Volume 4 - 1989
Regularly I hear that “South Africa is backward!” “We are ten years behind the rest of the world!” or “fifteen” or “twenty-five years”. The time gap differs but the complaint is the same: South Africa is “old fashioned”, “Victorian”, “Puritanical”, “out of step with the rest of the world.”
These complaints often originate from journalists complaining about our “draconian” censorship board banning pornographic films like the blasphemous “Last Temptation of Christ.” Or from arts critics who feel deprived that we in South Africa are being robbed of the artistic merit of seeing homosexuals vomit and defecate over one another, with acid rock music throbbing in one’s eardrums in laser and neon light-lacerated public theatres, as in advanced Western nations in Scandinavia.
Often those bemoaning South Africa’s “backward” Christian legal base are inconvenienced by our liquor stores and cinemas being closed on Sundays. Some may even be insulted by the fact that far from being a tax-subsidised and school-promoted “alternative lifestyle”, sodomy (homosexuality) is still a crime.
Perhaps some are frustrated that abortion is against the law in South Africa. Instead of being able to have tax-subsidised abortions in state hospitals, mothers who want to murder their unborn babies have to fly overseas to more “civilised” nations where infanticide is a respectable activity.
Then again, some are probably suffering “irreparable psychological damage” because South Africa doesn’t have sex supermarkets like Denmark, sex shows with lesbians having sex with the corpses of animals, as in Frankfurt, or freely available drugs, as in Holland.
No doubt there are those who long for the day when “In humble submission to Almighty God who controls the destiny of nations , and all other God-honouring statements be taken out of our Constitution; when parliament will no longer be opened in prayer; when explicitly Christian laws be scrapped; when prayer, hymn-singing, Bible-reading and religious instruction be banished from South African schools; when compulsory church services, chaplains periods, prayer parades and issued Bibles be forbidden in the S.A. Defence Force; when abortion can be legal and financed with the taxes of Christians; when Christian pro-lifers can be beaten up and jailed for protesting this holocaust of the unborn; when perversion can be considered artistic expression; when pornography can be available in public shops and state libraries; when evolution, situation ethics, humanism, atheism and socialism can dominate the educational institutions; when law courts can be preoccupied with the loopholes and legal technicalities protecting the criminal and punish instead the law-abiding victim who dared to defend himself; when occultism will be more popular than Bible-based Christianity; and when the history books will be re-written from a Marxist- Leninist perspective.
Does all this sound a bit far-fetched? Do you think I’m exaggerating? Overstating my case perhaps? Getting a bit extreme?
I don’t believe so. Take a good hard look at the immorality and decadence of the Western European nations and of America. If we are a few years behind these morally degenerate societies and if journalists, film makers, fashion creators and other opinion formers want to bring our much-slandered and abused society “up to the standards of other Western nations” — what does this mean for our society?
Already magazine racks are filling up with blatantly immoral publications promoting public nudity, ridiculing traditional Christian standards and advocating adulterous lifestyles. Crime is increasing even as violent films and videos saturate our country. The Censorship Board regularly lets partial nudity, four-letter words and the taking of the Lord’s name past their scrutiny. Unless Christian citizens stand up and speak out for righteousness then immorality will prevail.
“Who will rise up for me against the evil doers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” Psalms 94:16
How low must standards drop before we will spring into action? Only recently have American Christians woken up to how much they lost by being asleep when prayer was banned from schools, when God was thrown out of the classrooms, when abortion was legalised and when evolution was allowed to displace creation as the foundation of the education system.
American Christians, when hearing that South Africa still had prayer in the school assemblies, the Bible in the classroom, compulsory church services in the army, devotional and evangelistic programmes on the national radio and TV, and laws against desecrating the Sabbath, pornography and abortion, all warned me: “Tell the South African people to wake up before they lose these precious freedoms!”
More than anything else, my speaking tours around Europe and the United States have impressed upon me the need for Christians to rally around, support and vigorously defend pro-life, family, moral laws, Christian education and freedom issues.
On my very first missionary journey to communist Mozambique, in 1982, Christians there (who had endured years of persecution for their faith) urged me — “Warn the good people of South Africa to please wake up. We too slept in Mozambique. We did not understand what we had until we lost it all. Now it is too late for us. If South Africa falls — where will we get our Bibles from? From where will the missionaries come? You must stay free — we need you.”
Peter Hammond (Director)