louloua. Po o le a le fesouaina o le folauga a le atunu’u i le louloua, ae tumau ma mausali pea lo latou talitonu ma le faatuatua i le Atua, aua e leai se mea e faigata i le Atua. Ua le manatu i le toilalo faaletagata ma le mataga faalelaolagi nei, ae ua latou fa’aeaea i le Atua e ala lea i le tete’e atu i le tulafono fou fa’apaupau a le HRPP, e faoa ai mea a le Atua mai auauna a le Atua ma le galuega paia a le Atua. Na’o le pau fo’i ia o ituaiga ta’ita’i, latou te mafaia ona fofoina le faama’i o le CORRUPTION / COLLUSION i totonu o si o tatou malo, ua le mafaia ona fofoina e le HRPP. Ua tele le afu masa’a(tupe) o le atunu’u ua fa’ama’umau ai ma faaoga sese ai i na fa’ama’i. E gafatia e tupe e tele o lo o leiloloa i na fa’ama’i, ona fa’atupeina uma projects o lo o talosaga ai le tele o sui faipule i le Palemene, ina ia faatinoina e le malo i o latou itumalo.
O lea tulaga ua tula’i mai, o se tulaga ua onomea ma tatau ai i le atunu’u aemaise i Ekalesia ona ave le fa’aeaea ma le lagolagosua i le vaega a le Tautua Samoa o lo o tutu malosi ma le mautonu ma le mautinoa i le mea moni, i le faa-Kerisiano atoa ai ma le fa’avae o Samoa; Fa’avae i le Atua Samoa. O nai ta’ita’i ia o le Tautua Samoa na tete’e atu i le HRPP ma le latou tulafono fa’apaupau, toe pau ia o suli vaaia o ta’ita’i o Samoa ua mavae, ua lagomau ma tofafa mai i ti’a sa, sa latou asaina mai le gasu o le taeao ua aeae ai Samoa i manuia aua sa latou fa’amuamua le Atua i mea uma. Sa iai le tofa mamao ma le utaga loloto sa malu ai le atunu’u ma Ekalesia.
Ua loa fo’i le soifua auauna a le HRPP, ua tele le alofa o le Atua sa fai i ai aepeita’i, ua avea le maualuga o le poto ma le atamai o le HRPP, o le maualuga o le tamaoaiga ua ausia e le HRPP, ua galo ai le alofa o le Atua. O le fatu lea o Samoa, ua sese ai le HRPP. O le pogai lea ua faia ai lenei tulafono sese i le au faigaluega a le Atua ma le galuega paia a le Atua, ona o le le malamalama o le vaega a le au ao laofoga o le HRPP i upu o le Tusi Paia ma le Mana o le Atua.
Ua televave tele le latou fa’alogo e apo fautuaga a faletupe o Asia ma isi faletupe, ae a fautua atu toeaiina o le Ekalesia ua u iai tua o tama. O aga ia o ta’ita’i e fa’amoemoe i o latou malosi ma o latou lava atamai. Ae na’o na taia lava, popole loa ma maluelue aua ua mou le malsoi toe sola le atamai sa fa’alagolago iai. E leai a se tasi e tu fa’amauga, e iai a le taimi e vaivai ai. E faifai a le fia malo, ae i’u a i le gase pe a le mata’u i le Atua.
Ua o’o fo’i i le Ao o le Malo (Head of State) ua le tuua ai se avanoa. Ua galo le Atua ma le Talalelei na talisapaia e lima o Malietoa ina ua taunu’u mai le Talalelei i Samoa. O le Ao lena o le Malo o Malietoa mai i le lagi, e pei ona valoia e Nafanua. O le uiga la o le Ao, o le Talalelei. E ui ina sui i latou e fa’asolo atu i le tulaga o le Ao o le Malo (Head of State) i lenei vaitau, ae le suia ai le tala fa’asolopito ma lona fa’avae.
Before Malietoa received the crown of the Head of State, he was firstly given with the tail of the state by Nafanua as that was all had been left with Nafanua as Nafanua had already given away all Heads of the state to others. Because of that situation, Nafanua informed Malietoa to wait for heaven for a head of his state. Malietoa embraced the tail of the state with happiness and he used it to serve the country from the back, from behind and from the tail.
Ona o le tautua fa’amaoni o Malietoa i le atunu’u, atoa ai ma lona fa’atuatua i le valoaga a Nafanua, na taunu’u ai mea uma o le valoaga ia te ia, ma ia maua ai le Ao o le Malo (Head of State) mai le lagi. E le gata ina fa’ataunu’uina ia te ia le valoaga a Nafanua, ae ua fa’ataunu’uina fo’i ia te ia galuega mamana ma galuega mamalu a le Atua.
O le sa mulimuli ua avea ma muamua, o le sa pito i tua ua pito i luma, o le sa maualalo ua maualuga, o le sa i le si’usi’u ua i le ulu. The last becomes first, the back becomes front, the low becomes high and the tail becomes head.
O tulaga uma na lau Susuga i le Faatonu, e tatau ai ona tu’u fa’asa’olotoina le Ao o le Malo (Head of State) mai i lafoga (tax). O le Ao o le Malo, o le Talalelei o le Malo na valoia e Nafanua, na fa’amanuia iai le Atua ona o le talitonu o Nafanua ma Malietoa, e iai le o lo o Afio i luga i le lagi.
This is a good time and a great chance for the Tautua Samoa party to piece together an agenda and a message for the country and the next election.
Nanai Malonuu Lealaiauloto Nofoaiga