March for Life
On Wednesday we took part in a march for life in Cape Town. 1 February marked the 15 th anniversary of the Legalisation of Abortion on Demand in South Africa. Since president Nelson Mandela signed the Termination of Pregnancy Bill, over one million South African babies have lost their lives through abortion, legally, with taxpayers money.
National Day of Repentance
Each year Frontline Fellowship missionaries and staff have joined with our sister Mission, Africa Christian Action in conducting a funeral procession march through the city of Cape Town. We carried little coffins, flowers, crosses, placards, banners and Christian flags. We were preceded by a hearse. A six meter billboard trailer with the words: Abortion Kills Babies and banners with:Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Proverbs 31:8andChoose Life so that you and your children may live.Deuteronomy 30:19brought up the rear of the procession.
Parliamentary Prayer Vigil
Over a hundred other pro-life Christians joined us in this procession and a Scottish piper led the procession with stirring refrain from his bagpipes. Outside the gates of Parliament we held a solemn Prayer Vigil in memory of the babies killed by abortion. Hymns were sung, Scriptures were read, Imprecatory Psalms were prayed and two pro-life Members of Parliament addressed our Prayer Rally reporting back on progress made in speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves and introducing legislation that will protect pre-born babies from the violence and injustice of abortion.
As with every other pro-life march and Life Chain, Frontline Fellowship missionaries and staff distributed hundreds of Gospel leaflets to motorists and passers by, and numerous conversations and counseling opportunities ensued. After the conclusion of the march and Prayer Vigil, which included some interviews with the Press, we went on to the Marie Stopes abortuary , to make a stand against their industry of death.
Obituary notices were placed in the two largest daily newspapers in Cape Town. This was a remarkable victory because for years the Argus and The Cape Times have steadfastly refused to include our obituary notices in memory of: All babies killed by abortion since 1 February 1997. Africa Christian Action mourns the one million babies whose lives have been tragically cut short since the legalisation of abortion on demand. May God have mercy on South Africa.
Censorship by the Press
The editors exercised hypocritical censorship by refusing to place these paid advertisements in their Classifieds. They claimed that it was offensive and too controversial! On numerous radio interviews and in Letters to Editor, we pointed out that this was hypocritical as their Classifieds regularly contain truly offensive material, such as advertisements for safe and pain-free abortions and strip club and escort agencies. It has been well-proven that many of these escort agencies are nothing more than brothels and hubs for drug dealers. Some have been shown to be involved in trafficking women from Eastern Europe.
It was also pointed out that the birth section often contains a message from Baby City congratulating all parents on the birth of their precious babies. I also pointed out that they have included obituary notices to the unknown soldier and in remembrance to all soldiers who fell in the wars, why could they not accept memorial notices in memory of babies killed by abortion?
Freedom of Speech
Much controversy was engendered each year as we challenged these newspaper editors that they were undermining freedom of speech by censoring obituary notices and by refusing to give appropriate media coverage to the hidden holocaust of one million South Africa babies killed by abortion. Numerous invitations for the editors of these newspapers to discuss this on radio programmes were turned down.
When newspaper personnel informed us that the wording of our obituary was too explicit and that the Advertising Standards Authority regulations prohibit the use of phrases such as: babies killed by abortion, we requested to see these requirements in writing. The classified advertising consultants were never able to provide the relevant regulations. Considering that other newspapers throughout South Africa, such as Die Burger and The Citizen, have never had any problem publishing our obituary notice commemorating the babies in their death columns, it would seem that the personnel at the Cape Times and Argus were being disingenuous.
Without Fear or Favour
Some years ago, after I had been interviewed by a journalist concerning the bombing of our Mission station in Sudan, I asked: Why is it that the Argus continually publishes pro-abortion articles and ignores pro-life events, such as the Life Chains and National Day of Repentance marches?
Her answer was astounding: Well, we are pro-choice!
Yes, I understand that, but surely it is your intention to report events and present the facts, without fear or favour , from both sides?
She smiled and shrugged her shoulders: Well, I am pro-choice! Every journalist that I know is pro-choice. Well, I guess we are just biased! She grinned broadly.
That was a remarkable honest statement, but there is no doubt that most of the print-media is pro-abortion. That may not be much of a surprise to anyone. However, what is a surprise is that those who condemn censorship and hypocrisy could be so blatantly guilty of censorship and of hypocritical double standards.
Although the Cape Times and Argus accepted the paid notices in memory of the babies killed by abortion, they were not placed under the Deaths column, but under the Personal column.
Another victory represented at this years march for life to parliament was the use of our mobile billboard which the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) had ruled in November was offensive and must be withdrawn. The offensive statement in question was: Abortion Kills Babies. The side of the mobile billboard in question reads: Since 1997, one million babies were legally denied the right to life. Abortion kills babies. Choose life so that you and your children may live. Next to this is a picture of an 18-week old pre-born baby sucking his thumb.
At the time we argued that it was incredibly hypocritical of the ASA to rule a tastefully presented pro-life billboard offensive when they allowed billboards from strip joints with highly suspect involvement with trafficking to depict half-naked women as sex objects!
Our mobile pro-life billboard had been used for over 10 years as part of Christian Action’s pro-life demonstrations on the National Day of Repentance and at Life Chains. Thousands of posters are displayed throughout the country on Life Chain Sunday with the words: Abortion kills babies. We took legal advice and were informed that as Africa Christian Action is not an advertiser and the pro-life billboard is not an advertisement, it is not subject to the advertisers code. Our advocate advised that the Advertising Standards Authority has no locus standi (legal authority) to exercise jurisdiction in this matter. Therefore their ruling was a nullity.
Victory against Sleaze
Interestingly, after radio and other media coverage that we gave to this incredible double standards of ASA, they revised their position on the Mavericks billboards and found them to be offensive and ordered them removed!
We began our year with a three-day Worldview Weekend. This was an intensive Biblical Worldview leadership training experience for those who want to change their world for Christ. The programme began on Friday afternoon and concluded late Monday afternoon. The mornings and evenings were filled with vital presentations, discussions and films, the afternoons with team sports, hikes, adventure activities and outreaches. Our guest speakers included Engineer and Creation Scientist Dr. Philip Stott and Educationist Dr. Angela Stott.
Among the written responses from the young people who participated in the Worldview Weekend were: I've learnt a lot, especially from the Answering Skeptics sessions. I should be a better debater now. I'm more ready to give an answer; In so many ways I have benefitted. Mentally, it has strengthened my mind and boosted my confidence; Being equipped for this new year through inspiring role models in history, prayer and study.
Biblical Worldview Summit
In April we will be conducting a Biblical Worldview Summit in the Transvaal. We have an excellent venue in one of the largest Christian schools in the province. They have great facilities, including being based on a river, a tremendous obstacle course, a slide across the river, a wide variety of climbing walls, a scout hall and a large swimming pool.
Last year Summit Ministries celebrated 50 years. This year we are celebrating 21 years of conducting Summits here in South Africa. Last year our teams also conducted Biblical Worldview Seminars in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Sudan. Many more are planned for this year. This year Frontline Fellowship celebrates 30 years since our first cross-border Missions into war zones, smuggling Bibles into restricted access areas.
Shipment from Summit
By God's grace a 3.5 tonne , 7-pallet shipment from Summit Ministries was received at our Mission base. In answer to much prayer and action to overcome beaurocratic obstructionism and cut through all the red tape, customs finally released the materials to us. The great worldview training materials will equip our field teams to empower many schools and colleges with Understanding the Times curriculum.
Victorious Christians – Who Changed the World
A major book which I have been busy on for many years is now completed. Victorious Christians – Who Changed the World, will inspire a new generation of dedicated Christians with incredible examples of excellence provided by some of the most colourful and effective Christians in history. Victorious Christians includes 32 character studies with over 260 pictures. The 380 page book includes: 10 Reformers, 6 martyrs, 6 missionaries, 4 evangelists, 4 professors, 3 soldiers, 2 musicians, 2 kings, an artist, and inventor, an historian and a queen. This book provides fascinating insights to virtually every age of Church History by focusing on Christian characters, their courage and convictions in times of crises. Well-illustrated, this book can be used for recreational reading by those who enjoy reading biographies, or as a treasure trove of illustrations and examples for pastors, teachers and home schoolers .
Because of lack of funds, so far we are only using print on demand. It is our prayer that we will receive sufficient sponsorship to print 3,000 copies of this book to donate to pastors, teachers, chaplains and evangelists that complete our Leadership Training courses this year, and to donate to faculty and students of Bible Colleges where we will be ministering.
We are most grateful for your prayers, for your encouragement and support.
May the Lord abundantly bless and reward you for your generosity and thoughtfulness.
Yours for Reformation and Revival
Dr. Peter Hammond
PO Box 74
Newlands, 7725, Cape Town, South Africa
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