An act of God or nature?
In the wake of Cyclone Gita, one Pastor has claimed that the cyclone was a mild warning from God to the government over their decision to tax pastors. What do you think? Samoa Observer reporter, Nefertiti Matatia, asked members of the public in today’s Street Talk: Do you think Tropical Cyclone Gita was a sign from God? This is what they said:
Tuiava Faamausili, 64, Malie
God speaks to all of us in different ways. Now some people say such such methods include Tropical Cyclone Gita coming to Samoa because of the taxation of the pastors. This natural disaster speaks to all of us, whatever our sins are in front of Him; the cyclone is His glorious warning. He is not just speaking to the Government, but to every citizen of this country, he is calling out to everyone to repent and renew their relationship with Him. Every wrong doing and every sin there is it is time to remove them and fix their eyes on Him. I see it as a wakeup call and we should not point fingers, but instead look inside our hearts. God has given each living soul to decide and choose for themselves between right and wrong. Every person should do what is right, but most especially his or her relationship with God himself.
Lui Tamoto, 49 Saleaumua, Aleipata
People have their own beliefs and different mindsets.
Since each person was brought up in dissimilar environments, it’s there and then where our morals and values are created. No one will be able to read the mind of the other, but through their actions, the motives of the heart is showcased, whether it is greed for power or a strategy to doing what is right to lead to a better future, who knows. But for me, I believe that the pastors should not be taxed. We grew up knowing that people we call our pastors are the ones anointed by God to do His work, they are His hands and feet on earth. So I reckon Tropical Cyclone Gita could be a sign from heaven, it was like a mouthpiece of God which has got everyone’s attention.
Sauaga Niumata, 48, Aleisa
The Bible says that everyone should have to give a portion of their money for God. Paying taxes is not the reason the cyclone came. Let’s all be obedient to what the Bible says, we must respect and follow it. So often we hear people in their prayers saying God use me and when they are asked to pay for taxes they refuse, then they start saying that people are walking all over us, but keep in mind we just ask God to use us. This is one way of being used for His kingdom. We ought to experience His fullness through obeying His word and the word is Him. We are obeying Him, not some ink on the pages that we call the Bible.
Folesi Solomona, 72, Tiavea
I have lived and breathed on this earth for quite some time to have witness that this is not the ways of God. If any natural disaster is yet to come, then it is His will for it to come. The word says that we can never understand the thoughts of God and why He does the things that He does. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and at the end of the day, God pretty much does whatever He wants to do. He is the ruler of the earth and mankind. We are hanging on a thin line because of our sins, but when natural disasters come knocking on our doors, His love will never lose its power on me or anybody. Grace is the rope that ties us to the heart of God.
To’afa Ualika, 38 Malie
I disagree, if the cyclone comes then it comes, there is nothing that we could do about it. All that talk about it being a sign from God is not true. We have had worse cyclone experiences such as Val and Ofa, but the question is, did the law of taxing exist at that time? We must respect those in authority, that is what the Lord says through his word, if the people which we call our leaders do not do what is right, then it falls on them on judgement day. Our role is to be obedient to those that god has chosen to sit on the seat of decision makings; they will reap the fruits of their unfair and unjust choices.