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Why I will be voting ACDP at this Election

 
Cheryllyn Dudley.

Cheryllyn Dudley.

By Cheryllyn Dudley — ACDP MP

See More articles in the ‘How should Christians vote?” category

I will be voting ACDP at this election! Now, that may seem obvious to you – self interest is a great motivation – I have a well paid job depending on that vote – although the reality is I have had other offers that could have trumped what I have at present – but the self interest does not stop there – I have concluded that it is in my, and my family’s best interests to do all I can to see the ACDP succeed. I am convinced that the ACDP has the best chance of producing the kind of leaders I would like to see leading South Africa and has the best chance of being a genuinely pro-people party defending our freedoms and taking seriously our responsibilities.

After the last national election I had a very serious conversation with myself on this topic, which went something like this “Lord what…are you finished with this work…have we done what we were meant to do…should this thing called ACDP just be allowed to die a quiet and as dignified as possible death – or is there something worth fighting for?” I came to the conclusion that for me – there was very definitely something worth fighting for.

Now, I have no doubt that what makes this work worth fighting for in my eyes, may be different to what makes it worth it, for you – we are a diverse people in South Africa and even within the Church of Jesus Christ we are diverse. I personally don’t think that in any party there are two people who think alike on every single issue and in the ACDP it will be the same – we will not agree on every single issue but we will find ways to agree to disagree if we are convinced that we agree on enough of what is important to us. I have purposed to be true to myself and to you in arguing as constructively as I know how on less than popular issues within the party – on many occasions decisions have gone in a direction opposite to what I would like to have seen but at no time have I been given less opportunity to put the less popular view. This is important to me because I want to be in a political party that understands humans are fallible and can be wrong, a party that thinks things through and considers the possible consequences both intended and unintended, is not afraid of a dissenting view and is prepared to stretch their thinking to be sure everything that can be considered has been considered.

Multi-party democracy gives our diverse society very real options – we can get behind any party which we feel best represents our values and principles and be assured that we will have a voice in the democratic processes in South Africa. The degree of influence that voice has will of course depend on things like the competence and integrity of the representatives, the number of votes received etc. For me, our proportional vote system has given almost every part of society a voice — it has ensured a degree of nation building that would not have been possible if people were constantly having to resort to violent and destructive demonstrations to be heard. Yes I know violent and destructive demonstrations take place despite broad representation – but how much more so would this be if sections of people had no representation and no hope of representation.

Christian values and principles
What makes the ACDP worth fighting for, for me, is that it is unashamedly based on Christian values and principles and has a 20 year track record in terms of applying their biblically influenced worldview in Local Municipalities, Provincial Legislatures and National Parliament. I am grateful that I have had the option of putting my energy and my vote into a political party that has understood the value of being guided by Christian values and principles. I have witnessed the difference the ACDP has made in bringing this – often ‘politically incorrect view’- to the debates and deliberations in Parliament. I believe South Africa would not be what it is today if the ACDP did not exist and I am convinced that we would be doing a disservice to the country if we were to allow the ACDP to disappear from the political landscape of our country.

In 1993 when the ACDP came into being there was a very real sense that the ‘Christian Voice’ was under threat. The last national election however indicated that Christians were no longer seeing this as a threat. My take on this is that because the ACDP had succeeded in protecting religious freedom and by its presence – reminding other parties that Christians within their ranks had other options – other parties have had to show a semblance of consideration on issues important to Christian and religious communities. This will not be the case if there were to be no ACDP – without the ACDP parties committed to a secular worldview would not have to waste time explaining themselves on these issues and without opposition, could decide what churches and religious leaders can and cannot teach and preach.

Religious freedom has been under threat and is under threat. At the time of the drafting of the constitution the ACDP was able to bring to the attention of the public a proposed clause that would have referred to South Africa as a ‘secular state’. The original concept of a secular state was that of keeping government from interfering in the affairs of the church and religion – in recent times it has been interpreted as keeping the church and religion out of the public arena, out of government, out of schools, etc. What is important about the ACDP’s success in getting that proposal dropped is that ‘religious freedom’ which is protected in the constitution is now able to be balanced against other rights in a court of law – if South Africa were constitutionally declared a secular state, religious freedom would not have even the relative status it has today.

There have been many examples of attempts by legislators to curtail freedoms in general and religious freedom in particular and the ACDP’s response in defending these freedoms is on record. One of these would be the example of the clause in the Children’s Bill which would do away with the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ – effectively outlawing spanking of children, criminalising parents and churches who taught or used this method of disciplining children. The ACDP firstly succeeded in alerting the public and ensuring that the controversial nature of this clause was felt enough to split the bill in two with the offending clause being placed in the part of the Bill that would be dealt with later as an amendment. When the amendment was before Parliament some years later, the ACDP managed to convince the committee that it was in everyone’s best interests to remove the controversial clause. If the ACDP had not existed during that time, no-one would have fought to protect the right of parents and churches to hold and practice their beliefs. Child abuse is a problem in South Africa and we must use the laws we have in place, to deal with it. Spending budgets meant for families and children at risk on disciplining parents and churches who are not vulnerable or in need of this kind of attention would be tragic.

The Women’s Empowerment and Equity (WEGE) Bill is another example of how important it is that a political party – committed to ensuring that the church and religious communities are free from government interference – has a strong presence in Parliament. Without the relevant opposition and submissions this legislation would have allowed the Minister to place onerous burdens on – not only business – but charities, NGOs and Churches. The ACDP, working with FORSA managed to get a definition changed and averted another attempt to curtail Religious freedom in South Africa.

 
 

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9 Comments

  1. […] Why I will be voting ACDP at this Election […]

  2. Hanno says:

    True Biblical Christians should be grateful for the existence and service of the only two Biblically based parties in the SA parliament for the past 20 years, namely the above ACDP as well as the Freedom Front led by dr Pieter Mulder – see http://www.SAvotersguide.org .

  3. Michelle says:

    I wish I could have got an ACDP t shirt to wear proudly on May 7 when I go and make my mark for the party. Please keep up the good fight!

  4. John Saunders says:

    I agree 100% with the statement made by Hanno.

    At the same time it is my honest opinion that the ACDP is a very feeble party that seems to operate in the shadows. The ACDP is not in any way as vibrant and energetic as the Freedom Front.

    It is also my considered opinion that the Freedom Front only represents a particular section of the population, while the ACDP represents all the people.

    At the same time, I estimate that there is probably not more than about 1 or 2 percent of the nation that is truly submitted to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the number of people from the total population who vote for the ACDP and the the Freedom Front, in some way seems to support my estimate and theory.

    Even though it is my honest opinion that the ACDP does not seem to have much energy and does not have much to brag about, the ACDP is still the only political party that I can vote for, mainly for the following 3 reasons:

    1. The ACDP represents all sectors of the population.
    2. The ACDP is unashamedly against the murder of unborn babies, and
    3. The ACDP does not support homosexuality and promotes solid biblical principles in this regard.

    Having said the above, I wish to emphasize that no political party can change South Africa, but the ACDP can make a big difference if it pulls up its socks.

    After all is said and done, South Africa’s only hope is to hear the life saving Gospel of true, undiluted repentance as taught and preached by Jesus Christ and the early church.

    Yes we have big church meetings, yes we have big church buildings, yes we have big church celebrities, yes, we say we love Jesus, but Jesus said: “If you love Me, obey my commandments.”

    I leave you with the followin 2 thoughts that are well known and yet ignored:

    2 Chr 7:14
    14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (NKJ)

    Matt 6:33
    33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
    (NKJ)

    • Observer says:

      John,
      I follow the ACDP news (media releases, FB posts, and secular media reports) very closely, and I can assure you that your perception is erroneous. The 3 MPs are extremely hard-working and if you’d followed just the secular news media online reports, you would know the role that Steve Swart played in getting the “Secrecy Bill” ameliorated. The printed news media doesn’t publish much about the ACDP, and that perhaps accounts for your perception that it operates “in the shadows”. The ACDP has matured a lot and I admire the grace with which our representatives carry out their task, often being verbally abused for their stance. Therefore it is sad when fellow-Christians also take pot-shots at them. Maybe you should take time to follow them on Facebook and see just how much they do. They are “spread very thin”, trying to cover all bases. At other levels of representation, as with any party, one gets people who do a sterling job and others who do not shape up.
      I was going to post a summary overview of the ACDP’s achievements, but it would have turned my comment into the proverbial “wall of text”.

  5. John Saunders says:

    Hello Observer, (I wonder who you are)

    It looks like I touched a nerve. I did not intend to take a pot shot at any one of the 3 ACDP MPs. I have seen how hard a certain member of the ACDP works, if that is a consolation.

    All the administrative work in the world means nothing if the party is not also making an impression on its potential voters.

    The main point that I should perhaps have made is the fact that it is claimed that between 70 and 80 percent of the country is Christian and from this large pool of Christians, the ACDP is only able to generate 3MPs. That in my opinion is a poor show.

    Something must be wrong and once again, in my opinion, there is room for improvement.

    The problem appears to lie in the fact that South Africa is at heart still a heathen nation and unless the undiluted repentance Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached to the Nation, the ACDP should not expect to gain any significant support. Right or wrong, that is my perception.

    While we as a nation in general still prefer to pray to the spirits of our ancestors or to the spirit of some departed so-called saint, we cannot expect to see much change in the attitude of the voters towards the ACDP.

    Nevertheless, for what it is worth, I will still be voting ACDP.

    2 Chr 7:14
    14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
    (NKJ)

    Prov 4:5-8
    5 Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
    6 Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; love her, and she will keep you.
    7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
    8 Exalt her, and she will promote you; she will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
    (NKJ)

    James 1:5
    5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
    (NKJ)

    • Observer says:

      John, I do post comments under my own name, but didn’t register at that late hour that it was the pseudonym that came up, which I use when certain trolls are commenting. I’m an ordinary, loyal supporter of the ACDP, have been for over 20 years and have followed it closely. I have so many people asking, “What’s happened to the ACDP? We never hear anything.” I find this very frustrating in this age of modern technology and communications, so I point them to the ACDP and MP’s FB pages, as well as online news reports. Apathy/ not bothering to keep informed is my bugbear! The ACDP has had its ups and downs, but what it needs are faithful and servant-hearted supporters and helpers, not people who have a “what’s in it for me attitude”, as happens when people are seeking position, political power and prestige. Such people end up undermining the party when they become disaffected and disgruntled because things don’t go the way they want it to. As far as I am concerned, the ACDP is the only party for which I can vote.

  6. Andrea says:

    Hi …those are some pertinent points of concern. I do agree with those writers who believe in ‘principles’ rather than ‘parties’. Its a matter of inviting biblical “principles” to the party!(^^,). My shout out goes to the ACDP,” we require an intrusive,colliding presence of the ACDP in my community ASAP!”

  7. John Saunders says:

    Hello Andrea
    If you are concerned about the well-being of your community, by all means request the ACDP for some help, but don’t hold your breath.

    I think you will have a much better chance of making a difference in your community if you rather solicited the co-operation of one or two church congregations in your community to address a problem that you are concerned about.

    It may be a good idea to tackle the smallest or easiest problem first. A prayer meeting may be a good start.

    Prov 4:7-9
    7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
    8 Exalt her, and she will promote you; she will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
    9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory she will deliver to you.” (NKJ)

    James 1:5
    5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (NKJ)