April / May/ June 2014

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April / May / June 2014

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Dear Friends,

On 28 July 2014, we remember the outbreak of the First World War a hundred years ago.  It was the beginning of thirty years of warfare between kindred European nations and changed the world in an unprecedented way. Following the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, the previous century had been a time of peace and progress.  Christianity was the dominant religion, and all the inhabited world had been blessed by the mission outreach and civilising work of self-renouncing Christians.  In 1910, a great World Missions Conference was held in Edinburgh.  Its delegates were so full of faith and confidence that they believed that Christianity would triumph and that the Great Commission of Christ could and would be fulfilled in their lifetime.   

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

End of the Greatest Century of Mission
The First World War, however, ended the greatest century of Mission and introduced the greatest century of persecution.  Three great Christian empires were destroyed, the German, the Austro-Hungarian and the Russian empires, all of which, over the centuries, had defended Europe against heathen aggression from the East.  In the First World War, the heartlands of Christendom, which had sent out most of the world’s missionaries, were devastated.  More than 9 million combatants were killed in the most senseless conflict in history.  Nearly 10% of the population of Europe perished.  

The war had started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary.  But behind the scenes unscrupulous Freemason bankers pulled the strings.  They owned many of the companies that made the machine guns, bullets, bombs, and artillery that destroyed the cream of Europe. 1)

The British historian Samuel Hymes wrote:  “A generation of innocent young men, their heads full of high abstractions like Honour, Glory and England, went off to war to make the world safe for democracy.  They were slaughtered… and those who survived were shocked, disillusioned and embittered by their war experiences, and saw that their real enemies were not the Germans, but the old men at home who had lied to them.  They rejected the values of the society that had sent them to war, and in doing so separated their own generation from the past and from their cultural inheritance.”  2)         

The real Reason
Within two years Germany had won WWI and offered England peace terms.  The well-known American ex-Zionist Benjamin Freedman recounts: “‘Let’s call the war off,’ they said, ‘and let everything be as it was before it started.’  While that was going on, the Zionists in Germany who represented the Zionists from Eastern Europe, went to the British War Cabinet and said: ‘Look here. You don’t have to accept the negotiated peace offered… if the United States will come in as your ally.  We will get the United States into this war.  The price you must pay us is Palestine after you have won the war and defeated Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey.’”  3)

Though England had no right to make such a promise, her cabinet approved, and Earl Arthur Balfour, her Foreign Minister, sent a letter to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of British Jewry, confirming the deal “that his Majesty’s Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.”  This was the Balfour Declaration of 2.11.1917.  The Americans entered the war, the Germans were defeated, and the Zionists got their homeland. 4)

The Protestant Faith
The Protestant faith had originated in Germany after the noble struggle of Martin Luther.  From Germany thousands of Protestant missionaries had gone out to many parts of the world.  Protestantism had also produced men of particular excellence.   But after WWI the once triumphant Church retreated ever more from victoryChurch attendance declined and MarxistCommunism advanced fuelling revolutionary fervour.  Later, following the Second World War, the major Protestant areas of Germany were betrayed into the hands of communist powers and de-christianised by atheist authorities.  The 20th century brought forth the bloodiest persecution in the whole history of Christendom. 5)

Toward a New World Order
In Russia the secular religion of Communism claimed many thousands of victims, and 94 million people perished worldwide. 6)  Alexander Solzhenitsyn declared: “The world has never before known a godlessness as organised, militarised and tenaciously malevolent as that preached by Marxism.  Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force…  To achieve its diabolical ends, communism needs to control a population devoid of religious and national feeling, and this entails a destruction of faith and nationhood.” 7)

Now, a hundred years after the First World War, atheists and heathens have established themselves.  They target conservative, Bible believing Christians and Churches.  The ecumenical movement (e.g. World Council of Churches) has been so occupied with social and political matters that it has consistently ignored the cries of persecuted Christians.  It has reinterpreted the Gospel and re-invented Jesus Christ as an activist, who would ‘liberate’ the nations through revolutionary Marxism.  It also abandoned its missionaries and called for a Moratorium on Missions.  Thousands of Missionaries were withdrawn from the field, and the light of Christ dimmed.

With the decline of the Church, the State also declined.  Today’s rulers tend to be materialists, seeking their own gain.  They have redrafted constitutions and laws in secular terms.  When, in 1973, a judge in the USA ruled in favour of abortion, this led to an unprecedented world-wide slaughter.  More humans have since been killed by abortion than in all the wars of mankind.  At present, an estimated 42 million unborn babies are murdered per annum.  Since 1980 over a billion human beings have been aborted, of that 6,4 million in Africa.  In USA, since 1973, 57 million have lost their lives, and in Europe an unborn child is destroyed in the womb every 11 seconds. 8)  This is an awful situation!    Godwarns: “Do not pollute the land where you are. 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.” (Numbers 35:33)  God knows these little ones intimately. As the Psalmist says:  “You [God] created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made… My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body, all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139)  What if this army of slain children stood up to face us and claim its atonement?

The remembrance of the First World War shows us the profound change that has come upon the Christian Church and civilisation.  In 100 years the Ten Commandments have been virtually overturned.  Homosexuality has been elevated to a reputable life style, and homosexual unions placed on a par with marriage.  Indeed, sodomites may now adopt children!  “Male and female he [God] created them!” (Genesis 1:27)  But shamelessness reigns and is rewarded.  Corruption has become acceptable. All religions and life styles are permitted.  Crime is everywhere.  

It is no longer the Protestant spirit and Biblical law which rules the world, but Pluralism, which puts all religions and ethical systems onto the same level and therefore onto none.  When there are many right ways whereby to live and believe, then none is right. Pluralism advances secularisation, and this has been imposed upon vast stretches of the globe.  Money and greed have become the criteria of success and power, and banks and corporations dictate.

Since the First World War, near-miraculous inventions, improvements and advances have been made in the material field, but disastrous decline has taken place in the spiritual and moral realm.  We need to recover the old landmarks and again turn our eyes upon Jesus.  For the mystery of God is this, that “in Him [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. “ (Colossians 2:3)  And “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ can again make the light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

                                                                                                                                                           My God bless you richly,
                                                                                                                                                           D. Scarborough.

1.        Source: Dr Peter Hammond, Reformation Society: The Causes, Consequences and Catastrophe of the First World War.
2         Wikipedia, Cultural memory.
3         Benjamin Freedman, a Jewish Defector, Warns America,
4         Balfour Declaration, Internet.
5.     Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Persecution, Quick Facts 2014; & R Sauerzapf, Das Jahrhundert der Märtyrer
6.        Wikipedia, The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Introduction
7.        Henry R Pike, a History of Communism in South Africa, p. xix
8.; Discover happiness: Abortion Statistics worldwide.

A Brief History of Calvinistic Afrikanerdom from 1652-1980
By Rev Prof Dr Francis Nigel Lee, LLB, ThD, PhD, STD, DMin, DEd.*


In view of the decades-long defamation of the Christian Afrikaners (which needs to be countered) we excerpt from
Dr Lee’s lectures given at the Geneva Divinity School in Texas during 1980.

Mid-Twentieth Century Afrikaner Thought

Frederik Potgieter.  The first major thinker I would like to deal with here, is Professor Frederik Potgieter.  At Stellenbosch he received his Doctorate of Philosophy for a dissertation on Pavlovian Psychology (i.e. how to make a dog drool) and at the Free University of Amsterdam a Doctorate in Theology for The Relationship between Philosophy and Theology in the Thought of John Calvin.  It is an absolute goldmine of valuable quotations.   There is also his excellent book on predestination and the ordo salutis.  His general explanation is that Adam, before the fall, had extraordinary powers of perception, which he lost at the time of the fall.  But his most important writing is The Theocentric University.  There he distinguishes the concrete jungles of humanist institutions from the God-centred University.  The latter glorifies God and recognises God alone as the true Ground and Centre of any university, for the teaching of every subject in every faculty.  Potgieter was extremely upset when the South African Government, after a lot of study and consideration… decided to go ahead and to establish Chairs of Hindu and Islamic Theology.  He felt that this was contrary to the South African Constitution, which claimed to be specifically Christian.

Hendrik Stoker.  Prof Dr Stoker had a long innings as one of the world’s foremost philosophers, starting off at the University of Potchefstroom in the 1920s.  During World War II he violently protested South Africa’s involvement.  As a result, General Smuts jailed him and put him in a concentration camp at Koffiefontein.  There he met a young lawyer called John Vorster, who later became Prime Minister of South Africa.  Stoker rounded up the young Calvinists and started what he called  the ‘University of Koffiefontein.’  Later, at the end of the 1960s, John Vorster, his most influential ‘graduate,’ passed a law requiring all public education in South Africa to be clearly Christian in the teaching of every subject.  Stoker wrote The Philosophy of the Idea of Creation, Christianity and Science, the Basis of Morality and Theological, Philosophical and Special Scientific Ethics.  Each thing in the universe, he said, is not sovereign in its own sphere, cut off from everything else.  Each thing in the universe, in its own way, also reflects the whole universe within itself.  He deals with the philosophies of each of the various special sciences, and categorises them into cultural (including religious) sciences, anthropological sciences, biological sciences, physico-chemical sciences, and mathematical sciences.

There were other Christian philosophers, too, including Professor GHT Malan of the University of the Orange Free State and Prof Venter who was kind enough to act as the doctoral promoter of my (Francis Nigel Lee’s) PhD on Communist Eschatology.  He was succeeded by Prof. Peter de Bruyn Kock, who authored the Philosophy of the Idea of Recreation, to be centred round the cosmic work of the second Adam Jesus Christ.  Dr Anna Louise Conradie studied The Neo-Calvinistic Concept of Philosophy and concluded that if a Christian philosophy was impossible, then all philosophy was impossible. 

Johan Heyns.  We have now reached 1960/61.  Here we want to look at the eschatology of victory in Afrikaner thought of some very brilliant and relatively young Afrikaner thinkers – Johan Heyns, Danie Strauss, Adrio Koenig, Errol Hulse and Cornelius van der Waal.  Johan Heyns majored in philosophy under Professor Hendrik Stoker, and earned a doctorate in both theology and anthropology overseas.  Some of his publications include: The basic Structure of the modalistic View of the Trinity. Is Christianity Dying?  Theology in the Spirit of the times;  The Bridge between God and Man; The Church: Karl Barth, Who is he and what he wants; Systematic Theology; The Millennial Idea, a critique of premillennialism, and his long and very important essay on The Theology of Obedience. 

Here are some very interesting quotations from Heyns’ work on systematic theology.  He points out that man must exist in relationship not only to God but also to nature.  “Being a man, means being in the world…” he says. “They are intended for one another, and cordially interwoven with one another,

in a whole host of ways.  For his existence, man is dependent upon nature, and for its transformation, nature is dependent upon man.  Man, himself part of the nature around him, received the words from God: ‘Subjugate it, work at it and guard and keep it.’  To the animals, man was to give names, and plants and seeds of trees and fruit were to be his food.  Man was to rejoice in this nature (Psalms 104, 147, and 65)… Man is God’s co-worker, and in this way he images God.  Man  who labours, i.e. who works creatingly, preservingly, and protectingly with the world does not merely refer to the God Who labours, but continues God’s creation works as His vice president, proclaiming His praise.

In this interaction with nature man may therefore never maim nature, may never exploit it or tarnish it… God promises us a new earth under a new heaven, which has not been prepared by any child of man...  But the manner in which God gives it to us is by purification, through fire and judgment over all of the works of man’s hands on the old earth.  But in the light of Revelation: ‘Blessed are they who from now on die in the Lord!’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them!’  We must accept that the uncompleted labour of man, of sinful man, is nevertheless accepted by God, and that this human work will follow man right up to the throne of God.  This is the overwhelming dimension of eternity in all human labour today… The kingdom of God thus concerns infinitely more than just the salvation of man’s soul.  It concerns the fulfilment of a destiny shared by the entire cosmos, namely the honour and majesty and glory of God.”  

HJ and Danie Strauss, father and son, wereprofessors of political science and philosophy at the University of the Orange Free State.  At the aforementioned world’s first International Conference of Calvinistic Academicians held at Potchefstroom, the question was raised, who would be the future torchbearer of international Calvinism.  The Americans claimed this honour for themselves, but Danie Strauss pointed out that South Africa had far more Calvinistic academics than the United States, and her race policies did not disqualify her from playing the role of a viable leader of world Calvinism.

Erroll Hulse.  Erroll Hulse, a Reformed SA Baptist in England, in his The Restoration of Israel, also emphasises the theology of victory:  “Jesus reigns as king.  He has an invincible purpose to redeem a great many from the nations of the earth.  The universal kingship of Christ is far more prominent in Scripture than the idea of defeat and apostasy.  To the end of time – believers have to face indwelling sin, persecution, tribulation and death.  Yet the ultimate triumph of the believers is certain.  It includes the proclamation of the Gospel on a vast scale – to the salvation of an innumerable multitude. -  Now is a dark time.  But the rains and harvest will come once more.  The promises are ripe.  They await fulfilment.  Yes, in these last days it shall come to pass that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains and shall be exalted in the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (Isaiah 2:2 and Micah 4:1f).”

Adrio Koenig, Professor of Systematic Theology at UNISA wrote a very powerful eschatological book called One who is stronger.  In it he says:  “When Paul in Colossians 2:15 uses the word ‘triumphing’ for Christ, it means that Christ has conquered and bound the evil powers and is now marching victoriously throughout the world.  The only other time Paul uses this word triumphing (2 Corinthians 2:14) is in the expression, ‘Christ causes us to triumph.’  There too it means that the worldwide mission is Christ’s great triumphal procession throughout the world – to give everyone everywhere the opportunity to see that Christ has conquered the enemy so that they too can begin rejoicing and celebrating the victory together.”

How then must we live?  Cornelius van der Waal declared: We must “avoid the false dilemma: Christ or culture.  It is not Christ or culture; nor even Christ and culture.  It is Christ’s culture!  All our work should glorify the Creator!”

  • Dr Lee was Chairman of the Department of Systematic Theology & Church History at the Queensland Presbyterian Theological Hall, Brisbane, Australia.  He died at the end of 2011.

To be continued…

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