Church leaders, lawyers meeting to defend religious freedom

Andrew Selley, Senior Pastor of Joshua Generation Church, Cape Town.6,2m Christians standing against State interference — Selley

Senior Christian leaders and Christian attorneys are meeting in Pretoria tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss the Church’s response to growing attacks on its beliefs and freedoms.

The group previously met in June and July after the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) found the Creare Christian Arts Training Centre in Bloemfontein guilty of discrimination against homosexuals for holding a Biblical view that homosexual practice is sinful.

The Christian leaders will consider legal initiatives aimed at defending religious freedom and will hear a report-back by Andrew Selley, Senior Pastor of Joshua Generation Church (JGC), Cape Town about their meeting with (SAHRC) Western Cape Senior Legal Officer, Tammy Carter, last week.

“The meeting [with the SAHRC] went well,” said Selley in an interview today.

He said the SAHRC is aware of the “uproar in the Church in South Africa” over its decision to investigate a complaint about JGC teaching on corporal punishment and the commission’s apparent assumption that the church is guilty of a human rights violation.

Over the past two weeks, churches representing 6,2 million Christians have rallied to JGC’s call to stand together to defend the Church’s right to freely teach what it believes the Bible says, said Selley. The SA Muslim community has also agreed to oppose state interference in religious freedom.

Selley said farmer evangelist Angus Buchan called him this week to express solidarity with the united Church defence of freedom of belief. He said Buchan plans to raise the issue with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at a meeting with him on Tuesday 17.

Commenting on the JGC delegation’s meeting with the SAHRC in Cape Town last week, Selley said it appeared that their next step will be to meet with the un-named person who complained to the commission about the church’s doctrine on corporal punishment. He said the commission explained the complainant can drop his complaint but if he does not, due legal process must be followed.

He said that at their meeting the SAHRC appeared to appreciate their “olive branch” offer to help the State by providing community training and support to prevent abuse and violence against children.

Meanwhile, the Christian leaders meeting in Pretoria tomorrow are taking a proactive approach to current and potential future attacks on religious freedom. Outlining the meeting agenda, Family Policy Institute Director, Errol Naidoo, said Christian Lawyers Association Chairman, Reg Willis, and Christian attorney Teresa Conradie will introduce the proposed establishment of a legal body called the Institute for Public Justice, which will take on the challenge of defending the church against various challenges. And in another presentation, Professor Pieter Coertzen of Stellenbosch University and co-architect of the “Charter for Religious Rights & Freedoms.” will explain how it will protect religious freedoms, how churches can adopt it as part of their constitutions and what must be done to get it adopted into SA law.

The SAHRC have in the interim launched another investigation that bodes ill for religious freedom: this time they are investigating alleged ‘homophobia and pro-Christian bias’ by South African adoption agencies.

Selley said JGC is still trying to rally more leaders to stand with them for religious freedom. They hope to create a huge database of the Church in SA, which they can contact about other challenges by the State  and so present a united Christian front on matters. Churches are asked to send messages of support to redflag@joshgen.org.za.

19 Comments

  1. As a Christian whilst we witness the warfare against Christendom,this is nothing new!Amen.What this initiative is sprinkled with liberal theology & with drippings of rationalism disguised as Christianity.Amen.We must also pray & trust God to intervene,Amen

  2. Pingback: Churches persecuted for teaching the Bible, in South Africa? | Christian Clothing South Africa - In the Gap Clothing

  3. The bible was written 2,000 years ago by a bunch of goat herders in the age before science. Get with the times Luddites.

    • Jan, be careful. Just like the prophets said approx 2700 years ago, the Saviour lived and died exactly as prophesied. 95% of bible prophecies has already been fulfilled. Check it out for yourself. What are the chances that the other 5% will not be fulfilled? One question for you Jan, what did anyone of us do to exist? Touch yourself and realise that you had nothing to do with the fact that you exist. I’m sure it’s safe to assume we’re created beings. Should be a simple thing to have faith in a Creator that created such a marvellous being like yourself.

    • Don’t feed the trolls people 🙂

    • 2000 years? Goatherds? The Bible has a history of double that time and largely written by people in leadership, kings; farmers, fishermen and priests too – mostly educated men.
      But Jan, you are clearly not a Christian so why do you bother to make stupid remarks on a Christian website?

  4. Pingback: Why the Spanking Drama is Now Making me Nervous « Ryan Peter. Writer.

  5. Christians! Please do not treat it lightly! In South Africa we are fast approaching the fabled “Frog in the pot of cold water on the hot stove” situation and before we know it it will be illegal to practice biblical Christianity. This is a serious matter! Just a tiny bit of research on the internet will show you how the rights of Christians to practice their beliefs have been eroded in the USA. In that country, Christian beliefs are fast being labled hateful, discriminatory and unconstitutional. The situation in the UK is not much better and in Germany a couple’s children have been taken away from them for daring to home school them according to Christian rather that state principles.
    Check out the Manhattan project website and the LifeSiteNews.com website and then shudder to think that this could happen in our once proudly Christian land.

    • Hey Mike,

      When exactly was South Africa a “Christian” land?

      • Hi Ryan,
        The subject is far too serious for facetiousness, But anyway: When I was young the majority of South Africans were Christians (or, at least, church goers). I guess that that dates me but people of my generation actually believed in God and largely acted accordingly. (And please don’t throw the Nats at me, their ideology was a that of a minority who were followed by many out of insecurity.)
        Ryan my friend, you might think that it is cool to make snide remarks but, if you are a Christian please realise how far the world has fallen…

        • Thanks Mike, not being snide, but simply saying: I can’t think of any time that SA (or any country) has ever been a “Christian” land.

          It might make more sense to qualify what you mean – do you mean that the nation had Christian laws? Well, it certainly didn’t.

          If you mean that most people were Christians in the 70’s / 60’s (80’s?) etc. then perhaps, but it seems to me that the majority of people were not Christians, they were church-goers who were just fitting in with the culture but didn’t have much of a relationship with Jesus at all. I knew plenty of “Christians” at school who lived like they want but simply called themselves that because, while, they weren’t Muslim or Hindu (or, in many cases, they were white.)

          (Not throwing the Nats at you, but churches that taught apartheid doctrine were quite full at the time, I believe.)

          • Some grammar corrections there –

            “I knew plenty of “Christians” at school who lived like they wanted but simply called themselves that because, well, they weren’t Muslim or Hindu (or, in many cases, they weren’t black or indian.)

    • I am afraid it has been impossible to practice biblical Christianity since slavery was abolished in the century before last. It is also really hard to find affordable clothing made out of unmixed fiber types. Public transport is also a no-no as it is impossible to ascertain whether or not a menstruating woman has sat on your seat within the recent past.
      It is however possible (and indeed preferable) to practice the sort of non-biblical Christianity that ignores these old laws. Adding persecuting homosexuals and spanking to these other commonly unfollowed laws does not make modern Christianity significantly less biblical.

  6. Church & State have been at loggerheads for centuries. Does this mean that we have to back-off!? Not on your life! It is our right to speak up. I have used “spanking” correctively, not destructively, as a disciplinary measure when necessary. Explanations were the order of the day. Our children normal in every way. I support JGC.

  7. Continue to “Fight the good fight of the faith” people of God. The critics won’t go away, just as God will never go away and His statutes and principles will never change.”Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.”

  8. If I understand Jan correctly, science is something relatively new and goat herders are to be ridiculed? It is this kind of logic that we should adopt instead of a “Book” of moral values and relevant teachings? Jan, you are unique, you did not happen by accident, science has always been around and God is the greatest scientist of them all. Please tell me that you are not unique, your soul is not awesome and that when you die the lights just go out and everything is in life is therefore a waste of time. Please tell me too that because of this, you are not afraid of death. If you tell me all of this, I will not believe you. Never. I am prepared to die for the belief that you are special because you were lovingly created. If that in the world’s view makes me a hater and an abuser, then so be it. Blessings boet.

  9. Oh I praise God that the church in SA is NOT ASLEEP!!!!!!!!!!

  10. six of the best worked for me.Why change what works.

  11. I want to know about history of African religion and Christian