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
“Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
Improve the Community
“See the trouble we are in: Jerusalem is in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and we will no longer be in disgrace.”
“Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice.”
Oppose Ungodly Rulers
“You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting...”
Uphold Christian Standards
“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
Disciple the Nations
“Make disciples of all nations... teaching them to obey everything I have commanded...”
Select God-fearing Leaders
“But select capable men from all the people - men who fear God; trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain - and appoint them as officials...”
Voters’ Guide to The Biblical Issues
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God”
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.
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people”
Amidst all the electioneering, unrealistic promises, media performances, slogan shouting and empty rhetoric, it is very difficult to maintain an objective perspective on reality. Many even find it difficult to discern between what is right and what is wrong during election campaigns.
“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”
Be careful to not merely listen to what is said, but to observe what is done. Cut through the vast volume of verbiage and evaluate each party and candidate in your area simply on the crucial Biblical issues:
There are, of course, other important issues such as: the honouring of the Lord’s Day, the right of law abiding citizens to own firearms for personal and family defence, opposing the exploitative and anti-family gambling industry, promoting law and order, establishing a fair and equal taxation system, etc. Nevertheless we have found that a party’s response to the eight chosen issues tends to be representative of their response to other Biblical concerns. Some will ask why we chose the eight issues listed above. The Voter’s Guide is based upon the “KwaSizabantu Affirmation 1991” which was endorsed by a thousand ministers; the “Cape Town Declaration on Freedom”;“The Christian Voice of Southern Africa” and “Biblical Principles for Africa.”
“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it...”
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefront besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” - Martin Luther
The Good, The Bad and The Godly
Over 77% of South Africans claim to be Christian. Yet the escalating crime wave, pervasive corruption and prevalent decadence in South Africa testifies to the painful ineffectiveness of most churches. Pornography, prostitution, rape, gambling, drug abuse, theft and murder are destroying our country.
“Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled! ... She accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord, she does not draw near to her God Her officials are roaring lions, her rulers are evening wolves, who leave nothing for the morning. Her prophets are arrogant; they are treacherous men. Her priests profane the sanctuary and do violence to the Law”
The shocking fact is that most Christians in South Africa voted for parties that do not honour God nor obey His law. Pornography, prostitution, gambling and abortion are legal in South Africa today because most Christian voters voted for political parties that reject God and His Word.
“Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have... turned their backs on Him.... stop bringing meaningless offerings! I cannot bear your evil assemblies…When you spread out your hands in prayer; I will hide my eyes from you; even f you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood...”
Isaiah 1:4, 13-15
Since the legalisation of abortion-on-demand on 1st February 1997, over 700 000 babies have been killed, in South Africa, by abortion — legally. This national disgrace is one of the tragic consequences of South Africans voting for parties that support abortion. Some political parties opposed the legislation that introduced abortion-on-demand, while voting for the Constitution which established the “right” to “reproductive health care”! The end result of this kind of inconsistency is that hundreds of thousands of innocent and helpless babies have been violently deprived of their “right to life.”
While tens of thousands have marched to Parliament for religious freedom, against a secular state and to oppose the closure of Christian Radio Stations, only a few hundred tend to turn out for Life Chains, pro-life demonstrations and Prayer Vigils for the pre-born outside Parliament (even though the pro-life protests have been just as well advertised as the marches). Apparently more Christians are concerned for their own religious liberty than for the right to life of pre-born babies.
While most South Africans complain about inflation, unemployment, crime and violence, few see their personal responsibility for the plight of the country.
“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt.”
Even if you see yourself as pro-life, if you voted for a party that supports abortion then you must share the collective responsibility for the resultant shedding of innocent blood. And if you didn’t even bother to vote, your apathetic silence has also served the cause of the abortionists. How can we expect God to answer our prayers for revival blessings while our nation is killing babies, with taxpayers money — legally?
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing!”
The Desperate Need for Discernment
Of course, many Christians will protest that they thought they were voting for a Christian candidate or party with a pro-life platform, and were horrified to learn how their chosen candidates actually voted when in Parliament. The Bible warns us to beware of deception:
“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way…”
2 Thessalonians 2:3
Of many prominent politicians who profess faith in Christ, it could accurately be said:
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good”
“By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.”
2 Corinthians 11:13
Yet, despite these clear Scriptural warnings, it is incredible how so many Christians can be so gullible when it comes to trusting the promises of pagan politicians. To all too many South Africans, politics and sports have become an idol. Consider this: Many church-goers will stand silently by while someone blasphemes the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet should anyone criticise their favourite sports team or chosen political party they will protest most loudly!
“Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save.”
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength.”
“Of this you can be sure: no immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.”
In the words of Samuel Adams: “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” Without a spiritual revival to reverse the disastrous deterioration in moral and spiritual standards - South Africa will reap what it has sown. Hundreds of thousands of copies of pornographic magazines and DVDs have been distributed in South Africa.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature... will reap destruction.”
Over one hundred thousand people (including pre-born babies) are murdered each year.
“Bloodshed pollutes the land and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.”
And so one could continue. The damage done to countless minds, morals, marriages and families is incalculable (Isaiah 24:5-6). One must not be naive and think that just by voting we could reverse the degenerate tidal wave of deception, filth and violence which is flooding our land. Not even prayer and preaching alone will save our country from the judgement of God. Only the grace of God seen in whole-hearted repentance and faithful obedience, could begin the process of Reformation and Revival. But voting wisely according to Biblical principles will be one essential part of reversing the paganisation of South Africa.
Most Christians today are worldly —their thinking has been molded by the world. They may feel like Christians but they think like humanists. This is inevitable - when one spends more time watching TV than in worshipping and serving Christ, What else can one expect when most Christians in this country spend more time reading the newspapers than reading the Bible?
Therefore, it is not enough to support and vote for those few parties which adhere to Christian principles. We also have to pray and repent and work for Reformation and Revival in the churches of our land.
“Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster He has pronounced against you.”
Study the Biblical issues. Go back over the Scriptures in this newsletter. Obtain and read books like: “Biblical Principles for Africa” and “ Make a Difference – a Christian Action Handbook for Southern Africa .”
Get involved in speaking up for Biblical standards in every area of life. Offer some of your time to serving a Bible-based organisation. Pray for our country and leaders. Register to vote. Obtain the Biblical Issues Voter’s Guide (downloadable from www.savotersguide.com in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa) and vote according to Biblical principles. Help others by reproducing the Voter’s Guide and distributing copies in your community, workplace and church.
Dr. Peter Hammond
Africa Christian Action
P.O. Box 23632
Tel: (021) 689-4481
Fax: (021) 685-5884
Permission to quote from or reproduce any article from Christian Action is encouraged, provided that due acknowledgement of source is given.