Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to participate and represent South Africa at the Global Convention on Life, Family and Honour in Seoul, South Korea.
The Convention, which was convened and financially covered by the Body of Christ in South Korea, brought together Christian advocates from around the world to discuss and build a global resistance against the current onslaught on life, family and honour in society.
South Korea, as many other countries around the world, is increasingly under pressure to pass legislation that will legalise same-sex marriage.
The pressure comes particularly from the international community, and threatens to cut off international funding and aid if such legislation is not passed. The same threat hangs over most African countries, who are very much dependent on international funding and aid.
To date, just more than 20 out of 200 countries in the world have legalised same-sex marriage.
South Africa’s constitution was of course the first in the world to specifically include the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of one’s sexual orientation as a fundamental human right. South Africa was also the fifth country in the world, and the first in Africa, to legalise same-sex marriage (in 2006).
During the convention, Christian lawyers and lobbyists from 25 countries (including both countries where same-sex marriage is already legal and countries where it is not) shared valuable knowledge and experience with one another — and also with the hundreds of South Korean pastors, lawyers and other delegates who attended the convention — in the common pursuit of standing “against the things that are not of God” (including abortion, pornography, same-sex marriage, transgenderism, etc ) and “for the things that are of God” (including life, marriage between one man and one woman, family and honour) in our nations.
Amongst the invited delegates also, were some “ex-gays” who met Jesus and now give their lives reaching out to people who struggle with same-sex attraction, with the love of Jesus and helping them to know the freedom that comes with surrendering our lives to Him.
Keynote speakers included Andrea Williams (of Christian Concern and Christian Legal Centre UK), whose opening address was a chilling view on the effects of the cultural (sexual) revolution on Britain. In Andrea’s words, “England looks very civilised, but is not a civil society. We still have tea and a biscuits, but kill our children”.
She explained that the only effective response to the clash of civilisations (with radical secularism, and radical Islam) that we are currently experiencing on a global scale, is radical Christianity.
“He who wants to win the world for Jesus Christ, must be prepared to come into conflict with the world”, Williams said. Her address served as a strong warning to the church in South Korea to be wide awake, to stand up for righteousness and speak out against evil, before it is too late.
Standing up and speaking out
And stand up, and speak out, the Church in South Korea did! At the close of the convention on the Saturday afternoon, about 10 000 Christians gathered in the city centre for a public celebration of life, family and honour. The activities included a street parade in which thousands and thousands of people walked kilometres to the Seoul City Hall, in support of traditional marriage between one man and one woman.
The parade was a bold declaration for marriage “God’s way” in South Korea, but also a prophetic declaration over the nations — recognising, in the words of guest speaker Gabriele Kuby (author of The Global Sexual Revolution) that “every single battle that we win, is for the whole world. And every single battle the other side wins, is for the whole world.”
Why is it important for us to win this battle? Because this is not a battle simply about whether two people (of different or the same sex) who love each other should or should not be allowed to make their relationship permanent by “marrying” each other. This is a battle for life, family and honour.
Standing up for traditional marriage, for marriage God’s way, means standing up for life – because marriage between a man and a woman means fruitfulness, life and a future generation. Without the ability to procreate, our world has no future.
Standing up for traditional marriage, means standing up for family – because marriage between a man and a woman, gives children the gift of a father and a mother, both of which are needed to raise healthy, secure and mature children.
Standing up for traditional marriage, means standing up for honour – for the honour of God, who created human beings in His image, male and female (Genesis 1:26-28), and who gave them marriage as a gift and as a representation of His covenant relationship with the Church, His bride (Ephesians 5:22-32).
By loving and honouring marriage “God’s way”, we therefore love and honour God Himself, as the Lover of creation and of His people.
How then should we respond to this onslaught on life, family and honour – globally, but also in our individual contexts where we, as Christians, ourselves are under increasing pressure to accept (and by implication, approve) ideologies, actions and relationships that are not of God? With love AND truth.
We must act with grace, recognising that we ourselves are sinners saved by (and daily in need of!) God’s amazing grace.But we must also proclaim the truth, boldly and uncompromisingly, knowing that it is the truth (regarding ourselves, our sinful state and our desperate need for a saviour; and regarding Jesus Christ, His death, resurrection and soon return for us) that sets us free!
In the words of Dr Peter Jones, theologian and executive director of truthXchange (guest speaker at the convenion), “perhaps the church has never faced such an opponent … but we’re on the winning side.In the end, God’s truth about love will win”.
May God grant courage to the Church, in South Korea as well as in South Africa and around the world, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ with great conviction, boldness and urgency to a world who desperately needs Him!