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HomeOpinionAfrika MhlopheLatest Christian uproar highlights our ‘dualism’ — Afrika Mhlophe

Latest Christian uproar highlights our ‘dualism’ — Afrika Mhlophe

 

South Africa’s 2019 National elections are done and dusted and the results tell an interesting tale. As to be expected, the ANC took the lion’s share of the vote and will continue to govern for the next five years.

What stands out for me is something that took place immediately after the elections. Merely four days later the Sunday Times led with a story with the title Grade 4s to learn about masturbation in new life orientation curriculum. This is part of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curriculum that treats masturbation, sexual consent, gender nonconformity and single-parent families as mainstream.

Christians are in uproar even as the Department of Basic Education issued a statement to distance itself from the newspaper’s version of the proposed curriculum.

Is this a precursor of things to come? Well, prior to elections many believers were crying foul about threats to religious freedoms. They bemoaned the militant stance taken by the CRL Commission and its threat to regulate religion.

Concerns also exist that the Children’s Act Amendment Bill — currently before parliament – could end adoptions by 2021. This in a country with over three million orphans.

The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill is another piece of legislation that will restrict Christian beliefs. This bill has a broad definition of what constitutes hates speech and this definition will likely include long-standing Christian tenets, like our position on marriage, human sexuality, etc.

And just last year, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs adopted the Civil Union Amendment Bill which aims to repeal legislation allowing for conscientious objection to solemnising a civil union between people of the same sex.

The country’s legislators are clearly in pursuit of policies and values that are antithetical to Christian values. And yet, in every election, they are assured of a huge mandate and endorsement from the country’s Christian majority.

It is a situation that defies logic and can only be explained by the word “dualism”. Many Christians have a faith that is preeminent only between elections because, come election time, this faith is subordinated to social conditions. They vote for their “persecutors” and then turn around and complain about persecution.

They are trapped in a disconnect between the electoral choice and the resultant consequences. It is an absurdity that is responsible for the deaths of millions of unborn children since the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1996 became law.

The rest of our voters are no different. They elect leaders and then complain of malfeasance from the same leaders. In various commissions some of these leaders have been exposed as corrupt and responsible for the abuse of state power.

As South Africans we have almost adopted an attitude of being masters of our fate.

Trust in democratic instruments and institutions has almost replaced trust in God. We vote for a party because it promises a “better life”. Some promise improved security and infrastructure while others undertake to care for us from the “cradle to the grave”.

I am not sure where trust in God fits in the equation. And bear in mind that some of these promises are built on a bad and faulty foundation. A foundation of ethnic rivalry, violence, intimidation. cultural fascism, etc.

Take a contentious issue such as land. South Africans are discussing this issue as if God — the real owner — does not exist. Divine principles of stewardship are ignored in favour of ownership.

And yet Christians are expected to rise above personal and ethnic interests. They are supposed to be more concerned with the advancement of God’s kingdom.

The freedom to believe and preach the Gospel should rate higher than access to material benefits. Otherwise, we are doomed to a life of legal and social restrictions of which prayer and petitions would not free us.

 
 

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19 Comments

  1. Rona van Niekerk says:

    Hear Hear! And it isn’t as if we don’t have a Christian party to vote for.

  2. Sonia Odendaal says:

    Yes, very well said Mr Mhlope! It boggles the mind that any true Christian could vote for a party other than a party that stands for Biblical values. It is not only a question of dualism though, it means that we do not have a Christian majority as is loosely quoted by many.

  3. Well written Afrika. Very good piece. It is dualism on the part of the church going bunch all over the country. It is also a reality check for all of us. Perhaps the results of the last elections reveal the true statistics in terms of the population of true Christians in the country. We say 80% or the official record says so. It may be that in heaven only 5% of the country is registered as believers in Christ. We have to go back to the basics on evangelism and discipleship

  4. Barbara Wayman says:

    depressing to say the least – but maybe our ‘error’ as believers/disciples lies in the fact that we are hoping to install a Christian government in a secular world – I was just thinking about the the biblical precedents in the OT : the Israelites did not convert or even try to change Egypt, Babylon, the pagans in the Promised Land, nor even did Jesus try to change the Roman system. Maybe, just maybe, we should occupy ourselves with preaching the Gospel and making disciples and leave it to Jesus at His second coming to institute the theocracy we are all longing and praying for ?

  5. Desiree Louis says:

    Very well said Mr Mlophe. Completely agreed. It appears that most Christians are double-minded, and clueless about what it means to “occupy the land”. Barbara Wayman, ironically your response is the exact dualism that Afrika is referring to. Just focusing on evangelism means that we are so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. We can only be salt and light if we occupy and “disciple” all spheres of influence where salt and light are required. That included politics. By the way, the word “politics” originally means to be concerned or involved in the affairs of the town or city. Surely God wants us to be involved – to add value and make a difference.

    • Venessa says:

      I love your comment and agree with it somewhat the only thing I would say though is that we as Christians CANNOT afford to be complacent in affecting the “systems” of the World we have a major role to play!

  6. David Hall says:

    Brilliant article written! Makes me wonder about the reality of the supposed 80% or so Christian population of SA. Do we need to man-up to our Christian values over our fears/traditions? – or do we need to ‘market’ our Christian values better to a secular church?
    I had hopes that we would see a lot better than the 235 000 odd votes in favour of specific Christian/church based parties. (excluding FF+ <415 000 who claim Christian leaning?) Or maybe we are being sold down the river by a hugely corrupt system of mis-allocated votes due to a lack of committed oversight by a gullible church not wanting to get involved in politics or a non-voting church?
    We have only ourselves to blame if we are silenced in speaking out on moral issues that offend some. This silent majority called the Church have slept-in a little longer, I'm afraid. Another 5 years HARD work ahead for Kenneth, Steve & new members on the team, hopefully ably assisted by some of the other new comers.

  7. Janet Martens says:

    Well said.

  8. Hugh G Wetmore says:

    Afrika has analysed well, and shamed the ‘average’ Christian. Thank you!

    Yes, it is true that a census cannot decide the % of Christians in a country. “God knows those who are his. Let all who call themselves Christian must turn away from evil” (2 Tim.2:19). That’s our responsibility.Then, as salt that is still salty, we can influence society, as Jesus calls us to do (Matt 5:13). That is the calling of the ACDP – think of the influence which Daniel, one lonely but godly politician, had in a heathen government.

    Of all contemporary nations, South Africa should be the first to realise that so called “Christian Governments” are not the answer. Israel had every political advantage, but most of the time failed as a government. Christianity prospers best in a hostile political context.

  9. G. Jansingh says:

    A few of the 1.5 mio that attended last year’s prayer meeting voted for Ff+ and ACDP, but the rest put their trust in man; completely opposing Psalm 118:8. Christians repent and stop finding excuses for this dualism.

  10. bryan innes says:

    Very well said PS. MHLOPHE. I agree with YOU one hundred percent. i have seen the body of Christ in South Africa become more and more ignored by society in general. It seems we have moved to Sunday Christians who are very little different from non believers during the week.Who is to blame ? Is it not leadership right across the Body of Christ. What then is the answer, and how can the church rise up to be all that she is meant to be.? By the way this seems to be the situation in the Western Church generally.
    I would encourage all parents to subscribe to the FAMILY POLICY INSTITUTE free newsletter. and find out the truth of the ANC’S anti family agenda. South Africa is the only country in Africa which leads and pushes for a different agenda to traditional family values.

  11. Kholeka Dyakala says:

    Very well said Ps Afrika! Exactly the discussion we had about two weeks ago.

  12. Alex Wood says:

    Yep!…very well said Mr Mphlope and also some of the comments. We as Christians need to firstly love our God and our neighbour as ourselves and then to be brave & honest when God tells us to spread the truth of His word which is a lot more often than we care to admit!