Factoids and assumptions vs. facts and truth

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Dear Editor,

Re: An open letter to E.F.K.S. Ministers

A.S’s open letter to Church Ministers of E.F.K.S. about tax is sadly a letter about dishonoring of God, God’s commandments and God’s law. It is just about more productions of factoids and assumptions produced from the Minister of Revenue’s mistake. They have made the big mistake of creating an assumption that the taxation of Church Ministers is the right thing to do. 

Accordingly, I say, the accusations that A.S. made against the Ministers of E.F.K.S. are absolutely wrong. Apart from that, the application of faith, love, God and Paul by A.S. about the taxation of Church Minister is also wrong. The breakdown as explain below can confirm the wrong application of Scripture and wrong accusations that A.S made against Church Ministers of E.F.K.S.  

Firstly, Paul’s message of encouragement as quoted by A.S in his letter does not mean that Paul was saying that when we have faithful and loving relationship with God spiritually then (1) – God can change His laws and commandments according to our preferences or (2) – we can change God’s laws and commandments according to our preferences.

Paul was not speaking from any position in a civil government, NO. Paul was speaking from his position as an apostle, as a minster and as a ruler in the Church under all sorts of difficulties and pressures while spreading the Word of God. Paul’s message of encouragement is for other servants and followers of God who have been facing and enduring the same difficulties and pressures in other branches of the work of God.

The Bible is very clear; God already laid the foundation of His plan to guide us towards Him. Therefore whatever relationship we have with God spiritually, it will never change any laws or any commandments of God that God already planned for our guidance. To put it in other words, God did not allow any one to change His commandments and His law. Christ puts it perfectly this way according to the following quoted Scriptures. 

 (Matthew 5:18) “For assuredly, I say to you; till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

 (Matthew 5: 17) “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

Heaven and earth still exist. We are still living on earth or under heaven and the Churches and servants of God are still serving the work of God by following the law of God to do the will of God. Even the servants of God, they can’t change the law of God. It is consistent with what the “Founding Fathers” declared on the preamble of the Constitution.

 “WHEREAS sovereignty over the Universe belongs to the Omnipresent God alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Western Samoa within the limits prescribed by His commandments is a sacred heritage…”

Secondly, I understand that faith is important with A.S. about his relationship with Christ and that is fine with me. However, what is not okay is the using of that relationship with Christ by A.S. to accuse Church Ministers and the Church. When you say that you were having a loving relationship with Christ through faith and then you also accuse Church Ministers at the same time with wrong accusations based on that relationship then that means you are contradicting yourself about faith and your loving relationship with Christ. 

That confirms A.S. did not understand about what he was talking about in his letter. He does not have any real understandings about faith’s role between us and Christ as well as the Church’s mission for Christ’s work. So what A.S. did using his faith and loving relationship with Christ through faith to accuse Church Ministers in unnecessary. For that reason, I am providing the following important informations that might be useful for A.S.

It is impossible to have a relationship with Christ without faith. We have to have faith first in order to believe that Christ does exist before we have any relationship with Christ spiritually. You believe in Christ like you believe your wife or your husband but the difference between the two is bodily appearance and time. 

Here is the important point about that situation. There is no human being can bring back in real life the events of the ancient times about Christ so that we can have Christ back in human form to tell us the truth. But by faith we believe that Christ is real and we can feel His presence in us everyday if we trust Him wholeheartedly. But how did we know about Christ in the first place? 

The two things that are still survived nowadays from the time of Christ are the faith of believers such as disciples, apostles and other servants of God and the work of God call Church but not civil government. Church was responsible and is still responsible for the spreading of the work of God around the world. 

The servants of God conquered all powerful nations who ruled the world in the past because of faith. Without the faith of servants of God and Church’s misson, we won’t be here today having these conversation about Christ, faith and loving relationship with Christ. 

Third, A.S’s concern about the government of Samoa and the development of Samoa is very important. A.S’s faith and love is also very important. However, what is more important according to the Bible is putting God first by serving the will of God with the commandments and the law of God but not our preferences. That is truth about God’s righteousness from obedience and honesty.  

Our faith and love can be labeled as unrighteousness if we use our own ways and preferences to serve the will of God instead of using the commandments and the law of God. Using of our own ways and preferences to serve the will of God is dishonoring of God. As said before, God already laid the foundation of His plan for our guidance and that is our only guidance. Another great example for that situation is (Matthew 22:37-39).

 “Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind – This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Notice that Christ did not say that the first and great commandment is – You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Also, Christ did not say - You shall love the Lord your God with all your works, with all your monies, with all your powers and with your preferences.

You can always put God first and put your neighbor and yourself second if you follow the commandments and the law of God to love your neighbor instead of following your own commandments and your own law to love your neighbor. It’s about God’s righteousness from obedience and honesty.

To rephrase that, if you were the Minister of Revenue, you can always put God first and put your people and yourself second if you follow the commandments and the law of God to love your people instead of following your own commandments and your own law to love your people.

Fourth, it is very important to understand that according to the Bible and the history of Christianity about God and Satan, human beings were not saved from Satan because of the works of human beings. That’s another big NO. We were saved by the work of God call God’s grace. God’s grace is about the commandments and the law of God and the fulfillment of the law of God in Christ through Christ’s death and resurrection. 

 (Ephesians 2:8-9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Therefore we should not be boasting about our actions and works. Our actions, works and new developments such as new prison, new airport, new hospital, new roads and more from our strengths and wisdom are all debt. (Romans 4:4) “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckon of grace, but of debt.” 

If I bring in right here the denial act by the Minister of Revenue of not considering the teachings of the Bible when making the decision to tax Church Ministers then we can clearly look straight at the mark of the beast and the anti-Christ. He interfered with the sufficiency of God’s grace and the work of God with his own works. He tried to build his own righteousness with his own laws from his own belief. 

That’s the fallen nature of Satan and that is the damage that has been already done to the work of God and the people of this country. We should be concerned about this. The more we talk about the accusations against Church Ministers and E.F.K.S, the less we talk about the real problem; the Minister of Revenue’s misconduct. Here is a quick reminding for A.S and the people of our country. It’s a fact.

Just few days ago, the Minister of Revenue Tialavea Tionisio Hunt made a shocking revelation on the Media that he did not consider the teachings of the Bible when making the decision to move forward with the taxation of Church Ministers. 

Minister issues final warning to church – (Samoa Observer 10 June 2018)

“I initiated the taxing of Church Ministers because it is the right thing to do. And in doing so, I did not consider the teachings of the Bible when making the decision to move forward with the taxation of Church Ministers.”

It is a criminal act and it is indisputable. He was talking about his denial of God’s sovereignty in the Constitution, God’s ‘commandments’ in the Constitution, Christian principles in the Constitution, the foundation of Samoa in the Constitution and the whole Supreme law; the “Constitution of the Independent State of Samoa.” 

The Minister of Revenue is a Member of Parliament. As a Member of Parliament, he should follow (Section 2) and (Section 43) of the Constitution. He also abused and violated his responsibility as a Member of Parliament to protect the Constitution according to the “Code of Parliamentary Ethics” in the “Standing Orders for Parliament.” 

Right now in our government, the Minister of Revenue already placed his denial mark in our Cabinet, in our Parliament and in our government. As a result, we have in our Parliament an un-Constitutional law about taxation of Church Ministers and our Ministry of Revenue is ready with its own un-Constitutional law to tax Church Ministers and to prosecute Church Ministers if they don’t register according to the new un-Constitutional tax law. 

It is a disgusting misconduct taking place at the highest level of our Government in our Parliament and our Cabinet but the Parliament is not doing any thing about it, the Attorney General is not responding and the Judiciary is not responding as well. But its okay, E.F.K.S is uniquely equipped by the Lord and E.F.K.S is ready to receive and endure suffering from evil for the truth, for the Gospel and for the Church in order to save our beloved Samoa from evil. 

Fifth, this is another reminder for A.S and for the people of our country about the mistake and the assumption of taxing Church Ministers’ inheritances. Decide between the truth and untruth.

1. Priesthood and tithing (offerings) are commandments (law) of God (Hebrews 7:5)

2. That law was started from Levites (priests) in the (OT) (Deuteronomy 18:1-2)

3. Tithes is not referring to just money. Tithe is referring to different tithing offerings such as produces, monies and other forms of earnings. Nowadays people use only monies as one form for all tithes and call it offerings. God “SET APART” tithes as “INHERITANCES” for priests. 

4. Christ did not destroy the law (Matthew 5:17)

5. There is no one can change the law of God (Matthew 5:18)

6. It says in our Constitution “the authority to be exercised by the people of Western Samoa within the limits prescribed by His commandments is a sacred heritage…”

7. Also, it says in our Constitution “WHEREAS the Leaders of Western Samoa have declared that Western Samoa should be an Independent State based on Christian principles and Samoan custom and tradition…”

8. Also, it says in our Constitution, the Constitution is the Supreme law of Samoa.

9. Also, it says in our Constitution “Any existing law and any law passed after the date of coming into force of this Constitution which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”  

Sixth, considering all the informations (facts and truth) provided in this letter, therefore the rejection of the new tax law by the E.F.K.S is not bully and also, it is not a wish of the E.F.K.S. It is the law of God and it is the Supreme law of Samoa according to the wish of the “Founding Fathers” and the whole country of Samoa. [E mata’utia le mamao tele lava ma le loloto o le tofa ma le utaga poto a Tuaa ma Tamali’i na fausiaina le “Faavae” o Samoa]   

If there is nothing in the Bible prohibits the taxing of pastors according to the government, and if the Bible is not saying that the government can’t tax the priests according to followers of the government then why did the government tax pastors if there is nothing in the Bible prohibits the taxing of pastors and the Bible is not saying that the government can’t tax the priests? 

To put what they have been saying in other words to get the real meaning of what they said is just the opposite of what they said. This is the opposite of what they said. There is nothing in the Bible allows the national government of Samoa to tax pastors and the Bible is not saying that the national government of Samoa can tax priests.   

Therefore the Bible is not saying anything about having Church Ministers to get registered for tax and getting Church Ministers prosecuted if they don’t pay tax. Apart from that, the Bible is not saying anything about the Parliament, the Cabinet and the Ministry of Revenue. [Le Malo e o Samoa faamolemole, tu’u ia le tou fiapopoto i le Atua ae fa’alogo. Fai le mataga lea ua iai nei i nei fai fai le tou tulafono fa’avalevalea lea ua faia i faifeau ae tupu mai nisi pefea mataga ona sili atu loa o le mataga ma ta’uvalea atu ai le atunu’u i le lalolagi atoa ona o outou]

If they are denying (Matthew 5:17-18) but the Bible is silent about what they have been saying then the right thing that our national government and its followers should do is do nothing and say nothing to the Church Ministers and Church about taxation of Church Ministers’ inheritances. 

Lastly, some of the followers of the government who have supported the new tax law, they challenged members of the E.F.K.S and Church Ministers of the E.F.K.S to take their case to Court in order to prove their argument. They challenged the E.F.K.S Church about the Court because they believe that the E.F.K.S Church is wrong. 

For their information, the reason why they have engaged in this debate about taxation of Church Ministers is because they do have a case in their own hands to be proved. If they believe that E.F.K.S is wrong and they are right then why not take their own case to prove at the Court instead of pointing the finger to E.F.K.S. We all know the location of the Court and the way to that location.  

Also, we are still waiting for the government’s services according to their responsibility for the country because they are servants. The truth is clear; it is the Government’s fault so it is about common sense. The Minister of Revenue allowed his privileges in Cabinet and Parliament to go to his head. Look what is happening now because of that head?

Accordingly, the Parliament, the Justice (Judiciary) and the Attorney General; they must make the first and the right move of resolving the problem themselves because it is not a fault of the E.F.K.S and the people of this country. 

Ma le faaaloalo tele lava i lau Susuga i le Faatonu,

 

Nanai Malonuu Lealaiauloto Nofoaiga

© Samoa Observer 2016

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