Church and SA Human Rights Commission meeting tomorrow over spanking probe

statechurchRepresentatives of Joshua Generation Church (JGC) will meet with South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) Western Cape Senior Legal Officer, Tammy Carter, at 10am tomorrow in Cape Town to discuss the SAHRC’s investigation of the church over its doctrine on corporal punishment.

Andrew Selley, Senior Pastor of JGC, and Philip van der Westhuizen, Church Administrator and Pastor, will represent JGC at the meeting requested by the church which has until September 17 to respond in writing to an SAHRC complaint about its teaching on the Biblical doctrine of  ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’. In a recent letter to the church Carter says the commission regards corporal punishment as ‘abuse maltreatment neglect and degradation’.

“Our hopes are that we can show the unreasonableness of what the SAHRC is attempting to do in pushing to criminalize reasonable spanking and forbidding the church to teach on the matter,” said Selley ahead of tomorrow’s meeting.

“We have managed to rally support from Christian leaders representing multiple denominations and independent churches from across SA representing approximately 4 million people in our 2 week drive. So thank you to all those who have rallied with us.

“We also have just received a message from the Muslim Judicial Council who have given their support to us and will fight with us for the protection of religious freedom in SA. Our hope is that the SAHRC will realize the impossibility of policing any laws outlawing spanking – in the light of the sheer numbers of those who cannot obey, due to religious conviction and so deflect this ‘attack’ into a proposed solution,” said Selley.

He said the church will offer to work on the State’s behalf into communities across SA, by providing training and support, thereby helping to train society away from the real causes of abuse and violence against children.

“According to our SA constitution the state should be providing training for parents in these matters, but thus far have not had the resources to do so. We hope to help become part of the solution, by offering our support in being able to provide this vital missing training to SA society at large. We all want to see the abuse of children end, and hope to become allies with the SAHRC to help remedy the real violence, while maintaining our God-given rights as parents and religious communities to train our children in the ways of our God- according to the bible.

“We ask that churches that have not yet sent their support do so, as we hope to throw our collective weight behind two other present cases in SA where the State is trying to dictate to the church what she can and can’t believe and teach, and hope that by a united front we will see God’s blessing come to the church across SA and that we can protect our precious faith- in this beautiful country.”

Churches and other religious organisations can sign a support letter calling on the SAHRC to dismiss the complaint against JGC. They can email the letter to

Christians are urged to pray for a Godly outcome to tomorrow morning’s meeting.



  1. Members of Stirling Worship Centre East London stand in Suppprt of Josh Gen church in their response to HRC

  2. We at Oxygen Life Church stand in solidarity with Joshua Generation Church and call on all Church Leaders to make their voice heard at this time.

  3. Somerset (Sommie) Morkel

    Guaranteed: The church will lose this one. The church is not of this world, and when the State turns on the church, the church will lose and be persecuted. The church needs to understand that the godless socialist state wants to be God, and will crush all opposition as soon as it can – especially if the law and the spirit of the time is with it…

  4. I suspect that the anti-theists behind this move may not be in favour of churches working into communities to provide training and support to reduce the real causes of child abuse and neglect. Why? Because many anti-theists belong to the prejudiced (and, dare I say, bigoted?) Dawkins school of thought that conflates the spiritual training of children with child abuse.
    The fact is, that there are laws in place to deal with child abuse, yet these and social welfare are failing to halt abuse. Nothing positive will be achieved through this complaint to the HRC – it is a red herring by anti-theists when there are genuinely serious cases of child abuse that are slipping through the cracks.
    Praying that wisdom will prevail.

  5. Rev I L Karshagen

    The Maclear Baptist Church in Maclear is in wholehearted support of any show of loyalty to God’s infallible Word

  6. The All Nations churches stand in support with Josh Gen over this issue.

  7. All you are living we already live here in Brazil too. What caught our attention is that the same spirit is working in South Africa, because there are so many social ills, problems in public health, education, transport, housing etc and some politicians always want to take the focus of the population of what is most important to achieve electoral goals. As happened to us the state is not only wanting to interfere in the conduct of the Church of South Africa, but in education that parents are giving their children.

    According to a statement from a Congresswoman Brazilian this movement happened in Brazil and now happens in South Africa was to satisfy an agreement between Brazil and the UN. As this type of agreement is globalized is certainly reaching South Africa now.

    We do not need more laws. There is already the Statute of Children and Adolescents in the international standards. It is clear that no one is in favor of children being spanked. This is one more state interference in family, without foresee the future consequences.

    We are together with the Churches in South Africa and willing to mobilize churches in Brazil and abroad to send their support. Count on us.

    Claudio Modesto
    Member of Council of Evangelical Pastors and Ministers of State of São Paulo
    Pastor at Church Station 337