The South African Government wants to take it even further than the Obama Administration did in the USA!
Through legislation they want to control the body of Christ!
It is very important that all Pastors of all denominations and all Christians read this. The purpose of this post is to help the Pastors of all the different Christian denominations and also all Christians to understand how the Church should address this new move by the South African government. It gives guidelines but it also high-lites the dangers that we can step into if we are not cautious.
(As the above image suggests, there is no such thing as “Church/State separation” – The church is actually the foundation from where the state should function)
It appears that a new day is breaking in South Africa. A new day of new challenges, not just on the political front but also on the spiritual. The existing ruling party is in the process of being (slowly) toppled by the opposition party and we do not yet know what repercussions that might have on the citizens of South Africa. It is truly going to be a big test for the state of the democracy in our country.
Then there is also a new move, instigated by the dark forces in the world today, to challenge our religious freedom in South Africa. These dark forces are in fact attempting to take away the religious freedom that we currently have.
We have heard about the “Hate Crimes Bill” and we have heard of some other proposed legislation concerning the Church of Christ. The mentioned proposed legislation in its current form will lead to the church of South Africa being state-controlled like it has never been before. We as Christians and we as citizens of South Africa cannot allow this to happen.
In the dawn of all these challenges threatening South Africans and threatening the Church, we need to be well prepared in order to address these challenges correctly and effectively.
Similarities to the challenges the early church faced in the New Testament
I really do need to bring your attention briefly to the challenges the early church faced in New Testament times. This will tell us exactly how we need to address the challenges that we face today in South Africa. The early Church was birthed in difficult times and they had to endure devastating circumstances and harsh resistance from the governments of the world that they lived in.
After Christ’s ascension He gave them the Holy Spirit who led and assisted the early Church through these treacherous waters.
They faced devastating persecutions and difficulties from many enemies all over the Roman Empire in those days. The church was seen as a real threat, a real irritation and a real enemy to people and to governments.
Exactly who were the enemies of the church and what exactly were they up against?
The local government of the Jews, as one of the provinces of the Roman Empire, the pagan religions of the Roman Empire and of course the government of the Roman Empire itself were all big obstacles and hindrances to the body of Christ. Eventually the Roman Catholic church replaced paganism but this state-controlled monarchy was even more detrimental to the true Christian Church than paganism.
At first the Jews attempted to stop Christianity in its tracks by denying them to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ at all. When this approach was not successful, the Jews increased their pressure on Christians. They started to vigorously persecute them in all sorts of ways. They even started killing Christians with the consent of the government of the Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire eventually increased their involvement by vigorously persecuting Christians themselves. Thousands of Christians were killed and robbed of their possessions for many years. The atrocities against Christians were unprecedented in many ways.
Elevate the church to a state of power, status and privileges
After the fall of paganism the government of the Roman Empire changed their strategy. The Christian Church was now legalized by Constantine and therefore Constantine himself and the subsequent Emperors were forced to change their strategies in order to achieve their agendas. In stead of persecuting the church they embarked on controlling the church.
The plan of action was to give the church status and power in exchange for control over the Christian faith and Christian’s way of life. They went as far as to elevate the Papacy and the Roman Church to a position of a virtually independent monarchy in the true sense of the word. This gave the Papacy and the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church the power to make laws and decrees and the power to enforce those laws and decrees on people. They now possessed the same privileges as an imperial government and they had the backing of the government of the Roman Empire to enforce those laws and decrees.
Needless to say that, in many cases, these laws and decrees had to conform to the will of the government of the Roman Empire. The church became a state-controlled puppet in the hands of the government. Of course the government of the Roman Empire also made their own laws and decrees which they expected the Roman Catholic Church to enforce onto the peoples of the Roman Empire.
Christians no longer lived according to the word of God but rather to the will of the government. This led to devastating apostasy within the Church. It killed the leading of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit within the Church. It killed the functions of the members of the body of Christ as ministers of the true word of God. Christ Jesus was removed from His position as Head of the Church and replaced by the pope and the government of the Roman Empire.
The word of God and the spiritual principles of the kingdom of God were replaced by man-made laws, decrees and doctrines which led to serious apostasy within the Church.
Many Christians did not understand the danger of the situation and many fell into the trap of accepting this new way of serving Christ. They did not realize it but they slowly but surely gave up their true faith in Christ for a pagan-like religion. They ultimately sold their souls for the privileges that the Roman Catholic Church and the government of the Roman Empire provided them.
The true Church of Christ needs to stay pure in its faith
Taking into consideration the immense resistance that the early Christians had to face, it was an absolute miracle that they overcame all those obstacles. The true Church eventually conquered their enemies.
Jesus Christ and the Apostles warned them that they will have it difficult and that they will pay a price for their faith in Christ. They were told that their enemies will eventually be defeated. If they stay pure in their faith, they will eventually reap the benefits of an everlasting life in Christ. These promises actually did prove to be true. The Church did conquer her enemies.
Exactly how did the Church conquer her enemies?
And they overcame their enemies by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
This is how we always have victory over our enemies! The early church were obedient to God and His word only. They kept on preaching the truth only. They kept on living out their faith according to the will and the word of God even if it meant loosing their lives doing so.
Although they never physically defended themselves against their enemies, at the end they conquered all their enemies. Like Christ who was led like a lamb to be slaughtered, so did the Church deal with the governments of the world. They kept on being obedient to God and they left the judgement of those who did all those injustice to them to God.
Over a period of many years, one after the other, the true Church conquered their enemies. At first paganism fell as a direct result of Christianity being officially decreed as the official religion of the Roman Empire. This must have been somewhat similar to what happened in America with the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States of America earlier this year. Things drastically changed all over the Roman Empire similar as to what we see in the United States of America right now.
Then they outlasted the government of the Western Roman Empire (Rome) when it fell during the invasion of the ten Northern tribes. What a sight that must have been! Nobody thought that the mighty Rome would ever fall. They conquered the Roman Catholic church when it was exposed by the Reformers. They witnessed how the kings of the world turned their backs on the Roman Catholic church. They saw how the rulers of both the Western Empire (now under new government) and Eastern Empire withdrew their support from the Roman Catholic church. They saw how these rulers took the status, power and influence away from the pope and the Roman Catholic church.
Eventually they also outlasted the Eastern Roman Empire during the invasion of the Mohammedans. During this invasion in particular a decision was made not to touch any Christians while the rest of the citizens of the Eastern Roman Empire were slaughtered and defeated.
Of course all these governments caused serious casualties within the ranks of the Christian Church. Of course they made life very difficult for them but in the end the Church was victorious.
Although the early Christians suffered a lot, they made the world a better place for their families and for their children. They did not loose their faith and they stayed faithful to God and faithful to the truth. They totally ignored the laws and the decrees of all these governments when it was not in line with the will of God and the word of God. They just refused to act and live contrary to the will of God and the word of God by obeying wicked man-made laws and decrees.
How do we address the current situation in South Africa?
Remember, the Church will always come out on top! We might loose some of the battles when governments resist Christianity but we need to do exactly the same as the early Church did. If we want to be victorious, we need to stick to our beliefs. We need to cling onto our religious freedom even if it means that we pay with our lives for it. We cannot be obedient to man and disobedient to God!
Of course we need to object to these laws and these changes that our government wants to implement in our country! Of course we need to make our voices heard! Of course we need to fight these legislation in court! We need to sign the petitions and we need to organize peaceful marches and prayer meetings.
Of course we need to refuse to adhere to these laws even if we end up in prison! We just cannot allow these laws and legislation to control our faith-walk in Christ! We do need to preach the gospel of truth. We need to preach against sin, in love of course. We cannot divert from the truth. We do need to stick to the whole message of the gospel as it is written in the word of God. If we allow legislation to control our faith-walk in Christ and our way of life as Christians, it will definitely lead to apostasy just like it did in the Roman Catholic Church.
If we allow political legislation to control the church, it will kill the leading of the Holy Spirit and it will kill the gifts of the Spirit in the body of Christ. It will hinder the true Biblical function of the body of Christ. It will silence the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ and it will lead to the preaching of a false gospel. It will promote false teachings within the Church of Christ which will always lead to apostasy.
The Church of Christ in South Africa will definitely become a state-controlled and an apostate Church just like the Roman Catholic Church did, if we do not take our stand against the proposed legislation.
No physical resistance against the government
It is of the utmost importance that we do not take illegal action against the government. We cannot take violent action! Jesus Christ warned that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. This in fact did happen in the early Church. There were Christian groups and individuals that decided to take up arms against the government of the Roman Empire with devastating consequences. The Roman Empire viciously slaughtered such groups of Christians and such individuals. Some of these groups were in totality wiped from the face of the earth.
Christianity is protected by God because it is a heavenly and a spiritual kingdom. We do not and cannot follow the same principles, ways and methods of earthly kingdoms. We need to follow the same principles that most of those early Christians did. Like Christ they did not physically defend themselves.
A warning to different denominations in the institutional Church
The gravest mistake that Church leaders can make is to cooperate with the South African government when it comes to the new proposed legislation. Some church leaders might feel that such a move might be beneficial to them. They might negotiate with the government or they might agree to accept the proposed legislation.
Many denominations who are already in a state of apostasy, or on the verge of apostasy might fall into this trap. This will make life more difficult for other Christians and other Christian denominations but at the end of the day, such denominations will suffer greatly. They will truly be state-controlled like the Roman Catholic church was and they will eventually be in a pathetic state of apostasy. Like the Roman Catholic Church they will become a mouthpiece of the government. These denominations and churches will eventually implode. The Lord will blow out their lamps like He did with the Roman Catholic church.
Many Christians might join such churches and denominations in order to reap the benefits of whatever they might promise but at the end of the day, such Christians will be led to belief all sorts of false doctrines and they will be led into apostasy.
The true Church of Christ need to distance her from the new proposed legislation. At first we fight it by following the legal route but thereafter we need to refuse to be more obedient to man than to God.
Please share this post with everyone
We really need to share the information in this post to as many people as possible. Share it with your pastor and ask him what his view is regarding these matters. Share it with your friends and family. Discuss it with as many people as possible and tell them what God wants us to do regarding these matters.
Remember, the real purpose of the proposed legislation is to silence the truth. This is happening right across the world. The world does not want the truth any more. They do not want to deal with Christianity any more. They actually want to get rid of Christianity and they want to follow the same strategy that the government of the Roman Empire embarked upon. The easiest way to kill Christianity is to lead the church astray. Make them what you want them to be and make them do what you want them to do!
What the governments of the world seem not to understand is that Christianity is here to stay. The kingdom of God will fill the earth. The kingdom of God will overcome all the kingdoms of the earth and Christ will always reign with the saints. The truth cannot be silenced and the Church of Christ cannot be overcome!
That said, we cannot ignore the attacks of the enemy. This really is the time for all Christians and all denominations in South Africa to stand together in unity and in truth. We should not allow that any misunderstandings or that our differences divide us here.
Please pray about these matters. If you can, please arrange for legal and peaceful marches and prayer meetings whenever it is necessary.
Read the following relevant posts for more information: Hate Crimes Bill and Wees Gereed Suid-Afrika!
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