“They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrifice to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they were defiled by their own works, and they played the harlot by their own deeds. Therefore the wrath of the Lord was kindled against His people, so that He abhorred His own inheritance. And He gave them into the hands of the gentiles, and those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.”
The pagan religions practiced child sacrifice. One of the many pagan gods, Baal, was worshipped as the key to fertility and prosperity. To entice Baal to bless their land, mothers were required to present her firstborn child to the priest. Baal was represented by a huge stone, or brass, statue carved in the image of a bull’s head and the upper body of a man. The arms were extended to receive babies and fire belched from a hollow area in the chest.
In 2009, South Africans who have registered will have the responsibility of electing representatives for provincial and national government. How we exercise this right and responsibility of voting will have far reaching consequences for almost every area of our lives.
Concerning the role of Christians in social and political matters, the Bible instructs us to:
“I urge, then, first of all that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all Godliness and holiness.”
1 Timothy 2:1-2
“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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14
There is probably no more detested vice than that of hypocrisy. And yet it is pervasive.
Living a Lie
Hypocrisy involves the deception of others. Hypocrisy is living a lie. Hypocrisy is the state of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities or standards that one does not actually have.
The word hypocrisy comes from the Greek hypokrisis which refers to play acting and involves the concept of jealousy, cowardice, dissembling and deceit. It involves the condemning in others what one tolerates in oneself. Hypocrisy is the attempt to present a counterfeit “reality”.
During a recent Mission to Mpumalanga, I heard a number of remarkable testimonies of the crime and corruption which is afflicting this country.
Combine Harvester Stolen
A wheat farmer came back from a couple of days travel to find that his combine harvester had been stolen. Without this one million Rand machine, he would not be able to bring in the wheat harvest. But what would any criminal want with a combine harvester? Other than a wheat farmer, who could even use such a machine
The centenary celebrations of the ANC and their determination to dedicate the country to the ancestral spirits sparked nation wide controversy. How are we as Christians to respond? What does the Bible say concerning the spirits of our ancestors? To whom should South Africa be dedicated? Are there examples in history of other nations that have invoked the spirits of their ancestors? What were the results in those cases?
The African National Congress started off the year by throwing itself a lavish birthday party in Bloemfontein. To celebrate its journey from anti-apartheid movement to ruling party, they scheduled a golf outing, champagne toasts, and an inter-faith service which involved slaughtering a bull and invoking the ancestral spirits.
There are three different categories of municipalities in South Africa and they have slightly different electoral systems.
Metropolitan municipalities (Category A):
Metropolitan municipalities exist in the six biggest cities in South Africa. They have more than 500 000 voters and the metropolitan municipality co-ordinates the delivery of services to the whole area. There are metropolitan municipalities in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Ethekweni (Durban), Tshwane (Pretoria), Nelson Mandela (Port Elizabeth) and the Ekhuruleni (East Rand). These municipalities are broken into wards. Half the councillors are elected through a proportional representation ballot, where voters vote for a party. The other half are elected as ward councillors by the residents in each ward.
Your Biblical Duty to Vote
As responsible citizens, Christians must strive to honour God in all areas of life (Matthew 5:14-20). We are to oppose evil (Isaiah 59) and work for righteousness. Christians therefore have a Biblical duty to vote.
“Select capable men from all the people - men who fear God; trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain - and appoint them as officials...”
Does your one vote really count?
When you do not vote, by default you cast your vote against the person or proposal you would prefer. When you do not vote, that vote is one less the opposition has to overcome, thus your "no vote" is a vote for anti-Christian policies.
"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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14
"Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart…"
"Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble."
"But, because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when His righteous judgement will be revealed."
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."
"For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they've closed their eyes…"