DRC leader facing hate speech charges tells pastors to prepare for ‘ethical challenges’

Dr Chris van Wyk, pastor at Summerstrand Dutch Reformed Church, right, speaking to pastors in Port Elizabeth on Thursday. Pastor Jimmy Crompton, left, hosted the gathering at Word Of Faith Christian Centre

The Church in South Africa needs to wake up to the reality of “a number of challenges on ethical issues that are coming your way — from secular society and from within your own church,” said Dutch Reformed Church pastor Dr Chris van Wyk to a group of church leaders in Port Elizabeth today.

BREAKING NEWS: Gateway News has just learned that late on Friday afternoon Dr Van Wyk received an email from the SAHRC informing him that it is withdrawing its case against him

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Van Wyk, pastor of Summerstrand DRC and a former senior national leader of the denomination, was speaking ahead of an important meeting the next day, with the Eastern Cape office of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) who opened a hate speech case against him arising out of a response he made in 2018 to a published statement by DRC moderator Dr Nelis Janse van Rensburg that all sexual orientations are a gift from God.

The gathering attended by about 25 church leaders at Word of Faith (WOF) Christian Centre was called by WOF senior pastor Jimmy Crompton to express solidarity with Van Wyk in his resolve to stand up for biblical values, and to consider a response to perceived mounting legal attacks on Christian values in South Africa.

Van Wyk said that he was reported to the SAHRC after he wrote in an article that if you accept that all sexual orientatons are from God then you will logically have to accept all orientations, including, for instance, paedophilia, which is described in psychological journals as a sexual orientation. He said that at his meeting with SAHRC representatives scheduled for Friday October 9 he would learn whether they accepted or rejected his latest submission sent to them at their request. Possible outcomes were that the charges against him would be withdrawn, the matter would go to mediation, or he would have to appear in the PE Magistrate’s Court acting as an Equality Court.

Reflecting on his own experiences of facing ethical challenges, he said division in the church over ethical issues makes it difficult to defend biblical values. Speaking for the DRC, he said that the root of such division was the ascendancy of liberal theologians who undermined the authority of Scripture.

“The problem also is that it can start in a small way. In our church it started in 2004 with accepting there are differences in how we view same-sex marriage. Then a discussion started with some people saying the devil is a reality and some saying he is not and we were told to accept that people differ on this. And then we had different views on the resurrection of Jesus. So, you can be in church and have different views and the result of all this is that at the end you don’t have a basis to decide on ethical issues.”

Van Wyk said that in a divided church proponents of a biblical worldview are open for legal attack when secular society can show that they discriminate against Constitutional rights while another section of the church do not discriminate against the Constitution.

He urged church leaders to make sure that they clearly and explicitly addressed their position on ethical issues in their church constitutions and that they required every one of their members to adhere to their official position.

He also urged churches to prepare for ethical challeges by brushing up on their apologetics — not only by being clear on biblical facts and statements but also by being creative and sensitive in how they engaged with people and encouraged them to become seekers “because we have got to understand the felt need of people to speak to them from the Bible”.

Quoting from a book, Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion, by Os Guinness, which he recommended as an apologetics resource, he said we should use “cross talk” and not clever talk when talking to people. We should commit to cross talk and cross living, accepting persecution as normal for Christ followers and accepting that we might be delivered like Daniel and his friends in the Bible, or we might land up in jail if God wants us to witness there as happened with the apostle Paul.

WOF pastor Advocate Richard Crompton warned that the prevailing narrative in secular society, which was driven by liberal media was becoming increasingly hostile towards the Church. He said the Constitution was also potentially hostile to Christian beliefs and PEPUDA — hate speech laws that go further that the Constitution — is “totally hostile” and has the support of the main political parties.

“We cant keep voting for parties whose plan is to keep on persecuting the Church,” he said.

He said: “No pastor has been taken to court yet for saying what he believes but I don’t think that is far away.”

Pastor Jimmy Crompton said God had put it into his heart that if Van Wyk has to go to court to face hate speech charges: “Lets pack the court. Let’s get 50 leaders in there and lets bend heads and pray silently and bring the atmosphere of God into that courtroom. And I want 100 people in the passage and they can pray out loud.

” Our biggest problem is disunity. Let the courts and the media see the Church standing together. If you attack my brother, you attack me. The Bible says when one weeps we should weep with them, when they rejoice we should rejoice with them.”


  1. Philip Coetzee

    Our biggest problem in the church comes from leadership within and nationally. This is a liberale and humanistic occurrence where people want to think for God, and not seeking His will. Some church leaders manipulate their governing body resulting in the exclusion of church members and their views. Thus, they play into the hands of organizations who does not understand biblical values, ethics and moral codes. Our prairs will be with all the Chris van Wyks (Jesus and Paul) of this world. God sluimer of slaap nie, sterkte my vriend Chris.

  2. Philip Coetzee

    Jesus is the only Head of the Church, no person has the right to lay claim to that position (Eph 1:22-23).

  3. Michael Cassidy

    I applaud this article & the stand being made there by pastors Chris van Wyk & Jimmy Crompton for Gospel morality & biblical sexual standards controlling both individual & societal behaviour. There is power in just taking a stand & in standing. The Apostle says:” And having done all, to STAND .”( Eph.6:13).Sterkte, almal.

  4. Good to see Boldness from a leader. To be respectfully silent is a strategy of the enemy to keep the true believers mouth shut. True believers need to speak out what they believe and advocate the values of biblical truth. By speaking out and verbalising what the scripture stated is voicing prophetic utterances into the unseen. We are at war.

  5. Thanx Chris. Be strong bro. To the rest silently objecting. Slapgat

  6. Thank you Pastor Chris v Wyk.. We are the salt.. Let us not lose our taste.. Salt stings, it cleanses and it keeps away the decay! We need to boldly speak and live Gods truth. Not dilute it or divert from it. He gives us courage to do so! Praise God for upright men and woman who do not shy away from Gods word. We need to be wise.. Not clever.. He is on the throne I worship Him alone. It is only He whobe powers, equips and enables me to do so!
    Jesus is Lord!
    God bless you and the work you do to further His kingdom!
    Karen Dercksen Swart
    Cape Town

  7. We bless the lord. For such man who still stands for the truth. And are not moved by anything. God is there to give us strength when our strength is failing us.

  8. I am encouraged by the preceding comments. Let’s all continue to pray for Pastor Chris and all who stand with him.
    Jesus is Lord. The truth will prevail. God’s prophets will be seen to be such. Matt. 24 passim, particularly verse 13

  9. I so agree with the comment of – “We can’t keep voting for parties whose plan it is to keep on persecuting the church”. It is of critical importance to study the manifesto of a political party to know just what you are voting for. Sadly we are people of habit and tend to do the same as we have always done. Many Christians would be shocked to discover that they have actually voted against Biblical values by voting for a certain party. Another problem in the Church is our disunity over the truth of what the Bible says. A house divided against itself will fall. We who hold to the fact that the Bible is the inerrant truth from God are to stand together in unity and be the salt and the light our country so desperately needs at this time. Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war with the cross of Jesus going on before!

  10. Chris may Christ strenghen you. We stand with you in Christ in prayer and under guidence of the Holy Spirit. I attended DRC service where the reverend preached without opening the Bible, part of his message was that the Bible can become idol worship!!! God’s Word, idol worship???
    The church needs leaders like you.
    God bless
    Peet Zeeman