LAST week, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea’s head bishop, Rev Dr Jack Urame called for severe punishment for those who kill suspected sorcerers and witches.
This shows that the church, under him, has embarked on a new direction, becoming a civil institution.
I feel insecure to see that the church is being used as a tool to determine the severity of these punishment, hatred and even maybe supporting the death penalty in the near future.
Does these views represent the church or are they his own opinion?
The Lutheran church’s stipulation on the separation of powers, between the state and the church still stand, after more than 500 years, through the Book of Concord’s, Augsburg Confessional Articles.
The church cannot endorse retributive justice along the state’s process for dispensing severe temporal punishment on a person
This is an ecclesiastical anathema, something unthinkable in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
An example is an uneventful scar in the United States’ history in the 1700s, on the same issue of witchcraft and sorcery, the Salem Witch Trials.
It is where a community in the town of Salem, Massachusetts, exhorts Bible-based discipline from within.
About 200 people were accused and prosecuted for practicing witchcraft there.
Nineteen men and women were executed after a court decision found them guilty, and sentenced them to death.
The church was right behind the decision in that tragedy.
This is how dangerous things can get to when the church is involved in condemning a group of people.
The very Bible the head bishop lives his life by, condemns to death those who practice sorcery and witchcraft.
So where does the church stand here, head bishop?
It seems that you don’t speak and live by that and much worse, believe in the very book you are supposed to uphold with your life.
You have now jumped to the other side of the fence.
If we preach something else to help the victims and the murderers then speak of it rather than jumping on the State’s bandwagon,only to create double standards in the public’s conscience.
This only brings about shame and confusion among our sheepfold unless you forgot that you are the chief shepherd.
Pastor Samson Supaka,