By EREBIRI ZURENUOC
THE Lutheran Church has a duty to preach and teach the Gospel in its truth and purity and apply it appropriately to the needs of church and society today, says Martin Luther Seminary (MLS) principal Rev Dr Michael Wan Rupulga.
He said this during the 45th graduation ceremony in Lae on Sunday.
The seminary graduated 26 students with diplomas and degrees in theology.
Rupulga said the Lutheran Church must stand up and speak against issues facing the church and society in PNG today.
“The church needs to raise its prophetic voice against corruption and other challenges,” he said.
“The church today is faced with cargo cult, sorcery practices causing destruction of property and loss of lives, witchcraft, social problems such as drugs and homebrew, violence, killings, robbery, rapes, poverty, unemployment and hard economic times. There is an influx of religious groups and Lutheran Christians are abandoning the Lutheran faith and doctrines and forming new sects/churches.
“Places that are traditionally seen as strongholds of the Lutheran Church are breaking up the Lutheran Church, creating their own churches with new doctrines and worshipping snakes and other creatures.”
Rupulga called on the church to put all its resources together and look after all the seminaries and Bible schools, “so that these institutions can produce pastors and lay-people of higher standards, who can teach and preach the Gospel in its truth and purity”.
He said there were three things the church needed to do:
- train the trainers (MLS lecturers);
- train the students who would become pastors and lay-people; and
- take good care of their basic needs (decent pay and accommodation).
The seminary, in its aim to support gender equality, graduated three women with bachelor’s degree in theology.