Representatives of Joshua Generation Church (JGC) and the couple who complained to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) about the church’s doctrine on corporal punishment, as well as other lobby groups, recently met at the Cape Town offices of the SAHRC.
Parties at the meeting on October 10, sought to resolve the complaint brought by Adriaan and Hannah Mostert, against the church’s belief and teaching of Biblical texts around spanking, said Phillp van der Westhuizen, JGC Operations Manager and Elder.
He said no final agreement was reached at the meeting and the parties agreed to not engage the media on the discussions held at the meeting until such time as the matter is taken further. The lobbyists are allowed to still engage the media on the constitutional and spanking issues at hand, as are the Church, but not relating to the matters discussed at the meeting.
While the SAHRC probe deals with views on spanking, the bigger issue for South Africa is a threat to religious freedom similar to mounting legal restrictions on the gospel in the west as a result of judicial rulings. If the Government, through the SAHRC and Constitutional Court rules that JGC cannot teach from the Bible according to its convictions, all churches will be affected and the SAHRC could be expected to dictate to churches on other Biblical doctrine. Churches in South Africa representing some 9 million Christians have heeded a call to put aside minor doctrinal differences in order to stand prayerfully together to defend religious freedom. Churches who want to identify with this stand are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org.