Thursday, April 29, 2010

Majored in Love

God majored on the message of 'love'. In Romans 8:1 it is recorded that there is now no condemnation for those in Christ. In Matthew 7:1 Jesus says be careful that you do not judge, criticize condemn etc, lest you also be judged. I have seen and heard churches preach condemnation, faith, prosperity, prophetic, apostolic and healing messages. I have heard and abundance of 'salvation' messages, and lately I have even heard a whole lot on radical Grace. (just for the record - all of this is really good stuff).

Then one day, I noticed that Jesus said "Love" was to be our primary message. In 1st Corinthians 13:13 He said Faith Hope and Love remain, but the greatest is 'love'. Now won't that just mess with your doctrine? Love is more important than faith? No way...(well, actually, 'yes way')

Seems to me that the church has focused on the wrong messages all this time. Love activates faith. Love should be our primary focus, and our primary message. I agree we should teach faith, prosperity. We should teach prophetic and apostolic, we should teach holiness, redemption, justification, sanctification and salvation...but perhaps we should spend more time teaching 'agape' love?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Time defined?

How do you define time? There are two major theories, or viewpoints to defining time. Newton defined time as a series of events within a universe or closed structure. This would mean that a sequence of events within that closed structure is the units we call time. In this model, time is likened to a film strip and as such time travel is possible, at least in theory!

Goetlieb and Kant have a different version. Immanuel Kant defines time as a theoretical model, or philosophy that is simply an intellectual exercise. In this model, time travel is not possible at all.

I figure we should at least be able to come to some consensus on the definition of time, seeing as so many scientific models are based on time. Velocity is based upon the distance travelled over time. Age is based on this illusive concept known as time. We know for example that matter changes it's properties in space, as does time. Time seems to slow down in space.

 Therefore, it stands to reason that our physical bodies (made of matter) will be impacted differently in space (where both time and matter are acted upon differently). Astronauts that spend a lot of time in space, age slower in space than they do on earth (Einstein's theory of relativity explains this phenomenon).

We know from Job 1:6 - that satan is limited by both dimensions of time and space. So we can deduce therefore that even spirits are limited by the dimensions of 'time' and 'space'. At the same time, we know that God is not limited by 'time' and or space, but in fact God can and does change 'time' when it suits Him. He changed 'time' for Gideon and the bible records that 1 day for God is like a 1,000 years for us.

Based on the 1 day for God = 1,000 years for man equation, does that mean that the spiritual realm is in fact governed by a different 'time' dimension to the one we experience?  Further questions include - if 'time' is a series of events within a closed universe as Newton suggests, does that mean that obedience to God speeds up our time experience?  Obviously our experience of 'time' is largely subjective even though we have attempted to place objective measurements in place (minutes, hours, days etc). This would start to explain why some age well, and others age really poorly.

Isaiah 40:31 says that those that wait upon the Lord will have their strength renewed like an Eagles. The word 'wait' in the Hebrew is defined as 'collect, gather, wait, expectantly. It could just as easily be translated as those that 'gather' as it could be 'wait'.  Those that gather upon God will have a different 'time' experience?

I do not have the answer to this question...but it is a very interesting discussion point. 'Time' and 'space' are concepts that I need to delve into some more...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Eagles soar in the winds of adversity

Have you ever noticed that eagles soar when the wind blows against them. They ride these winds to new heights. The new heights give them a major advantage of lesser capable birds. Their view from up high is awesome (at least I imagine it is?). When the winds blow, the eagle spreads his wings and gains height. The turkeys on the other hand, go to ground, and try to hide. Interestingly enough crows will flock the eagle and try to steal his food...but when the eagle soars to new heights the oxygen gets too thin for the crows to follow.

Eagles use winds of adversity to gain new perspectives. How do you respond to adversity and opposition determines your success or failure. Adversity is designed to get you to conform to a group identity. Successful business people are never conformists! While some will argue the benefits of being a turkey, I will willing suggest that they are way too comfortable in mediocrity!

I some how cannot imagine Donald Trump ever conforming to anyone's view on anything. He uses adversity to gain height, and from the higher view point, makes decisions. The eagle is one of my favorite birds. Eagles soar, and turkeys flock. Turkeys taste good, but eagles are forbidden by the Torah. I guess God loves eagles too. In fact, He says that He would renew our youth like that of an eagle.

When an eagle gets old, the bird loses all it's feathers, and new, fresh youthful feathers come out. Now you have a wise old bird, with fresh youthful appearance, but with the wisdom of experience! Any eagles out there? I certainly hope there are many out there. Our economy really needs some eagles for the next generation...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mindset and success

People who succeed have more often than not an expectation that they will succeed. People with this successful mindset tend to look at failures, less as a devastating consequence of their ineptitude and more as an opportunity to fine tune their efforts.

Its this refusal to bow down to a setback that creates the willingness to adapt to a constantly changing environment and ultimately overcome every setback. When Edison was asked how he felt every time he failed to produce a working light bulb, he replied :"I never failed once. I learnt what I was doing wrong each time..." Its this tenacity to overcome that separates those that will always work for some one else and those that will create work opportunities. Creative people will change the world, one failure at a time. Each failure, is merely an opportunity to improve, to overcome, to develop a new system, to fine tune your existing approach!

I have never failed. I have learnt what not to do, how to change, and what I need to do differently. That is not failure, thats growing through learning. Adapt, improvise, overcome, and try again...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Who moved your cheese?

There is a wonderful account of a little mouse in a maze. The story goes that the little mouse finds a stack of cheese and travels each day to collect some of that cheese. He grows complacent and stops searching for new cheese, because he has found a large stack of cheese. Eventually the cheese runs out and he has lost the art of searching the maze for cheese. The little mouse dies, hungry.

A second little mouse is also in a maze when he too discovers cheese. Unlike the first, sad little mouse, this second mouse gets up each day and goes off to his treasure (cheese) and takes enough for that day. He then proceeds to start searching for more cheese. Consequently, the second little mouse finds several piles of cheese scattered throughout the maze.

The second little mouse never became complacent, he kept the art of searching for cheese, and he never ran out of cheese. So many people today are like the first little mouse. They become complacent and when they find the first success, they stop looking and start living on their past successes rather than maintaining that edge!

I remember when bell bottom jeans were popular. I am so glad that season passed by rather quickly... Strange how we can accept fashion changes every  season, but we fail to adapt to other areas of our lives. I find it fascinating that church movements die out and none of the leadership ever learn from past mistakes of other earlier movements. So many church movements today are slowly being replaced by newer cutting edge movements that will one day be replaced by newer more cutting edge movements. This too will the meantime, lets try as hard as possible to maintain what we know instead of keeping our edge by embracing change, and staying sharp!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Success begins with your mindset

The word paradigm is defined as a pattern of thinking. Your paradigm is the mindset that you place over any situation and interpret that situation through that defined filter. You determine the parameters of that filter. The filter, is your own set of rules, mindset, or view that you have created.

We see this more strongly exhibited in politics when a left wing politician does something out of the ordinary (from the right winger's conservative viewpoint) then the right wing observer cannot accept that the left wing politician is acting out of character. Consequently, what could very well be an olive branch, may be interpreted as a trap! Its this closed mind set that sees the world and everyone in it as stereo type and expects that all people of that group will act the same.

Problem is that people change, as circumstances change. Young people tend to change easier than older people. Successful people are the most adaptable and people that fail more dramatically are those that have become stuck in their world view. Corporate business has exhibited this dramatically.

A classic example is IBM and the personal computer. The folks at IBM were so accustomed to working on large enterprise size computers that they could not conceive  of a world where a computer will be small enough to carry in a bag (never mind a hand) and that every home in the USA will one day have the potential to own a personal computer! This failure cost them a whole lot of market share when the personal computer came out. Personally, I am not sure that IBM ever recovered this loss of market share.

The ability to adapt quickly and change on the fly is a gift of the visionary, but it is also learnt behavior. If we are fearful in our mind set, then we prefer a world without change. Bold secure and confident people love change, and the more dramatic change the happier they are. They embrace change. Its this ability to embrace the constant change of life that sets them above the crowd.

"Eagles soar in the winds of adversity, but turkeys get eaten on the ground." - Tim Edwards 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Don't panic

In Mark 5, Jesus is dealing with Jairus when it appears that He gets distracted by a woman with an issue of blood. As a result of her delaying him, Jairus' gets word from his family that his daughter has died, and not to worry the Rabbi any further. Jesus turns to Jairus and says :"Don't panic!"

I love the fact that Jesus was human enough to understand the very real emotion of terror. Imagine how Jaiurs must have felt when the word came that his daughter had died? I would have been really afraid at that point, but then the word came :"Do not submit to this fear, but only believe on me". Its hard for someone in the world that has a world view and a paradigm patterned after the world, to understand this concept of faith in the WORD.

Jesus sums it up with :"Don't panic". I love the concept, the idea of : "I have your back. You are okay, just believe on me."

Don't submit yourself to this worldly view of life and death, but rather focus on what the Word says.  Imagine how wonderful life is for those that have no fear, because death cannot touch them. Sure, their bodies may perish, but believers cannot die, they just graduate to LIFE. Why then would they have any concern for what this world has or can do to them?

Faith is an action word. Faith (Hebrews 11:1) is 'now'. It requires you to action it, and then you partake in the rewards of faith. Jairus had his daughter restored to him. His faith, did not allow her to die, but rather to have life. Have you allowed the world to steal your joy?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Child like reading

I was reading the first verse of Genesis 1 when I encountered this glaringly obvious problem. In Genesis 1:1 the fourth word is plural and not singular. This presents a problem that the reader is forced to deal with up front. The word translated by the King James translators as singular is the word Elohim. 

Here is the big deal - this word (Elohim) is plural for 'gods'. A correct translation would read, in the beginning, Gods created the heavens (plural) and the earth (singular). I wonder how many choose to ignore that God/s and heaven/s are both plural words, referring obviously to more than one!

That means that there are more than one God (duh - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost) as well as more than one heaven (again- no brainer here). Despite this, so many believe in a singular 'God' and a singular heaven based upon a religious interpretation of the bible. This religious mindset hinders the truth from being exposed, its veiled through our paradigm that limits the truth from being seen.

Paradigms are amazing. They stop people from 'seeing' truth by 'interpreting' truth through a preconceived mindset. Romans 12:2 says to change this very 'old' paradigm for the new paradigm of Christ. Christ overthrew the religious old mindset and introduced a blood stained new mindset. Despite this, religion still brings in the old mindset (sinner mindset, poverty is holy, sickness is of God) to enslave us. Just as the King James Translators allowed their paradigm to reduce a plural word to singular, so we have allowed the religious amongst us to reduce radical grace to sinner mentality and greasy grace with lack as the norm!

Faith like a child..

To be a child is to be young, energetic, passionate and like a sponge when it comes to acquiring knowledge. I take my fencing test next week along with my seven year old. He already has all the knowledge in his little head, required to ace this test, where as, I am still struggling to gain understanding of the differences between an Epee and Foil!

The wonderful thing of being a child, is that their minds are like sponges - they absorb knowledge when the acquisition is fun (like fencing), but really struggle to acquire knowledge when presented in a sit down and pay attention manner. Fencing requires us to learn History (when was it invented), culture, etiquette and discipline. All these and more are concepts that we would struggle to teach him in a classroom setting, but put him in a fencing hall with a saber in his hand and he can acquire the knowledge like a sponge.

I know its his youthful energy and enthusiasm that are the key ingredients here. In a classroom he lacks the enthusiasm and as such he does not acquire knowledge as rapidly. In a classroom he sits passive trying to take in knowledge where as in fencing he actively participates in the knowledge acquisition.  Fencing is both fun and very active. He demonstrates his knowledge immediately.

What can we learn from this? To acquire new knowledge rapidly, we need to embrace it with energetic enthusiasm of a child, with the willingness to partake in the activity. We learn through action and participation. The gospel of the Great and very Exciting News requires an enthusiastic participation and not a passive sitting pew warmer mentality normally exhibited in the traditional church setting. This is where Church Unusual was birthed from...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dream language

WE all have dreams, each and everyone of us has a dream. Almost every night, we sleep and dream. In Joel 2:28 God says that he will give all mankind dreams. Dreaming is part of the language of God...wether we like it or not. God speaks to us in dreams, as does our body and our mind. So, we have to decipher which dreams are of God and which dream are a result of the evening's dinner.

Interestingly enough even atheists have dreams. Physically, your body has to dream. Wouldn't it be really cool if you could have your dreams interpreted? Both Daniel and Joseph were dream interpreters. I ma often asked to interpret dreams for people, but generally they are very sheepish when asking, as if I would think they were flaky, far out or just plain silly. I think what is silly, are those scoffers that deny dreams and dream language altogether. I think the ones that mock probably have the most dreams and are the most afraid of what these dreams mean.

If you have dreams, I want to encourage you to email me the dream and I will do my best to decipher the symbols for you. My email address is radrev (at)

Have a great dream life. I do...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is simply the ability to 'read' people and predict their behavior based upon a set of circumstances. This is truly a wonderful gift, and in the hands of skilled practitioner can bring in major rewards for the individual. Like all gifts, without the correct training and nurturing, that gift will never develop into a skill of any major import. Con artists are in reality frustrated people with a gift (Emotional intelligence), but without the necessary training to develop their gift into the full potential it actually has!

Pastors are anointed (empowered by God to nurture and encourage people), but the individual with the gift of 'reading people' can be intimidating to the average leader. The bible refers to this gift as the 'word of knowledge' gift and is similar to the 'discerning of spirits' gift.

In the business world of tomorrow, this ability, or emotional intelligence is going to be highly sought after. The gifted individuals will be top wage earners , and the truly gifted will be highly prized private consultants. We see the rise of the 'life coach' industry. This is a fore runner of what is to come. The business world is notoriously slow at predicting future trends.

 My prediction is that this is one of those that will rise suddenly and then we will have experts with 30 years of experience suddenly coming out of the woodwork, when the EQ test has yet to be determined as scientific and objective...

( While there are many EQ tests out there. I have not come across the industry standard yet. )

training monkeys

It is truly amazing how obtuse people can be!  I have to wonder, if people come to church out of a moral obligation to their conscience or rather out a of need to fulfill a promise to a dearly departed love one?  Perhaps its habit?

I must admit, its does seem silly to spend approximately 4 hours per week in the house of Worship, and still never gain enough knowledge to make any difference to their lives. I am not frustrated so much as amazed at people. I found in Africa that monkeys were trained through merely observing humans interacting with doors, and through observation, the monkeys gained enough knowledge to open doors and get into the kitchen!

I wonder why people do not acquire knowledge in a similar fashion? Perhaps the monkeys were more determined to walk through doors than the modern day christian is?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Untangling your past from your present - start here -

...the thing is this freedom starts with untangling yourself from your past (silly decisions). Decisions all bring consequences, and sometimes these consequences are chains that bind us to our past decisions. Now, you are in the present, entombed in the chains of poor decisions of the past. So what's the key? Break the chains, loose them off you by making a decision today that impacts your starts with changing your present, thus impacting your future. The Bible calls this sowing and reaping...

Radical Freedom comes from radical living

Radical freedom comes from choices. You choose to live a radically free life, free from debt, free from strife and free from toxic input. You choose to set yourself free from people who are toxic and have toxic emotions that will weigh you down. This type of radical lifestyle does have radical costs. You will have to allow some friends to move on and thats always painful. The rewards are wonderful too. You can choose to invest yourself into relationships that do not encumber you, do not drag you down.

I have decided to invest myself into relationships that will bring major investment returns. People that will encourage me to soar, exhort me when I am down, and not let me stay there. I choose to live a radically free lifestyle, free from toxic people who spend all their time on the negative and never see the silver lining. I choose to live free today...

This is my choice. I choose freedom over oppression. I choose positive energy over negativity and depression. I choose to surround myself with eagles rather than turkeys. I choose to focus my mind on the good Word rather than the world. I make a choice to be radical, free and have joy, to dance in the rain, shout at the clouds, breathe in the mountain air and swim with dolphins. I choose to kayak with whales, frolic in the waves with my son and build sand castles. I choose to walk on the beach with my wife, and watch the sun set with my family. I choose not to worry about tomorrow, but rather to live life to its full today...laugh more, dance more and make a fool of myself more...

Finally, I choose not to take myself so seriously anymore. Worship Christ more intensely, and live more passionately. Eat more fruit, have more fun, and all this I choose, because I met my Saviour...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pharisees were offended

Jesus offended a whole bunch of religious people (Pharisees) during His walk on this earth. They got so mad at Him, they crucified Him. What was His 'crime'. he preached, freedom where religion brought in bondage. He preached, 'love' where religion brought in condemnation, and guilt. He preached forgiveness, when religion preached 'judgement'. He preached love, again and again. He demonstrated love to the Samaritan woman, when religion placed her tribe outside of the 'acceptable race'.

He did not judge, when the pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery (always wondered how they caught her in the act without sining themselves?). He was the embodiment of God's love for the world (John 3:16) and for that the religious leaders rejected Him and God. I am wondering if anything has changed, 2,000 years later, or have we just changed titles and labels?

Genocide of the boer?

Take a community of Dutchmen of the type of those who defended themselves for fifty years against all the power of Spain at a time when Spain was the greatest power in the world. Intermix with them a strain of those inflexible French Huguenots who gave up home and fortune and left their country for ever at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The product must obviously be one of the most rugged, virile, unconquerable races ever seen upon earth. Take this formidable people and train them for seven generations in constant warfare against savage men and ferocious beasts, in circumstances under which no weakling could survive, place them so that they acquire exceptional skill with weapons and in horsemanship, give them a country which is eminently suited to the tactics of the huntsman, the marksman, and the rider. Then, finally, put a finer temper upon their military qualities by a dour fatalistic Old Testament religion and an ardent and consuming patriotism. Combine all these qualities and all these impulses in one individual, and you have the modern Boer — the most formidable antagonist who ever crossed the path of Imperial Britain.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Subject: Statement by the South African Institute of Race Relations on the ramifications of the killing of Eugène Terre'Blanche

Dear readers,
The Institute desisted from issuing a formal statement in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Mr Terre'Blanche in order to first gauge the broader social, political, and international reaction to the killing. The Institute is now in a position to make the following points.
Racial tensions in the country appear to have increased significantly in recent weeks. This appears to be chiefly as a result of incitement by the ruling African National Congress to ‘shoot and kill’ the Afrikaner ethnic minority in the country. The anxiety around this incitement may well have influenced opinions across the broader white community. What appears to be the case is that much of the racial rapprochement that characterised the first 15 years of South Africa ’s democracy is being undone. This rapprochement saw both black and white South Africans come to occupy a middle ground on race relations upon which the maintenance of future stable race relations depends. 
Since 1994 the number of white farmers and their families murdered in South Africa is conservatively put at around 1 000. It may very well be much higher.. There are currently an estimated 40 000 commercial farmers in the country. Over this same period in the region 250 000 South Africans out of a total current population of approximately 47 million have been murdered. Criminal violence can therefore be described as ‘rampant’ and has done considerable damage to the social fabric of the country. However, this is not to say that all murders in the country are a function of simple criminal banditry. In an environment where law and order has largely collapsed the consequences of incitement by political leaders to commit murder must be taken seriously.     
Over the same period the policy measures put in place by the Government to raise the living standards of the black majority have failed to meet expectations. The key interventions of affirmative action and black economic empowerment have been exploited by the African National Congress to build a network of patronage that has made elements of its leadership extremely wealthy. The party also appears to have been so overwhelmed by corrupt tendencies that it is no longer able to act decisively against corrupt behaviour.
It has also through incompetence and poor policy been unable to address failures in the education system which are now the primary factor retarding the economic advancement of black South Africans.
At the same time the party is acutely aware that its support base of poor black South Africans has begun to turn against it. Violent protest action against the ruling party is now commonplace around the country.
In order to shore up support in the black community the ANC increasingly appears to be seeking to shift the blame for its delivery failures onto the small white ethnic minority, which today comprises well under 10% of the total population of South Africa . Here parallels may be read to the behaviour of Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe when that party realised that its political future was in peril. The ANC Youth League’s recent visit to Zanu-PF which saw it endorse that party’s ruinous polices are pertinent here. 
In such an environment it is plausible to consider that the ANC’s exhortations to violence may be a contributing factor to the killing of MrTerre'Blanche. Certainly the ANC’s protestations to the contrary seem ridiculous as the party is in effect saying that its followers pay no attention to what it says - this from a party that routinely claims that it is the manifestation of the will of all black South Africans. This is not to say that a labour dispute or some other matter could not have inflamed tensions on the Terre'Blanche farm. Rather it is to say that a number of different matters should be considered in determining the motivation for the crime.
Certainly the ANC’s exhortations to violence have created a context where the killings of white people will see a degree of suspicion falling around the party and its supporters.
It is of concern therefore that the police’s senior management are on record as saying that they will not consider a political motive or partial motive for the killing of Mr Terre'Blanche. This suggests an early effort to cover up the ANC’s possible culpability for inciting the crime.
Should any allegations of a political cover-up arise in the pending murder trial of the two young men accused of the Terre'Blanchemurder the political consequences could be significant. Should evidence be led that the two young men acted with what they understood to be the tacit backing of the ANC, and a causal link between their actions and incitement by the ANC be established, then the possibility of charging the ANC’s senior leadership in connection to the murder arises. Equally plausible is that the Terre'Blanche family and the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging could bring a civil suit against the ANC and the Government. 
It is possible that the killing of Mr Terre'Blanche will greatly strengthen the hand of a new hardened right wing in South Africa . In life Mr Terre'Blanche attracted a small, uninfluential, and extremist following. He will not be mourned for what he stood for. However, in death he may come to represent the experiences of scores of minority groups in the country who perceive themselves as being on the receiving end of racist and now also violent abuse from the ANC. In effect therefore Mr Terre'Blanche may be seen as having been martyred for a minority cause in the country.
The implications of a resurgent right wing will be numerous. It is most unlikely that this right wing will take the form of camouflage clad henchmen on horses in shows of force. The ANC has also often, wrongly, identified groups including the political opposition, Afriforum, agricultural unions, and even this Institute as ‘the right wing’. This silly ‘red under every bed’ attitude in the ANC saw it lose the trust of many civil society and political groups. These groups could all be defined first and foremost by the common belief that they had to act within the bounds of what the Constitution prescribed.
But the ANC belittled and undermined them. It also undermined parliament, the national prosecution service, and the various human rights and other organisations that were established under the Constitution. It may yet usurp the independence of the courts and the judiciary. The result was a shutting down of many of the democratic channels that were created for citizens in the country to make the Government aware of their concerns and circumstances.
The resurgence of a new political consciousness among minorities could drive an altogether different political force. Such a movement will draw its strength chiefly from a hardening attitudes in the white community but perhaps also in the Indian and coloured communities. These will be views that in the main have come to subscribe to some or all of the following points:
  1. That the Government has corrupted and debilitated many of the country’s internal democratic processes for political or civil expression that were established under the Constitution
  2. That cooperation with the current Government of South Africa is therefore fundamentally unfeasible and therefore futile
  3. That the Government is unable to restore law and order in the country
  4. That the Government is therefore unable protect its citizens
  5. That the Government has a hostile agenda against minority groups
However it is equally, if not most likely, that many minorities who subscribe to the five points above may simply get so fed up that those who can will pack up and go. Here they may take the advice of President Zuma to remain calm as they pack up their businesses and their families and calmly board aircraft for Australia , New Zealand , Canada , the United States , and Great Britain . With the exodus will leave much of the tax and expertise base of the country. 
Should the ANC, however, find itself facing increased political resistance it will in many respects have a tiger by the tail. Firstly, the ANC depends greatly on the tax income paid by white South Africans to balance South Africa ’s books. Secondly, it depends entirely on the food produced by a small number of white farmers to feed the country. Thirdly, white South Africans still dominate the skills base of the country. Finally, and most importantly, much white opinion since the early 1990s has been moderate. White South Africa has been willing and often eager to cooperate with the Government in building an open, non-racial, and prosperous South Africa . Losing that cooperation will to an extent put an end to any serious chance that the ANC has of leading South Africa to become a successful and prosperous democracy.
While the ANC will be inclined to blame whites for this, and may even take drastic action to confiscate white commercial interests as they are currently doing in agriculture, these actions will be ruinous for the economy. The result of such ruin will be to drive a deeper wedge between the ANC and its traditional support base and thereby hasten the political decay of the party.  
When General Constand Viljoen decided to throw his lot in with democracy in the early 1990s the right wing in South Africa was a spent force. So it should and could have remained. The ANC could have taken advantage of white expertise and tax revenue to realise their own vision of a better life for all. Things have however gone badly wrong for the party. Corruption has destroyed its ability to meet the demands of its constituents while racial bigotry has now seen it defending its image against what should have been an insignificant and dying neo-Nazi faction in the country.
The failure of sensible South Africans to take back the racial middle ground in the country will be serious. Polarisation will beget further racial conflict and a hardening of attitudes on all sides. This is perhaps the greatest leadership test that the current Government has faced and it is one that they cannot afford to fail.  
Frans Cronje
Deputy CEO
South African Institute of Race Relations
9th Floor
Renaissance Centre
16-20 New St South
Gandhi Square
Tel: + 27 11 492 0600

Monday, April 5, 2010

~ Love ~

 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. Love is so misunderstood, and warped by Hollywood's concept of love. We think of all the different kinds of 'Love' that the world has defined, but seldom do we look at God's definition of love!

Critical, judgmental, aggressively self serving and seeking position within a church is not God's idea at all. The same thinking abounds in the business world today. Self serving, self seeking, dog eat dog concept of 'love' is so far from the truth. The worst part is that these same attitudes are being brought into the church world. Church politics are horrible at best, destructive at worst, and yet this is fast becoming the norm. One just has to attend a faith conference to see the love exhibited by the pastors pushing and shoving each other out of the way to get a seat at the front, a position where you will be 'seen' and maybe even noticed!

Quantum leap thinking is an age old concept designed and introduced by God to the world. Jesus called it servant leadership - you remember that idea? Washing of feet? Its been reduced to a 'religious act' designed to gain attention rather than an act of love!

Much of church politics is about 'me' and the 'I' mindset. What ever happened to the concept of love - I serve as pastor, not I get to manage a church! Jesus came to serve, and we changed that to I came to be in charge...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Family orientated thinking church

The blog I wrote on cults brought to mind the interesting concept of a thinking believer. I encourage believers to think for themselves, ask me questions and even disagree with me. I encourage all believers to disagree (not to cause strife, but rather to be well versed in the word enough to stand their own ground). I am thrilled when church members express their own opinion and can back it up with Scripture.

That for me, tells me that I have fulfilled at least part of my role as a pastor. The bible records that a pastor (or any of the five fold ministry) is a gift to the church to empower, equip and exhort the believers. If the believer is equipped, and well equipped, then said believer will be ready to ask questions and even disagree. Thats exciting for me as a pastor. I love debating the Word. Iron sharpens iron, and nothing is as thrilling as a deep theological discussion between believers.

Instead of being threatened by believers asking questions and disagreeing with you, pastors should embrace that. Its our diversity that strengthens us, and a thinking believer is more dangerous to the satanic kingdom than a mindless follower. Personally, I encourage you dear reader to disagree, comment and even email me. My writing is not to create a following, but rather to provoke people into discussing the Word. Diversity is not equated with strife or even disunity. We are unified by our love for Christ, even as we are all members of the same body, we are not all alike, nor are we told to be similar. One body, many parts...thats diversity. Thats exciting...

Radical right extremists

The radical right extremists will probably take serious offense at this blog. I am most certainly a radically saved, sold out 'Believer'. I am not sure I want to be identified with the so called 'christians' who claim to love God and then preach hate towards their fellow man.

There is another trend towards civil disobedience that is being tagged with the Christian label lately. Right wing extremists claiming to be 'Christian' but obviously not reading the Word of God. Inciting violence towards the government is definitely not using the inspired approach of Love.

Romans 13:1 is easy to understand. Submit to ALL governing authority. As we do not live in pre World War 2 Germany (at least I do not), why would we incite violence to effect a change? Jesus lived in the geographic region controlled by the Romans under Roman law. The Jews were expecting a violent overthrow of the Roman Empire by their Messiah, but Jesus had a totally different approach and concept. It was the idea of 'love' conquers all that was resisted by the religious leaders at the time.

God's solution to a dying world was not yet more violence, but rather 'love'.  I wonder if the world is ready for the God of love? I gather by some 'christians' that their expectation is similar to that of the Jews expecting their Messiah to come and violently oppose the ruling government. God has not changed. His word was 'LOVE'. Are you ready for it?

Characteristics of a cult

Here are some of the obvious characteristics of a cult. This is taken from Marsha Rudin

Marcia Rudin's 14 Common Characteristics of a Cult

1. Members swear total allegiance to an all-powerful leader who they believe to be the Messiah.

2. Rational thought is discouraged or forbidden.

3. The cult's recruitment techniques are often deceptive.

4. The cult weakens the follower psychologically by making him or her depend upon the group to solve his or her problems.

5. The cults manipulate guilt to their advantage.

6. The cult leader makes all the career and life decision of the members.

7. Cults exist only for their own material survival and make false promises to work to improve society.

8. Cult members often work fulltime for the group for little or no pay.

9. Cult members are isolated from the outside world and any reality testing it could provide.

10. Cults are anti-woman, anti-child, and anti-family.

11. Cults are apocalyptic and believe themselves to be the remnant who will survive the soon-approaching end of the world.

12. Many cults follow an "ends justify the means" philosophy.

13. Cults, particularly in regard to their finances, are shrouded in secrecy.

14. There is frequently an aura of or potential for violence around cults.