By: Dr. Jerry Bergman
One of the advantages of being an author, whose writings are in 13 languages, is I am frequently asked to speak in churches and colleges around the world.
I have, so far, spoken in Europe, Africa, and Asia. It’s hard to turn down trips that are financed by my sponsors.
I have been to Fiji twice and was recently invited again. On my first trip I flew to Los Angeles, then sat for the 12-hour, all-night flight to Fiji in cramped uncomfortable seats.
When I arrived I had to go through immigration where I was asked a dozen questions including how long I was going to stay, where I was going to stay, how much money I have with me, and what is my business here.
I answered the questions that I could and later learned that, to get into the country I needed the names of people where I was going to stay. For most of the questions I admitted I did not know.
I stated I was a guest of the Education Department and beyond that I had little information. He walked away, made a few phone calls, and walked back to his interrogation station, smiled, and said to me, “Welcome to Fiji. Enjoy your stay.”
With that I left and caught my ride waiting for me at the airport. The first school we visited had over 900 girls.
As we were setting up our equipment, the girls spontaneously burst into song, mostly Christian songs. I was absolutely amazed. They sounded heavenly, all singing in perfect harmony.
All of the schools in Fiji were religious; most were openly Christian, Muslim, or Hindu. We were welcomed at all of them.
I soon learned that the government was very concerned about Fiji going the way of the United States with rampant crime, tens of thousands dying from drugs such as fentanyl each year, millions of people living on the streets, and, especially, the problem we have of multi-millions of illegal immigrants entering the country each year.
As an island, the main entry into Fiji is through the air. I now understood the reason for the interrogation I experienced.
War and cannibalism was once everywhere. During the 19th century, Fijian chief Ratu Udre consumed 872 people for which he made a pile of stones to record his achievement.
Ceremonial occasions saw freshly killed corpses piled up for eating. The wooden posts supporting the chief’s temple had sacrificed bodies buried underneath for support.
The rationale was the spirit of sacrificed persons invoked the gods to help support the structure. More men were sacrificed whenever posts had to be replaced.
Then the Christians came. The Methodist missionaries in Fiji changed the island. Rev. Thomas Baker (1832-1867) was the only missionary to be killed and eaten, along with seven of his Fijian followers.
Baker’s death was the basis of Jack London’s story, “The Whale Tooth. English Methodist missionary and ethnographer George Brown (1835 –1917) built churches, mission houses and schools to educate children, including Samoa Theological College.
Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific, but are poor compared to our standards.
They have an abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources. The tourist industry and sugar exports are major sources of the island’s income.
I spoke and distributed creation books to almost 19,000 students in 25 public high schools. We also visited the Fijian President, Jioji Konrote, for a two hour lunch and much conversation.
He explained they dealt with their endless wars and cannibalistic past by converting to Christianity and the Muslim faiths, and their goal was to maintain this tradition. He added evolutionism was especially a concern because a main reason for the loss of Christianity in the West was due to evolutionism.
Before Darwin, almost all of the people of the West were theists. After Darwin, a large percentage of the population became evolutionary humanists and atheists.
While with the President, I was asked about my visit to Fiji. I mentioned it was all positive, after my cramped seat ride in the plane with very little leg room.
On the way home, when boarding the plane, the officer asked, “Are you Jerry Bergman?” I answered, “Yes,” and was asked to step aside. I wondered, What is going on?
In ten minutes, I was told we have a new seat for you. I was given the best seat in the front of the plane that allowed me to lay back and sleep. I slept all the way home and did not wake up until we landed in Los Angeles.
Dr. Bergman is a multi-award-winning teacher and author. He has taught in the science and psychology area for over 40 years at the University of Toledo Medical College, Bowling Green State University, and other colleges. His 9 degrees include a Doctorate from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has over 1,800 publications in both scholarly and popular science journals that have been translated into 13 languages. His publications are in over 2,400 college libraries in 65 countries. Bergman has spoken over 2,000 times at colleges and churches in America, Canada, Europe, the South Sea Islands, and Africa.
Source: The Village Reporter