In Reply to the Apostle James?
Re: Pray for a solution
Dear James the Apostle?,
It is so difficult to pick a conversation with people who would prefer to hide under a pseudonym while they attack others in a public forum. That is exactly the way of the terrorist. I would appreciate more of your response if you identify yourself for who you are, and do not be terrified. In my worst moments I tend to think that I am simply a very nice bloke!
Having said that, I am very thankful for the way James (I am thinking here of James the Apostle) has responded. I take your point; the king is indeed very old and cannot handle the current situation and that is why I suggested that may be he should be on pension just like the rest of the public servants. Not only so, but you think that the PSA's demand is unrealistic regarding the financial standing of the government. I am very thankful to the way you have responded that you did not attack the messenger but simply deal with the message. I also accept your request to pray with the rest of you people for the resolution of the present situation.
However, I want to say in reply that it is a little unrealistic in your argument to say that there is no hope for the country financially speaking if the PSA's demands be granted. You have evaded the issue there. The issue is not whether the government will be able financially to cope with the PSA's demand ... we have been told by the PSA reps that indeed the government is perfectly able. Whom shall we believe? I don't know about you but for my part I will incline to trust them, because they seem to have the best interests of the masses in mind. Besides, those who have done the calculation for the PSA.
However, the heart of the problem that we are dealing with here is that all these occurrences have been occasioned by a gross injustice in the way the government has been dealing with the rest of the public servants. We are only told as the strike developed that the government was going to give the ministers a salary rise of a higher percentage then the rest of the public servants. I don't see that as a political problem absolutely not it is rather, a spiritual problem.
Biblically speaking, the government is put there by God to administer justice to the subjects entrusted to their care (Rom.13:1-7). If they failed to fulfill that responsibility, God is bound to bring them down. We can only think of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and the Roman empires; all were great superpowers by the will of God, to fulfill his own purpose for his people, Israel. All were destroyed by God for their gross injustice in the way they dealt with God's people.
Logical to step down
In my judgment, the Tongan government, in the way they have handled the current situation has failed to fulfill their divinely given responsibility, namely, the administration of justice. Let alone to acknowledge to the rest of the civil servants that they have gone wrong in that regard. Is it not logically spiritual to suggest then that they step down from running the government? Would it not be a strong expression of humility and repentance on their behalf had they chosen to do so? How else can we better rectify the situation?
Of course, I am speaking from a purely human perspective. But from a supernatural perspective, there remains the possibility of a miraculous intervention of God. This is where prayer comes into perspective. In prayer, we acknowledge that we are powerless to resolve our current problems and we acknowledge that God's will be done in our situation. Now, we are fortunate that the Bible tells of the usual way God deals with unjust political power. Where are the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans?
Well, what I did was to allow the government to make the right move in their own initiative, and perhaps spend some times in soul searching in order that they may be saved in the end. Ought we not to be more concerned for the salvation of people's soul than for their continuation in their unrepentant status? Are we praying to the same God?
Now, I know that as Christians, our primary responsibility is to pray for our rulers, so that they may be saved (1 Tim.2.1ff.) and I do that all the time. In fact, the church I go to prays for that all the time and not only during these past few weeks. Praying is not a solution to the current situation. It is a means towards an end. But I sense in your suggestion of prayer a kind of indifference to the current situation: a sense of just pray and let things happen whichever way but hopefully the government will be justified. That to me, is a good intention confounded with mixed motives. I sincerely hope that I am wrong in my judgment of your thinking because I want to continue praying like the rest of you.
In order to continue on this conversation, please let your true person be known, for one thing I certainly cannot stand and that is to be in dialogue with a person who does not exist. Over to you now.
Rev. Dr. Ma‘afu‘otu‘itonga Palu