Categories
Racism

Gospel and Race 2: confronting injustice

 In my previous post, we saw how in Genesis 3 human beings disobeyed God and now sin and selfishness has been our reality ever since. Things in our world are not as they ought to be.

Sin, death, disease, racism, anger and immorality taint our world and our history.

We’ve seen the terrible effects of racism all over the world and tragically in our own country under Apartheid. For example,

  • The Population Registration Act that required that every South African to be classified into a race group.
  • The Group Areas Act that divided urban areas into “group areas” that was restricted to certain race groups.
  • The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act which made public premises, vehicles and services to be segregated by race.
  • The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act which forbade marriages between white people and people of other “races”.
  • And a host of other formal legislation and informal bias that was designed to prop up and favour people from one people group.

The Bible does not use the word “racism”, but it uses the words “pride”, “partiality” and “favouritism”, all of which is sin.

 “Race” as a category is artificial, unscientific and unbiblical.  “Race” is usually used to alienate, oppress and dominate people.

The Bible does not use the word “race” either, but the term “nations”, referring to various people or ethnic groups with their own culture, traditions and dialect.

Categories
Homosexuality

Congregation chooses hate above love

(Image from Netwerk24)

Die Kerkbode, the official newspaper of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (DRC/NGK), published an article on 18 February 2019 entitled, “Congregation chooses ‘love instead of fear’ with the appointing of gay minister”.

The article’s title is terribly misleading.

Categories
Homosexuality

Homosexuality is not the new black

flag-36423_640The issue of homosexuality and same-sex partnerships has become an even more urgent issue in South Africa now that the General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church has voted to permit those in same-sex relationships to serve as ministers.  The synod also voted to permit same-sex unions to be blessed in Dutch Reformed churches.

Thankfully the decision won’t be forced on churches. Each individual Dutch Reformed church can decide for themselves their stance towards those who practice homosexuality in same-sex partnerships.   Many of those who are pleased with the synod’s decision equate discrimination towards those who practise homosexuality as essentially the same as discrimination towards black people under apartheid.  For them the synod’s decision has been a great moment of liberation to be celebrated. 

However, homosexuality is not the new black.  According to the Bible, differences in culture and ethnicity are part of God’s good creation and are to be celebrated – even as we are united in Christ.  Homosexual activity, on the other hand, (like all other sexual immorality) is not part of God’s good creation, but sinful and dishonouring to God.   Ministers and denominations that say otherwise are not being loving towards those who practise homosexuality because they are endangering their souls by giving many a false assurance of a lifestyle pleasing God.

Categories
Crime

Rape and the Bible

stop rapeReports state that more than 64 000 women are raped and sexually abused in South Africa every year. About 25 000 children are raped and abused annually. Our country was deeply shocked by the violent gang rape and mutilation of Anene Booysen a few weeks ago, who subsequently died of her injuries. What’s even more traumatizing is that this is not an isolated incident – rape and gang rape are common occurrences in South Africa.

The rise of dysfunctional homes, absent parents, drug abuse, pornography and drunkenness obviously plays a huge role in creating a social environment where sexual violence is common and familiar. The question our country is asking at the moments is, How do we stop rape? This of course is a complex question that must have an integrated approach that must include social cohesion, family relationships, good sex educational, strategic interventions, and creating a culture of respect for others, especially women and children.