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Church response to ‘polygamy’ remark
Published on 14 Apr. 2009 1:31 AM IST
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In the backdrop of strong criticisms over a controversial statement by the state chief minister who purportedly said that marrying and living with more than one wife was accepted in the Naga Society , the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), Council of Naga Baptist Churches (CNBC) and Kohima Baptist Pastors’ Fellowship (KBPF) have in separate statements, made the stand of the church on the issue. NBCC general secretary, Rev Dr Anjo Keikung said the church’s clarification was issued in order to clear the confusion among the majority Christians in Naga society and not for any political purpose. While pointing out that there are three institutions ordained by God – the family, the government and the Church – NBCC general secretary, Rev Dr Anjo Keikung said though government rules in “civil affairs”, God is the “ruler” in the moral realm. “It is obvious that government rules civil affairs. However, God is the ruler in moral realm and wherever civil and moral affairs overlap, God’s standard is to be followed”, NBCC stressed. Further, asserting that the church owed allegiance to any government, the NBCC however said provided only if that allegiance does not interfere with its duties to God. “No matter what type of government it may be, we owe allegiance to the government as long as that allegiance does not interfere with our duties to God,” NBCC elucidated. On marriage, NBCC said God sets the rules for marriage and therefore the church was against polygamy. Meanwhile, in a joint statement, CNBC general secretary, Rev. Dr. V.K. Nuh and Kohima Chakhesang Baptist Church pastor, Rev. Khrotso Mero spelt out that upholding polygamy and extra-marital affairs was “unbiblical, damages the sanctity and destructive to the purity of Christian doctrines.” “The Church is a body of believing members of Jesus Christ who is the head of the church and therefore cannot accept its members to practice polygamous habit either in church or personal life or public life,” the Church leaders asserted. It also maintained that church was strongly against polygamy, adding that it was the responsibility of every believer to promote and conduct Christian holiness and purity of biblical faith. In another joint statement, Kohima Baptist Pastors’ Fellowship (KBPF) president, Hotokhu P Zhimomi and secretary, Phomlee Van and endorsed by its vice president, Zhopota Rakho; joint secretary, Losii; treasurer, M Odyuo and advisors Rev, Kenilevi Khate and Rev. Dr. Chen Rengma said the statement hurt the sentiments of the Church because it was “totally wrong and misleading.” Emphasizing that all kinds of “evil and immorality” were rampant in the society, KBPF said the remark made by “top leader” of the Christian state was deplorable. “In the present decaying society where all kinds of evil and immortality are rampant, making such utterances from none other than top leader of the Christian state is altogether deplorable,” the Church leaders underscored. Further, KBPF expressed hope that Churches of Nagaland maintain the Biblical principle of “Holy Matrimony”, and advocate the sanctity and purity of life as life long commitment.

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