How do we react to controversial Red Bull ad?

From Gerschwin Langeveldt

Dear Editor

I caught wind of some controversial Red Bull ad that was flighted and subsequently pulled off the air. After seeing the video for myself (me and 288,000 other youtube viewers) I started reading local newspaper articles and their comments.

 On the one hand I’ve seen a few suggestions  that Christians should ‘lighten up’, that we are too ‘uptight’ about  this and contrasting this view are the Christians calling it ‘hate  speech’ or saying things like ‘Christianity and Jesus in particular
 are singled out for mockery by secular humanists and other  anti-Christian bigots’.

 Should we lighten up?
The argument goes: We should lighten up  because God has a sense of humour. Yes, He does but I’d like to point  out that the object of the joke is the deity of Jesus. The advert  gives an alternative version of Jesus’ walking on the water. For  Christians Christ’s deity is a big deal. It’s actually a crucial  point. Walking on water was a miracle. Only God does miracles. Jesus
 was showing his disciples that He is God. If He isn’t God, He cannot  save us.

 I’m not sure that Jesus would be OK with  this ad. Who likes being the subject of ridicule? Seriously. Think  about it. No subject of ridicule has ever enjoyed his/her position.  If you’ve ever been one, you’d know what I mean. It would be  presumptuous for me to speak on behalf of Jesus so I’ll only speak on  behalf of my fellow subjects of ridicule and say we don’t like it.  Not one bit.

 I’d also like to point out that there is no such thing as ‘just a joke’. When it comes to the things that make us  laugh, is it not because we think them true? Why are there so many  mother-in-law jokes and no father-in-law jokes at all? Blonde jokes,
black people jokes, gay people jokes. I could go on and on. If we  didn’t think these stereotypes true, would we be laughing?

 Should we burn the place down?
 I think the Christians on the other extreme  of this see-saw are not helpful either. The problem with calling  people bigots, citing hate speech and (my personal favourite) taking  offence is that these are actually the very same non-arguments  levelled against Christian views time and time again.

 Let’s take another hot topic as a for instance: homosexuality. The Christian stance is that it  is wrong for men to engage in unnatural sexual acts with one another  because they harm each other and themselves both physically and  emotionally. Is this
 just an opinion or the truth? What does the medical evidence say?

 Now, instead of addressing these issues and maybe showing some evidence to  the contrary, Christians are said to be offending certain groups,  propagating hatred and then being called bigots. This is  unproductive. All we’ve done is to take a true or false issue and  make it a like or don’t like issue.

 Christian claims that Jesus is God and  Jesus’ walking on water should remain a true or false issue, along  with: Is the Earth flat or round? How many arteries pump blood from  the heart? and What is the sum of seven and four? Christians say that
 the world is a certain way, that God created it, that man rebelled  against God, that Jesus is God made man, and that through Him man has  a way back to God. Either this is the way the world is or it isn’t.  It should never be a like or dislike issue.

 How, then, should we react?
Though it’ll sound outrageous I think that  calling it blasphemy is good. It’s a start. A pretty good start,  really. Since we live in a world where people don’t believe in God  it’s not always easy to steer a conversation in a God-ward direction.  This ad just made it easier. It could be an opportunity for sharing  the Gospel with your friends, colleagues and relatives: “Hey,  have you seen that Red-Bull Ad? Do you think that Jesus actually  walked on water?”

 Then we should also warn that it’s not a  good idea to pull faces and mock the lion veiled behind the curtain.
 We should tell them it is dangerous. Even if they don’t believe that  there is a lion. There either is or isn’t. It’s not an opinion.




Letter to churches in NM Bay: Time for action!

From Trevor Jennings, Transformation Christian Network

Dear Editor

The Stadium Prayer Meeting held on Saturday, 22 October 2011 was indeed a milestone reached in church unity in our city.  What was more amazing was the process and great faith shown by key individuals to be obedient to God and just not give up irrespective of the obstacles that confronted them.

Now it is time for action (James 2:14).  We are a nation in crisis and the critical areas that have been identified in NM Bay and South Africa are education, crime, health and ongoing division between our leaders.

If ever our country needed the Church it is now.  Many churches are already doing many wonderful things.  We appeal to the churches and members of congregations who are not yet involved to step forward and make a contribution.

We would like to encourage all churches and Model C schools to adopt and get involved in assisting other less privileged schools, to get involved in groups already supporting our police services, to get involved in health care initiatives.  Finally, to be vigilant and outspoken about the root iniquity of our city, i.e. division between our leadership in church, business, education, government and sport.

We would like to invite all the citizens of NM Bay, whether churched or un-churched not to be spectators but to get involved in these grassroots issues.




Malema and Nelson Mandela compared: who will save South Africa?

From Pastor John Preller, Port Elizabeth

Dear Editor

We didn’t deserve Nelson Mandela, but we were blessed with his compassion, vision and   wisdom, guiding our fledging democracy through the treacherous currents that threatened to abort the birth of our Rainbow Nation.

Will we deserve what we tolerate with Malema’s poisonous tongue lashing out at our troubled democracy?

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema reportedly told a crowd in front of President Jacob Zuma recently that whites should be regarded as “criminals” for “stealing” land from blacks,

Independent Online (IOL) reported that Malema accused whites of turning “our land into game farms”, and that the “willing-buyer, willing-seller (system)” had failed. “We must take the land without paying. They took our land without paying,” Malema is reported to have said to the crowd of about 3 000 people at the Galeshewe Stadium outside Kimberley on the 6 May 2011.

Julius Malema ratcheted up the ANC Youth League’s anti-white rhetoric a few more gear shifts. He said, among other things, that “we must take the (whites’) land without paying. Once we agree that they stole our land, we can agree they are criminals and must be treated as such.” “They” (white farmers – or perhaps whites in general?) are thieves. He said to wild cheers.

Malema continued to dish out insults to most opposition parties, calling DA leader Helen Zille a “dancing monkey” from “monkey town”. Cope, the PAC and the IFP received similar scathing commentary.

He reprimanded them for allowing “the madam to kiss your children, when you know that the
madam does not care about your children”.

Zuma then sang his “Bring Me My Machinegun” song. Then he sat smiling quietly while Malema continued his tirade.

Malema’s performance took place on a platform that was shared by the President of all South Africans, black and white alike. President Zuma has sworn an oath to uphold our constitution and “to protect and promote the rights of all South Africans”.

Malema often threatens people, especially white South Africans including those within the ANC.  He is a militant supporter of President Jacob Zuma, famously saying that he was willing to “kill for Zuma”!

Zuma has stated publicly that Malema has the potential to be a future president.

It has been reported that in a racist outburst at a public meeting in March, Malema burst into song, singing, “Shoot the boere, they are rapists.” The killing of farmers (the vast majority of whom are white, both English and Afrikaners), infers Afrikaners as a nation.

Malema sang the “Kill the Boer” song at his birthday celebrations in Polokwane, a province where six farmers were murdered in recent months. AfriForum said that it would seek an urgent high court interdict to stop Malema from singing the song.

Julius Malema’s reported comments and singing would suggest that he regards the white population as criminals and that boere should be shot!

Let us compare this with the position of Nelson Mandela after his democratic victory and his defining moment speech to the nation during a very tense and tragic blow to our early democracy

Nelson Mandela Speech to the Nation
“Tonight I am reaching out to every single South African, black and white, from the very depths of my being.

“A white man, full of prejudice and hate, came to our country and committed a deed so foul that our whole nation now teeters on the brink of disaster.

“A white woman, of Afrikaner origin, risked her life so that we may know, and bring to justice, this assassin.

“The cold-blooded murder of Chris Hani has sent shock waves throughout the country and the world. Our grief and anger is tearing us apart.

“What has happened is a national tragedy that has touched millions of people, across the political and colour divide.

“Our shared grief and legitimate anger will find expression in nationwide commemorations that coincide with the funeral service.

“Tomorrow, in many towns and villages, there will be memorial services to pay homage to one of the greatest revolutionaries this country has ever known.

“Every service will open a Memorial Book for Freedom, in which all who want peace and democracy pledge their commitment.

“Now is the time for all South Africans to stand together against those who, from any quarter, wish to destroy what Chris Hani gave his life for – the freedom of all of us.

“Now is the time for our white compatriots, from whom messages of condolence continue to pour in, to reach out with an understanding of the grievous loss to our nation, to join in the memorial services and the funeral commemorations.

“Now is the time for the police to act with sensitivity and restraint, to be real community policemen and women who serve the population as a whole. There must be no further loss of life at this tragic time.

“This is a watershed moment for all of us.

“Our decisions and actions will determine whether we use our pain, our grief and our outrage to move forward to what is the only lasting solution for our country – an elected government of the people, by the people and for the people.

“We must not let the men who worship war, and who lust after blood, precipitate actions that will plunge our country into another Angola.

“Chris Hani was a soldier. He believed in iron discipline. He carried out instructions to the letter. He practised what he preached.

“Any lack of discipline is trampling on the values that Chris Hani stood for. Those who commit such acts serve only the interests of the assassins, and desecrate his memory.

“When we, as one people, act together decisively, with discipline and determination, nothing can stop us.

“Let us honour this soldier for peace in a fitting manner. Let us rededicate ourselves to bringing about the democracy he fought for all his life; democracy that will bring real, tangible changes in the lives of the working people, the poor, the jobless, the landless.

“Chris Hani is irreplaceable in the heart of our nation and people.

“When he first returned to South Africa after three decades in exile, he said: ‘I have lived with death most of my life. I want to live in a free South Africa even if I have to lay down my life for it.’  The body of Chris Hani will lie in State at the FNB Stadium, Soweto, from 12 noon on Sunday 18 April until the start of the vigil at 6pm. The funeral service will commence at 9am on Monday, 19th April. The cortege will leave for Boksburg Cemetery, where the burial is scheduled for 1pm.

“These funeral service and rallies must be conducted with dignity.

“We will give disciplined expression to our emotions at our pickets, prayer meetings and gatherings, in our homes, our churches and our schools. We will not be provoked into any rash actions. We are a nation in mourning.

“To the youth of South Africa we have a special message: you have lost a great hero. You have repeatedly shown that your love of freedom is greater than that most precious gift, life itself. But you are the leaders of tomorrow. Your country, your people, your organisation need you to act with wisdom. A particular responsibility rests on your shoulders.

We pay tribute to all our people for the courage and restraint they have shown in the face of such extreme provocation. We are sure this same indomitable spirit will carry us through the difficult days ahead.

“Chris Hani has made the supreme sacrifice. The greatest tribute we can pay to his life`s work is to ensure we win that freedom for all our people.”

At this extremely volatile time in our history, Nelson Mandela demonstrated the qualities of statesmanship, compassion, integrity, honour and leadership that welded a fragmented people into a rainbow nation.

Does Malema’s rhetoric honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy? The question is: what lies ahead for our nation?

II Chronicles 7:14 says: “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

II Chronicles 13:5 says: “Should you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?”

A covenant of salt was a covenant made between persons pledging an unbreakable friendship. They vowed a strong friendship to each other, and as a symbol of that covenant, they ate bread and salt together. The bread symbolized the nourishment of the friendship and the salt, with its savouring capacity, emphasised the durability of the friendship.

The Christian is called the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13 says: “You are the salt of the earth:”

God will not enter into a covenant with a nation unless there is enough salt for the preservation of that nation.

Abraham came to God and begged for the salvation of Sodom. His nephew, Lot, was there, and Abraham did not want Lot and his family destroyed. He asked God that if he could find 50 righteous people, would God spare the city? God agreed to do so.
Finally, God agreed that He would save Sodom for 10 righteous people!

I trust and believe that God has an allocation for South Africa, — a proportion of righteous people who are possessed with the attributes of righteousness; a commitment of Christ in response to their faith and with the personal righteousness of a holy life! I don’t know what that quota is. In Sodom it was 10. How many in South Africa?

The way ahead for South Africa is not for preachers to leave their pulpits and become politicians. We should vote. However we should pray for our elected officials and our country.

We must continue to “go therefore and make disciples of  all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19).

God will look down from Heaven and forgive our sins and heal our land. As the Salt we would need to meet Gods requirements. Notice again the words in II Chronicles 7:14, as follows:

“If My people, which are called by My name.” We become the salt.

“Shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways.” We become the salt with savour.

“Then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” We meet God’s requirement and experience the salvation of our nation.

The answer is in building soul-winning churches over our nation. Some believe that the nation will be spared by the ruling Government. I believe that South Africa can only be spared through Divine intervention!

 




Thanks for article on e.tv porn action

From Lafras Moolman, Uitenhage

Hi Andre

I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for placing the article on ETV Porn and the national switch Off campaign  I Read the article this past weekend and also made a few comments myself on the matter.

I also immediately after reading your article sent an email of complaint to the BCCSA About this but according to them it’s ETV’s democratic right to broadcast shows like that according to our constitution in South Africa as their “freedom of expression” which is just sick if you ask me because to me, it’s just downright demeaning and disrespectful to woman.

It’s time we as Christians stand up for our values and protect our woman and children, for too long we as Christians have turned a blind eye to the moral decay in our society or sat on our little fences and said or did nothing to make ourselves heard and be salt and light, otherwise what’s our testimony worth.

Etv should be held accountable for what they broadcast as a national free to air channel and broadcast material that builds, enriches and empowers all who live in South Africa. With material that is relevant to all. Subsequently to reading your article I have also emailed a letter of complaint to etv itself needless to say, still awaiting response, also planning to send a email about this to Die Burger and the Herald believing they would publish it sometime soon

I’ve really decided to make myself heard in this matter but do you know where the real problem lies? The root cause for all our problems in society today is a general lack of mutual respect and human dignity for one another and the only way to stop this is to turn our hearts and minds back to Jesus in all we say and do.

Another thing I’d like to add is this: our woman should be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve because they are the mothers and daughters of our nation and our children are our future leaders so they have to be protected at all costs, a woman is not just a sexual object but someone to love, nuture and care for.

With that, I’ve also decided to not watch any program on ETV again.

I view Gateway News as a very reliable source of information regarding Christian News and views in the Eastern Cape.

Thanks also for your weekly insert on Kingfisher FM Sundays

Greatly appreciated

Keep up the good work

Be Blessed

 




Have you read this book?

From Sheldon Mould,Port Alfred

Dear Editor

Herewith a review of a book I was reading the other day. It’s in two parts; a collection of short stories. The first part is about the ancient societies that dwelled on earth. It talks of where animals and life came from; I wondered if any palaeontologists had read this. It talks of the first man making wrong decisions influenced by his wife; I wondered how many husbands had read this.

It talks of birthrights and blessing being sold; I wondered how many fathers read this. It talks of great men, leaders of great nations, custodians of great wealth that fell because of pride, greed and lust; I wondered if our captains of industry had seen this book. It gives us 10 basic guidelines for society to live by, and the consequences if we don’t; I wondered if the President knows about this.

It talks of great nations being disobedient to their leaders and choosing to follow corrupt men; I wondered if society had seen this. It talks of a great man choosing wisdom over all else; I wondered how many politicians have read this. It talks of people being put to death for committing adultery; I wondered if the lawyers had read this.

The second part talks of a man who went around spreading good news. He could have been a politician but his message was totally opposed to what society teaches us. He speaks about not storing up wealth on earth; I wondered how many greedy business men had read this.

He spoke of forgiveness,loving your neighbour; I thought: how many church members have read this? He spoke of feeding the widows and taking care of the poor; I wondered if those people in the billion dollar chapel at the end of the street had read this. He spoke of the greatest weapon of all, love; I wondered if the different race groups in our church have seen this .

He talks of a love so great that a man, a only child, died for a bunch of strangers; I don’t think many lost souls have seen this. He speaks of things that are happening on earth, warning signs, of the end times; I wondered if the pastor had read this. He spoke of a place were our friends and family can spend eternal damnation if they don’t make the right choice; I wondered how many Christians BELIEVE this.

Lastly He speaks of a place were we can spend eternity in His presence, I have read it, I believe it.




Test your spiritual mettle at the Karoo Mighty Men Conference!

From Charlie Parsons, Port Alfred

Dear Editor

It was good to experience the buzz in Port Elizabeth over the past week-end and  “hats off” to the organisers of the Iron Kids event on Saturday (However the time of 1 o’ clock  seemed to take its toll of these young matadors….) the atmosphere amongst the spectators was also an encouragement to me to see that “race, political parties etc” had no place in the day and all cheered  and encouraged all our young folk on.

Sunday was followed by the upgrade and main event the Iron Man competition which took off at great pace at the early hours of the morning, supported by thousands of onlookers & supporters, again with no concern over politics or race, etc. People all encouraging  all the athletes.

On observing all of these events made me wonder why these men/ women would compete in such a strenuous competition? The conclusion I came to was the following: man competing against another man  to measure up how good she or her is and testing the durability of man against himself. This competition unfortunately only affords one winner the prize for all the months of preparation coming to and end with many aches and pains. Then the other observation and reason for competing is to prove to each indivual how  he /she can complet against himself.

These men and women need to be congratulated for not only proving to themselves  “where they fit in as it were in the rungs of achievement” but also these athletes have brought so many people of different colour together like no political party can achieve. They(the athletes) and the organisors  are to be congratulated for their part of bringing the “nation” together. But this Iron Man competition only demonstrates the physical condition of the athlete who has put so much effort in  proving to himself and his fellow man his level of completeness.

There is another fact that does worry me however, and this is that man is not only a physical being but also a spiritual being and I wonder how many of us, including the athletes that competed in Iron Man have “checked” their spiritual worth?  How many of these men are leaders and “heads” of their homes (at what cost to the families  with husbands , fathers..putting in hours and months of preparation ,…perhaps separation from “family” with all the hours of training?).

How many are spiritual husbands, spiritual fathers, spiritual friends, spiritual sons? For you see no matter how physically fit we may be, without being a spiritual leader as well  the physical fitness is of no worth and soes not last.

To measure up to this  spiritual  level one needs to go to another event; something like Karoo Mighty Men Conference in Middelburg on the 29th April/1st May  where Angus Buchan will challenge each one of the men to measure and evaluate themselves and evaluate their own position on the rung of manhood. Should this be achieved , and men can commit themselves to spiritual evaluation, then our families will be more complete — lead by real men, real fathers, real son, real husbands.

South Africa as a country has been truly blessed by God for giving us men like Nelson Mandela (What a man).  I shudder to think what would have become of our country had Nelson Mandela not have had a “spirit of forgiveness”. Then God has blessed South Africa with another spiritual leader in Angus Buchan, who has over the past few years brought thousands of men on their knees in repentance of where we stand as fathers, husbands, sons and friends. Last year Computicket(estimated) 600,000/700,000 men got together at the conference on Shalom, Angus Buchan’s farm. Unless you were there you would not believe it: eight Ellis Parks full of men together for one purpose — to make right with God  for where we fit in in our families as real men.

Ladies, if you want better husbands; children if you want better fathers; parents if you want better sons; I challenge you to send them to the Middelburg Mighty Men Conference on the 29th April/ 1st May, where Angus Buchan will again be challenging US

If we bow the knee to our King Jesus, what a mighty this could be.There are 120 of us from Ndlambe going to the conference. How about you in the Eastern Province?

The website www.karoommc.co.za is full of information.

I would also once again like to congratulate all who were involved in the Iron Man.

With pride and honour I can claim I am for the Eastern Province.

 




God @ Work in East London

From Malcolm Bailes, area manager for Maizey Plastics, Eastern Cape

Dear Editor

Please read below what God is doing in East London with the branch manager, who recently gave her life to the Lord and her Christian co-worker. The father of a customer wrote this letter to the managing director of the company in Johannesburg:

To Mr Maizey,
I have a child Dean that was born with brain damage 22 years ago. He is placed in an age group at the moments of about a twelve year old. He has had a hard time in life but as I have always maintained he loves life and the friendly people around him.

He has always loved cars but due to his problems, he has found it hard to function in this field. (He can’t read and write) About a year ago I bought him a small “Roland Vinyl Cutter”. I linked it up to my computer and left him to play around. He has made headway and I have assisted him and he has managed to make small stickers for the car dealers in our area. He is also so excited when he comes home and he has got a small job to do.

A few months ago after buying the machine I met with Annemarie and Brendon at the East London branch. I was shown the different products and thought this will be the ideal place for my son Dean to go to. The people are so friendly and very helpful.

I showed Dean where the shop was but did not think he would ever try and go down and buy any vinyl himself. Little did I know that he went with a friend to get vinyl whilst I was out of town one day. I don’t get a chance to go to the shop any more as he will find ways and means of getting to your branch.

Annemarie and Brendon have really made a change to my sons life. He can’t stop talking about them and how they help him when he is there.

Mr Maizey I think that you have a fantastic business and you have wonderful staff who care about their customers. In the past I have seen how Dean has been pushed aside because of his problems but at Maizey’s in East London this has been different. He is welcomed at the shop and is always treated in the best manner. I congratulate you on having such excellent staff members namely Brendon Janse Van Rensburg and Annemarie Gardner.

Thank you again for making a change and bringing happiness to my child.