We in South Africa are at a critical point. Both church and society are facing a multitude of serious crises that threaten not only our freedoms, but our very lives.
Over 3,000 white farmers, and their family members, have been murdered in the last 18 years, yet the Commandos have been dismantled. For over two and a half centuries the Commandos provided security for remote farmsteads. Now this protection is being removed. At the same time, the Firearms Control Act, which is seen in many circles as a prelude to the disarmament of many civilians, has made it very difficult for any civilian to obtain a firearm for self-defence.
Along with the crime wave, with an average of 20,000 murders a year, has come an explosion of the drug epidemic. More and more ministries are having to expend considerable time and resources on dealing with more and more drug addicts and victims of crime and violence.
Threats to Christian Radio Stations and Press Freedom
Numerous community and Christian radio stations have been closed down by ICASA (The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa). Other radio stations have reported harassment and pressure to tone down, or remove, programmes that deal with homosexuality, Islam, municipal elections, or other "contentious issues". Radio Pulpit, long the only national Christian radio station, were informed that they were to be limited to only 2 hours a week, and that between 4am and 6am. Good News Community Radio, which won a national award for its outstanding education programme, continued a long battle in the courts to counter ICASA's attempts to close them down. There is also widespread concern over the rail-roading through parliament laws designed to restrict freedom of the press and criminalise exposes of government corruption.
In the public schools, social engineering through Outcome Based Education and Sex Education has been the order of the day. "Love Life", with a colossal budget of taxpayer money, is blatantly corrupting the youth of South Africa, effectively training young people to be fornicators and whoremongers.
For 16 years now the pornography plague has devastated South Africa morally, with an explosion of sexual crimes, child abuse and rape. Every year 55,000 women and 25,000 children are raped in the country.
An ominous arsenal of potentially anti-Christian legislation, affecting almost every area of life, have either been railroaded through parliament, slipped through by stealth legislation, or are in the process of being approved by the legislature. The implications of these laws and acts are ominous and far-reaching. As is the racist hate speech and irresponsible statements from senior ANC officials and the frequent singing of: "Kill the Boer! Kill the farmer!" at ANC political rallies.
For 15 years, the Abortion Holocaust has ravaged South Africa. Yet, despite over one million babies having been legally killed, with taxpayer's money, all too many Christians remain apathetic and inactive. Many Christians actually continue to vote for political parties that support abortion - with their taxpayer's money.
The Battle for the Family
With the Constitutional Court opening the way for the legalisation of homosexual 'marriages', and with some denominations openly endorsing homosexual unions and ordaining homosexual "ministers", we are facing some of the most serious assaults on the family, ever. As families are the basic building blocks of society, the destruction of these foundations can only have the most devastating effect on our future.
Along with abortion, pornography, homosexuality, gambling, drugs, crime, violence and disarmament, we are seeing an increase in irrational hatred and fear of Christianity - Christophobia, including at universities which are meant to be free market places for ideas and where dissent and discussion should be encouraged.
When I visited Chrysalis Academy in Tokai, I was informed that while they had previously had voluntary chapel services, prayer meetings and Bible studies, these had been abolished and the previous principal removed. "Now we have a hard-core Communist, a real comrade, straight from Cuba as principal. There are no more Bible studies, prayer meetings or chapel services allowed here."
The Battle for the Soul of South Africa
While there are still many dedicated Christians in South Africa, and pockets of great spiritual life, the general picture is getting darker. There are still school principals and governing bodies with backbone and conviction who maintain Christian distinctive in their schools. Unfortunately, most schools have bowed to pressure and removed Bible reading, hymn singing and prayer in the Name of Christ from their school assemblies, and Bible education from the syllabus. As the Bible and prayer have gone out, sex education, values clarification, alternative lifestyles, situation ethics and all the other tenants of Humanism have flooded in. The results are all too evident in the shopping malls of our country.
Once, South Africans were renowned as some of the most conservative and morally upright. Now, all too many are wearing tattoos, multiple body piercings, angry, sullen looks, and ridiculous fashions that so many aimless youth seem drawn to. Ugliness in art and music has come to predominate, with rap, hip-hop, rave, and other noise masquerading as music continuing to pound away its message of rebellion and immorality.
War Against Calvinism
The systematic worldwide campaign to vilify, sanction and crush the Calvinism of the Afrikaners has, in many cases, succeeded. The Dutch Reformed Church once considered the moral backbone of the country, guarding Sabbath observance, laws against pornography, abortion, homosexuality, gambling and other vices, has seemingly lost its moral compass. After decades of relentless attack, much of the Dutch Reformed Church seems to be disintegrating. It has lost vast numbers of members, many of their congregations have amalgamated, buildings sold, churches closed down, and now even attempts to recognise homosexual "marriages" and ordain homosexual "ministers" are being promoted.
The NGK Under Fire
At one time the Dutch Reformed Church sent out more missionaries than all the other denominations in South Africa combined. At one time the DRC funded more Bible translations and Bible printing than all the other denominations in SA combined. Now the DRC is in such a serious crises, that even the definition of marriage itself is being debated.
The Criminalisation of South Africa
Not so long ago in South Africa Sundays were protected as a day of worship and a day of rest, babies were protected from the violence of abortion, pornography was illegal, drugs were almost unknown, crime was low, security gates, alarms and burglar bars were unknown and unnecessary, homosexuality was a crime, schools began each day with hymn singing, Bible readings and prayer, Bible education was part of the school syllabus, and women could walk the streets, safely, without fear of being raped.
South Africa has not only gone through a political revolution, but a moral revolution. Marxist revisionists are busy with the re-writing of history. Most ominously, many in the ANC government are openly supportive of Robert Mugabe's campaign of terror in Zimbabwe. Apparently they are supportive of the Marxist ZANU's crushing of political opponents, violating the courts, tramping on property rights, rigging elections, suppressing the independent press, precipitating economic collapse, state sponsored terrorism, and the invasion and looting of 5,000 white farms. Not even the destruction of the homes of 1.5million black people seems to have shaken the ANC's enthusiastic support for Mugabe's tyranny.
Partners in Deceit
President Mbeki was quoted as saying, at a South African Communist Party meeting in Johannesburg, that the ANC had to support Mugabe because he postponed his "land reform" policy until after the handover of power in South Africa to the ANC had been completed. Otherwise the whites would never have trusted the assurances of the ANC!
With threats of farm seizures in parts of South Africa, and land claims even being laid against prominent mission stations, the writing is on the wall. Unless Christians in South Africa wake up, and unless Christians worldwide rally to mobilize the prayer and pressure needed to stop the tyranny and lawlessness in Zimbabwe, we could see the same happen here in South Africa.
Learning from Rwanda and Zimbabwe
The Holocaust in Rwanda began with the state media vilifying the Tutsi, while they were being disarmed. We should make no mistake there are those who would like to unleash genocide against Christians in South Africa, just as was done in Rwanda. There are many, highly placed leaders in the ANC government who have publicly stated that they would like to see the same kind of farm invasions in South Africa as have been conducted in Marxist Zimbabwe. The ANC government regularly vilifies whites and uses them as scapegoats to blame for all the ills in the country. Many threats have been made that "when Mandela dies" we "are going to kill all you whites!" Yet Nelson Mandela has not addressed this prevalent sentiment, nor has he warned his followers against such hateful attitudes and genocidal intentions.
In the rest of the world affirmative action is to protect minorities. Only in South Africa does Affirmative Action discriminate against a minority and favour a majority (who also have political control) with job reservations, racial quotas and vast financial benefits.
Much of Africa has plunged into a new dark age. A report prepared for the African Union estimated that corruption costs Africa $148 billion each year. That’s more than a quarter of the continents entire Gross Domestic Product! Since independence, life expectancy in many African nations has plunged a third to a half. For example, in Zimbabwe, in 1980, life expectancy was 59 years. Today, life expectancy in Zimbabwe is 34 years!
The Spectre of Chinese Colonialism
As parts of Africa are being looted by corrupt leaders and devastated by AIDS, a new scramble for Africa is taking place. The new colonists are the Arabs and the Chinese. Africa may well become colonised by the Arabs in the North and by the Chinese in the South.
Civilisation at Risk
We are facing a crisis and civilisation itself is at stake here. Yet most of our churches are fast asleep and very few pulpits are sounding the alarm. We desperately need Reformation. We urgently need Revival.
All too many in our churches are distracted by worldly entertainment, and materialism, self-absorbed with the endless stream of satellite T.V, video games, Internet and cell phones. The shopping malls are full and prayer meetings are mostly empty. Many of our people are so busy acquiring all the comforts, material acquisitions and latest technologies that they just have no time for Bible study, discipling their children, praying, witnessing to their neighbours or even noticing what is going on around us. Hidden behind their high walls, venturing out only in comfortable air-conditioned cars, to travel to air conditioned shopping malls and entertainment complexes, or to safe, comfortable, suburban congregations, to hear comfortable messages, it is little wonder that the average churchgoer in South Africa today is unaware of the gathering storm and the crisis of a collapsing civilisation all around us.
A Vision of Hope
I do believe that there is hope. I do not believe that it is inevitable that South Africa will go the way of Zimbabwe, or have a Rwandan style genocide against whites. We still have many dedicated Christians in South Africa, and significant pockets of vibrant spiritual life.
A Call to Repentance
However, we have to be honest and admit that most of our churchgoers are only playing church. Worldliness, prayerlessness, compromise and cowardice are pervasive. Unless we wake up, humble ourselves, pray and seek God's face and turn from our wicked ways, we cannot expect God to forgive our sins, hear our prayers or heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We need to be informed. We need to be interceding. We need to be involved.
Be informed: "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6.
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Be interceding: "Remember the prisoners as if chained with them…" Hebrews 13:3. Earnestly pray for God's merciful intervention to frustrate the plans of the wicked, to protect God's people, to raise up Christian leaders to stand in the gap.
Be involved: "Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for Me against the evildoers?" Psalm 94:16. There is so much that needs to be done. There is so much that we can and must do.
Africa for Christ
Since 1982, Frontline Fellowship has been delivering Bibles, food, medical and other supplies to Christians in Zimbabwe. We need to help some of the poorest of the poor, who are suffering some of the worst injustices in the world today. Frontline Fellowship is evangelising in the townships using film evangelism, literature distribution, personal evangelism, church services and leadership training seminars. Transforming the nation by changing lives. Discipleship Training Courses, Biblical Worldview Seminars, God and Government Seminars, Reformation Conferences, Great Commission Courses are discipling leaders to make a difference.
There is the power of the printed page, the power of the Word of God, the power of prayer. We can see history changed as people are changed - with the life transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Media and Education
We need to do everything we can to support our local Christian community radio stations and to keep them faithful to God's Word - and on the air. We need to support strong Christian principals and school teachers who are seeking to maintain a Christian witness in government schools. We need to support Christian schools and to support home schooling. Education is a battle for our future. The philosophy of the classroom in this generation will be the philosophy of government in the next generation. That is why we have to invest in good Christian school textbooks, as well as CDs, MP3s, DVDs, magazines and newsletters.
Social ResponsibilityIn upcoming elections, you must organise all the support you can for Christian candidates with Biblical platforms. We have an opportunity to help establish a strong Christian representation in our local municipalities. We need to work to place strong Christian candidates on the governing bodies of our local schools. We need to do all that we can to support our local police in restoring law and order in our communities.
Personal Revival and Biblical Reformation
Facing, as we are, such an avalanche of evil and attacks from so many quarters - nothing less than a comprehensive Christian response will be sufficient. We need to restore our own devotional lives, disciple and strengthen our families, work for the Reformation of our congregations, help restore Christian principles and justice in our communities, and earnestly pray for Biblical Reformation in our churches and spiritual Revival throughout our country.
Prayer Partners and Volunteers NeededIf you share our concerns, about the importance of Reformation and the urgency of Revival, please do contact us. We need more volunteers, we need more resources and contacts, and we need more prayer. Together we can make a vital difference and, by God's grace, may we work and pray to see the tide turned.
May God be your strength and shield in these difficult days ahead.
Yours for Reformation and Revival
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa