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July / August / September 2015

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July/August/September 2015

Dear Friends,                                                                                                           

On 21 June 2015, five Cuban intelligence officers arrived in South Africa to a heroes’ welcome. They had served fifteen years in a US prison for conspiracy to commit espionage and murder. They had come, they said, to thank the South African people for having hastened their release, and the South Africans thanked them for having fought for them in Angola. Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and René Gonzalez were received by the Department of International Relations and Co-operation and spent two weeks touring the historic sites of the ‘liberation struggle.’ Gwede Mantashe (general secretary of the ANC and chairperson of the South African Communist Party) presented them to the nation(s) on SATV2’s programme “New Age Business Briefing,” and Ahmed Kathrada, “an activist in SA’s Communist Party since his youth,” took them to Robben Island.

In praise of Cuba
The “Cuban Five” described Cuba and its rulers, Ché Guevara and Fidel Castro, in glowing colours. But who are these leaders and what role have they played? In 1959 they overthrew the regime of General Fulgencio Batista and established communist rule on the island. - Ché Guevara was an Argentinian doctor, a dedicated marxist, who became Fidel Castro’s second in command. He described himself as “one of those people who believe that the solution to the world’s problems is to be found behind the Iron Curtain.” He became Castro’s executioner, and thousands were executed by him. Guevara also established slave labour camps on the pattern of the Soviet Gulags. 1) – Fidel Castro, the dictator of Cuba, aligned himself with the Soviets. In 1962 he stationed Russian missiles on the island and threatened the West with nuclear war. In the 1980s he sent troops into Angola to aid Soviet imperialist expansion and fought against anti-communist UNITA freedom fighters and South Africa. In one year alone (1987) Russia assigned more than a thousand Soviet advisers to Angola, and delivered $1,5 billion in military hardware. The Cuban army, however, suffered great losses at the hands of the South African Defence Force. Igor Zhdarkin, a Russian Lt.Col., later published a book with the telling title: “We did not see it (such fighting) even in Afghanistan,” and Walter Volker, an East German history professor, wrote: “South Africa’s resistance and success in the field of battle was a direct and significant contributor to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s/early 1990s.” The Cubans and Soviets withdrew their troops and advisers, and Castro executed by firing squad his general in charge, the much decorated general Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez. 2) South Africa and the world were saved from soviet domination!

Liberty
It is amazing that in welcoming the Cuban Five, a great number of South Africans enthusiastically lauded a system and a country which is still officially listed as ”communist” and “repressive,” where everything is controlled by a materialist worldview and a totalitarian government, and from where millions have fled. For South Africa is nearly 80% Christian and as such might be expected to reject communism.  The Bible says: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty,” (2 Corinthians 3:17) and nations who have experienced this freedom have enjoyed peace, progress and success. South Africa, too, owes her special position in sub-Saharan Africa to the power of Jesus Christ. It is Christians who have known the love of Christ that have succeeded and built benefits such as hospitals, missions, schools, universities etc.

Some say that it does not matter what people believe, but as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Prov. 23:7). Though communism has failed and many of its systems collapsed, the underlying philosophy, man-centred Marxism, continues to gain ground in the world. Selfish man, craving to be rich and powerful, sets up new rules of right and wrong, and assumes the role of God. What the Bible calls evil, he calls good. Instead of telling others to be holy because God is holy (Leviticus 19:2), he appeals to the sinful desires and elevates sin to a virtue. The Bible says: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight.” (Is.5:20-21)

Normalising Sin
In South Africa, too, this destructive man-centred religion has made great inroads. It can be seen, for instance, in the shameful treatment meted out to Zizipho Pae, a Christian student at the University of Cape Town and vice president of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC). When she learned that, in late June 2015, the American Supreme Court had legalised same-sex marriages in all 50 states of the USA, she wrote: “We are institutionalising and normalising sin. May God have mercy on us.” This “sparked a massive uproar.” Her office was trashed, she was vilified, and the UCT management demanded that she retract and apologise. Giving way to the homosexual activists and their bullying, they then suspended her. What was her crime? It was to honour God and stand for the truth!

The Bible says: “God created m116 Smallan in his own image; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Genesis 1:27) This creation order is the foundation of human society and necessary to secure ongoing generations.   God calls homosexuality “detestable,” “an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22), “very grave” (Genesis 18:20), “ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6), “uncleanness,” “lust,” “dishonourable” (Romans 1:24), “vile affections,” “against nature” (Rom. 1:26), “unseemly,” “error” (Rom. 1:27), “strange flesh,” “fornication” (Jude 7), “abomination,” (Lev. 20:13), “unholy and unclean” (Lev. 10:10), “for by these things the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you.(Lev. 18:24) - God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because they had legalised perversion! - Is Zizipho wrong when she pleads for God’s mercy?

This is only one example of how man-centred religion makes sin into a virtue. There are many more. In the once Christian West, the law now allows mothers to kill their children (abortion) and children to kill their parents (euthanasia). It allows children to be molested (lowered age of consent), paedophilia to flourish and prostitution to be condoned. The sacred ties of motherhood, filial devotion and marital love can be lawfully broken by cruel deeds which result in horrible guilt. If it were not for the redeeming love of Christ, how could anyone ever escape? But thankfully, “God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by His Blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:8-9)

Christmas and Easter
The same man-centred religion wants to make us forget even God’s great seasons of love. Our most sacred Christian holy days have yet again come under threat. The South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) is to examine whether Christmas and Good Friday should remain public holidays or become normal working days. Religious arguments, of course, do not count, and so the Gospel Defence League submitted the following:

        “We are disappointed that the question of Christian public holidays is coming up again and again. Public holidays are public. They are for all the people, no matter what their belief or practice. Everybody benefits from them. Yet the SA Law Reform Commission (SALRC) suggests that Christian public holidays cause discrimination toward non-Christians.

     Page 56 of the SALRC discussion paper, citing the Public Holidays Act, states that… ‘the declaration of the two main Christian holidays as paid public holidays sets about creating a differentiation between those who practise Christianity and those who practise other religious faiths in the country whose faith-based occasions are not included in the holidays. This provision is a violation of section 9(3) of the Constitution and amounts to direct discrimination on the basis of religion and belief. Other religions… are disadvantaged in that their holidays are not declared public holidays and they do not have an automatic benefit of pay on those days.” - Let us reply as follows:

  1. The last census showed that nearly 80% of all South Africans self-identify as Christians. 15% have no religion and 5% are Muslin/Hindu/Jewish/African. If the public holidays were abolished, would not the 80% Christians be discriminated against?
  2. Christmas and Easter are celebrated throughout the world on every continent and in every country. They are the most meaningful religious occasions for Christians and non-Christians alike.
  3. In observing them the State is not “unfairly discriminating” against non-Christian religions, because the Public Holidays Act does give non-Christians the right to request paid leave on one of their own holy days, e.g. Ramadan or Diwali.
  4. Since 1994 several Christian public holidays were renamed or removed from the national calendar. Ascension Day was removed, and Easter Monday, Boxing Day, and the Day of the Covenant renamed.
  5. The 10 other public holidays on the national calendar are all secular.

           We therefore urge the South African Law Reform Commission, the Department of Home Affairs and all other groups and bodies involved in this public holiday debate, that they do not offend the vast Christian community with arguments about money and wages, but that they respect their feelings and dignify their religion. The Gospel Defence League demands that the Good Friday and Christmas public holidays be retained, as they are in most other civilised countries.”

Whether from Cuba or elsewhere, we do not need to import ideas and systems which are bankrupt. Our own present philosophies are bad enough. For the same spirit that is inherent in communist systems has entered into the thinking of the nations and is making great strides in the world. The West, including South Africa, is abandoning its Christian foundations and betraying its Saviour and Lord. It is time that we remembered that the Kingdom of Heaven is a pearl of great price, and that we should give our all to attain it. Jesus Christ is the Pearl. Let us not lose Him, lest we be lost. In having Him, we have enough to make us happy here and for ever.

                                                                                                                           May God bless you richly,
                                                                                                                                    D. Scarborough.

Footnotes:

  1. Ché Guevara fomented revolutions also in the Congo and in Bolivia, where he was finally shot. Since then he has become a counter-cultural icon, a symbol of rebellion. Many teen-agers wear T-shirts featuring his portrait.
  2. General Jannie Geldenhuys, How the Soviets and Cubans lost the War in Southern Africa, a compendium to We were there. Kraal Uitgewers.

HUMAN NATURE AND UNNATURAL HOMOSEXUALITY

By Rev Prof Dr Francis Nigel Lee, Australia.

(In view of the re-definition of marriage by the USA Supreme Court, we reissue this Bible study on homosexuality).

God, according to His law of nature, made the animals male and female – intending them to be fruitful and to multiply.
     
“So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth…’ God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” (Gen. 1:21-25)

     “Now the LORD had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air… The man gave names to the livestock… But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep… and made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:19-25)

     “The LORD then said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark… Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.’” (Genesis 7:1-7f))

     “Then God said to Noah: ‘I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you – the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you – every living creature on earth… Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.’” (Genesis 9:9-160

According to the same law of nature, God then created also in His image man male and female, and commanded them too to be fruitful and multiply.
     
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man in his own image… male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it…” (Genesis 1:26-28)

     “Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:20-25)

     “God said to Noah… I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark – you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.” (Genesis 6:18)

     “All the animals and all the creatures… came out of the ark, one kind after another.” (Genesis 8:18f)

     “Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth… multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” (Genesis 9:1-7)

Homosexuality is not only against God’s law of nature, but is also essentially unfruitful. For lesbians and sodomites cannot produce any offspring at all.
     
“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator… Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones, in the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the penalty for their perversion.” (Romans 1:22-2:16)

It is also probable that homosexuality was one of the sins God punished capitally, during Noah’s great Flood.
    
“The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time… So the LORD said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, off from the face of the earth – men and animals… for I am grieved that I have made them.’” (Genesis 6:1-11)

     “If God did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah… If he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes… and if he rescued Lot… if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.” (2 Peter 2:5-8)

Certainly because of homosexuality, and possibly also for bestiality, the LORD wiped out the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.
     
“Then the LORD said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me…’ The LORD said, ‘If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake….’ Then Abraham said, ‘May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?’ He answered, ‘For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.’” (Genesis 18:20-32)

     “Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom – both young and old – surrounded the house. They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them…’ The two men said to Lot, ‘Do you have anyone else here – sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place.’” (Genesis 19:4-24)

     “Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 7)

Similarly, under the Mosaic Law, God again prescribed capital punishment for all practising homosexuals.
    
“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Do not have sexual relations with an animal… Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.” (Leviticus 18: 22-30)

     “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads… If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he must be put to death, and you must kill the animal.” (Leviticus 20:13-22f)

     “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.” (Deuteronomy 22:5)

     “No Israelite man or woman is to become a temple prostitute.” (Deuteronomy 23:17f)

Also under the New Testament, the Apostle Paul declares that practising lesbians and sodomites had sinned with “vile affections… against nature.” They were “burned out with lust toward one another” in “their error” – having a “reprobate mind” and being “worthy of death.” (Romans 1:26-2:14f)

None who continue in sodomy and keep on being “abusers of themselves with malekind… shall inherit the Kingdom of God.” Mercifully, some turn away from that sin – by becoming practising Christians.
     
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Thus the Law was made against the lawless and disobedient – for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane; for murderers… and them that defile themselves with malekind.” (1 Timothy 1:9f)

The Apostle Peter warns even Christians against “false teachers in their midst who secretly shall bring in damnable heresies” such as those of condoning lesbianism and sodomy. “God did not spare the old world but saved Noah,” while “bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” God went on to “turn the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes” – and “condemned them by overthrow.” The LORD made them “an example to those who would later persist in ungodly living.” Thus, for the “filthy behaviour of the wicked” and their “unlawful deeds” – God continues to “reserve the unjust until the day of judgment to be punished.” (2 Peter 2:1-8)

Also, the Apostle Jude warns Christians against “ungodly men” who keep on “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness.” Such include those like the inhabitants of “Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities surrounding them.” They kept on “giving themselves over to sexual immoralities and going after strange flesh,” i.e. a queer carnality. Such “are set forth as an example- and suffer the vengeance of everlasting fire.” (Jude 4-7)

Finally, both the Apostle John and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself teach that ‘whoremongers” and suchlike “shall have their part in the lake which keeps on burning with fire and brimstone – which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

Yet, as regards Christians, i.e. the true children of God: “Blessed are they who keep on doing His Commandments, and continue to have the right to the tree of life; and enter in through the city-gates ”of the New Jerusalem, both the Christian Church and the Heavenly City. We pray that many homosexuals may seek and find the Lord Jesus Christ wo can release them from bondage and grant them the glorious freedom of the children of God.



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