Confronting Crisis with Christian Confidence
We are living in a time of crisis, chaos, crime and corruption. Yet all too many in our churches are confused, cowardly and compromising.
During a recent mission trip throughout the country I learned of many disturbing developments, farm murders, land invasions, endemic crime and corruption, the break down of services and erosion of the very foundations of civilisation. My son, Calvin, and I learned a lot about our nation’s history and heritage as we visited mission stations, schools, churches, battle sites and museums. We also learned much about the many different facets of the crisis confronting our country.
Deforestation and Arson
We saw vast tracts of land burned out and deforested. A man involved in forestry informed us that South Africa is approximately 60% deforested. Many of the recent fires have been the result of arson linked with land claims. MONDI and SAPPI, the two largest suppliers of paper, have particularly been targeted for land claims, and huge amounts of arson against their forests. Yet, despite this ecological disaster, I’ve read no articles in the newspapers, or on the internet, concerning it and had to physically drive around the country to learn of these developments.
Universalism and Syncretism
One minister reported to me on the extent of universalism and syncretism in the Methodist denomination. He had been present when two candidates for ordination were questioned concerning their beliefs. They both made it very clear that they did not believe that Jesus was the only way of salvation, but that all other religions were valid ways to God. For this reason this man, along with two others, voted against the ordination of these candidates. However, most of the other Methodist ministers voted for the ordination of these universalists and syncretists. Then the three men who had dared to suggest that these candidates were not worthy of ordination, were targeted for vindictive abuse. One of the results was that this minister, who was reporting the incident to me, was expelled from the denomination. A young Zulu doctor came to him and informed him that, in fact, the vast majority of the Methodist ministers at this conference were themselves involved in ancestor worship and syncretism. “They all have the beads around their waist, and goat skins around their ankles and wrists. They cannot condemn ancestor worship in these candidates, when they are doing it themselves!”
A New Slave Trade
At the Christians for Truth Conference we received a most disturbing report from Doctors For Life concerning the prevalence of human trafficking. This modern-day slave trade is making huge inroads in our own country, in particular in preparation for the 2010 World Cup Soccer. The DFL reports exposed the deception and drugs used to ensnare vulnerable girls into prostitution where they are used and abused by pimps in brothels.
The AIDS Plague
If we needed further confirmation of the crisis of crime and corruption in the country, it was from a dynamic congregation which runs a hospital for AIDS sufferers and orphans. The hospital administrator informed me that officially 39,6% of the general population in South Africa are HIV positive. While more than 80% of the people being tested in the hospitals in KwaZulu Natal have AIDS, it is believed that this is double the general average. The fact that almost 40% of the total population of South Africa could be infected by AIDS is shocking.
Quite aside from this medical crisis we discovered that there is a moral crisis in many churches where people have another kind of AIDS (Acquired Integrity Deficiency Syndrome).
At a dynamic mission which hosts a Christian community radio station we discovered that some unscrupulous individuals were attempting to hijack the ministry through a combination of character assassination, deceit and intrigue.
Capturing the Culture
Throughout the country we saw evidence that Marxists are stealing our country, stealing our children and stealing our history. They are also attempting to hijack our churches and tell us what marriage is and who we can employ at church!
The ANC government has had the audacity to attempt to intimidate Christian ministers to accept and endorse perversion. What God calls an abomination we are now meant to regard as a marriage! Not content with interfering with a sacrament of the Church, the state is now demanding that a church apologise for firing a staff member who was an unrepented pervert. This congregation, which had dared to exercise church discipline, is now also expected to financially reward the immoral ex-staff member.
We are involved in a World War of Worldviews. This is nothing less than a battle for Western civilisation. Ultimately we are engaged in a world war between the forces of satan and the Kingdom of God. The enemy is subverting society and seducing the church into sin.
Hijacked by Humanism
What has happened ? How has Humanism hijacked our culture? And how did communists gain control of our government? How did it come to the point where church synods are even debating what constitutes marriage and whether satan or hell exists?
Infiltration and Infection
Plainly Marxists have been infiltrating the five culture-shaping institutions of society. Our education institutions have been subverted by evolutionism, situation ethics, sex education and values clarification. The entertainment industry has been so subverted as to glamourise evil, popularise profanity and celebrate ugliness. In all too many sections of the news media reality is being rearranged by a selective focus, and rather than news, we are receiving humanist views and propaganda. Many religious institutions have been liberalised, ecumenicised and syncretised in order to harmonise with the New Age.
Legalising Vice and Criminalising Virtue
Considering the infiltration and subversion of education, entertainment, the news media and religious institutions, it is not surprising that in all too many of the political institutions, socialism and secular humanism have succeeded in legalising vice, criminalizing virtue and disarming potential victims, in preparation for a new world order.
Failures of our Churches
On the church’s side we need to recognise that this disastrous hijacking of our culture has been enabled by prayerlessness, neglect of the Bible, gullibility, naiveté and ignorance of history. All of these have combined to enable pagans to entice an entire civilisation into chaos. The enemy has used the time proven tactics of “corrupt and conquer” and “confuse, divide and conquer.”
Distracted and Diverted
We have been distracted from fulfilling the Great Commission and diverted from obeying the cultural mandate. Through guilt manipulation, the rewriting of history and the distortion of reality Christians have been overwhelmed, undermined and neutralized.
Learning From History
I could not help but see these trends illustrated in the various battle sites and museums we visited. The gullibility of Boer leader Piet Retief in trusting the words of the tyrant Dingaan, leaving his rifles outside the kraal, led to, not only the massacre of Piet Retief and his hundred disarmed followers, but the massacre of hundreds of Boer women and children on the banks of the Bloukrans River.
A Winning Strategy
By way of contrast, the Wencommando of Andries Pretorius concentrated their forces, ensured that their scouts knew the disposition of the enemy, and made excellent use of the laager strategy, circling the wagons, at a strategic location, with the Ncombe River on one side and a donga on the other, in order to funnel the Zulu assault towards their laager and determined men.
A Recipe for Disaster
Similarly we can contrast the disastrous British defeat at Isandhlwana with the stunning British victory at Rorkes Drift. General Lord Chelmsford unwisely split his forces three ways when invading Zululand in 1879. He then again split his central column in two, only to have the remainder annihilated by an overwhelming Zulu attack. Isandhlwana provided no end of lessons for the British Army: Do not split your forces in the face of a superior enemy. Do not spread out your forces when facing an overwhelming assault. The British at Isandhlwana failed to build any trenches or ramparts. Their wagons formed no laager. Their men were inadequately equipped with ammunition. In short order the Zulus annihilated a regiment of over 1,200 men.
Against All Odds
Yet, a far smaller British rear guard company at Rorkes Drift succeeded in defeating the Zulus who had that same day annihilated a British regiment ten times their number. Lieutenant Chard, although he had barely 130 men, of which more than 30 were medical patients and out of action, concentrated his forces and made maximum use of cover by heaping up food sacks and biscuit tins as rampart. Barely 100 men succeeded, where over a thousand had failed earlier that same day.
Hope for the Future
Throughout the country I have been asked this question: What hope is there for the future?
God is sovereign and all powerful. He is working all things together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. There is power in prayer and the Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. God is chastening His people. He is purging us and preparing us to make us more prayerful and powerful in His service. We need to understand the times and rightly divide the Word of Truth.
Humanism is Self Destructive
Humanist society will inevitably collapse – it is self-destructive. What a man sows, that shall he reap. The AIDS plague and sexually transmitted diseases will reap a bitter harvest of death for millions who have sown in the flesh. Zimbabwe is a classic example of the self-destruction that humanist societies bring upon themselves.
A Vision of Victory
God is sovereign over the affairs of men. History is His Story. God has not predestined defeat for His people. The ultimate victory of the Kingdom of God is inevitable. Christians are not doomed to defeat, but called to conquest.
We are called to be Salt and Light – to preserve what is good, to expose what is bad, and to create thirst for the Living Waters of Jesus Christ. We are commanded to make disciples of all nations, teaching obedience to all things that the Lord has commanded. We are to evangelise or fossilize. Pray or perish. The last command of Christ must be our first concern. We must give up our small ambitions and follow Christ. The Great Commission must be our supreme ambition. We are working towards the fulfillment of Christ’s Great Commission and the complete and utter destruction of Communism, Islam and Humanism.
“Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery. Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned your rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear…”
“All the ends of the earth will remember, and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before Him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and He rules over the nations.” Psalm 22:27-28
“In His days the righteous will flourish…He will rule from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth…His enemies will lick the dust…all kings will bow down to Him and all nations will serve Him.” Psalm 72:11
In these and so many other Psalms it is made clear that the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ will be fulfilled. All the families of the nations will bow down before Christ, and He will rule the nations. Because of these Scriptural prophecies we can have every confidence that the Great Commission will be fulfilled - that all kings will bow down to Christ and all nations will serve Him. We are neither working at uncertainty nor afraid for the result. God’s cause will triumph.
“The kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and forever.” Revelation 11:15
Our Christian Duty
Our duty is clear: We are commanded to pray (“I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for…all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Repent (“If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14).
Expose evil (“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
Rebuild the walls (“…see the trouble we are in; Jerusalem is in ruins, and it’s gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” Nehemiah 2:17).
Seek justice (“…stop doing wrong. Learn to do right! Seek justice…” Isaiah 1:16-17).
Select God-fearing leaders (“But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain, and appoint them as officials…” Exodus 18:21).
Pro Abortionists Removed
As we are seeing one political administration topple so dramatically, we are reminded of the Imprecatory Prayer Proclamation warning which we delivered to the President’s office and prayed outside the parliamentary gates 1 February. This Imprecatory Prayer Proclamation warned that should they not repent of the great sin of killing innocent pre-born babies, that we would pray that they be removed and another take their place.
God is sovereign. He raises up and brings down kings and presidents. Jesus Christ is the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. We praise God for the power of His Word, the Bible and for the power of His mighty answers to prayer.
A Time for Action
With elections coming up next year, and the toppling of the pro-abortion administration of Thabo Mbeki, we have a new opportunity to mobilise prayer and action for the right to life of pre-born babies. We must do all we can to inform, inspire and involve congregations and communities in standing for the right to life of pre-born babies. Let us educate, encourage and enlist our family and friends in opposing the violence of abortion and promoting adoption as a loving option. We need to motivate and mobilise others to make a positive difference in their community. We must educate and enlist our work colleagues on Biblical issues.
A New Opportunity
The old Mbeki administration, with its ideological intransigence and elitism, has gone and in its place is now a far more populist leadership who seem to more responsive to public concerns. This can be for good and ill. That should be a great challenge for citizens to be more informed, involved and vocal. It is time for the silent majority to stand up, step out and speak out for pro-life, pro-family, moral Biblical issues.
Turning the Tide
So often Christians see our position like that of the Dutch - building dykes to keep out the ocean tides from their land, much of which lies below sea level. Perhaps you have heard the story of the young Dutch boy putting his finger in the hole in the dyke to stop a leak while his sister went to raise the alarm and get help. Many Christians see our position in a similar way. The tide of humanism and atheism threatens to overwhelm and flood everything we love and hold dear. We are trying to hold back the tide of this ocean of paganism.
However, we should consider the fact that the situation is actually the reverse. It is not our calling to hold back the tide of paganism, but rather to turn the tide of Christianity. Time, history and the power of Almighty God are on our side. It is the humanists who are frantically building dykes to keep out the rising tide of Christianity. We are called to be the light of the world. All the darkness cannot put out the smallest light. Even a small flickering candle can defeat the darkness around it. Not all the darkness can put out even the smallest candle.
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
“The Lord will be awesome to them when He destroys all the gods of the land. The nations on every shore will worship Him, everyone in its own land.” Zephaniah 2:11
“The Lord will be King over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His Name the only name.” Zechariah 14:9
Power From on High
He has granted us the keys of the Kingdom, what we bind on earth will be bound, what we loose will be loosed. The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1: 16). We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus who loves us (Romans 8:37). Greater is Him who is in us than him who is in the world (1 John 4:4). We can do all things in Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).
The Great Commission is Our Supreme Ambition
This is what the Great Commission calls us to: “All authority in heaven and in earth has been given unto Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you…” Matthew 28:18-19
God’s Will be Done
This is what it means to pray the Lord’s Prayer: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
When we understand this, it becomes clear that it is, in fact, the paranoid atheists and humanists who are desperately trying to plug up all the cracks in their dykes as the rising tide of Christianity threatens to sweep away all their filth and rebellion against Almighty God.
Cracks in the Dykes
There are many encouraging cracks in the dykes: Successful films like Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series, the Expelled:No Intelligence Allowed film; Amazing Grace – the film on the victory of William Wilberforce against the slave trade; the new Hansie movie, and Fire Proof, are putting cracks into the dykes of humanism in Hollywood.
Christian community radio stations like Good News Community Radio, Radio Kwezi and Radio Tygerberg are breaking the secular humanist monopoly of the air waves. JOY! magazine is breaking into what has been a secular-dominated market in the magazine racks of shops and supermarkets. There is a great Spiritual hunger growing with tens of thousands of men turning out to Angus Buchan’s Mighty Men’s Conference and at the rallies at Loftus Versveld and Newlands Cricket Stadium.
The rise in Christian schooling and home schooling, the growth of Focus on the Family and Summit Ministries, the establishment of the Creation Museum near Cincinnati, all of these represent seismic events which are putting cracks in the dykes of humanism. These are only a small foretaste of the coming Spiritual tsunami, when God chooses to send a Spiritual Revival that will fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord as the seas are full of water. The dykes of humanism cannot stand. It is for us to remain steadfast, immovable, faithful, diligent and energetic for the Kingdom of God. “Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.”
“For God is not unjust to forget your work and labour of love which you have shown toward His Name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.” Hebrews 6:10-11
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, My beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: (021) 689-4480
Fax: (021) 685-5884
This message was delivered to Livingstone Fellowship 28 September. The audio CD is available from