News24

Zuma praises progress since 1994

2011-04-27 16:37

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday spoke of how proud he was at the "substantial progress" South Africa has made since 1994 in comparison to other countries that deteriorated after liberation.

"We have done exceptionally well against all odds, in only 17 years," Zuma said at Freedom Day celebrations at the Union Buildings.

He spoke of the importance of Chapter 9 institutions like the Office of the Public Protector and the Human Rights Commission, which formed part of available mechanisms to ensure that apartheid never recurred.

He urged South Africans not allow anyone or any grouping in society to reverse the gains of the country's hard-won democracy.

This day, he said, marked the celebration of a freedom and democracy obtained through the blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifices of scores of freedom fighters and ordinary South Africans.

"We must therefore commit ourselves to not allow anyone or any grouping or structure in our society, to trivialise our freedom or to reverse the gains of our hard-won democracy."

He recalled how a few years ago, people lived in a country whose system of government was declared a crime against humanity by the United Nations.

He also spoke of the pain caused by the legacy of apartheid that stripped away the dignity of millions of South Africans.

Referring to the Group Areas Act of 1950 which designated residential areas according to race, Zuma said the scars caused by forced removals remain to this day.

The government was attempting to reverse the impact, he said.

"Thousands more still bear the psychological scars of being bundled into Bantustans or so-called homelands."

Comments
  • ex-pat - 2011-04-27 18:03

    Yeah, rapid progress ... of the runaway gravy train, heading downhill.

  • LBS - 2011-04-27 20:46

    Done well?? What about all the murders?

  • chris van rensburg - 2011-04-27 20:53

    What progress?What was it measured against?Against a secret 5,10 15, 20 years budget or strategy that nobody knew about?Who are you trying to fool?Give us figures and facts of performances against pre-determined(17 years ago)goals and strategies that were being set out to achieve and of which the general public/constituency were made aware of.

  • green_goblin - 2011-04-27 21:12

    They always say to start your speech of with a joke!!

      Wonderboy - 2011-04-28 09:53

      Only he never got to giving his speech.

  • BIG.G - 2011-04-27 21:15

    IF YOU PLACE A FROG IN WATER AND GRADUALLY INCREASE THE TEMPERATURE BY DEGREES IT WILL EVENTUALLY BOIL AND DIE. THIS IS IN A NUTSHELL HOW WE HAVE GRADUALLY BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO BEING TAKEN FOR A RIDE IN THIS COUNTRY.

  • DoublySalmon - 2011-04-27 21:42

    The Human Development Index as measured before 1994 which included everyone in South Africa and in the Bantustans where the black people were historically settled in the same manner that Zimbabweans come from their own country and not the Cape colony.. anyway has stagnated since 1994 and before the trend was increasing. How is a country which is not developing since liberation a win? http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/ZAF.html Is the ANC stripping white people of their dignity also? Since the last count 1 in 5 (mostly whites leave) white South Africans have received their passports to go work overseas, we are not allowed to freely participate in the economy and every day there are fewer schools/educational institutes which teach in Afrikaans. We are segregated in gated communities for fear of violence against us. The thing is the ANC can not strip us of our dignity even under the same circumstances - this is a concept which embodies differences between out cultures which leads to either poverty and self-pity or prosperity. I do not earn allot, yet I do not blame the ANC or the British which massacred my family 3 generations ago. My situation is my own doing, I've planned my future almost 15 years ahead and last month it all came together for me. When will the yellow shirts become independent of the government's handouts funded by you know who.. Zuma - go fly a kite and stop lying as idiots believe your drivel.

  • Kaizo - 2011-04-27 23:28

    Flippen hell, the ANC is like a broken record...only thing they mention at every rally is Apartheid, Apartheid, Apartheid, Apartheid....good grief 17yrs we have no apartheid...yet still they've done nothing to improve the country situation, not a damn thing..and people actually vote for them? Seriously you got to be seriously dumb to vote this party. Actually you gotta be pretty much brain dead.

      TamaraSays - 2011-04-28 05:22

      If they allowed people to stop focusing on the past, they would start to focus on the present, and the future. That's why the ANC HAVE to keep racial hatred and distrust alive. If they had to try and compete on a level playing field, on their own merits, they'd be kicked out so fast their heads would spin. Fact.

      Wonderboy - 2011-04-28 09:52

      That was exactly why the "One man one vote" was so opposed.

  • Gavin Manning - 2011-04-28 06:17

    Some other interesting "progress" stats.... http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/violence/by-country/ SA second most violent country on earth......Fact Iraq at war ...But Iraq is still only 86 th....fact http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/history-of-life-expectancy Tells us that in 1990 the average life expectancy in SA was 61.6 years Just 20 years later we Have "progressed" to 49.0 years average life expectancy. So for every year ANC has been in power , Life expectancy has decreased by almost 6 months.... Oooi Goat Herd Boy....Thats Called regression...!!Not Progression. http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/country-health-profile/south-africa Surf around this very interesting site , take note of the sources of their Information. WHO , UN , CIA and all Countries own IH Helath statistics etc. Combine this with the fact that should the DA , win the 2012 election , you'd have a Civil war in order to actually remove the ANC from its Hysterical grasp on power ,then surely it must begin to dawn on all... but the dimmest , that you are on a hiding to nothing..... Enjoy it and better make that Klippies a triple ...!!!

  • BornInTheRSA - 2011-04-28 07:22

    Man with forked tongue. In one breath, this man says that "apartheid was buried in 1994". In others he continues to blame the legacy of apartheid. It's only better for him because he has continued to thrive on self indulgence while this economy has continued to grow through the efforts of a few.

  • vandermerwe.martin - 2011-04-28 08:10

    What the f$#%k is this monkey talkin about.

  • WhatAJoke - 2011-04-28 08:15

    Dear Mr President, there has been progress in our democracy BUT it is this democracy that is also destroying the country! The police force are ill equipped to deal with real crime, instead they use unnecessary force on innocent victims and the real criminals are the ones that exercise their democratic right to been treated humanely. The TAXI association run the city of JHB, they commit offences in front of the metro police, and when they strike they are violent and they bring the city to its knees. The street of most cities in SA are littered with filth and are crime ridden, one can no longer walk the city streets without fear of been attacked or murdered for something as menial as a cell phone. So please tell me where is the FREEDOM?

  • BigMoose - 2011-04-28 08:51

    Nothing sounds as sweet to you as the sound you make when blowing your own vuvuzela, Mr. President. To the rest of us, it is an irritating noise.

  • René Müller - 2011-04-28 08:57

    Mr President, let the people of the country praise the progress, not you. Never have SA been in such a poor state! Crime, poverty, poor education and the list goes on and on! You cannot be serious! I believe you lack eduction because if the masses are at all educated they will realize what a bunch of crooks our politicians are! You are rotten to the core!! It is sick, but as long as you are warm, have food etc, you and your tjommies could not care less about the people of the country, this goes for ALL South Africans. We will become like the rest of Africa. A typical 3rd world country

      Spoofed - 2011-04-28 12:04

      it does not matter if satan himself was our government, if he is black, the majority will vote. not because they think he is awesome and doing a good job, no because they fear of having anybody else in power. narrow minded if you ask me

  • Wonderboy - 2011-04-28 09:48

    What he says will fall very well on the ears of his supporters. All educated people know that what he is saying is complete rubbish. He is all for keeping his "Inkandlal" (spelling) which is thanks to the previous dispensation. So that bit of apartheid will be kept. The change of government was voted for by the WHITES. It was not because of any freedom fighter as they made no impact on South Africa. They were still struggling in the Angolan and Zimbabwean bush. So in fact everything that they have achieved can be attributed to whites.

  • MICHAEL SCHAMBOUA - 2011-04-28 09:58

    I'm just very disappointed on how the ANC hi-jacked the Freedom Day Celebrations in Springbok, Northern Cape, where they did campaigning and bad mouthed other parties - with our tax money. Worst of all, we can do nothing about it...

  • MICHAEL SCHAMBOUA - 2011-04-28 09:58

    I'm just very disappointed on how the ANC hi-jacked the Freedom Day Celebrations in Springbok, Northern Cape, where they did campaigning and bad mouthed other parties - with our tax money. Worst of all, we can do nothing about it...

  • Freakeee - 2011-04-28 11:19

    We will never forget apartheid you do not have to remind us every second of every day. Now show me the progress of the economy, education, health system - which btw I had to use the public health system and the medical staff were more concerned about their raise than the patients...So where is this progress that you speak of? As for Unity where is the progress? Yes there is some unity in the public but one only has to read the comments on this site to see that we still have a far way to go

      Spoofed - 2011-04-28 12:08

      yea Ive had to go lie in a government hospital once for an absess in my tooth. the dentist had to drill into my teeth without any injection as there was none to give so i obviously i screamed blue bloody murder from the pain and what did the dentist do? he threw down his tools and shouted at me then left me there with a mouth full of unfinished holes.. i had to go to a private dentist and pay off his bill to finish the job. NEVER again will i go to a government hospital EVER. i also could not wash myself for two weeks as there was no water in the bathrooms... and when you ask for some warm water to just wash the essentials you get shouted and sworn at. Gotta love this coutry hey Mr ZUMA?

  • quinna - 2011-04-28 11:57

    The Criminalisation of South Africa By Peter Hammond Last year 111,528 vehicles were reported stolen in South Africa, of which 45,152 (40%) were recovered. Police investigated 44,222 stock theft cases which resulted in 7,980 court cases. 52,425 rapes were reported. 41% of all the victims were aged 18 years or younger with 14% being 12 years or younger. In the last 6 years there have been over 5,000 attacks on farmers, resulting in 771 murders of farmers. In the last 4 years 654 policemen have been murdered. Last year officially 21,553 people were murdered in South Africa. These statistics are just some of the facts revealed in the latest report from the Ministry of Safety and Security. NO JOKE It reminds me of a joke I heard in Zambia. “The South African Ambassador was being introduced to the Zambian Minister of Naval Affairs. The SA Ambassador laughed and said 'You can't have a Minister of Naval Affairs - Zambia is a land locked country!’ 'Well', responded the Zambian 'in South Africa you have a Ministry of Justice!'” Indeed, it seems quite inappropriate that we in South Africa have a Ministry of Safety and Security. Crime and violence would be a more accurate description. A communication leaflet distributed to tourists by the South African Police Service contained the following: “Safety Hints For The Holiday Season: never display expensive jewellery, cameras, mobile phones or other valuables.” Which raises the questions: when should jewellery be worn, if not in public? What are tourists meant to do with cameras and other valuables when walking in our streets? The SAPS Safety Hints contained no less than 32 “basic rules”, “safety hints”, “in the street”, “when travelling”, “at hotels”, etc. Unfortunately, the extremely intrusive, inconvenient and frustrating requirements for safety in SA detailed in this leaflet, hardly seem excessive at all. Theft, assault and murder, even of tourists, have become common place. ANOTHER WORLD Yet those of us who are over 40 can remember that it was not always like this. It does not seem that long ago when steering locks, gear locks, and car alarms were unknown in South Africa. In fact I know people who never even took the keys out of the ignition of their car, even when parked down town. Many homes were never locked. Burglar bars, security gates, home alarms and Armed Response companies were unknown and unnecessary. Many homes had no wall or only a low fence or hedge around the property. Children walked or cycled on their own to school, with no fear for their safety. What has happened to cause South Africa to degenerate to such a low respect for life and property? Why has crime and corruption seeped through all sectors of our society - affecting everyone? CRIME AND GRIME I pondered this question as I went for a run around my neighbourhood. Graffiti vandalised walls, litter and unkempt dying municipal gardens provided a clue. As our rates and taxes have skyrocketed, services from government and the municipality have plummeted. Crime and grime grow along with ineffective and corrupt government. At a community meeting against crime, a police inspector pointed out that unkempt gardens and homes tend to be invitations to criminals. I then questioned the town councillor whether litter strewn and graffiti vandalised neighbourhoods are not similarly an invitation to the criminal element. He resented the connection, so I followed this up by pointing out that the municipality and government are involved in even more theft than the criminals are. By taking more and more rates and taxes and providing less and less services in return, the government is, in effect, stealing from the taxpayers. Now we not only have to pay the government and municipality our rates and taxes, but because of the failure of government, we also have to employ private security companies to provide the protections which the police used to give. And in several communities there is an extra tax for a Community Improvement District, to do what the municipality used to do - for far less rates. In fact, as one considers VAT, it appears that the government may, in fact, be obtaining even more than the criminals are from the growth industry of theft. Take for example my motorbike which was stolen the day after the Ministry of Safety and Security reported that crime was decreasing in South Africa. When I purchased the motorbike I had to pay 14% VAT. On the insurance payments, I had to pay 14% VAT. Now that the item has been stolen I will have to pay another 14% VAT on any replacement for the motorbike! This means that the government may make more money out of the average vehicle theft than the criminal does. It reminds one of the bumper sticker: Don't steal - the government hates competition! WHY CRIME IS A GROWTH INDUSTRY Why has crime become a major growth industry and employer in South Africa? The failure of our criminal justice system is part of the answer. For every 1,000 crimes reported in South Africa, only 430 criminals are arrested. Of these, only 77 are convicted and barely 8 of these are sentenced to 2 or more years imprisonment. It is also calculated that South African convicts have a 94% recidivism rate (that is, 94% of all persons released after serving a sentence immediately become involved in crime again). JUSTICE SYSTEM FAILURE With our laws being so protective of the criminals and so ineffectively enforced, with lax security in jails, ridiculously low bail conditions, over generous remission of sentences, and wholesale amnesties, its no wonder our homes have had to be transformed into locked fortresses. The early release of well over 100,000 criminals, including murderers and rapists, from South African prisons could not have helped either. Numerous reports have noted the sharp exponential increase of violent crime, particularly murder, in South Africa which coincided with the suspension of the death penalty in 1989 and its abolition in 1996. ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE Alcohol abuse has also been found to go hand in hand with South Africa's new culture of violence. Most homicide victims have been found to have high concentrations of alcohol in their blood. Most murders have tended to be committed in summer, on Friday and Saturday nights and in and around taverns, bars and shebeens. Most suspects arrested for murder and rape have been found to have used drugs within 48 hours prior to the arrest. CHILD ABUSE A booklet (“Talk About Children At Risk”) written by the South African Police Services Child Protection Unit, revealed that South Africa was “fast becoming known as the premier sex tourism destination of the world, particularly because children's bodies are plentiful and cheap. It is also common knowledge that this country is a world leader in the spread of HIV/Aids.” A MANUAL FOR RAPE The police report noted that “in 1996 the Films and Publication Act was past legalising pornography for the first time in the history of the country, this made it possible for child abusers, rapists and paedophiles to obtain all the material they needed. Statistics tell the story as South African Police Service records show that child rape increased…over 400%” The police report further stated that: “research with child sexual offenders reveals that all have used child pornography.” Pornography is the theory, rape is the practise. The tragic result of the SA government’s legalisation of the exploitative pornography industry is catalogued by the SAPS Child Protection Unit: “the commercial exploitation of children includes…rape, murder, abduction, bribery, false marriages…bonded labour, extortion, mail order brides…1 out of every 12 prostitutes is younger than 17…” This wholesale exploitation of children has flourished because of “corruption and collusion, the absence of or inadequacy of laws, lax law enforcement and limited sensitisation of law enforcement personnel to the harmful impact on children…and government officials who may, often unwittingly, be guilty through indifference, ignorance…” The National Institute for Crime Prevention (NICRO) has estimated that there are approximately 380,000 rape cases in South Africa every year. Yet, as the rape rate has soared, the conviction rate of rapists has plummeted. Less than 7% of reported rapists are ever convicted! “Why do people commit crime so readily? Because crime is not punished quickly enough” Ecclesiastes 8:11 THEFT BY CONSENT Other causes of the criminalisation of South Africa which should be considered include the legalisation of gambling and abortion. Legalised gambling has been described as “theft by consent.” It could also be considered as a form of taxation upon those who cannot do maths. It has been calculated that you have more chance of being struck by lightning than of winning the lottery. Every study on gambling has shown that along with a rise of gambling always comes an increase in all kinds of crime and vice, including fraud and theft. KILLING BABIES The “Choice on Termination of Pregnancy” Act, in legalising violence against pre-born babies has also gone along with a massive increase in the violence and abuse of children. After all, if violence against pre-born babies can be justified, then why not against older children? Abortion devalues human life, and fosters a mentality which leads to increasing child abuse. Abortion is the ultimate child abuse. Over 350 000 babies have been legally killed through abortion in South Africa in the last seven years. EDUCATION CRISIS The dumbing down of our education system through the Outcomes Based Education, Curriculum 2005 programme of the Ministry of Education, must also be looked at. The compulsory sex education, situation ethics, evolutionism, and general anti-Christian bias of the education department has not only eroded ethical foundations and lowered moral standards in South African schools, but academic standards have plummeted as well. An incredulous Principal showed me one official letter sent by the Minister of Education. In this letter the Minister complained about the habit of too many teachers coming to school late and leaving early to go to shebeens and brothels, often returning drunk or failing to return at all! The Minister of Education also warned against “the prevalent practice” of teachers forcing students to have sex with them! This was “demeaning” and “an abuse of authority” he claimed! That this child abuse was common place in the government schools was a terrible indictment, but that the Department of Education was not firing and prosecuting these rapists and child abusers was, if anything, even more shocking. By the time the average child graduates he or she will have spent up to 15 000 hours in school. What value or worldview will he or she have learnt during that time? Nearly 500 years ago the great German Reformer, Martin Luther warned: “I am much afraid that schools will prove to be wide gates to hell unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them on the hearts of youth. I advise no-one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not constantly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt.” PASSIVE ENTERTAINMENT Another cause of the criminalisation of South Africa is the entertainment industry. Superficial, sensational and violent material, often glamorising crime, predominates the modern entertainment industry and it is producing an increasingly superficial, selfish, lawless and immoral society. The disintegration of many families, absentee parents and a general absence of discipline have created a vacuum. Violent and immoral films and videos, throbbing, pulsating, noise - masquerading as music - and pornographic magazines are filling the void in the aimless and meaningless lives of all too many young people. Many films fall into the “how to” category, giving training on how to be a bank robber, fraudster, car thief, etc. The criminal is often the most attractive character of the film. Rap, drugs, violent video games, and gangs are breeding a whole generation of criminals and gangsters. SELF DESTRUCTION The selfishness and short-sightedness of modern society is also seen in litter strewn, graffiti vandalised communities. The filth, pollution and destruction of the environment in which all too many children play and grow up in is also reflected in the self-mutilation and body piercing of a growing number of confused young people. Pierced noses and eyebrows, tongue studs and belly rings along with acid rock and rap should be a wake up call to any parent. But, incredibly all too many parents seem oblivious to the sullen, self-destructive, rebellious attitudes that go along with this kind of body mutilating, mind rotting and soul destroying sub culture. So, when next we ask the question, what has happened that South Africa could have been overwhelmed by such a tidal wave of crime, let us consider the ethical and moral roots. As South Africa has turned away from God, and embraced Pagan policies, how can we be surprised? NATIONAL SUICIDE By legalising gambling, prostitution, pornography, and abortion; and by promoting humanistic education in the schools and passive acceptance of violent and immoral entertainment in the media, we have undermined the essential respect for life and property without which society cannot effectively function. “The Bible is the chief moral cause of all that is good and the best corrective of all that is evil, in human society; the best book for regulating the temporal concerns of men, and the only book that can serve as an infallible guide…the principles of genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man therefore, who weakens or destroys the Divine authority of that Book, may be accessory to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer…” Noah Webster Until South Africa returns to Biblical principles in economics, education, entertainment, in the judiciary and in Parliament, we cannot expect to win the war against crime. As this is an election year, we should examine the policies and track record of the various parties on crime and punishment issues and on the right to own weapons for self-defence. Make your vote count. Dr Peter Hammond is the Director of Christian Action Network, and the author of Biblical Principles for Africa, Renaissance or Reformation and Faith Under Fire in Sudan.

  • quinna - 2011-04-28 11:59

    GOD’S PLAN FOR SOUTH AFRICA 18 January 2007 Brother Andrew, in his book, “ Battle for Africa ” , says in his chapter, “One Nation Could Save All of Africa ” : “I believe that God has a special interest in the survival of the South African nation… I believe in a concept, which might be called ‘regional evangelism’. God has given certain countries the primary responsibility for the evangelising of the region of the world which they occupy… a responsibility that emerges as history progresses. To whom much is given, much is expected… I believe that the evangelisation of Eastern Europe is the special responsibility of Western Europe . The United States is responsible for Central and South America . The burden of reaching Asia falls to Australia and New Zealand . And the continent of Africa is the special spiritual responsibility of South Africa . “Why? Because South Africa has the tools to reach the entire continent. It has the money, technology, a large number of committed Christians, the freedom and relative political stability. It has everything needed to evangelise the continent of Africa , to equip black Africans in other countries to participate in the process, and to get the job done all the way from the Cape of Good Hope to the Sahara Desert . And I further believe that God will intervene in the course of history to preserve South Africa , if her people will accept her responsibility to evangelise the rest of the continent .” As Loren Cunningham, founder of the international Youth With a Mission, said when he visited South Africa , “God will save your country if you send your young people to the ends of the earth with the Gospel.” At the centre of the great Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria is an altar with a Bible recalling the message of the 1820 Settlers to the departing Voortrekkers: That God has placed us at the foot of Africa to spread the light of the Gospel of Christ throughout Africa . South Africans have a great calling, a great responsibility and are still in the midst of a great conflict. As Lenin said, “Whoever controls the tip of Africa controls the world. We want it for world Communism.” Not only is South Africa of critical geo-political importance for the defence of the free world’s strategic sea route around Africa; it is also the source for most of the world’s gold and diamonds, 95% of the world’s chromium, 86% of the platinum, 53% of the manganese, 64% of the vanadium, and 52% of the cobalt, as well as a large proportion of the coal, uranium, copper and other minerals vital to Western defence and industry. The terrorism on our borders, the subversion internally and the systematically orchestrated international campaigns of boycotts, demonstrations, sanctions and disinvestment are all part of a total onslaught, ultimately controlled by Soviet imperialism. It’s goal is to force South Africa to surrender to godless Communism. In “ Battle for Africa ” , Brother Andrew explains: “The South African church is one of tremendous devotion to Christ. It has the spiritual muscle and the financial resources to reach black Africa…I believe satan is aware that South Africa has this potential, and consequently works hard to isolate South Africa from the rest of the world. It has been singled out for boycott, embarrassment and criticism, particularly, I believe, because satan wants to isolate South Africa to prevent it from fulfilling its divine commission.” South Africa is under attack and it is well worth remembering the insight of the 19 th Century Prussian military strategist, Clausewitz: “War is an act of violence to break the enemy’s will… It is not the loss in men, horses and guns, but in order, courage, confidence, cohesion and plan…it is principally the moral forces which decide here.” South Africa is only as strong as the collective moral and spiritual strength of its individual citizens. We are not only being attacked by Communist terrorism and internal subversion. Materialism, immorality, and selfishness are just as great a threat to the strength and stability of our country. The ancient maxim, “Corrupt and Conquer”, still stands true for today. UnBiblical teachings, heresies, liberalism and apathy in the churches of our land are an even greater threat to the spiritual strength of our land. “Confuse, divide and conquer.” The enemy aims to confuse us as to the truth and undermine our unity as Christian South Africans. Have you personally and devotionally read the whole Bible through? A man who knows the Bible cannot be enslaved by godless heresies or deceived by lies. (Psalm 119:97 – 104) As William Penn said: “Men must choose to be governed by God or condemn themselves to be governed by tyrants.” No missionary-minded nation has ever fallen to Communism. No evangelical nation – where the Bible is widely known and honoured – has ever fallen to Atheistic terrorism. Let us do our part to make South Africa a Bible-honouring nation, a morally and spiritually strong nation, a morally and spiritually strong nation, a missionary nation. Let us pray for South Africa : “You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.” Deuteronomy 13:4 “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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 “O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance…Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem …a scorn and derision to those who are around us…Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your Name; and deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins.” Psalm 79:1 – 9 “Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself. Then we will not turn back from You; revive us, and we will call upon Your Name. Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved! ” Psalm 80:17 – 19 “Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more’…O my God, make them like the whirling dust, like the chaff before the wind! As the fire burns the woods, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire, so pursue them with Your tempest, and frighten them with Your storm. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your Name, O Lord. Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; yes, let them be put to shame and perish that they may know that You, whose Name alone is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.” Psalm 83:1 – 4, 13 – 18 “Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your anger toward us to cease…Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.” Psalm 85:4, 6, 9 May the Lord bless, guide and use you to do your part to bring our nation back to the God of the Bible.

  • quinna - 2011-04-28 12:00

    POVERTY- ITS CAUSES AND CURE From the squatter camps, to the rundown ghettos, to the refugee camps, Christians are struggling to respond to suffering with practical love. The difference of productivity and income per person in the Western world compared to the so called "developing" or "third" world was 2 to 1 last century. Now it is 70 to 1. This escalating disparity, along with the impact of natural and man-made disasters, has greatly increased the flow of refugees and "illegal aliens" into Western nations. It has also greatly aggravated the spread of diseases, environmental degradation, the escalation of crime and the possibilities of conflict. One of the main responses of the industrial nations has been to supply generous amounts of foreign aid to the poorer nations. However, foreign aid has been accused of denying the poorer nations the chance to develop their economies to viability. Most aid does not encourage self sufficiency and growth. The dumping of food-surplus aid has damaged local agriculture in the long term. It is hard for farmers to sell what is being given away. While we must most certainly love our neighbour, especially the deserving poor, we need to be wise and discerning in our aid so as to encourage responsibility and rehabilitation. The Abuse of Relief Aid Since 1954 the USA has shipped millions of tonnes of food aid to India - to the Indian government (not private businesses or agencies). Rats have consumed more than half of this food at the docks and storage facilities! Because of Hinduism's belief in reincarnation, rats and sacred cows may not be killed! It would take a train 3000 miles long to haul the grain eaten by Indian rats in a single year! Also, the sacred cows in India eat enough food to feed most of Asia! And the Hindu temples contain a vast fortune of gold, rubies, sapphires and other precious stones in their statues - which are worshipped as idols. It is actually Hinduism's re-incarnation beliefs, its' sacred cows, protected rats, idols made of gold and jewels, wasted resources and superstition that are causing the poverty and starvation in India. Ethiopia in the 1980's was a classic example of a man-made famine. Socialism, confiscations and nationalisations, the abolishment of incentive, the punishment of productivity and subsidising of irresponsibility caused the starvation in what used to be called "the breadbasket of Africa." The "Red Terror" mass executions, forced removals of millions of people and destruction of crops by the government further aggravated the famine. The corruption and abuse of the relief aid in Ethiopia was the ultimate scandal: 100% import tax was charged on all free relief aid! Brand new Mercedes Benz trucks were required with 100% import tax imposed on all these trucks for transporting the food. All these trucks had to be signed over to the marxist government of Ethiopia! (And all this while US$70 million was spent on the "Anniversary of the Revolution" celebrations in 1984 - ½ for alcohol!). In fact, much of the relief aid and food was used for the many Cuban, Soviet and East German military who were involved in causing the famine. Some of the food was actually exported in payment for weapons! In the 1980's Mozambique was another example of a man-made famine in a country which used to export food. After the marxist revolution of 1975 a socialist economy was imposed upon the people. Farms were confiscated. Factories were nationalised. Hundreds of thousands of people were incarcerated in concentrated camps. Over 75000 people were accused of being "black marketeers", "reactionaries" and "counter revolutionaries" and publically executed. Food was exported to the Soviet bloc in exchange for weapons. A scorched earth policy was later launched to starve out the resistance to the Frelimo government by burning down crops and villages. Bureaucratic wastage and corruption became a growth industry. Economic poverty and social chaos resulted. However, in Mozambique it was not only marxism that caused the starvation but also animism. The widespread practise of ancestoral worship led many poor families to sacrifice their last goat or chicken to appease the "ancestoral spirits"! In Albania and Romania I have come across Gypsies deliberately starving their babies and then laying these malnourished infants out on sidewalks with a hat next to them to beg for money. Any money received was used for cigarettes and alcohol. In India some street people have actually maimed or mutilated their own children to make them more pitiful, and therefore effective, in begging. In South Africa, having spent many months on the streets of Hillbrow and Durban doing street evangelism, I have seen professional beggars at work. I have seen "cripples" letting down their strapped leg and stretching and walking unaided without their crutches; and I've seen the "blind" lift up their dark glasses to count the money in their hat. Some street children have told me that they can make an average of R200 a day from begging! In all too many cases our casual and spontaneous handing over of some coins to strangers begging on the streets does more harm than good. Giving to beggars on the streets often goes to subsidising drunkenness, smoking, drugs, prostitution and gambling. Some of the beggars are child prostitutes and thieves using begging as a cover while looking for opportunities. Then there are the "religious" con-men who know the terminology and can deceive and manipulate the unsuspecting into handing over large quantities of cash for spurious causes. I have also been one of those deceived by professional "converts" who let themselves be counselled to Christ only to "borrow" money from the well meaning evangelist. Multiple millions of rands are squandered by guilt-manipulated Christians giving to beggars at traffic lights, at their front door and on the streets. At the same time good ministries like the Salvation Army, the Docks Mission, the Ark, Cape Town City Mission, Love in Action and others are struggling for lack of support. There is a desperate need for good stewardship of our limited resources. It would be more responsible to channel our compassion to supporting Christian ministries which have proven their effectiveness in reaching out in love to help the poor. Biblical charity does not subsidise sin nor should it encourage irresponsibility. So before we get down to practical strategies to care for the poor, and to eradicate poverty, let us define poverty and consider what causes poverty. What Causes Poverty? A definition of poverty could be: "an insufficiency of the material necessities of life." The poor could be described as: "Persons who do not have, and are unable to obtain, the means for sustaining life. If they are to survive they are thus dependant upon the resources of other people." The Biblical definition of the poor could be: "Those who cannot sustain themselves because they are too old, too young or too handicapped to work." There are four broad categories under which all causes of poverty could be grouped: Personal sacrifice, slothfulness, calamity (earthquakes, floods, wars, etc.), or exploitation. Self-imposed Poverty The lazy and indolent (slothful) inevitably suffer the consequences of their sin: "He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer" Proverbs 18:9. "How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep - so shall your poverty come on you like a robber . . ." Proverbs 6:9-11. "Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands, the house leaks . . ." Eccl 10:18. It is a disgrace to be lazy (Prov 10:5). Lazy people always find excuses not to work. (Prov 15:19; 26:13-16). Those who love sleep will grow poor (Prov 19:15; 20:13). "If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat." 2Thess 3:10 Moral poverty often dooms its people to ongoing material poverty. Selfishness, greed, laziness, immorality, short-sightedness, gambling, alcohol abuse, addiction to pornography, indulging in prostitution, drug abuse and other sins are symptoms of rebellion against the Law of God. Such evils inevitably lead to poverty. Victims of self imposed poverty need the Gospel and discipleship to free them from their lifestyle of sin. Imposed Poverty The main causes of imposed poverty are: oppression and religious error. Oppression consists in governments or individuals violating others' God given rights' to life, property and liberty. This takes the forms of fraud, theft and violence. (Inflation/unbacked currencies/counterfeiting; socialism; excessive taxation; corruption; wastage; inefficiency; etc.). UnBiblical worldviews underlie the poverty of the third world. The fatalism and re-incarnation beliefs of Hinduism and Buddhism, where the material world is not perceived as real and difficulties are understood as a result of the deeds of a previous life ("my Karma is bad") are paralysing to progress. The Animist worldview which sees man at the mercy of outside forces - the spirits - lead people to be shackled by superstition and fear. The fatalism of Islam is also not conducive to productive planning and innovation. The poor-by-exploitation need both direct charity to meet immediate needs and justice in the form of restitution from those who exploited them, and freedom from false religions. The poor-by-calamity (victims of floods, earthquakes, wars, etc.) are the most appropriate recipients of charity - though the aim is always to help them become self-supporting again. Poverty in History The key question when faced by the disparity between rich and poor individuals and societies is not "How did this man/society become poor?" Poverty is the natural condition of man. The question is: "How did anyone become rich?" Poverty is a consequence of the Fall (Gen 3:17-19). Famines were commonplace before the Industrial Revolution. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, England suffered famines an average of 7 times per century. A third of the population died in the province of Bengal in the great Indian famine of 1769-1770. Similar losses were experienced in India in 1783 and 1790-1792. India suffered a further 8 famines from 1838 to 1901 with well over 9 million dying of starvation. In a single famine in North China from 1877 to 1878 over 9,5 million died. Only the Christian work ethic and the resultant industrial revolution brought the West out of the recurring horror of famine. A wooden plough drawn by oxen can provide food for one large family. By the 18th Century, the new iron plough drawn by a horse could provide food for 3 families. By the 1940's a tractor pulling a plough could feed 14 families. Now advanced tractors, tools and techniques can enable one farmer to produce enough food for 60 families. It is an observable fact that the most efficient economies in the world are based upon private ownership of property, honest money, free enterprise and a Christian work ethic. Is Colonialism Responsible? Much of the Third World is definitely in a shocking mess. One-party dictatorships, economic chaos, malnutrition, famines, civil wars, massacres and abject poverty are the norm in most of Africa. But who is responsible? The notion that colonialism is the major cause of world poverty was popularised by Vladimir Lenin, and his disciples have faithfully repeated it ever since. However, contrary to the ahistorical mumblings of the coloniphobics, some of the most poverty-stricken and backward lands imaginable - Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nepal, Tibet and Liberia - never fell under Western colonial control. Some colonies - like Hong Kong - became very prosperous. And some of the richest and most advanced Western lands, such as Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, never controlled any colonies. Other advanced countries such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada were themselves colonies. Actually, contact with the West brought far more benefits than disadvantages. Tea and rubber trees, for example, were foreign to Asia, as was mealie meal in Africa. Such blessings were the results of colonialism. Some of the main "Scars of Colonialism" include roads, railways, schools, hospitals, the wheel, written languages, the Bible and churches. The ancestor-worshipping and idolatrous religions have rendered whole civilisations powerless in the face of "nature". "Unquestioning acceptance of nature and its vagaries is widespread in Africa", declares Bishop Bududira of Burundi, who maintains that local cultures obstruct material progress by wrong mental attitudes, seeing themselves as suffering history rather than in making it. He concludes that: "The message of Christ frees people from the shackles of tribal thinking, and leads to a greater sense of personal responsibility." - Reality and Rhetoric, Lord Bauer The tribalistic philosophies inhibit productivity, penalise accomplishment and confiscate what little is produced. Animism teaches its adherents to regard themselves as helpless in the face of their surroundings - assuming "that the opportunities and the resources for the economic advance of oneself or one's family have to be provided by someone else - by the state, by one's superiors, by richer people, or from abroad. This attitude is in turn an aspect of the belief of the efficacy of external forces over one's destiny . . . It is an attitude plainly unfavourable to material progress." - Dissent on Development, P. T. Bauer "The idea that it is evil to make personal economic progress takes hold of the people and fear of being envied prohibits growth and encourages poverty." - Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators, David Chilton "One of the decisive factors in understanding development or non-development is the `envy barrier' or institutionalised envy among the population." - Envy: A Theory of Social Behaviour, Helmut Schoeck Into this unhealthy situation comes Foreign Aid, which only increases dependence, corruption and greed, rather than developing responsibility. The problems in the Third World are not primarily political or economic. The problem is false religion and the resultant pagan philosophies/worldview. The solution is therefore also primarily religious - the world needs to be converted to and discipled in the Christian Faith. Church and mission based relief would not only be more efficient but would inspire greater personal responsibility and economic productivity. Is Socialism Biblical? Despite exhaustive and imaginative efforts by so-called "Christian Socialists" to promote socialism as "true Christian love and sharing" - the Ten Commandments still stand: "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods." Socialism is legalised theft. It is institutionalised envy. It is the use of envy and guilt to manipulate productive Christians into committing economic suicide. The socialist doctrine of economic equality requires the stealing of property and the prohibition of economic freedoms. - Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators - David Chilton "Socialism is not the pioneer of a better and finer world, but the spoiler of what thousands of years of civilisation have created. It does not build; it destroys. For destruction is the essence of it. It produces nothing, it only consumes what the social order based on private ownership of the means of production has created . . ." - Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis - Ludwig von Mises To almost every problem in the world, Socialism advocates state intervention. In this way socialists insist on unBiblical powers for the government to interfere with, or control, prices, markets, wages, jobs, profits, population control, education, movement, etc. The inevitable end of increasing government intervention is the erosion of personal freedom. Socialism destroys incentive, initiative and productivity. Socialists are parasites who consume what others have earned by hard work and ingenuity. Socialists try to cut up "the pie" to the advantage of their supporters, free enterprise just makes more pies for everyone. Price controls create an imbalanced, chaotic market, minimum wage laws result in unemployment, profit restrictions increase consumer costs, enforced economic equality leads to stagnation, destruction of initiative and more poverty. Concern for the poor has long been used as a justification for all sorts of crime - Judas Iscariot, who was a thief, is a prime example (John 12:4-6). Envy is the greatest disease of our age. Envy is the feeling that because someone else has something he is to blame for my not having it! The main motive behind envy is not so much to take as to destroy. Envy and malice are inseparable. "Peace of mind makes the body healthy, but jealousy is like a cancer." Proverbs 14:30 "Rather than wealth causing poverty, it is far more true to say that what causes poverty is the widespread belief that wealth does!" - Wealth and Poverty - George Gilder If we have needs, the Bible commands us to: Pray (Phil 4:6-7), to Work (1 Thess 4:11), to Trust God (Phil 4:19) and to Be Content (Phil 4:12). The only thing Socialism has ever been able to provide its adherents with is the "guaranteed income" of Romans 6:23: "The wages of sin is death." Biblical Principles for Economics 1. HONEST MONEY. Throughout the Bible money is spoken of by weight. God's Law requires that financial transactions be made in terms of honest measures. God hates and forbids unjust weights and measures, inflation, fractional reserve banking, unbacked currencies, and multiple indebtedness (Lev 19:35-36; Prov 11:1;20:10; 20:23; Amos 8:5-7; Micah 6:11-12). In 1982 you could post a letter in South Africa for 4 cents. In 1970 you could buy a new car for R1000. The devastating impact of unbacked currency/inflation on pensions and savings is criminal. Biblical Law requires honest money backed up by real constant value. 2. FREE ENTERPRISE. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods. God blesses productivity, incentive, initiative and hard work (Ex 20:15-17; 30:14-15; Lev 19:15; 1 Sam 8:10-18; 1 Kings 21:3; Ezra 7:23-24; Prov 10:2-4; 12:24; 13:4,11). Private ownership of property and of the means of production is Biblical. It is also foundational for freedom and prosperity. 3. LIMITED (CONSTITUTIONAL) GOVERNMENT. Any taxation of 10% or higher is defined in the Bible as oppression. And any taxation of property or inheritance is strictly forbidden. Institutions and individuals involved in the fulltime service of the Lord may not be taxed. All their income comes from free will offerings made unto the Lord by people who have already paid tax on their incomes (Ezra 7:23-24). Less government means more freedom and more personal responsibility (1 Pet 2:13-14; Rom 13:3-4; Eccl 8:11; Ps 19:7-9; Prov 14:34; Ps 9:17). 4. GOD HONOURING CHARITY. The Biblical principle is that we are responsible to care for our family first and then through the church, community and missionary organisations express love for our neighbour in action. Person to person, church to church, mission to community direct aid based upon evangelism and discipleship. All this is aimed to encourage responsibility and productivity. It is short term aid aimed at long term (eternal) benefits. The goal is to help the victims of poverty back onto their own two feet - where they can, in turn, help others (Isaiah 58:7; James 1:27). Matthew 25:35-36 and Ezekiel 34:2-4teach us to: Strengthen the weak, bind up the injured, care for the sick, share your food with the hungry, clothe the naked, invite in the stranger and look after widows and orphans. The Christian Foundations for prosperity are laid with these basic principles: Christians must respect one another's property, never steal or cheat, always abide by contracts, be industrious in earning money, be disciplined in saving money, be wise in investing money, be obedient to God in tithing to Christian ministries, be discerning in sharing with those in need. Work all you can, earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can. Biblical charity is to be primarily directed to widows, orphans and the handicapped - the deserving poor (1Tim 5:3-16). Biblical methods of charity include: gleaning, lending, labour and tithes through the local church. Are you supporting a Biblical ministry to the poor? We are our brother's keeper (Genesis 4:9). Don't just give food or money - also give of your time to share the love and Gospel of Christ personally. Love is something you do, not just something you feel. Regardless of what the government does, regardless of what the church does, families and individuals have a responsibility to obey God. Since charity is primarily a function of the Christian family, working in concert with other Christian families, it is essential that each of those Christian families begin to implement the love of God practically. Charity begins at home: educating children, caring for the helpless, and strengthening the weak. It begins as we encourage others, co-ordinate resources, network with existing programs, and spearhead new efforts - Bringing in the Sheaves, George Grant. Every South African cent has the sparrows to remind us that God cares for the very least (Matthew 10:29). And every Rand coin has inscribed: Soli Deo Gloria _ every Rand we spend should be to the glory of God alone! God cares about every cent. Every rand we spend must be to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Pray (Phil 4:6-7), Work (1 Thess 4:11), Trust God (Phil 4:19), Be content (Phil 4:12), Be generous (2 Cor 9:6-12). "God loves a cheerful giver, and God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Cor 9:7-8 Rev. Peter Hammond (Director) For further reading on this subject I recommend that you obtain: Bringing in the Sheaves - Transforming Poverty into Productivity by George Grant and The Samaritan Strategy by Colonel Doner - available from UCA, PO Box 23632, Claremont 7735, Cape Town. BIBLE VERSES TO MEDITATE ON "If there is a poor man among your brothers at any of the towns in the land that the Lord your God has given you, do not be hardhearted or tight-fisted toward your poor brother." Deuteronomy15.7 "Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble." Psalm 41:1 "Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." Psalm 82:3 "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me? declares the Lord." Jeremiah 22:16 "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done." Proverbs 19:11 "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered." Psalm 21:13 "If the king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure." Psalm 29:14 "Is it not to share your food with the hungry, and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?" Isaiah 58:7 "I was a stranger and you did not invite Me in. I needed clothes and you did not clothe Me. I was sick and in prison and you did not look after Me." Matthew 25:43 "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:34 "He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him... Go and do likewise." Luke 10:34-37 "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the Law of Christ." Galatians 6:2 "Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Hebrews 13:3 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep yourself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

  • quinna - 2011-04-28 12:01

    GOD & GOVERNMENT: God's Law There was a time, not so long ago, when Christians were known to be people of integrity – who could be trusted to keep their word. So pervasive was the Christian ethic that verbal agreements were binding and sufficient. Burglar bars, alarms and security gates were unknown and unnecessary. Women and children could walk alone without fear or danger. What happened? Now we can have Christians exalting a convicted criminal who, as a church leader, was guilty of unrepented adultery; and as a political leader, represented a political party which legalised abortion and pornography; and who was convicted of massive theft of funds designated for the poor. Despite his refusal to confess personal responsibility for his specific actions, or even to admit that he was wrong; and without undertaking any restitution, this unrepentant criminal has been welcomed straight from prison to preach in pulpits! "You must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat." 1 Corinthians 5:11 In the Unicity council in Cape Town, the DA (which includes many professing Christians) have supported an interim IDP document which includes "the promotion of alternative lifestyles", and together with the ANC refused to distance themselves from the proposed "sex tourism", and the creation of a "Red Light District"! With the rampant crime (the Western Cape officially has 32 car thefts, 31 violent robberies and 9 murders every single day), with schoolgirls raped - even on Rondebosch Common, with escalating infections of HIV (AIDS), it seems incredible that the Unicity councillors could even be considering "promoting alternative lifestyles" and "sex tourism". Such vices inevitably degrade and dehumanise, encourage promiscuity, increase the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and fuel other vices such as drug and alcohol abuse, pornography, gambling and gangsterism. "Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts … let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream!" Amos 5:15, 24 Yet, even more disturbing is the fact that many of the councillors who voted in favour of the IDP and against adopting an ACDP motion for "the promotion of a family friendly environment", were Christians! Many of the Democratic Alliance (DA) councillors, who voted for the "sex tourism" and against the "family friendly" motion, campaigned in their elections with the pledge to uphold "family values" and "Christian principles"! "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." Proverbs 14:34 A crisis was caused in the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) earlier this year when one councillor went against his mandate and instructions by voting for an ANC mayor in the Boland district council. Incredibly, he justified his action by claiming that he had "prayed about it" and had "peace" that he should cast his vote for the ANC. This is for a party that stands for legalised abortion, pornography, homosexuality, gambling and prostitution! "But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God; trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials …" Exodus 18:21 In Zambia, the President, whose testimony as a Christian is well known around the world, has dismayed his supporters by attempting to run for a third term – despite the fact that the same constitutional amendment that declared Zambia a Christian nation, also places a two term limit on presidential candidates. To justify his campaign for a third term, certain "prophets" have been paraded proclaiming that "it is God’s will" and that he is the "annointed one"! "To the Law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, they have no light of dawn." Isaiah 8:20 The solution to all our social and political problems is not merely to have Christian officials elected. As recent history amply demonstrates, those who claim to be Christians can advocate and vote for policies which are blatantly in conflict with God’s Law. The Bible forbids the shedding of innocent blood (Genesis 9:6; Proverbs 6: 16-17), yet many Christians vote for parties that stand for legalised, taxpayer-funded abortion and euthanasia. The Bible forbids theft, taxation above 10%, the taxation of property, the taxation of inheritance, the taxation of those involved in the full time service of the Lord (Exodus 20:15,17; 1 Samuel 8:10 –18; 1 Kings 21:3, Ezra 7:23 –24), yet many Christians support taxation policies which break all of these Biblical principles. "For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity." Isaiah 61:8 The great British Reformer and Bible translator, Professor John Wycliffe, taught that "the Bible is given for the government of the people, by the people and for the people". The primary message of the Bible is about how sinful men and women can be reconciled to the Holy Creator. The secondary message of the Bible is how we are to live our lives in obedience to the Law of God. Because God is the Creator of all, His Word speaks on all areas of life – including education, economics and justice. Yet many Christians reject, or neglect, God’s Word and its application to all areas of life. "Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching’ …" John 14:23 Most Christians do not seem to understand that we are in a war. It’s a war of ideas and of loyalties. You either give your allegiance to God, or to satan. The world is the battlefield. Unfortunately, many Christians have failed to renew their minds (Romans 12:1-2) and don’t understand how the humanist worldview conflicts with the Biblical worldview. If you read the newspaper more than you read the Bible, if you read secular books and magazines more than Christian publications, if you watch TV more than you worship Christ, then it’s inevitable – you may have a Christian heart, but you’ll certainly have a humanist mind. "… since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind." Romans 1: 28 What is shaping and filling your mind? If it is television, popular music and the newspapers then you will be a humanist in your thinking, because these areas have been generally taken over by those who reject God and the Bible and therefore they promote (often subtly) evolutionism, situation ethics, immorality and socialism. Humanism is a secular religion that teaches that people are not created in the image of God, that there are no absolute standards of right and wrong, that man is a product of his environment, evolved by random chance from lower forms of life. Therefore people are not moral agents, but victims of circumstances. To the humanist man is the measure of all things – not God. "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." Colossians 2:8 In households with television, the average child sees between 15 000 to 30 000 hours of television, and listens to over 10 000 hours of music, before leaving school (Nielsen Media Research, 1995). During that time he or she will have seen from 800 000 to 1,5 million acts of violence, including 192 000 to 360 000 murders depicted on television (US News and World Report 1996), and 240 000 to 480 000 sexual acts or references to sex (Media Research Centre). They will also have spent from 11 000 to 16 000 hours in school and less than 2000 hours of conversation and interaction with their parents (Media Wise Family). What values and worldview will they receive from these sources? What influence has the media had upon you? "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2 Unless you make a conscious, deliberate and daily effort to study God’s Word and apply the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life, then you will inevitably be conformed to the world. The news media, educational institutions and entertainment industry are seldom sympathetic to Biblical principles. What we see influences what we think and what we think influences what we become and what we do. Ideas have consequences. Actions flow from thought patterns. What form of education is moulding your thought patterns? What entertainment and news media is filling your mind? "Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16 So, what has gone so wrong that even those who claim to be Christians can be guilty of deceit, theft, immorality and the promotion of pornography, prostitution, homosexuality, gambling and abortion? How can Christians belong to political parties which blatantly reject God’s Law and promote such gross evils? How can Christians vote for parties which advocate legalised prostitution, gambling, homosexuality, pornography, abortion and euthanasia? "There is no fear of God before their eyes." Romans 3:18 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). For a society to be prosperous and peaceful it is essential that the society be primarily made up of moral people. The foundation for a truly free and stable nation can only be laid in characters, minds and lives changed by the Grace of God. In order to be successful, a society needs to be made up of honest citizens who will not steal, diligent people who are hard working and productive, compassionate families who are concerned for their neighbours, responsible workers who will fulfil their obligations and be faithful stewards of public resources. The essential foundations for morality are: Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Fear of God. "Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands." Psalm 112:1 Here we are getting to the heart of the problem. Most of our churches are devoid of the fear of the Lord, and far from delighting in God’s commands, many Christians actually despise God’s Law. How often have we heard preachers claiming that "we are no longer under law"! Yet the Bible defines sin as "lawlessness" (1 John 3:4). Those antinomians who reject God’s Law need to heed the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfil them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law … Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to be the same will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever practises and teaches these commands will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 5:17-19 King Alfred the Great (849 – 899) of England, who laid the foundations of the Common Law, began his Dooms with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), the Mosaic Case Laws (Exodus 21 – 23), the Golden Rule of Christ (Matthew 7:12) and other Biblical principles. The principles of limited government and the foundations of individual liberty can be traced through Alfred to the Bible (A History of the English-Speaking Peoples). The Law of God is the only effective foundation for freedom and justice. The Ten Commandments covers our responsibility to God, to our parents and to other people. Each command deals with a specific area (God, worship, speech, time, authority, life, love, property, truth and conscience). Each command includes prohibitions and each command includes an implicit right (Freedom of worship, the Right to know God’s will and to do it, Freedom of speech, the Right to work and to rest, Respect for authority, the Right to life, the Sanctity of marriage, Private ownership of property, the Right to be protected from slander and Freedom of conscience). Adherence to God’s Law would result in respect for God, respect for people and respect for property – a society where we could love our neighbour instead of fearing our neighbour. "The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes." Psalm 19:7-8 How then can so many Christians claim that God’s Law is no longer applicable to us, today? Are we free to worship other gods? Can we now bow before idols and take God’s Name in vain? May we desecrate the Lord’s Day and dishonour our parents? May we kill – at least pre-born babies or the very old and infirmed? May we now commit adultery, steal, lie and covet? Which of God’s Ten Commandments may we break without fear of serious consequences? God is not a permissive God. He didn’t give us the "Ten Suggestions"! "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell." Matthew 10:28 Only the fear of God can produce lasting justice and righteousness in individuals, families, churches and nations. Only to the degree that people fear God and obey His commandments can society function for the good and freedom of all its citizens. Honest and hard work abound when God is feared (Leviticus 25:43; Colossians 3:22). Sound economic practices flow from the fear of God (Nehemiah 5:9 -13). "For the nation or kingdom that will not serve You will perish, it will be utterly ruined". Isaiah 60:12 "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord …" Psalm 33:12 When something is repeated in Scripture it emphasises its importance. Loving God, His Name, His Law and His Word is mentioned 88 times in the Bible. Trusting God and His Word occurs 91 times. There are 278 references to Fearing God in the Bible. The Fear of God is mentioned more times than any other aspect of devotion. The reverential awe, respect and fear of God must be the fundamental attitude of our Faith. Any view of God which doesn’t lead us to fear God and obey His Law cannot be a Biblical view. "Great and marvellous are Your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are Your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear You, O Lord, and bring glory to Your Name? You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed." Revelation 15:3-4 Unless we as individuals, families, congregations, communities and as a nation return to God’s Word, we will be doomed to suffer the inevitable consequences of humanistic situation ethics – escalating STD’s, inflation and unemployment and increasing corruption, crime and violence. It’s God Law or chaos. "See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction … love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land …" Deuteronomy 30:15-16 Dr. Peter Hammond

      Wollie - 2011-04-28 12:05

      You at the wrong place. Nobody is reading this.

      Monica - 2011-04-28 17:38

      Oh God, find the nearest bridge and jump off it.

  • Darwinian - 2011-04-28 12:50

    783 cases of fraud......

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