Leauvaa-uta Church Members Continue to Meet on Sabbaths Despite Opposition
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Pressure has been exterted on the Leauvaa-uta Saturday Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath Keepers to stop worshiping in the Leauvaa-uta Seventh-day Adventist church on Saturdays.

In the week previous to November 10, 2012, a delegation from the Samoa Tokelau Mission, together with the Leauva’a-uta Sunday Sabbath keepers, called on the Saturday Sabbath keepers to persuade the latter not to use the church building on Sabbath (Saturday) for worship. The delegation suggested other alternatives, but the Saturday Sabbath keepers kept their resolve to keep the church open on Saturday, the seventh day of the week in Samoa.

Some of the influential high chiefs of Leauva’a village were approached to intervene in the impasse, to stop the church being used for worship on Sabbath (Saturday). However, when the village’s high chiefs met with high chief Salā Kuresa on whose land the church is situated, they affirmed that the Village Council of Chiefs does not interfere with internal church disputes, but will only become involved if there is a breach of the peace amongst opposing factions.

Paepae and young son in the Leauvaa-uta Church. Behind her is her husband.

When the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Samoa started observing “sabbath” on Sunday, the first day of the week, after the IDL realignment in December 2011, Falaniko and Paepae Vaifale and family resolved to continue to honour God and observe His Sabbath on the 7th day of the week as God instructed. They noted that notwithstanding the IDL realignment, the 7th day of the week in Samoa remained unchanged and continued to be Saturday. Because the main Leauva’a-uta congregation then began having Sabbath church services on Sunday, Paepae and her family traveled a number of miles each Sabbath to worship with the Samoa Independent Seventh-day Adventist Church (SISDAC) at Vaitele since that church continued to observe Sabbath on Saturday. When Falaniko heard that the Leauvaa-uta Church was re-opening for Sabbath services a couple of weeks ago, he joined them immediately. Paepae however was cautious. But last Sabbath, November 10, she and her young son returned for the first time in eleven months to worship in her much-loved Leauvaa-uta Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Alesana Ah San sharing his testimony with the Leauvaa-uta church members

Last week Alesana Ah San, his wife and children, of Leauva’a-uta were pressured by some of their non-Seventh-day Adventist relatives with whom they were living to cease attending church on Saturday and to keep Sunday like other members of the family. In order to keep the peace, Alesana moved out to stay with one of his brothers, so that he could continue to keep God’s Sabbath. He looks forward to the time when he, his wife and children can be reunited again to worship with other members of the Leauvaa-uta church on Sabbath.

Paepae (middle of front row) joined the Salā Kuresa Family as they sang the special item during Sabbath School on 10 November 2012


 

A view of the worshipers on the right side of the Leauvaa-uta Church on Sabbath, 10 November, 2012

 

That Sabbath morning at Leauva’a-uta, Tagaloa Enoka Puni facilitated a training session on practical ways to enjoy effective and meaningful study and teaching of the Sabbath School lessons.

 

Tagaloa Enoka Puni explained the purpose of Sabbath School Lesson/Bible study to the Leauvaa-uta members. The knowledge gained from such study should be translated into incremental Christlike behavoural changes.

 

Matalena Kuresa, Peka Ah San and Ioane Ah San led out during Sabbath School

Some of the “Lighthouse” Group Worshipers on November 10

L-R: Mataafā Ratami Fatilua and Uta Uta

 

Tupa’i Pio (Faleula) and Lofa Lolesio (Siusega)

 

Lepapa Mulama Notoa of Lalovaea

 

L-R: To’ailoa Vaosa and Fuimaono Esera Rimoni

 

L-R: Tiana, Fiavaai, Sipiki and Rosalia

 

Epenesa A Pua and young relative

 

Temukisa Rimoni and Fiapule Lockington

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Leauvaa-uta Church Members Continue to Meet on Sabbaths Despite Opposition — 8 Comments

  1. Praise God for His goodness in giving the Leauvaa-uta group a place to worship each Sabbath!

    And may God abundantly bless the High Chiefs who made a wise and just decision! Let us pray that other High Chiefs may recognize the justness of their course and render similar decisions.

  2. We are so very proud of you guys for your faith and perseverance in the face of real pressure. Keep strong, keep joyful, we’ll keep praying!

  3. Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

    There are people who are praying for your steadfast resolve to honour the TRUE Seventh day Sabbath which is the global weekly rest instituted by the Lord from Creation.

    Sabbath will always be Saturday no matter where we are situated in the world.

    I pray that others will gain strength and courage from your example and return, to join you in worshipping on the Seventh day (Saturday.)

    Would it not be a marvellous testimony to the world wide church and indeed our brothers and sisters in other denominations to whom we have been given the 3 Angels messages to proclaim? To see a “wrong” being made “right” in humility of spirit? Is there anything too hard for the Lord?

    I pray for reconciliation between brethren. There is no doubt that this must be an absolutely challenging time for all concerned.

    I have been doing what I can from Canada to bring this issue to the attention of your brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe.

    I have encouraged people to provide “practical” assistance to you by way of funds and of course most importantly prayer.

    Please be assured that although oceans and lands physically separate us one from another, you are in the thoughts and prayers of many people.

    I want to share this hymn of promise found in Psalms 23.

    “My Shepherd will supply my needs”. It is 104 in the SDA Hymnal.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUvxPGxZt-s

    The Lord Bless and keep you all under His watch-care.

    Fran

  4. Dear Fran,

    Thank you for the encouragement. I find it interesting that you made this statement:

    “Sabbath will always be Saturday no matter where we are situated in the world.”

    I think you understand that we who teach this have taken quite a bit of “heat” for doing so. It has been said that we are trying to make ourselves “Saturday Adventists,” rather than Seventh-day Adventists — that we are stuck on the name itself, and don’t really care which is truly the 7th day of the week. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth!

    Have you ever heard of the “black and white fallacy” — the assumption that there must always be a right and a wrong way to do everything? The Sabbath issue in the South Pacific seems to have suffered much from this fallacy. When the uninformed join in a discussion of the matter, more often than not they immediately start looking for the “right” answer for a particular country (usually Samoa), without first stopping to question whether such an absolute answer actually exists!

    My own research and analysis, as tested and aided by others, have not revealed any such absolute criterion. The fact that “God made His Sabbath for a round world” makes it clear that He intended for there to be a day line. Yet, no one has been able to find anything in the writings of prophet or apostle to show that God has specified any particular location for it!

    It is easy enough to broadly trace the natural development of the day line throughout human history, culminating in today’s International Date Line — a line which is defined by the collective decisions of the world’s various governments. Based on the silence of the Scriptures, concerning where the day line should be, as well as their clear directive concerning submission to the civil authorities (when acting within their legitimate sphere), I can only conclude that God expects us to use the accepted IDL as our day line for purposes of Sabbath observance. In other words, we must respect the local reckoning in every place.

    So I have seen that, when it comes to an orientation relative to the day line, governments are free to choose, and we are not. If we were free to make our own selection of a day line, as church denominations, as local churches, or as individuals, this would effectively allow us to choose our own Sabbath — a choice for which the law of God clearly makes no provision.

    Once we know that our governments are free to choose an orientation relative to the day line, it follows naturally that the true 7th-day Sabbath will always be from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. Therefore, contrary to what has been suggested, it is our very concern over which day is truly the 7th day which leads us to insist on sunset Friday to sunset Saturday without exception.

    One might justly ask how we can be so sure that we are right, and all of those (both Adventists and others) were wrong, who believed (back in the 1890s) that the 180-degree meridian was the true day line. Of course, it helps that no one has been able to find any evidence to support that obviously wide-spread opinion — and that such an opinion flies in the face of the very nature and history of the day line. There is, however, additional confirmation which leaves me with no doubt.

    If we are right about the day line, then Sunday can never be the true 7th day. Do Ellen White’s words, published in 1900, confirm this? Indeed they do!

    ”You see how utterly impossible for this thing to be, that the world is all right observing Sunday…” (See ”Day Line Theory.”)

    With this ringing testimony that Sunday can never be the true 7th day in any country, it’s hardly a stretch to conclude that Saturday must always be the right day – from sunset to sunset, of course. Therefore, we must always respect the local reckoning, as determined by the civil authorities, provided it complies with either the easterly migrant or westerly migrant week traceable back to Christ and, by implication, back to Creation.

    How did we ever miss this point so badly? How could we have allowed Adventist Sunday observance to continue in Tonga after 1900? True, there was a lot of confusion at that time. So many people, ignorant of the nature and history of the day line, mistakenly believed that an international body had placed the day line at the 180-degree meridian! Can it be that we were able to “justify” disagreeing with local governments, by holding them in contempt of that imaginary universal agreement?

    Still, we have it clearly documented in Ministry magazine that by 1966 we knew we were keeping Sunday in Tonga. (See ”Ministry, table of contents, January 1966.”) How can it be that our pastors and leaders seemingly accepted the theory which was being advanced, and no one called for a reform? It boggles the mind.

    So, here we are today. The matter has now come to a crisis in Samoa, and what are we going to do? We have all the benefit of hindsight. We can read the proceedings of the 1884 Meridian Conference for ourselves. (See ”1884 Meridian Conference proceedings.”) We know that there was never any international agreement concerning the day line. We can trace its history and development to today’s IDL. We have Ellen White’s testimony that the world cannot be all right in keeping Sunday – in any country — ringing in our ears! Can there be any difficulty in deciding which group in Samoa is right? It may not be easy to do the right thing in Tonga, but I think we do know what must be done there, as well as in Kiribati, Wallis, Futuna, and Tokelau. May God give us the courage of our convictions!

  5. May God bless and keep you, may He give you courage to stand up for Him as all of us in these end times will sooner or later be called to do. Continue to love your other brothers and sisters. We are praying for you.

  6. Praise the Lord that there are some who are true to our Sabbath heritage in Samoa. My grand mother and her family were the first Adventists in Samoa after coming from Tahiti and I have spent time there with her before she passed away. It would be an eternal loss if there were no Sabbath keepers left in Samoa so my prayers are with those faithful worshippers and also with those who have left the Sabbath for Sunday- may they soon see that a small adjustment for one week does not mean the Sabbath day has been changed by God, it is an adjustment made by man!

    • Malo Sharon,

      You said, “My grand mother and her family were the first Adventists in Samoa after coming from Tahiti and I have spent time there with her before she passed away.”

      My grand uncle and a number of my family including my father were some of the first converts in Samoa.

      I’m very interested to know more about the early missionaries to Samoa. My email is edwin@puni.co.nz if you can make contact.

      Alofa atu,

      Pa’u ****

  7. the Lord will strenghten you yea he will uphold you with hi righteous right hand. keep the faith . trust in the Lord with all your heart. the Lord has promised to be with you

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