Will the Church Make Common Cause with the SACC and ANC?

by D. Scarborough

On 20 July, 2004, the Minister of Social Development, Dr Zola Skweyiya, was invited to address a multi-religious meeting at Bishop's Court.  At this "Consultation on State-Religious Sector Development Co-operation", he spoke about a new strategy for dealing with poverty and AIDS.  He said, the religious sector commanded a special place in the hearts and minds of South Africa.  "It was through your unwavering comradeship that we attained our cherished freedom."

The ANC Government, he said, wanted to 'push back the frontiers of poverty' by 'creating a better life for all' through job creation and a comprehensive social security system.  It was therefore seeking 'State and Religious sector development oriented partnerships.'    

The assembled clergy were pleased to be offered such a partnership.  They decided to set up an inter-faith committee headed by the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, to assist the Government with poverty relief and AIDS programmes. 

But is this the task of the Church?  If Churches enter into such co-operation, will they be able to maintain their Biblical witness?  Hardly.  They will be forced into inter-faith relations, harnessed to the policies of an atheist state, and pulled into the 'socialist' camp.  Their Christian energies which are so urgently needed for evangelism and mission will be spent in furthering secular causes and serving a secular god.

Christians in Eastern Europe chose to go to prison and concentration camps rather than join the 'registered church' of the state. -  The South African Churches should therefore think twice before they align themselves with 'socialism', atheism, and all those anti-life policies which, in the name of 'a better life for all', promote immorality, abortion, and radical homosexuality.  The Church can do better than that!  It can use its own resources, limited though they may be, to much greater effect by 'seeking first the Kingdom of God.'

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