|SKETCHES from SOUTH AFRICAN HISTORY|
Education is a Battleground
As a father of four precious children, I have been involved in Home Education for over 25 years. We all know that education has become a battleground. Anyone who believes that education can be neutral is mistaken. All ideas have consequences. Actions flow from thought patterns.
The Myth of Neutrality
Parents are not faced with the choice between sending their children to a religious school, or to a non-religious school. All schools are religious. Parents need to choose which religion will be taught to their children: Islam, Secular Humanism, Revolutionary Humanism and Mystical Humanism are some of the main competitors to Biblical Christianity. The point is that all education is inherently religious, because it presents a certain perspective and selection of history, values and practices and it prescribes a worldview. "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8.
We as Parents are Responsible for the Education of our Children
As parents, we can delegate some of the task of education, but we can never delegate the responsibility. Children do not belong to the state; they belong to God and are entrusted by Him to parents, to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4.
Textbooks for Teachers
There are tremendous educational resources available from a Biblical worldview. Since our Mission launched Christian Liberty Books in 1995, we have sourced and imported a wide variety of Christian textbooks to aid Home educators and Christian schools with Christ-centered, Bible-based textbooks and audio visual resources.
A Serious Shortage of Christian History Books
However, while my wife, Lenora, dealt with most of the subjects our children were learning, I focused on History and Geography. Sadly, I found most of the history textbooks being offered by Christian suppliers most disappointing, inadequate and in some cases, dangerously deceptive. As a Missionary who has travelled widely and ministered in 36 countries across four continents, for over 34 years, I have been to many museums, monuments and battle sites and have learned from some key individuals who played important roles in the history of the 20th century. Frequently I found myself correcting the textbooks on matters of fact and needing to present more contexts for statements, or assertions, which continued to surface in all too many textbooks. Textbooks which were meant to be Christian.
At one point my daughter asked how I could be crossing out things in the textbook and writing in the margin, different dates, facts and information. "How can the textbook be wrong?" she asked.
Misinformation and Disinformation
I explained that often textbooks are the result of the work of committees, and people who have no first-hand knowledge of the subjects they are dealing with. In all too many cases, secular humanist textbooks have been used as sources by well-meaning Christians, who present the same selection of events and personalities. All too often they give the same explanations, while adding a Bible verse, or a spiritual slant to the final paragraph of what otherwise mirrors the same distortion of history that the government schools are giving.
How Can We Discern What is True?
This led to the next question of: "How can we know what is true?" That has been a life-long concern and adventure for me. My first History teacher in High School in Rhodesia, Mr Rees-Davies, warned us: "Beware the victor's version!" Mr Rees-Davies was a Member of Parliament in Rhodesia, when parliamentarians were not paid a salary, but were normal working people who did their service to their country, while continuing in normal careers. Mr Rees-Davies pointed out that, during war time governments set up propaganda departments who lie to cover up their own failings and slander the enemy in order to motivate their people to sacrifice and serve the cause. Afterwards, war time propaganda tends to morph into peace time textbooks.
Always Ask Why?
Time and again our history teacher warned us not to accept the official version, not to take textbooks for granted. Always ask the question: "Why?" Double check your sources. Research. Investigate evidence. Identify trustworthy sources. Cross-check references. Where is the hard physical evidence? Have forensics been done? Do the numbers add up? What is the fruit?
Travel Can Broaden Minds
As I began travelling across borders as a Missionary, my understanding of the world and of history had to change dramatically. Christian friends in Eastern Europe challenged my understanding of world history. Katyn 1940, Yalta, Operation Keelhaul, the betrayal of 100 million Christians in 15 nations behind the Iron Curtain to Stalin's Soviet Union in 1945, and much more. As I smuggled behind the Iron Curtain, worked in the killing fields of Mozambique, Angola and Rwanda, and ministered in war-torn Sudan, I documented history in the making.
Learning from History Makers
By God's grace, I have had the opportunity of learning first-hand from Ian Smith, who was Prime Minister in Rhodesia for 14 years, Ian Paisley of Northern Ireland, General Constant Viljoen, Colonel Jan Breytenbach, General Ben Partin. (USAF), Brother Andrew, George Verwer, Rev. Bill Bathman, Rev. Erlo Stegen, Professor Fritz Haus, Francis Grim, Dr. James Kennedy, and many others. From research, travel, investigation and first-hand eyewitness testimony from reliable witnesses, I have learned to never trust Hollywood and the politicisation of history.
The Need for a Christian History Book on South Africa
For many years I have been asked to produce a History book on South Africa. Those who have heard my presentations at the Reformation Society, or at Reformation events and Biblical Worldview Seminars, have encouraged me to put these presentations into writing and have them published as a book that can inform, inspire and empower both teachers and students.
Marxist Hijacking of History
It was Karl Marx who declared that the first battlefield is the re-writing of history! Marx's comrades have certainly been very busy with distortion, disinformation, indoctrination and propaganda. Most of the news media, entertainment industry and educational institutions are less than useless when it comes to understanding the times and knowing what really happened and why. There is a pervasive hostility to Christianity growing throughout the Western world.
Break Free from Deception
In order to liberate our thinking from current fashions and propaganda, and to recognise potential potholes and traps, we will find immeasurable insights and practical help by studying the people, events and issues that shaped the past and affect our present situations. Forewarned is forearmed.
Discover Your Roots
The longer you look back, the further you can look forward. A tall building needs deep foundations and a tall tree needs a deep and intricate root system. In order to understand who we are, we need to understand where we came from, to understand the events and issues of the past that correspond with our challenges today.
History is a Battlefield
Today historic monuments are being targeted for destruction by volatile mobs stirred up by Marxist revolutionary agitation. Deception leads to bondage and terrible destruction. The Ministry of Education in South Africa reports that the Rhodes Must Fall movement caused over R300 Million worth of damage, just on university campuses alone. Everything has consequences. "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Rediscovering our Heritage
The chapters in the Sketches from South African History book have been developed over many years of travel, research, investigation, presentations and interactions with key-players in our country's history.
Examples of Excellence
May the examples of excellence and illustrations of man's depravity and rebellion against God, and God's mercy, grace and sovereignty intervening in the course of human events recorded in this book, be an inspiration and practical help to you as you seek to work for a better future.
"Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition..." 1 Corinthians 10:11
Dr. Peter Hammond