Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A new blog

For some time now, some of you would have realized, I have also written some blog entries on politics.

Well, I have decided to rather start another blog particularly geared towards politics in South Africa.

Image courtesy of IRPA2016

I am also using a South African blog provider.

I have called the new blog BiblioPolit. To find out about this new blog you can read the very first post here. UPDATE: I have since started a blog here, that replaces the BiblioPolit blog at MWeb.

I did this in order to concentrate more on theological/doctrinal and Biblical commentary on this blog. So, this blog is not coming to an end, but rather it is refocusing to its original intention.

Of course, if you want to see what is going on this side of the Atlantic at the bottom of Africa, please visit the new blog!

Just thinking...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Where are the Puritans?

Where are the Puritans today? If it could ever happen I am sure they would be spinning in their graves right now!
"A new UK policy will see nurses dispensing contraceptives to schoolchildren and referring girls for secret abortions in all schools – primary and secondary – across the nation."
It seems like the UK has totally lost their moral compass. It almost seems like they never had one!
Just thinking...

Friday, March 24, 2006

God's Sovereignty in Prayer

Have you ever thought about why we pray? If God is sovereign, then why pray?

An excellent resource is John Resisinger's The Sovereignty of God in Prayer.

To quote from the overview:

The author tells us what prayer is NOT:

  1. Prayer never makes God my servant to give me everything I think I must have in order to make me happy. God is not a "heavenly bellhop" who carries my suitcase of selfish desires any place I command.
  2. Prayer never allows me to either dictate my will to God nor to make God in any way change His mind.
  3. God has a fixed plan and His plan is the best plan. God is determined to carry out His plan, and neither our sin nor out "believing" prayers are going to derail or in any way change God's ultimate decree's (Job 23:13).

The author also tells us what real prayer IS:

  1. True prayer is a frank admission that God is sovereign. When we really pray we admit that the thing is in God's hands alone. We are saying that tomorrow, and all it brings, is not under our control but under His control. It is in His hands and not ours.
  2. Prayer is a joyful surrender to God sovereign purposes. We are acknowledging that God has the right and power to do whatever seems good to Him. We are saying that regardless of what God does tomorrow, we know it is part of the "all things" in Rom. 8:28.
  3. Prayer is earnestly pleading with God for grace to glorify Him regardless of what He does. We are really saying, "Father, give me grace to trust you and act like your child whether you say yes or no."


Critical acclaim vs. Popular acclaim

For several days now I have been wanting to write on this issue.

Whenever I think of our modern church I see a trend that I find very alarming! What is this trend? Well, it seems to me that the church keeps on getting into new fads that are "hip" and "now." As time rolls on, an ever-present avalanche of "new" and "cool" things keep hitting the church. What alarms me even more is that these fads are created from within! The church keeps coming up with new things all the time. And, these things are designed to appeal to the emotions of Christians in order to entice them towards an ever decreased understanding of Biblical Christianity. This design is manufactured to create a popular Christianity that is easy for people to join. A Christianity that does not convict, demand faithfulness or offend! It is a Christianity that sells trinkets, yet does not preach the gospel of a holy God that needs to be propitiated. It gives the world a silver-haired grandfather figure not unlike Santa Claus willing to hand over his gifts to the world!

What the church is doing is looking for popular acclaim. Their idea of reaching out to the world is to make the church a comfortable place where sinners can come and relax comfortably in their sin! Christianity has gone so far down this road that almost nothing of any real value ever makes it to the other side of the coin, critical acclaim.

Let's look at the specific area that bothers me the most... books! Walk into almost any Christian book store and look around at what they are promoting at the moment. Look at who the popular authors are. It stands out like a sore thumb! You will find many novels being promoted (I am not completely against Christian fiction--there is a place for a small portion of it), self-help books, feel-good books and a host of heretics among them! However, they are all popular. And, it seems, our book distributors see this as a popularity contest! They keep on pushing the popular stuff because it brings in the dough. It just seems that it is very difficult to find a book distributor today with people that actually understand Christianity. If they did, we would have seen a lot less books, but at least they would be based on the truth.

Criticize these popular authors (Warren, Osteen, etc) and books and you will find yourself in a hot pot of soup! In fact, it will be more akin to an erupting volcano! Before people even think of what is being said about these authors and books, they erupt into a vitriolic attack against those that raised the initial criticism. Of course, they claim that you have a critical spirit, put you into the "critical spirit" box and henceforth are closed to anything you say.

The reason for this type of response (mostly outbursts), is that Christians are taught within this fad-driven Christian culture to look for experiences. Christians are hardly ever taught to think about their Christianity. This is why so many heretical authors' (Meyers, Copeland, Jakes, Tenney, etc) books can be found in Christian book stores.The search is for experience and not truth! It might as well be part of the New Age movement!

On the other hand, trying to find books that are solidly based on Biblical truth (books that I will call Critically Acclaimed) is becoming harder and harder. There are very few Christian book stores out there in which one can with a fair amount of assurance buy almost anything and it will be good. This is where the internet has been very good. One can search the internet to find good Christian books.

These Christian book companies will continue to sell us their "broken" wares until we stop buying them! But then it will mean that pastors must improve in their theological prowess! Perhaps I am dreaming about a perfect world. While pastors feed their sheep this type of drivel from the pulpit, the sheep will continue to search out this type of drivel! If pastors do not improve in their theological outlook, why should the sheep? Oh, yeah! Many of these pastors are simply sheep like the rest, following the latest fad!

It is time that the church seeks critical acclaim (that which is based on objective Biblical truth and sanctioned by God) and distances itself from popular acclaim (that which is based on experience and feel-good pop-theology and sanctioned by the world and heretics)!

We need to reinstate our mind in our love for God.

Just thinking...

PS. While I was busy putting this post together, I read the latest from Dan Phillips and Tim Challies. Check it out! Also have a look at this article by The Motley Fool.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Female "daddy" kills 4 year old!

A little boy of 4 lost his life after he refused to call his mother's lesbian partner, "Daddy."

Real Christians have long regarded homosexuals and lesbians as parents as a very dangerous thing. Psychologically it damages a child beyond repair (unless the child comes to believe in Christ). In this case, a little boy that knew wrong from right, paid with his life because a lesbian claimed the "right" (see my post called Human Rights?) to be called "Daddy!" Call me a conservative or a fundamentalist, but this woman had no right to the claim of fatherhood! Last time I checked, a lesbian by nature cannot be a father.

A child died because of a selfish claim by some woman to indulge in her perverted lifestyle.

(16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (17) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." (18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (19) For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (20) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (21) For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools, (23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (24) Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, (25) because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (26) For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature ; (27) and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (28) And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. (29) They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, (30) slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, (31) foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (32) Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Romans 1:16-32 ESV

Just thinking...

Plagiarising sermons

Ray van Neste raises the very important point of Pastoral Plagiarism. In other words, pastors stealing others' sermons!
Just thinking...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Human rights?

Yesterday was Human Rights day in South Africa. Every year a huge thing is made of this day. However, did it ever occur to those who give rights and those who desire these rights that rights can be given and rights can be taken away!
Human rights are definitely not based on any objective sense of what is right and what is wrong. It is a political game with certain rules that apply to the game today. However, it is a changing game and those rules may change by tomorrow. It all depends on the political landscape.
If the political landscape is divorced from God's unchanging laws and principles all set out in the Bible, then do not expect to have the same "Human Rights" tomorrow!
Take care who you put your trust in, as that will determine your future ad infinitum.
Just thinking...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Real Church

After yesterday's post I found a link to an article written by Steve Camp called Will The Real Church... Please Stand Up?

Thanks to Lisa at Deo Volente for the link.

This article by Campie is excellent! (May I call you Campie, Steve?)

BTW, Steve, I still have a vinyl LP by you called Fire and Ice (1983). Of course I can't play it, but I still have it! Campie must be very old!

Just thinking ...

UPDATE March 24, 2006: Without realizing that this was my 200th post I carried on posting. So, there you go, HAPPY 200th post to me!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Chipping away at resistance

This morning, on my way to work, there was this young guy driving in front of me. This time of the morning, about 6:15, traffic is stop-go for about 30Km (18.6mi) of the way. This young guy obviously did not like the state of affairs and was performing in his car. I must admit that seeing a snail pass you on the highway does not make you feel good!

Everytime we came to a stand-still, he would throw his arms into the air and I could see his lips move 12 to the dozen! This was probably his first time in the morning traffic and maybe he thought that this was unusual. Well, as a seasoned highway traveller between the cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg, I know that there is just nothing that can be done about the traffic.

The closer we got to Johannesburg the calmer he seemed to get. It just seemed like he came to a point where he realized that nothing he could do would change the situation and getting upset about the traffic was just not worth it!

Now, it seems to me that the church is in exactly this same boat.

Some time ago someone, who knows who, decided that for the church to grow it should get into the same lane as the world. Therefore, in order for the church to be "successful" (that dreadful word) we should become like the world. Same music, same clothes, same attitudes, same trinkets, same marketing methods, same this and same the next thing!

Whereas the church previously kicked against the depravity and evil of the world, now that it was in the same lane as the world, there was just nowhere to go. Inevitably, after many protestations of the world not going at the same speed in the same direction as this lane-changing-church, the church came to the conclusion that it no longer could fight the good fight of faith and is simply just sitting in the stream of cars, going at the same speed and in the same direction as the world!

The old saying, "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and walks like a duck, then it must be a duck!" holds true here. The church has done so much to be acceptable to the world that it now looks like the world, swims like the world and walks like the world! Do you see where this is going? Much of the church have become so much like the world that it has become the world!

It has become fashionable in the church today to market itself as some must-have item. Sure, Christ is a must-have! But to be marketed as a must-have item, the church has made itself expendable. What happens to all these must-have worldly items that are marketed everyday as if it is a life and death situation? Tomorrow they are discarded for the next must-have item! This is and will continue to happen to the church while it continues to conform to the standards of the world and transforming itself into yet another must-have item!

The church has sold its soul to become the next fad. The church is now so much like the world and its ever disposable trinkets, it has become almost impossible for Christians to live without the next runaway fad like the Purpose Driven Whatevers, the Prayer of Who?, the Left Alone and other marketable non-essentials. (I hope you know which fads I am pointing to here?!) Many of these market driven fad Christians would not know what to do with their Christian lives if left alone with only their Bibles in hand. They simply need their next fix coming from the latest gratuitous "christian" fad.

But like the world, they MUST become. How else will they draw the world?

They have forgotten that all these fads and Biblically unmerited programs simply do not save. Salvation comes by God alone through the complete preaching of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ alone! NO program and NO fad can save anyone! PREACH THE GOSPEL!

The problem with the modern church, in all its problematic and dare I say heretical expressions (like Emergent Church, Church Growth Movement, Word-of-Faith, etc), is sitting in the wrong lane and wrong direction. Instead of climbing into the same lane and direction as the world, the church should be marching to the beat of a different drum in the opposite direction and different lane to the world!

The church must decide what it is that is being offered to the world. A whole bunch of sameness, same fads, same marketing, same must-haves? Or is it preaching the salvation of the gospel of the all-sovereign God of the universe, Jesus Christ?!

Just thinking...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Study on Galatians

A couple of years ago I did a complete study on Paul's epistle to the Galatians for a Bible study group I was leading back then.

Maybe you would find it of benefit.

Just thinking...

The Sovereignty Of God In Providence

John Reisinger from Sound of Grace has an excellent booklet called The Sovereignty Of God In Providence .

This is an excellent resource on the sovereignty of God. He deals with six principles as quoted below:

"God has a definite plan and purpose for the world. Job 23:13; Eph. 1:8-12.

God is always in control of all things and is constantly at work in accomplishing His plan. Hab. 1:1-11; Isa. 10:5,6.

God controls and uses everyone, even the devil, in working out His plan. Isa. 10:7-11; Ps. 76:10.

God punishes people He uses to accomplish His purposes when they act out of wrong motives. Isa. 10:12-16; Acts 2:23,24; Mt. 27:15-26.

All things are from God, but the devil is the agent of all evil. II Sam. 24:1; I Chron. 21:1.

Although all sickness and affliction are part of God's purposes and  under His sovereign control, it does not follow that all sickness and affliction are necessarily chastisement for sin. Job 1:1,6-2:10; 13:15."

Just thinking...

White guilt and black shame

The American Enterprise recently interviewed Shelby Steele on the issues of white guilt and black shame. It is a very good interview which highlights the problems with the "guilt" that whites carry and the culture of "demand" among blacks.

Here are some quotes from Steele:

"For every white racist, I've met a black one."

"We won a personal victory [in the civil rights movement], then turned right around and put our future in the hands of the larger society."

"There was a profound amount of guilt {among whites]. We knew that guilt was there, and we had a U.S. President who was reeling backwards, putting the responsibility on whites to make things up to us, promising to end poverty. We bought into that, and it made us weak. We bought into precisely the opposite of what we should have done."

"By accepting the idea that government is somehow going to take over the responsibility that only we can take, we relinquished authority over ourselves."

"And so the goodwill of America finally did do to us what slavery and segregation failed to do. It destroyed our family, destroyed our character, and now black America is in a struggle."

"[Affirmative action] smears every single black person... I think affirmative action is the worst cruelty blacks have endured since slavery."

Rather read the entire interview and see how whites and blacks have been put into little squares meant for round objects!

Thanks to Justin Taylor for bringing this excellent interview to our attention.

Just thinking...

Warnie's 2000th blog post!

Adrian Warnock has written his 2000th post on his blog. In this post Warnie thanks The Doctor (Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones) for the great influence The Doctor had on him.

Just thinking...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Biblical Democracy Review

Biblical Democracy... Two words that probably most Christians would not put together. "An oxymoron," they would say!
However, this book written by Edward Cain and his daughter Miriam Cain (who just happened to be at school with my wife many years ago), gives us a practical look at how the principles set forth in the Bible impact society around us.
The book is written in two parts, Part 1 - God and Government (which in my estimation is the Cain's theory behind Biblical Democracy) and Part 2 - Foundation of Freedom (which is a look at history and how different ideas have shaped the world and countries - distinguishing between the righteous American revolution and the hideous French revolution, for instance).
Each chapter in the book starts with the objectives of the chapter. What can you expect to learn from the chapter? Right through two worldviews are contrasted: the Biblical worldview vs. the secular humanist worldview. It shows what will happen when the God of the Bible is denied His rightful place in any country (Part 1) and gives examples from history that proves the point (Part 2). On the other hand, the Cains make it clear that a nation that honour God can expect God's blessings and again they show examples from history.
It is not an exhaustive treatment of the subject of Biblical Democracy, but it certainly is a good introduction to the subject at hand.
To make its point the book gives various statistics related to the South African political scene. For instance, "the murder rate has jumped from 5 959 in 1977/78 to a high of 26 832 in 1994. More people were killed in South Africa each year (1994-1999) in criminal violence than were killed in 13 years of political violence (23 758 from 9/84 to 12/97)." They also show how South Africa outstrips the U.S.A. by far when it comes to murder rates. In South Africa the murder rate per 100,000 is 47.8 (2002 - 21,738 murders)) while in the U.S.A. it is only 5.7 per 100,000 (1999 - 15,500 murders). It also provides us with rape conviction statistics. In 1988 27.1% of reported rapes resulted in convictions whereas by 2000 only 7.6% of reported rapes resulted in convictions!
Anyone who would like to learn more about why Christians should get involved in the political process must read this book, at least as an introduction!
Just thinking...

Oscar speech

Maybe one day, an actor with guts and a real conscience based on real family and patriotic values instructed by the Bible, will make an Oscar acceptance speech like this.

Just thinking...

Are the media ignorant of Muslims?

Columnist Mark Steyn makes the statement, Media shockingly ignorant of Muslims among us .

I wonder of the media is ignorant of Muslims, or if they are not just silent!? The media is definitely slanted in their reporting and the wording of those reports when it comes to Islam.  They love hating Christianity, but when it comes to Islam they are VERY "politically correct!"

Just thinking...

Fun and responsibility

Here is a young man who wants the fun, but not the responsibility!

Just thinking ...

Cycling done!

Jonathan Moorhead said in a comment to my previous post, ""Trepidation"?! That's an understatement!" Well, now that the race is finished, I think I should have had a lot more trepidation!

The trip down to Cape Town was fairly uneventful, except for this huge swarm of locusts that we had to drive through (and again on the way back home). Apart from slamming into the car, they also slammed into our bikes on the bike rack.

The weather was fine up until the morning of the race. The thing about Cape Town is that it is always possible to experience all four seasons in one day. I suppose that is why it was also called the "Cape of Storms" by the sailors who had to sail around there two/three centuries ago. As we prepared to cycle across to the start, it started raining. So, my wife and I put our rain ponchos on before we cycled across. As we got to the start it stopped raining; so, off came the ponchos!

The biggest sponsor of the race, Pick & Pay, made breakfast available to the riders. That included muffins, Bar-Ones (like, but way better than a Mars bar), bananas, apples, juice, yoghurt and coffee. We just didn't have the coffee.

The race started with the announcement that the oldest man on the race that day was born in 1919 (+-87) and the oldest woman was born in 1925 (+-81). Together my wife and I (on the tandem) make 81. So, I guess it would be fine if the old lady beat us! After about 15 minutes from the start of our group (social tandems) the rain came pouring down! So, to make things easier for us (?), we decided to put our ponchos back on. At least we did not get soaking wet. Yet, about 15 minutes later the rain stopped and the heat started picking up. You guessed it! We stopped to take the ponchos off. Right here I decided that for the rest of the day, no more ponchos!

We soon realized that we were not prepared for this race. It was our third time and we kinda knew that we weren't prepared, but riding it confirmed it ten times over! Being so unfit, we needed to make use of our tandem's granny gear. However, for some reason it didn't want to shift down to the granny gear. So, we had to stop a couple of times to manually shift it! What a day of fun and enjoyment!

We probably could have cut off about half an hour, but while riding I just had to help two people in need. The first was a lady next to the road who was busy trying to pump her front tyre. As we approached her, I could see her looking up every now and again, so I stopped to help. "I need someone to pump this tyre. I don't have enough strength to pump it up hard enough!", she said. I quickly discovered that she did not have a nice hand pump for the job. So, I grabbed my own and that front tyre was pumped hard in quick time! She was just so grateful for the help and she offered to pay us in jelly-babies! So sweet! This happened at about 40Km (24.8mi) into the race.

Next, half-way up Chapman's Peak (about 85Km - 52.8mi), I saw a young boy--about 13 years old--fall off his bike clutching his quads with a contorted face. "CRAMP" was written all over his face! I just had to stop. I let him lie down flat and started massaging his quads. A little while later someone gave us some gel to rub into his leg. My wife did the honours! I finally let him stretch his leg a bit and with a "Thank you for the good advice!" he was off on his bike again! We never saw these two again! I suppose that with 38,333 entrants and about 34,000 starters on the day, it would not have been easy to see them again anyhow!

Somewhere along the route I had to stop at a medical tent for physio myself. Both my quads felt like I was cycling with knives stuck in them.

We finally made the finish, but we vowed that this was the last time we did a race of this magnitude and intensity while being as unfit as we are right now! A lot of factors contributed to us being so unfit, such as the elections and my own involvement in that.

Was it worth it? I don't know. Ask me in a couple of months time! This race definitely has a vibe that few other races have. People were sitting in their fold-up chairs in the rain cheering us on! Luckily it didn't rain the whole time. The rain was short lived but the wind continued for quite some time.

Next time I will be fit. I promise! :-)

Just thinking...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Cycling this weekend

Today, at about 14:00 (2pm), we are leaving for Cape Town, which is about 1,600Kms (1,000mi) from our home in Pretoria (South Africa). The reason for this trip is to participate in the world's biggest timed cycle race (Argus) with 35,000 cyclists.

My wife and I ride a tandem and we are definitely not prepared for it this year. It is 109 gruelling kms. Of course, if the Argus is compared to the Tour de France, then it is not that big a deal. But, then of course, if my wife or I are compared to Lance Armstrong, then it soon becomes apparent that for us it is a gigantic deal!

We will be travelling about halfway to Cape Town today and will reach our sleep-over place at about 22:00-23:00 (10-11pm) tonight. Tomorrow morning we will hit the road again at about 07:00 to find a breakfast place. We like using Wimpy for our meal stop-overs.

Luckily for me, I don't have to drive all the way since we are travelling with my sister-in-law and her husband. So, I am going to make use of the travelling time to catch up on some of my reading. I am taking two books with me. Biblical Democracy (2nd edition) by Ed (deceased) and Miriam Cain (Ed's daughter). I am already about halfway through this book and it is a wonderful tool to use in furthering the idea of Biblical democracy to apathetic, cushy, lazy Christians. The other book I am taking along is that great reference by Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth. I am about halfway with this one too! These books should keep me busy for most of the time that we are not cycling.

The actual cycling will happen on Sunday, March 12. Our group starts at 08:55. At our current fitness levels we do not hope to melt the tar. However, even though legs and lungs will be burning, it is a fun day with thousands of people lining the roads to cheer the cyclists on!

This is what the route looks like:

On Monday we will tackle the complete distance from Cape Town back to Pretoria. It should take us in the region of about 15 hours.

Unfortunately, the kids must stay with their grandmother this time as the race falls too far from the end of their school term this year.

We are looking forward to the race, but with a little trepidation!

Just thinking...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

What is wrong with our voters?

Why is it that in a country that boasts of a Christian majority of about 70%, we cannot get a Christian party to even get close to becoming the official opposition never mind actually winning an election?
The ACDP came into existence before the 1994 general elections in 1993 as a voice for Christians in South African politics. However, it seems that the Christians of this country do not want a Christian voice in government.
We've had 3 general elections (GE) since 1994 and 2 local government elections (LGE). The percentage of votes the ACDP has garnered in these elections are as follows:
1994 -  GE      - 0.45%
1999 -  GE      - 1.43%
2000 - LGE      - 1.14%
2004 -  GE      - 1.60%
2006 - LGE      - 1.24%
Those Christians who have voted for the ACDP in these elections have all asked the question: "Why don't more Christians vote for the ACDP?"
The fact is that the majority of Christians vote for the two leading parties of our country, the ANC (African National Congress) and the DA (Democratic Alliance).
The reasons for this are certainly multifaceted and I would like to look at a few reasons here.
1. Historical Voting
In my opinion, South African politics are still divided along racial lines, even though these lines are somewhat blurry at times. I am not saying that the parties mentioned here are only black or only white. Yet, when we look at them the one is predominantly black while the other is predominantly white!
The fact that the ANC got 66.34% of the votes can simply mean that the votes that they are getting are historical votes instead of votes based on knowledge. In the months running up to the elections there have been many riots and marches against what the people felt was bad service delivery. People have publicly complained about the poor service delivery by the ANC. However, once it was time to vote they simply voted for the ANC! To me this can only point one way: historical voting.
It is now 12 years since the first so-called democratic elections in 1994 when the ANC won to take over the rule of South Africa. The masses saw the ANC as liberators then, and they still see them that way. The black people of this country mostly vote for the ANC.
On the other hand we have the official opposition, the DA. After what most whites saw as a sell-out to communistic forces and a crushing defeat in the 1994 general elections, the NP (National Party) started losing ground to other parties. The NP was the ruling party of south Africa from 1948 to 1994. In the 1994 elections the NP only got a third of the votes of what the ANC received. These elections were definitely along racial lines.
Although, at this point the NP still got more votes than the DP (Democratic Party - which was to become the DA later on), but by 1999 the DP got 9.56% of the votes and the now NNP (New National Party) only got 6.87%. This simply meant the end of the NP. This also meant that the DP/DA became the official opposition party. At the 2004 GE the DA had 12.37% of the vote while the NNP dwindled to 1.65%. With the 2006 LGE the DA garnered 14.77% of the vote and the NNP was not anywhere to be seen. The DA solidified itself as the opposition. The DA has now become the historical vote of the white people as they see the DA as the only hope for whites in a country where black people rule.
Because of the historical voting of black people for the ANC, white people have come to see the DA as the only way to stave off the "onslaught" of the coming communistic regime of the ANC.
2. Lack of Knowledge
Polls have consistently shown that South Africans are against the big issues such as abortion, pornography, same-sex marriage, etc. Polls have also shown that a majority of people in this country are Christian. However, they keep voting for the ANC or the DA. In order to see what these two parties stand for on these big issues one simply can go to the Biblical Issues Voters' Guide 2006.
When the Constitution was created in 1996, both the ANC and the DA voted to eliminate the phrase "in humble submission to Almighty God." Both the ANC and the DA voted for abortion on demand. The ANC as well as the DA are open to the rights of the homosexual lifestyle. The question remains: How far will they push that envelope?
The fact is that if Christians knew what these two parties stood for, they might have voted for the ACDP. The day after the elections I spoke to a lady that voted for the ACDP. However, she did say that she did not know what the ACDP stands for! This, I believe, is true of most voters in this country. People vote for parties without actually knowing the principles of those parties.
There are, of course, those that say that we should vote for the DA to keep the opposition strong. They claim that we should not divide the opposition. However, the ANC and the DA are so close to each other when it comes to the big issues, why replace the one with the other if the are so similar anyhow? Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know! Actually, in this case we know both!
3. Lack of Commitment from the Church
If South Africa has a majority of Christians and the church is such a force to be reckoned with, I must say, it is escaping my notice! I certainly cannot see it in these elections!
I have heard it from too many churches, "We cannot tell our people who to vote for!" The fact is that no one can tell anyone else who to vote for. However, having said that, I don't want our church leaders to be silent on the matter either!
The church is forever preaching about the fact that Christians should get involved in every area of life..., except "politics" of course! From the church's response during the campaign period before the elections, it is clear that they do not believe that we should be involved in politics or that the people in the church should be guided on this issue.
The church does believe that we should be part of the solution of creating a better world for our children to live in; however, when they get the opportunity of standing up in the political realm for a Christian party strongly guided by Biblical principles, they drop the ball and lose the game! It is at times like this that we can truly see whether the church is really serious about what they believe or not. "Oh, we do not want to offend the people in the church that vote for other parties!" Yeah, yeah! I have heard that before. It simply means that the church is ambivalent on the issues that matter. They continue preaching pop-sermons every week, trying to make people feel all good about themselves, while the country goes down the drain. I cannot say that I have heard one sermon since 2001 at my own church that deals with the big issues. It is truly a shame!
Feel-good sermons are at the order of the day while a Biblical worldview is completely lost on church members! It is time that the church starts preaching a Biblical worldview from the pulpit and stop pussy-footing around the big issues! How is it that the church is willing to guide its people in everything, yet when it comes to politics it turns out to be totally clueless?
Who decided that the church is not supposed to speak on political issues from the pulpit? This is simply being "politically correct!" The Bible is full of political issues. Justice for all is strewn across the pages of the Bible from beginning to end.
If we look at how the church dealt with the big issues in the past, then the modern church is blatant in its lack of any given stand!
"In the pagan Roman Empire, abortion was freely practiced, but Christians took a stand against it. In 314 the Council of Ancyra barred from the taking of the Lord's Supper for ten years all who procured abortions or made drugs to further abortions. Previously the Synod of Elvira (305-306) had specified excommunication till the deathbed for these offenses." (Francis Schaeffer, How Should we Then Live?, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 50th L'Abri Anniversary Edition, 2005, p222)
Voting to put people like this in power would probably have incurred a similar ban by the church.
To say that the church does not get involved in politics is to say that it does NOT care about the people of the country. We are to ensure a good future for our children. Yet, when it comes to politics the church does not care less.
So, what should the ACDP be doing for the next elections in 2009?
The ACDP should develop a long term plan that will accomplish at least 2 things:
1. Make the ACDP more visible and more prominent. Many people do not know what the ACDP is doing in communities to uplift them. Most people do not even know what the ACDP stands for!
2. Educate people in terms of what the ACDP stands for, how to choose a political party according to Biblical principles and expose the ungodly principles of other parties.
The battle starts now!
Just thinking...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Elections have come and gone!

Two days ago was March 1, 2006. Local government elections day here in South Africa.
The party that I stood for as a ward candidate in Tshwane (Pretoria), the ACDP, has lost dismally in these elections (more on the causes of this in a later post - WATCH THIS SPACE!), nationwide and also locally here in Tshwane. Our party president has released an election result statement that can be read here.
More on my own ward:
I got up at 05:00 in order to get ready for the day. The voting booths across the nation were supposed to open at 07:00. It did in most cases. My wife assisted me as a party agent (PA) in one of my voting districts (VD). My ward had 5 of those. Each voting district has one voting station (VS). Each voting district has an average of about 3,000 voters, even though one of my VSs only had 539 voters registered and another had 5,953 registered voters.
It was indeed a busy day as I had to visit each voting station several times during the day and still had to vote and have lunch! I visited most of my stations 4 times during the day. One I visited only three times and another 5 times. At the time of the visit I would chat to my party agents to find out if everything was still fine, but I would also observe the voting process to ensure that no shortcuts are taken by the elections staff from the IEC.
One thing that happened during the day that left a bitter taste in my mouth was that the ANC tried to intimidate the VF+ and the ACDP. At the voting station where my wife worked as a party agent for the first 6 hours, the ANC asked the VF+ to remove their gazebo and their party posters no less than 6 times! Luckily the presiding officer from the IEC there did not fall for their tricks and asked me what I thought of that. You see, the VF+ had their gazebo and posters right next to the line where the voters were going to walk by. However, each presiding officer had to demarcate an area within which no campaigning activity was to take place. Outside of that area belonged to the parties. The VF+ had their stand right next to this demarcated area. I simply told the presiding officer that the VF+ was within the elections law and that the ANC had no leg to stand on. They tried the same tactic with the ACDP at one of my other VSs. Luckily my party agent who was on duty at that moment knows his rights as a party agent since he has done this several times before. He simply told the people from the ANC to go read their election manual.
One of my voting stations was at the Chinese school. When the voters arrived there in the morning it was under water and full of mud every where. It just happened that my party agent there is also our branch manager and he quickly came up with the idea of getting cardboard boxes and to flatten them so that people could walk on them to the tent where they were to vote. It was quite appropriate that it looked like this at the Chinese school since we started to joke about planting rice paddies there!
Evening came and so did 19:00 when voting ended. After this counting started. Since I had worked very hard during the day, I had decided to go home for about an hour and a half while my PAs-for-counting observed and/or ensured that the counting went well. After a little rest I went to the nerve centre of my region at about 21:00. It didn't take long before I received the results of my first voting station. At this point depression set in. I just could not believe the results. Some of the ACDP people that worked with me in my ward thought that this year would be the year that we might possibly take the ward. After that first result I knew that there was just no way that it would happen this year.
At about 02:00 our mayoral candidate and I decided to go to the IEC's city results centre. When we arrived there nothing was going on. We immediately deciced to go to the national results centre. We stayed there until 04:30 and then we left. I got home at exactly 05:00. By now I was awake exactly 24 hours.
I simply cleaned up, got dressed and went to work. I arrived at work about 06:15. It was not an easy day but I did manage to get some things done. I left work around 13:45 wanting to go sleep. At last!
I suddenly thought that if I was not mistaken (amazing that my brain was still working here!), it was my son's last cricket match for the season. I called my wife on my mobile and she confirmed it. Well, decision made! I was going to watch my son's last game! Boy, did he not disappoint me! He hit a quick 17 in the three overs that he batted. After only 4 balls he already had 16 runs (2 sixes and 1 four!).
My wife had to leave earlier to pick up my daughter from choir practise. So, at the end of the game my son and I packed up and when we got to the car I realised that my wife had my keys! Something like this would usually rattle my cage, but not this time! I was just too tired to even be remotely upset by this! Much earlier she went to check if my car's alarm was sounding or not. Well, we waited about 20 minutes for her to bring the keys, so my son and I played a little cricket all by ourselves!
We finally made it home! We had supper and I eventually got to bed at 21:00. That means that I had been awake for 40 hours! It isn't always easy to be a politician! I had to get up at 05:00 again this morning, giving me only 7 hours sleep.
Well, no problem. That is life!
The results for the elections in my ward are as follows (top 6 party candidates):
DA   - 73.33%
VF+  - 10.31%
ANC  - 10.10%
ACDP -  5.16%
CDP  -  0.36%
PAC  -  0.32%
Look out for my next post as I look at what caused this dismal result and what I think should be done to improve it!
Just thinking...
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