HomeNewsSouth Africa‘Militant atheist groups using SAHRC to attack church’

‘Militant atheist groups using SAHRC to attack church’

 
Atheist groups are campaigning to limit the church's freedom to preach Biblical truth.

Atheist groups are campaigning to limit the church’s freedom to preach Biblical truth. (PHOTO: Sacred Outfitter)

Militant South African atheist groups that are supported by international anti-church groups are using the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to attack the Church, said Andrew Selley, Senior Pastor of Joshua Generation Church (JGC).

JGC has been under investigation by the SAHRC for the past month following a complaint by an unnamed party about the church’s Biblical teaching on corporal punishment.

“We have not had a chance to meet with our complainant yet, but we have found out that they are members of a number of ‘atheist groups’, with a deep seated hatred of the church (with a particular hatred of Joshgen),” said Selley.

“One of the Facebook groups they are very active on openly states that they are working to end religion in the world, and a number of atheist groups worldwide have pledged support of them. The wife of the complainant has openly stated on a group that they are ‘using Human Rights commissions’ to attack the church. Our feeling is now that this [the attack on JGC via the SAHRC] will be a long, ugly fight (short of a miracle) as there is a clear agenda, and international anti church support behind the complainants.”

Submitted legal response
Selley confirmed that the church’s lawyer submitted their legal response to the SAHRC Senior Attorney, Tammy Carter, on Tuesday (September 17), the deadline specified by the commission.

“Amazingly he [the JGC lawyer] had an opportunity to pray for her [Carter] and she was deeply moved,” said Selley.

At a recent meeting between Carter and JGC representatives, the church offered to help the State by providing community training and support to prevent abuse and violence against children. At the meeting Carter explained that the legal process arising from the complaint against the church would have to continue unless the complainant dropped the matter. A meeting between the complainant and JGC was proposed.

Selley said that at a meeting of lawyers, attorneys and Christian leaders in Pretoria last week there was consensus that religious freedom is under major onslaught in South Africa with a number of new SAHRC cases being opened against churches by various anti-church groups. The meeting was the third convened by the group since June amidst concerns about increasing attacks on the church’s beliefs and freedoms.

“We were concerned to find GLBT correspondence going out to groups across SA planning multiple legal attacks upon churches, promising to take up the cause of those offended by churches/ Christians — with promises of legal and financial backing from overseas. Our concern is that over the next few months there will be multiple court cases opened up against the SA church from these lobby groups.

Need for united stand
“The feeling amongst us was that we need to stand united and work together to turn the tide.”

He said that the group of Christian lawyers and church leaders have formed a new Christian legal entity [Institute for Public Justice] that will work to defend the church in SA. The group will educate the church about the religious freedom threats it faces and about how to respond to various threats and attacks.

“The group also hopes to work to create new jurisprudence in SA that will benefit the church and will begin to fight in the legal courts of SA to defend the church. Another major drive out of our time together will be to get as many churches as possible in SA to sign the “Freedom Charter” [Charter for Religious Rights and Freedoms], a document that has been drawn that we believe will help churches defend themselves and the freedom of religion in SA.We encourage all leaders to get a copy of the “Freedom Charter” and sign it into their official documents.”

Selley urged the church in SA to rally together to defend their religious freedom. He said JGC has managed to get the support of Christian leaders representing more that 8.6 million Christians in SA. He urged Christian leaders who haven’t done so yet to send messages of support to redflag@joshgen.org.za.

“We are trying to build a database of the church in SA so that we can work together, informing the whole church about what is happening and where we need to rally to defend our religious freedom,” he said.

Referring to a “damaging” article “with a strong bias against us [JGC]” in the Sunday Times of September 15, Selley expressed concern that the report may have damaged his church’s credibility and the cause of the need for Christian unity in the face of mounting attacks by enemies of the church.

Media bias
“In spite of the information we made available, the [Sunday Times] article carried multiple inaccuracies, misrepresenting what we said about our parenting manual and making us sound almost cultish. The article also stated that it was our (misrepresented) specific teaching on spanking that was the issue, rather than what the HRC letter stated — that any form of spanking is considered abuse by the SAHRC.

“We don’t want the SA church to be confused by this — the issue at hand is the doctrine of spanking, not our specific teaching on this (according to our correspondence we have received thus far). More importantly we must not forget that we have united as Christians to stop the State defining what the Bible teaches and trying to demand the church follows its beliefs in right and wrong, rather than God’s- clearly stated in the Bible. It is imperative that we stand united & rally the wider body in this moment.”

The Sunday Times article reports that the complaint to the SAHRC against JGC was made by Adriaan and Hannah Mostert.

The article quotes Adriaan Mostert as saying: “The complaint is about the [JGC parenting manual] teaching guide that tells new parents it’s OK, under a circumstance, to hit a child with a rod, which inflicts pain and hurt.” 

Hannah Mostert is quoted by the Sunday Times as saying she was “shocked and disconcerted” by the manual , which she says states that besides being used to discipline children, a rod could be used as a training tool, and that  spanking “must cause some pain” otherwise it was useless.

In a letter to Christian leaders after the SAHRC investigation began, Selley shares some extracts from the manual that discuss the context for corporal punishment, urging balance, love, calmness and the avoidance of harshness.

 
 

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO MAKE/VIEW COMMENTS


ADVERTISEMENTS:
Party Stuff
Accommodation Directory
Puppy Classes



COMMENTING GUIDELINES:

You are welcome to make comments that add value to the article above and to engage in thoughtful, constructive discussion with fellow readers. Comments that contain vulgar language will be removed. Hostile, demeaning, disrespectful, propagandistic comments may also be moved. This is a Christian website and if you wish to vent against Christian beliefs you have probably come to the wrong place and your comments may be removed. Ongoing debates and repetitiveness will not be tolerated.
 

55 Comments

  1. Stef Davi says:

    if ever a Prophetic Voice from the Church was needed …. It Is now ! Evil prevails when good Men do nothing. Upholding our True Spiritual Leaders Arms up In Prayer as they Prepare the straight paths. JESUS is our Standard and Pray that Our Rock of offence and stumbling block will continue to draw many unto Himself as He is lifted up in Truth.

  2. Seriously? These people think that spreading hate is “religious freedom”? Is hate their religion? Sorry to burst your whiny little bubble folks, but militant Christians are the ones doing 90% or more of the persecuting. Cry me a river and call a whaaaaaaambulance.

    While the rational mind would be questioning WHY anyone would have to resort to the SA Human Rights Commission in addressing something done or being done by “the church” these people try to make it look as if people are simply haters and picking on them for no reason whatsoever, or possibly even daring to criticize or challenge their ACTUAL domination of present day society and their use of this power and influence to attack others in the name of the same religious freedom they deny other people.

    • Hansie Louw says:

      Militant christians is an oxymoron and the opinion expressed is not factual. I support the call for christians to unite here. If some would see this is militant, then so be it … although it is joke seeing this as militant.

    • Debbie says:

      Christene, I think you are using this forum to spread your own agenda and to bait us into an argument that actually detracts from our goal of uniting as the church of God. It is clear from your blog that you do not love the church or the word of God. So I really do not think we need to engage you except to tell you that God loves you and that if you come to know Him you will know that our message is not one of hate but one of love.
      “To give truth to him who loves it not is but to give him more plentiful material for misinterpretation.”
      George MacDonald

      • I’m not interested in arguing facts Debbie. The irony is that a few individual Christians seem to get the idea that theirs is a religion of love and peace and a loving god… when those who have taken the trouble to investigate the history of Christianity and the “Christian church” (and the PRESENT acts of Christians), discover how much innocent blood has been shed by Christians in the name of this alleged religion of peace and love, and alleged loving god.

        While I respect your right to believe whatever fairy tales you like, I see this as a complete paradox.

        “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians – they are so unlike your Christ” – Mahatma Ghandi. A very smart man, shot to death, sad story.

        • Ryan Peter says:

          Hi Christina. You’re doing the age-old mistake of confusing religion and politics. Ghandi also got that wrong. So has a large part of the church. But despite that, it still leaves you with no excuse.

          Christian history is actually predominated by examples of churches and individuals bringing love and grace and peace etc. etc. The ‘bloodshed’ has been about politics and whenever religion and politics mix, you will get a bloody mess, it doesn’t matter what religion it is.

          This is why it makes no sense for Christians to legislate their morality over others – but, equally, the same goes for ALL religions – including pagan religion or any ‘inclusive’ religion (which doesn’t really exist). And including secularism.

          And including activists such as yourself. This is why the LGBT movement is guilty (and is going to be very guilty in a few decades) of all the things it accused others of doing – it is ensuring its morality is legislated and forced upon others who don’t agree. It’s a typical case of when the victims gain the power they use that power against new victims. If you’ve really taken anything from history, you should have taken that.

          You’re fighting the wrong battle Christina. In the end, you will become the very monster you claim to hate.

          • Ryan, first of all you are the one who is confused. Secularism is NOT a religion – it is an ABSENCE of religion.

            Secondly, Christian fanatics pressuring others to conform to their own religious values by means of political processes which are actually designed to protect ALL people from persecution and oppression is an abuse of such democratic systems. As usual the Christian fundamentalists are playing “victim-victim” while making the real victims of their prejudice look like the bad guy.

            To answer your other point about morality, Christians have very little room to talk if you consider the amount of suffering (and death) they as a group have caused to those they accused of being “immoral” primarily because they did not toe the line and convert to Christianity or because they did not live up to Christian views on what is or isn’t “moral”. Morality is NOT dependent upon religion. Anyone can be moral, and anyone can be amoral, regardless of what pretty little pendants they wear around their necks.

            You speak about morality being legislated and forced upon others who don’t agree – well there are laws around the world that allow people to destroy the lives of people like me when it comes from a religious corner and yet when people work to defend the rights of people like me, then it becomes some kind of insidious “agenda” or “movement”.

            If you are trying to suggest that laws allowing people to persecute others and ruin their lives are somehow justifiable, morally defensible and preferable to laws that prevent this, I suggest you need to find a new moral compass – yours has lost North completely. You see Ryan, the one option prevents harm, the other enables it.

            LGBT people are not a movement, they are people being persecuted worldwide by Christians primarily, but also by Muslims. This is politics IN THE HANDS of religion.

            Trying to shift the blame by calling acts of religious zealotry and hate in the name of your religion “politics” and “not religion” are nothing less than a cop-out and a feeble excuse.

          • Ryan Peter says:

            Unfortunately, the nested comments don’t allow me to reply directly to your reply.
            I’m using “religion” as a way of explaining a system of belief, and secularism is a system of belief.
            It seems to me you’re unwilling to view things more objectively. Also, don’t get surprised when people get defensive as your tone is very aggressive. That’s not them persecuting you, that’s just them being normal human beings.
            Once again, two wrongs don’t make a right – if you persist in calling Christian’s names because they call you names, you’re doing nothing but indulging in playground antics. Which is why I’m saying to you – you will become the very monster you hate. Have you ever seen that documentary on racism where they told the children that blue-eyed kids aren’t as good as brown-eyed kids, and saw how the kids treated each other, and then flipped it around the next day and you see how vindictive the previous victims were to those that oppressed them before? There’s a lesson to be learned there and I’m asking you: Please think carefully about that. That’s all. Hope you have a great evening.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    “…making us sound almost cultish”.
    Hmmm… does the following sound familiar to anyone?

    “The difference between a Cult and Church
    Reformed Church in America
    https://www.rca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=8223

    Questions of Faith
    What is the difference between the church and a cult?
    The tragic death of thirty-nine people in California a few months ago reminded us of Jim Jones and Guyana–and the fact that the Christian faith is often liberally sprinkled into the life of cults.
    In the early days of the church we were often understood as a cult. Judaism saw us as the cult that followed Jesus as the Messiah. The Roman Empire took note of Christians as those who refused to bow before the emperor or serve in its army. Rumors swirled through the kingdom that the Christian cult practiced cannibalism when folks heard that we “ate flesh and drank blood.” The agape or love feasts became the source of rumors that we committed incest as “brothers and sisters” gathered at orgies rather than meals. We know that faithful people were seen as fanatics who were made the sport of lions in the Romans games. What is the difference between a cult and the church?
    On Easter evening the disciples gathered behind locked doors for fear that what had happened to Jesus would happen to them. The absence of Thomas may reveal that he was more courageous, or more oblivious to danger, than the rest.
    NB. After the risen Christ had left their gathering, the ten disciples found Thomas and shared the shocking, joyful news. He didn’t believe them. But in spite of his disbelief, his questions, his doubts and challenges, he was with the disciples the following week when Jesus returned.
    The relationship of a doubting Thomas to the community of faith reveals an important distinction between a cult and the church. Thomas has no place in a cult. He is not invited back and his doubts and questions finally exclude him from the group. From the earliest days, Thomas was accepted by the other disciples as part of the community. With a mixture of doubt and faith, with the cry of the father who sought healing for his daughter as his creed–“I believe, help my unbelief”–Thomas was not locked out of the church.
    The church becomes a cult when it turns inward, when it isolates itself, when it presumes to know all of the answers without even hearing all the questions. The church becomes a cult when we manipulate people instead of care for them. The church becomes a cult when we send our Thomases away and sit in locked rooms, a rigid and closed society, self-serving and self-satisfied”.

    End of quote. Measure JGC to the above then you will know whether you are a cult or not…

  4. Carla De Bouchet says:

    It is very rich for Christians to be moaning about “religious freedom” when they deny and undermine the religious freedom of others like Wiccans, Atheists, Budhists and Muslims and the list goes on. It comes as no surprise the absolute arrogance shown by the Christian Church that it is untouchable and doesn’t hold itself accountable for it’s absurd doctrines and beliefs. Seems like Christianity is still under the impression that it still enjoys the benefits of being the cornerstone belief system of Colonialism, imperialism, white supremacy, religious supremacy and general white oppression which it has enjoyed for hundreds if not thousands of years. In all of it’s convenient fragments has Christianity along with it’s followers ever taken collective responsibility for the atrocities it has committed against innocent people over thousands of years all in the name of a bloodthirsty God? The True God is not bound to such hypocrisy. It is the hypocrisy, self-serving attitudes and sanctimonious actions of many Christians in South Africa that is driving especially the youth to atheism. Your problem is far bigger than a legal one.

  5. Observer says:

    Christina Engela is a hardline LGBT activist and very anti Biblical Christianity. There is so much prejudiced and misinformed anti-Christian propaganda spewed by her ilk here. Such people talk about tolerance but manifest none – all they “tolerate” is their own viewpoint. Tolerance means agreeing to disagree, to live and let live. It does not mean forcing someone else to capitulate or compromise.

    • Dear “Observer”, I am a human rights activist. I campaign for the human rights of LGBT people and also for freedom of religion – for ALL religions. I’m sure there is also something there that you would find to call me “hardline” about. I doubt you will ever find a place where you will find me campaigning for the murder of millions of people based upon my own religious views – or against the people I oppose. I wonder if you can say the same of your “ilk”, considering the facts of the situations in Uganda and Russia, where “the Church” has done so much to destroy people’s lives based upon ChristianIST intolerance and hate of LGBT people, and then come and claim that I am simply “prejudiced” and “misinformed”. http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/slouching-toward-kampala

      By your own words you demonstrate your intolerance – “Tolerance means agreeing to disagree, to live and let live. It does not mean forcing someone else to capitulate or compromise.” – and yet for centuries LGBT people have been forced to live in the shadows, to hide in fear of people who believe as you do. What is that if not capitulation and compromise?

      People will always resist oppression – and when they do it is very childish to whine about the worm turning, the horse bucking, and the underdog biting the sweet bits. After all, you should have expected it. It is human nature to fight injustice and to right wrongs. A system isn’t “right” simply because it has been in place for a thousand years. Hate is never right, no matter how you try to wrap it up in “Christian love” and pretty bows. Killing people or destroying their lives because of their beliefs is never defensible, no matter what book you read or which god you pray to.

  6. Patrick Rish says:

    Quite frankly, this has become a circus, and Andrew Selley is sounding more and more like President Obama trying to rally and unite a very divided USA congress to back his ‘red line’. Yes, the similarities are frightening – “we are under attack”.
    I’d be excited about church unity at last, but quite honestly, I was hoping it would be over much more than the ‘doctrine of spanking’. If I’m going to be martyred, I’d rather it was because I was doing the works of Jesus like healing the sick, forgiving sinners, destroying the lie that God is angry with us, and restoring the lost to the Father’s love.
    While disciplining one’s children in a Biblical way is not at all wrong, making a doctrine of it is religious legalistic nonsense.
    And if you have any doubt about what I’m saying, consider the fact that ‘we’ have now called upon the Muslims to support ‘our spanking doctrine’. Where’s the Godly wisdom in that ?
    Someone suggested that a Prophetic Voice was needed, but I would like to suggest that what is lacking here is real apostolic leadership. This is not the beginning or the final beach head against Christian freedom that some are proclaiming.
    Instead, this is an opportunity for Andrew Selley to do the BIBLICAL correct thing, and like Paul, to stand before and give a good account to the governing authorities. As we can see in the New Testament, a testimony can bring about the miracle required in any situation. In this case, Andrew Selley should give his testimony about the fruits of his own fathering experience, and how his own children have prospered through Biblical discipline.
    Real courage demands that that we each stand by our own convictions first, before we muster an army behind us. After all, we are not of the ‘world’ who only seem to get ‘brave’ when they can rally the masses with them.

    • Patrick, the big issue is not spanking but defending the right of the church to teach from the Bible without the State defining what that they may or may not teach. Also in fairness to Selley he made an appointment to see the commission’s attorney and offered to help the State with community training. I would not be surprised if he shared his testimony on loving, parental disciplining at the same time — he has done so on his blog. The fact that his lawyer got to pray with the commission attorney and it was well received sounds like a good testimony.

      I don’t think now is the time for churches to be criticising one another over their differences in doctrine and practice. There is an orchestrated attack on the freedom of the church that has the potential to affect all churches. It would be wise for the church to unite in dealing with the threat. I believe Dr Chris Peppler (See http://gatewaynews.co.za/book-by-sa-theologian-calls-on-church-to-refocus-on-the-person-of-the-lord-jesus-christ/) has something helpful to say to the church at this time in calling for our focus to be on the person of Jesus Christ. He says if we adopted such a focus: “Our churches will be united around the person of Jesus rather than being divided over doctrine or practice.”

      • Patrick Rish says:

        Andre, thanks for your opinion, but I prefer mine, its far more Biblical. Let’s see if Mr Selley would like to comment ?

        • Dirk says:

          Hi Patrick, just like you I also questioned why the massive outrage at something seemingly so small as the “spare the rod” principle. Recently I have come to the revelation that this is only the groundwork for a much bigger issue. If the SAHRC manages to “win” this case it will be used as a precedent in all cases in the future regarding the Church and her beliefs as stipulated in the Bible. I for one would not like to go to a church one day where they are only allowed to preach 20% of the Bible because that’s the parts that does not offend anyone. We need to fight the devil’s work, and not each other. Have an awesome day guys!!!

      • Patrick Rish says:

        Besides Andre, a couple of months ago you were vehemently defending Kamil Kiroglu’s attack on the Muslim faith. I even have a personal email from you proving this fact. Now you want us Christians to walk hand in hand with these ‘brothers’ against government intrusion. What’s next, a call to protest with the gays against government’s spying on it’s citizens ? Come on Mr Viljoen, you are just making this up as you go along !

        • Andrew says:

          Hi Patrick. I have not called for christians to walk hand in hand as fellow believers in the 1 true God. We have, however, under what we believe is The Lords guidance & through prayer felt to be as “wise as serpents”( matt10:16). As a Christian I believe the state has no right to override the autonomy of a father( even unbelieving) over his family. I also do not believe that the State has the right to legislate religion. God gives man freedom to choose his beliefs, but will judge all men 1 day on wether they chose His Son. We cannot hold hands with Muslims in saying that we both serve the true God. But we can stand in agreement as citizens in a democracy to fight the state crossing a line- we both feel they have no right too- enforcing by secular law what we can/ can’t believe.

          • Andrew says:

            Correction- sorry. Wrote this on iPhone & couldn’t edit. 1st sentence- “I have not called for christians to walk hand in hand with Muslims as fellow believers in the 1 true God…

  7. Richard says:

    Do not worry Christians, this is a minority filled with hatred and unable to examine or evaluate their actions in the light of doing good, no where does Christianity preach hatred for anybody else, Carla where in the world do Christians deny freedom of other religions or people, you are self deceived.

    • Patrick. I value Kamils warnings about the teachings and agenda of Islam but I support freedom of religion for all. Bless u. My brother.

      • Patrick Rish says:

        Actually Andre, if I remember correctly, that was my take – freedom of religion. You guys fell just short of labelling them all as potential terrorists.

  8. Victor says:

    Spanking outlawed in schools and this is what happens :

    http://ewn.co.za/2013/09/19/Pupil-suspended-for-attacking-teacher#

  9. Debbie says:

    This article is talking about uniting the church of God so that we can continue to preach the gospel (in it’s entirety to a world that is dying in it’s sin) it is not a gospel of hate, but of love, and God loves us enough not to leave us in our sin. Jesus turned my life upside down, He loved me enough not to leave me the way I was. The gospel changes lives, and if religious freedom is taken away, we will not be able to preach the gospel. I think more than ever we need to stand firm and united as a church. We need to be aware of people who try and stir up disunity by preaching a false gospel, and using divisive tactics to pit people in the church against one another. You will find that a church strengthens under external persecution, but is destroyed if the persecution comes from within. More than ever we need to pray for men like Andrew who discern the signs of the times and call us to unity. I think we need to be aware of people who come in and try and change the church from within to conform to the ways of the world. Scripture clearly warns against this (see below)

    3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (Jude1 v 3-4)

    See also:

    3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3)

    The reality is that the church is facing persecution, and we need to stand together to hold it off for a s long a possible so that the gospel can be freely preached.

  10. Cathy says:

    Human rights and freedoms actually have no basis in scripture. We’re slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness but we are NEVER promised any ‘right’ to freely practice our devotion to God without persecution.

    I can’t think of a single NT teaching where the disciples try force Gods standards on Government legislation.

    Jesus great commission was “To go and make disciples….” Why doesn’t he say “ Go enforce Gods Law on all of the world? Or wage a war on evil institutions. Jesus despite his innocence submitted to execution by the authorities.

    And whose Christian Morality do we legislate- some fellowships are convinced drinking alcohol is a sin or seeking medical attention?

  11. Vernon Tait says:

    Patrick’s comment on Apostolic leadership speaks more to the heart of the real problem then maybe even he realises. you see, modern christianity in all it’s forms and shapes no longer recognise the office of apostleship. If they had, it would contradict it’s own current structure and expose it’s evil core who’s sole purpose is to substitute a relationship with Jesus Christ with a relationship with a church/organisation or group of likeminded but deceived people.

  12. Stuart Wragg says:

    Christians must be united and put petty issues and differrence in interpretations aside in order to focus on what the real issue is. Andre is correct. The issue is our freedom to believe what our Bible tells us. It is very odd that anti Christians seem to suddwnly be reading our news letter that keeps us informed. There is definitely evidence that proves that Christian haters are attacking us. My question is two fold. Why do we find this so hard to believe when our very Bible clearly says that “we will be persecuted in His name” and secondly if we are true believers in Jesus Christ, are we not able to put our doctrinal issues aside and unite against this attack. The intolerance is clearly coming from Christian haters. Our faith is a faith of love, non judgement and tolerance. If someone purports to be a Christian but does not show this fruit, we know that such an individual is what is described in our Bible as “a wolf in sheeps clothing”. My message to all is again two fold. To the people who are against us as Christians, prove your good intentions by your good behaviour or be found to be hateful and intolerant and to my Christian brothers and sisters, prove your pure belief by your fruit of love, non judgemental and tolerance to those who are not like us. Above all to my Christian brothers and sisters, we must stand with one voice and declare our right to believe in Jesus without others dictating to us as to what and how we should believe. Lastly, I just am unable to imagine why the Christian haters do not spend their time morre appropriately on fighting against rape, peadophilia, murder, poverty, disease etc. Perhaps the answer is simple, just hard to imagine though. Blessings to all (emphasis on all) and thanks Andre again for keeping us informed.

  13. Cathy says:

    Human rights and freedoms actually have no basis in scripture. We’re slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness but we are NEVER promised any ‘right’ to freely practice our devotion to God without persecution.

    I can’t think of a single NT teaching where the disciples try force Gods standards on Government .

    Jesus great commission was “To go and make disciples….” Why doesn’t he say “Go enforce Gods Law on the entire world? Or wage a war on institutions. Jesus despite his innocence submitted to execution by the authorities. Nope – he said his house is a house of prayer not a cabinet of politicians.

    And whose Christian Morality do we legislate- some fellowships are convinced drinking alcohol is a sin or seeking medical attention?

  14. Christopher Blackwell says:

    Demonize the opposition. that is a very old practice when Christians try to attack those that disagree with them. However a study of actually Christian history might tone down those attacks with the history of violence Christians have had against anyone who has a different opinion. Note even apartheid history and you can see what happens when Christians are in control. Note despite religious freedom written into the constitution that only Christianity is taught in school. And they want you to believe that the Christians are the victims.

    • Richard says:

      Christopher, you talk with forked tongue, who is attaching who here, no one is demonizing the opposition, but Christians have a right to believe (and defend) what we believe, just like anyone else, yourself included.

      • Christopher Blackwell says:

        Richard not at all, Christians came to Africa and declared ll the native beliefs to be Satanic and stamped them out as best they could. Even Christians could be attack if they had a slightly different view and we still see this today. As I sad despite being a multi-religion country, public schools still only teach Christianity. Yes yo have a right to follow your religion but you have no right to attack any other religion or try to indoctrinate everybody else’s children no matter what religion their parents flow. So please stop this pretense that Christians are victims. There is not a single Christian majority country where this is true.

        You want to talk persecutions try being something besides Christian in a Christian majority country and see how you get treated. You will be lied about and slandered in the newspaper, in the schools, the government may try to take you children away from you, it can be used against you in child custody cases.

        No Christians can talk about being persecuted only in those countries where they are not allowed to practice their religion, where their churches are burned down, where they are arrested for being Christians and when they have to practice in secret. That certainly is not in South Africa and not likely to be.

        As the Ten Commandments say do not give false witness. You can’t even follow the religion that you claim to believe in.

        • Richard says:

          Hi Christopher

          I agree with you that Christians in South Africa have freedom to express their religion but we are talking here of a specific investigation by the SAHRC and so, in this instance it is not a pretense but a fact. Yes, Christian’s are in a majority in SA and I suppose it would also be true that I would also feel ostracised if I lived in a country with a majority of another faith. Let me explain the ten commandments as understood by most Christians, no human being has or will be able to keep them except Christ, they are stated to help mankind understand that they need a saviour. If we do not break them in actions then we would, most certainly break them in our thoughts. When a person comes to faith in Christ he retains his old personality (sinful self) and starts a relationship with Jesus, he/she begins a walk that will take the whole of their lives in learning to be a better person. Christians like everyone else sin daily, so do not look for perfection in them but look at Christ. I think we must agree to disagree as we will just be going round and round in circles and not achieving much. I wish you well as you seek to find fulfilment in your life.
          Richard

          • Christopher Blackwell says:

            We probably will agree to disagree. Thank you for realizing that. Nor would I want you to change from a religion that you feel does you good.

            I have fund a great deal of fulfillment in my life. It has bee a rough life, but I have survived and learned how to be happy in this imperfect world.

            While we may not control all the things that can and do happen to us, we do have control over how we decide to react to what happens and that is far more powerful then many might understand. Also everything that happens good and bad contain valuable lessons if we see the lessons out.

            Sometimes the problem is that we pay far too much attention to little nuisances in our life, while allowing good things to pass by without much notice. Even on the worst of days, something good happens, even if only that what we feared turned out less than we have imagined.

            We can seek out the beauty that can be found in any day, sometimes where it is least expected. We can focus on what we can do, instead of one what is no longer possible, especially important as we enter old age. If we are limited in energy we can also use more of it on the things that we find important to us.

            In my religion the relationship with deity is private. I have no need to try to convince anyone that my belief is the best or only one. Nor will I find need to interfere with anyones belief. I will however resist any attempt of any person to push their belief on me, and freedom of religion to me, means all religions including those who choose not to believe. Thus even the Atheist have a solemn right not to believe and not be demonized for not believing.

            A person not believing in religion is of not danger to my belief, nor can he affect it. Therefore he is not threat to my religion.

            I can and do practice my religion everywhere that I am. No one will ever notice it because I make no great noise, nor show of doing so.

            Ironically I believe your Jesus suggested that prayer should be in private without show or public notice, in fact in a closet.

  15. Peter Allebone says:

    Typical overreaction by the church. Open discussion is evil.

    Well I’m sorry, get used to open discussion, it’s our right and threatening us won’t help.

    Pete

  16. Martin says:

    As Christians we will have a greater victory if we are kind and merciful, rather than agressive. Through faith and prayer we can trust in God to save our country, just as He did when the Isralites were released from Babylonian captivity. Love you Jesus!

  17. Lance says:

    Its just so weirdly stupid and arrogant to use a term like “biblical teaching” rather than “my understanding of biblical teaching”… as if the former is widely agreed upon and the presumed writings of a deity would be comprehensible to mere men. I think they get themselves and their god a little swopped around sometimes. And it is a very unattractive thing.

  18. Lance says:

    Oh and ironically there is a verse that says “My thoughts are not your thoughts” but THAT verse obviously isnt as useful or expedient as the spanking verse right now. This immature church needs a good spanking! And maybe God is about to use the SAHRC to do it!

  19. Shawn says:

    What does it mean to love? repentance comes from moving forward in a right way. There are so many new teachings in how to be an example to the gifts that have been left in our care and what we choose to impart to them. Fortunately we are not taught to be parents at school or varcity but rather from the one who created fatherhood and motherhood and i not talking about the voices in my head made me do it but that we as responsible parents edify teach and equip our children in love, the same love that bought our salvation and operate in the same power that rose Christ from the dead. Sorry friends but if you have to beat your kids into submission then you have bigger problems. Personally I think that the statement has been taken out of context, but I do agree that the body of Christ needs to come together.

  20. Ryan Peter says:

    That escalated! (The comments)

  21. Rev I L Karshagen says:

    “Religious Freedom” is a cop-out cliche used by many in the world today. Fact is, Jesus Is the Way, the Truth and the Life! There is no other way. Joke about it, criticise it, but facts and truth remain so.

  22. Francois Marais says:

    Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

  23. Observer says:

    To those condemning this campaign, bear in mind that it all started with an anti-Christian complaint about Joshua Generation to the HRC. The church is defending its stance and its teachings – it is not about the church dictating to the state.
    To those criticising the stand against having the church dictated to by the state, I presume they are those who will wonder what happened when they are no longer allowed to preach the Gospel (that’s if they haven’t already compromised there). Jesus’ disciples chose to obey God rather than man, when they were forbidden to speak of Jesus and the Gospel. Those who compromise, fear man rather than God. Persecution actually purifies the church of the “pew-warmers” and compromisers, and what (if I remember correctly) Oswald Chambers called “milk-sops”.

  24. Afrika says:

    Reading some comments here can cause a person to miss what the real point is about. Are we using this article as an opportunity to bash one another? What purpose would that really serve?
    If people are suspicious of the motives of the Joshua Generation Church they should at least ascertain if indeed an internationally funded atheist organisation is operating in this country and subverting our democratic processes. If you choose to stand on the “holier than thou” side of this debate then you might find such an organisation aiming its guns on you in the future. I don’t care much about spanking but I do care about the right to propagate my religion without state interference. Clearly there are people who have an axe to grind against Christianity and perhaps they might have valid reasons. The problem for me, however, is what would happen if our government was allowed to dictate what we preach in our churches or what we teach our children.
    That to me is more important than the semantics and wordplay in some comments here. I am sorry if anyone is offended against the Christian faith but I for me will not be distracted from the task of standing for the right to practice my faith as dictated by the Scriptures.

    • Daron says:

      Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing they generate strife. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.
      In humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
      For by your words you will be justified and by your words, you will be condemned.

  25. Michael Robin Wynne says:

    I cant wait for all religion to be eradicated of the face of the planet. Religion is the most dangerous thing in the world. Go Christina, fight the good fight. Bring that stupid made up sky god down.

    • Richard says:

      I cannot wait either, only non Christians see Christianity as a religion, Christians understand that it is an individual relationship with Christ.

  26. Observer says:

    Don’t feed the trolls!

    • Michael Robin Wynne says:

      Troll ha? Fair enough. If that’s the best you’ve got. I’m actually Christiana’s friend. We see each other quite often. I happen to agree with her and because I voiced my opinion I am called a “troll”. Typical.

  27. Richard says:

    Thanks Christopher for your reply, I agree with your points of view.
    Have a great day. Richard

  28. Observer says:

    I agree that Christianity is about a personal relationship with Christ, not about being “religious” (in the works-based sense).
    By trolls I was referring to those who have ambushed or gate-crashed a Christian news website to spew hatred. One could call it the cyber-equivalent of those who invade church buildings and spray hate-filled graffiti.

  29. Observer says:

    The fact is that those who have lodged the complaint with the HRC do not really care about the welfare of children. Their motive is to attack a Christian church community where children are being raised in loving homes.
    If these complainants really cared about the welfare of children, they would be doing something about helping or facilitating help for genuine cases of child abuse – children in dysfunctional homes, subject to extreme verbal, physical and/ or sexual abuse, exposed to all sorts of negative and detrimental influences.
    This whole complaint to the HRC is a red herring and a waste of tax-payers’ money.