Representatives of Joshua Generation Church (JGC) will meet with South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) Western Cape Senior Legal Officer, Tammy Carter, at 10am tomorrow in Cape Town to discuss the SAHRC’s investigation of the church over its doctrine on corporal punishment.
Andrew Selley, Senior Pastor of JGC, and Philip van der Westhuizen, Church Administrator and Pastor, will represent JGC at the meeting requested by the church which has until September 17 to respond in writing to an SAHRC complaint about its teaching on the Biblical doctrine of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’. In a recent letter to the church Carter says the commission regards corporal punishment as ‘abuse maltreatment neglect and degradation’.
“Our hopes are that we can show the unreasonableness of what the SAHRC is attempting to do in pushing to criminalize reasonable spanking and forbidding the church to teach on the matter,” said Selley ahead of tomorrow’s meeting.
“We have managed to rally support from Christian leaders representing multiple denominations and independent churches from across SA representing approximately 4 million people in our 2 week drive. So thank you to all those who have rallied with us.
“We also have just received a message from the Muslim Judicial Council who have given their support to us and will fight with us for the protection of religious freedom in SA. Our hope is that the SAHRC will realize the impossibility of policing any laws outlawing spanking – in the light of the sheer numbers of those who cannot obey, due to religious conviction and so deflect this ‘attack’ into a proposed solution,” said Selley.
He said the church will offer to work on the State’s behalf into communities across SA, by providing training and support, thereby helping to train society away from the real causes of abuse and violence against children.
“According to our SA constitution the state should be providing training for parents in these matters, but thus far have not had the resources to do so. We hope to help become part of the solution, by offering our support in being able to provide this vital missing training to SA society at large. We all want to see the abuse of children end, and hope to become allies with the SAHRC to help remedy the real violence, while maintaining our God-given rights as parents and religious communities to train our children in the ways of our God- according to the bible.
“We ask that churches that have not yet sent their support do so, as we hope to throw our collective weight behind two other present cases in SA where the State is trying to dictate to the church what she can and can’t believe and teach, and hope that by a united front we will see God’s blessing come to the church across SA and that we can protect our precious faith- in this beautiful country.”
Christians are urged to pray for a Godly outcome to tomorrow morning’s meeting.