Contend For The Faith

Contend For The Faith
While reading Dallas Willard’s ‘The Divine Conspiracy’ the other day, I was struck by an analogy that he used. “Recently a pilot was practising high-speed manoeuvres in a jet fighter. She turned the controls for what she thought was a steep ascent – and flew straight into the ground. She was unaware that she had been flying upside down.” Now the analogy has nothing to do with women drivers but rather that she had no clue as to which way was the right way up.  This analogy hit home as I was preaching from the book of Jude lately.  Some verses stood out for me, verses that we all know very well.  “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.’ These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the spirit.” Jude 17-19 
  We are living in the last days and part and parcel of living in these days is that we have those around us and in the church who scoff and follow their own ungodly desires.  They, in turn, cause others to fall away from the Truth of God’s Word and lead many astray by their ungodliness and false teachings. This brings division in the church and amongst God’s people. They, like the pilot, are flying but have no clue as to which is the right way up.
As believers, we are called to be wise and recognise that we are living in evil days. One of the deadly evils that we face is one that we find in the church – false teachers and their doctrines. We value tolerance so much that taking a stand for truth or righteousness is foreign to us. Yet the early Church did take a stand, in a society much like our own. The early Christians insisted that Jesus is the only way to God. If you take that stand today, you are bombarded by society and, even worse, by believers.
Certainly we do not execute heretics today nor do we persecute those who differ from us.  But we should be able to recognise heresy and its subtleties as well as ‘just off the mark’ teachings. We should know how to respond to false teachers. 
Jude was writing this short letter to the Church of Jesus Christ.  His language is strong, harsh, scalding and severe. Perhaps that is why it is not popular – in the politically correct age in which we live, strong language is not palatable. Something that is black-and-white and absolute and true is not always popular! In the Church today, a cry for intolerance against heresy, false teaching and watered- down Christianity is not acceptable and so we find a dishonouring attitude or view of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will find men and women, churches and movements around our world that are deceiving souls by the millions and leading them into an eternal hell!
Jude begins and ends his epistle with tremendous statements on our eternal security as believers. In the midst of the false teachings so rife today, we are reminded that we are called and kept by God to be presented before the presence of our great and glorious God. “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.” Heb 7:25
Jude wrote this letter because there were men who had slipped into the church and were spreading false and ungodly teachings. Outwardly they were members of the church; inwardly they were strangers to Jesus Christ. These people were marked out by God and their doom was predicted long ago. The Lord Jesus Christ warned His own disciples that these men are ordained for condemnation.
There are those who name the Name of Christ today but do not know if there really is a God. (Look at some popular ‘Christian’ books and ‘Christian’ TV channels).  They don’t really know if Christ is the Son of God; if there is life after death; if there actually was a virgin birth; if miracles really happen or if sinners really can be saved!
Jude condemns these false teachers and gives seven Old Testament examples to prove his point:
·         Israel (v 5)
·         Fallen angels (v 6)
·         Sodom and Gomorrah (v 7)
·         Michael and Moses (v 8-10)
·         Cain (v. 11)
·         Balaam (v. 11)
·         Korah (v 11)
All of these disobeyed God and received their judgment and punishment for it.
Jude says that these false teachers speak out against the Creator. They speak with their own full authority “against whatever they do not understand… like unreasoning animals.” (v10).  They are grumblers, complainers, boastful and following their own ways. That means no moral compass, no ethical decisions, no guidance by the Spirit, no spiritual insight – and this is the very thing that destroys them.  Today we see churches and church leaders who, though taking the Name of Christ, are sinning openly and encouraging sin in the world around us. What perhaps began with them as a lack of reverence for the Word of God, which they did not obey, has become their interpretation of Scripture that legitimises and legalises their sin.
Jude moves on and quotes Enoch from the Old Testament.  He was one of the two men in Scripture who “walked with God” and was taken to heaven without experiencing death. It is said that he “pleased God”. He shows us the example of preventative treatment of apostasy, false teachings and doctrines. It is called simply – ‘Walking with God’! It means reconciliation with God. A man cannot walk with God unless he knows God in reconciliation.
There had to be likeness in nature. Enoch had to be holy, as God is Holy. He had to have Godly morals, because God does not walk out of the way of holiness and He does not lower the standards to fit us. Enoch had to have a surrendered will because God does not force His company on anyone.  He chose to walk with God and we need daily to choose to surrender our will and walk to God’s Will.
Jude’s admonition from v 17 – 25 shows us how we are to act and survive in light of this situation – in times of falling away because of rampant false teachings and teachers creeping into the Church.
·   We must “remember” the words of the apostles. (v 17-18)
Remember what the Lord and the apostles said about these people, so that when it happens we are not to be surprised by it. What we are experiencing in the church today is nothing new. It was there in the past; it’s here today and will be here in the future.
·   We are to “build” ourselves up in our holy faith. (v 20)
The very heart of surviving is being strong in the faith. That means being strong in your understanding of Christian Truth – the Truth of what we believe.  This is why we need to study God’s Word. “Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything” 1 Thess 5: 20, 21. We need discernment. We need it to watch out for the invasion of liberalism, dogmatism, legalism, secular psychology and relativism and many other things that affect sound doctrine and the interpretation of Scripture.
·   We need to “pray in the Holy Spirit.” (vs 20)
This means that we need to pray consistently with the Spirit’s will, guidance and leading. “We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” Rom 8: 26. We need to align ourselves with the Will of God as we study His Word and pray in faith and conformity to the Word of God.
·   We must “keep ourselves in God’s love” as we wait for His return. (v 21)
This means to stay in the sphere of God’s love, keeping yourself in the place where you experience the blessing that God’s love brings. Don’t get yourself into a position where you begin to know and feel God’s wrath. It simply means being obedient to God. Live in the light of eternity. Live in the light of the future.
There are three kinds of people who threaten the Church and we need to be merciful and seek to restore them into the Truth.
 1. Those that doubt or are ignorant (v 22). They don’t know the Word of God, they are not applying it in their lives and have found the false teachings satisfying to their desires.. They are confused! Jude instructs us to show mercy and kindness. We need to come alongside them and show them the Truth.  
2. Those that need to be snatched “from the fire” (v 23). This is a bigger challenge.  They have bought the lies; they have owned the lies. This is where we go beyond having mercy – this is a rescue operation! We need to snatch them from the fire. We need to do everything we can to rescue them..
3. Those that have been “corrupted” (v 23). They are in the lies ‘boots and all’. We need to take pity on them but with fear, making sure that we are not polluted by their teachings and so pulled in and defile ourselves.
As you read this epistle, you cannot help but realise that Christians must defend the Faith and oppose false teachers. Paul did this continually and we need to be ready in and out of season to give an account for what we believe.  Christ is guarding us, but He wants us to guard the deposit He has left in our hands.  Not only must we guard this deposit but we need to be prepared to snatch our friends, family and others from the fire of false teaching and false living. We need to build ourselves up in the Word of God and walk in the light of His Truth. May our Lord bless you as you contend for the Faith.

Christ Has Risen Indeed!

Christ Has Risen Indeed!
“And declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the Resurrection from the dead.”  Rom 1:4
The bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is tremendously important.  Death is man’s greatest enemy; it has conquered all men – but Christ.  Cities and nations, like people, are born and grow for a season and then fade away.  Homes, clothes, even vehicles, wear out and eventually go back to dust, just as do their owners.  All the founders of great religions and movements have died and you can visit their graves – Zoroaster, Confucius, Buddha, Muhammad, Marx and Lenin.  They are all dead and decayed in the grave.  But Jesus Christ is alive! 
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is vitally important because it demonstrates Christ’s victory over death; it gives hope to all mankind; it shows that eternal life is available to the believer; it points to the ultimate triumph of God over all evil and it provides an indisputable proof that the message about Jesus Christ, as both Judge and Saviour, is true.  “Because He has appointed a Day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.  He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”  Acts 17:31
The Resurrection is so important and foundational to Christianity that it has been targeted for relentless attacks.  Frank Morison, a lawyer, determined to disprove the Resurrection and thereby undermine Christianity.  The result of his exhaustive investigations was his conversion to Christ and the publication of his book ‘Who Moved the Stone?’ which decisively demonstrates the overwhelming evidence for the Resurrection. 
A skeptical university lecturer, Josh McDowell, determined to disprove Christianity by investigating evidence against the Resurrection.  The result was his conversion to Christ and publication of the monumental ‘Evidence That Demands a Verdict’ which exhaustively and conclusively presents documentation and evidence upon evidence substantiating the historical truth, factual accuracy, archeological evidence, manuscript evidence, fulfilled prophecies and transformed lives which support the fact of the Resurrection of Christ from the dead and the Truth claims of Christianity.
Thomas Arnold, Professor of History at Oxford University, one of the greatest historians of the 19th Century wrote:  “I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better, fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair enquirer, than the great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose from the dead.”
Simon Greenleaf, recognised as one of the most skilled legal minds ever produced, developed the Harvard Law School.  He is recognised as the top authority on what constitutes sound evidence.  Simon Greenleaf made a thorough and exhaustive examination of the objective evidence and the testimony of the four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  In his book ‘The Testimony of the Evangelists’ (Baker, 1874) he concluded:  “It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.” 
Simon Greenleaf declared that any court of law, if presented with the evidence of the Resurrection, would have to give a verdict in favour of the integrity and accuracy of the Gospel writers and the fact of the Resurrection. 
One of the most popular books ever written and most successful films ever produced, Ben Hur, was a result of a skeptical challenge to General Lew Wallace to the authenticity of Christ’s Resurrection and a careful examination of the evidence. 
What are the facts?  The religious leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees, who had campaigned and conspired to have Christ arrested and executed on trumped up charges, had a compelling interest in disproving any claims of the Resurrection.  They had presumed that the execution of Jesus would eliminate this threat to their religious power-base and silence His supporters.  These Jewish religious leaders had great concerns about the corpse of Jesus and they approached the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, for a military detachment to secure the tomb (Matt 28:62-64). 
The Roman governor’s priority in the volatile province of Palestine was to preserve peace and stability.  He recognised the political problems that would ensue if anything happened to this religious Teacher whom he had three times declared innocent and ultimately had washed his hands in front of the crowd declaring, “I’m innocent of this Man’s blood” Matt 27:24.   
Pilate was only too aware that a travesty of justice had taken place, and the last thing he needed was a review of his shameful conduct and dereliction of duty in this case.  Ensuring that the victim’s corpse remained buried was definitely in Pilate’s political interests as well. “‘Take a guard’, Pilate answered.  ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how’.  So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”  Matt 27:65
As the chief priests had approached the Roman governor, and as the Greek word ‘Koustodia’ is used to describe the detachment of soldiers, it was evidently a Roman guard.  If only a temple guard had been used, there would have been no need to approach Pilate to issue the order.  Additionally, the concern of the guards after the Resurrection to be protected from consequences from the governor (Matt 28:14), confirms that those guarding the tomb were Roman soldiers.  The detachment would have consisted of at least sixteen soldiers with four men placed directly in front of the entrance of the tomb, on duty at any time.  Under Roman military law any guard who deserted his post, or who fell asleep on duty, would face crucifixion.  Typically, if Roman soldiers allowed a prisoner to escape they would face the same sentence as the prisoner – in this case crucifixion.
The seal placed on the stone at the entrance to the tomb signified the administrative authority, and only an authorised officer of Rome would be permitted to break the seal.  Anyone breaking a Roman seal without permission would be tracked down and executed.
Although the intention of the religious and political leaders had been to ensure that the phenomenon of Jesus ended at the tomb, their extraordinary security measures have only served to confirm the truth that they had murdered an innocent Man and that Jesus Christ was truly the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, “the firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth…the One who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forever more.” Rev 1:5, 18
To explain away the empty tomb, the enemies of the Gospel have had to resort to some desperate deceptions.  The first was to suggest that the disciples had stolen the body.  This incredible theory suggests that those same disciples who had slept in the garden, fled at His arrest, denied Him before a young woman, had hidden in fear behind locked doors, could have unitedly overcome sixteen professional Roman soldiers, dared to break a Roman seal and moved a two ton tomb stone, just to steal a corpse!  A dead Messiah would have served absolutely no purpose for the disciples.  What possible motivation could they have had, even had they possessed the ability to overcome the military, political and logistical obstacles?  They had nothing to gain and everything to lose.  Every one of the disciples suffered severe persecution, most dying as martyrs for the Faith.  Would you die for a lie?
Others have questioned whether Christ had really died on the cross.  Perhaps He only fainted?  This swoon theory would have us believe that the Roman soldiers, who were professional killers, had failed to ensure that this high profile political prisoner was not actually dead.  Considering the vicious flogging which the Lord had already endured, the excruciating torture of crucifixion and the spear thrust into His side with blood and water flowing out, all provide convincing evidence of death.
Yet, those advocating the swoon theory would have us believe that One who had endured such savage flogging, crucifixion and a spear thrust to the heart, could not only have survived the legendary Roman military efficiency, but that He was revived on a cold slab in a cold tomb.  Further that He somehow disengaged from the grave clothes, and one hundred pounds of spices, ointments and wrappings which had effectively mummified Him, rolled away the two ton stone, overpowered, or eluded, the Roman soldiers and somehow found and impressed the disciples with His Deity? 
Another desperate attempt to explain away the Resurrection of Christ has been that they went to the wrong tomb.  All of them?  Mary Magdalene, Peter, John and the other women, all went to the wrong tomb.  And somehow neither the Pharisees, nor the Sadducees, nor the Roman soldiers, nor Joseph of Arimathea, whose tomb it was, thought to point out that the tomb was in fact still occupied!  However, this theory is also impossible, as the tomb was not in a cemetery, but in a garden privately owned by Joseph of Arimathea.  There was no other tomb in that garden.
All that the Roman and Jewish leaders had to do in order to end Christianity forever was to produce the corpse of Jesus.  But they couldn’t do it.  Even when the Apostle Peter stood up on the day of Pentecost and proclaimed:  “Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Chris” Acts 2:36.  “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus” Acts 4:33.  And many thousands in Jerusalem, including many Pharisees, came to faith in Jesus Christ. 
To the Jewish religious leaders, this was their worst nightmare, a disaster.  The proclamation of the Resurrection of Christ undermined their power and credibility.  Thousands of their followers now believed that they had condemned an innocent Man, the Messiah Himself.  The new religion of Christianity was undermining the power-base and credibility of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  If the body of Jesus could have been found, Christianity would have been stopped dead in its tracks and the threat to the religious status quo would have ended.  Since they desperately needed Jesus’ corpse, the Jewish leaders would have used every means at their disposal to hunt it down and find it – if that was possible.
However, we are not only dealing with the empty tomb and the absence of the body, but the testimony of eyewitnesses.  On at least twelve separate occasions Jesus Christ was seen after rising from the tomb. 
To explain away the testimony of all these eyewitnesses, enemies of Christianity suggest that these were merely hallucinations, perhaps as a result of hypnosis or hysteria.  However, while hallucinations tend to be unique psychological experiences of an individual, we are here dealing with a large number of individuals, who at different times, in different groups, in different places, both indoors and outdoors, on a hilltop, along a roadside, by a lake shore, all saw the Lord.  They saw Him, they ate with Him and they saw the wounds in His hands and in His side.
And far from being gullible, it would appear that His disciples were very skeptical and slow to believe.  Thomas declared that he would not believe that Christ had risen unless he personally placed his fingers in the nail prints in His hands and feet and his hand in the wound in His side.
Not only do we have the testimony of the eyewitnesses, but the dramatic transformation of the disciples.  The Resurrection of Christ from the dead transformed the disciples’ grief to joy, their cowardice to boldness, their skepticism to faith and their doubt to determination.  It turned Saul, the persecutor of the Church, into Paul the apostle of the Church. 
It also transformed society and history.  It changed the Jewish Sabbath into the Christian Lord’s Day.  What else could explain the replacement of Saturday as the Jewish day of rest into Sunday as the Christian Lord’s Day?  The Resurrection transformed a Jewish remnant into the worldwide Christian Church.  Over two billion people worldwide describe themselves as Christians who believe in the Resurrection of Christ from the dead.  The very existence of the largest religious movement in the history of the world is another powerful evidence of the truth of the Resurrection.
Jesus Himself had prophesied His Resurrection from the dead.  And because of His fulfillment of this, we can be absolutely certain that Jesus Christ is God with us, as He claimed.  By His Resurrection we can know that our sins are forgiven through His blood sacrificed on the cross of Calvary.
Because of Christ’s death on the cross – we can rejoice that our sins are paid for, we are forgiven and justified by faith. 
Because of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead – we can rejoice in the prospect of eternal life.
Because of Christ’s Ascension – we can know that He has all authority and that His Great Commission will be accomplished on earth.
Because of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost – we do not need to trust in our own abilities, but in His power alone.  “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.”
William Sangster, church leader and hymn writer, suffered from increasing paralysis which finally prevented him from even being able to talk.  On the last Easter before he died, he wrote:  “How terrible to wake up on Easter and have no voice to shout, ‘HE IS RISEN’. Far worse – to have a voice and not to want to shout!”
We serve a risen Saviour!  Death is defeated.   Christ has risen – victorious over death, hell, satan and the grave.
Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life.  He who believes in Christ, though he may die, yet shall he live (John 11:25).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  1 Pet 1:3
Dr. Peter Hammond has served the Lord as a pioneer missionary of Frontline Fellowship for 27 years.
Contact him through or 021-689-4480 or visit

The ‘Living Together’ Lie

The Living Together Lie
25 years ago morality was a known, even if some chose to ignore it.  Today, don’t presume anything!  Many really don’t know, and few care. A minister friend of mine had concluded his ministry as a guest speaker in a church when a young couple asked to talk to him privately.  Drawing them to one side, they stumbled over their words:  “We thought you may have meant?….Umm.  Did you actually imply?…Umm.  Does the Bible really say it is wrong to live together before marriage?”  They stood quietly as colour began to discernibly drain from their faces.
Gently my friend showed them God’s counsel in His Word as he realised that they knew no better.  I can just about hear the outrage now:  That would never happen in my church!  But, it did and it does!  Let’s not get defensive; let’s provide a better answer for many of today’s new converts. The couple in question had wandered into the church together a few weeks earlier, not knowing anyone there.  They were searching for God.  That first night they both committed their lives to Christ.  From that point onwards, they were on fire for God.  They arrived in the same car, left in the same car and lived in the same house.  Only using their first names everybody presumed they were married. Fortunately for the couple, they could settle the issue.  After finding out what God’s Word said, they separated for the few weeks prior to their local minister solemnising their marriage.
Keep The Standard High
Without being sanctimonious we can keep the standard high for moral purity in a perverse world.  Though we, the Church, have always stated that it is God’s best for a couple to wait for marriage before cohabitation, it has been more a statement of conviction (although rightly based on the Word of God), rather than justifiable facts.  We, as ministers, may know that the Bible and a dynamic Holy Ghost filled life has the answers.  But, believe me, the world doesn’t and doesn’t even care to know.  They are no longer brought up on the Bible’s standards.  Presume nothing!
We want to encourage our young people to make intelligent decisions about entering into marriage.  Mostly cohabitation produces what is termed ‘Relationship Inertia’.  The central idea of ‘Relationship Inertia’ is that some couples, who otherwise would not have married, end up married partly because they cohabit. ‘Well, we may as well live together to save on expenses’, or some other meaningless reason. This leads to ‘We may as well marry’.  They ‘slide’ into decisions rather than positively making them.  Therefore it is easier to ‘slide’ out of them.  Research shows they tend to ‘slide’ into marriage (a negative approach or at best inertia), rather than ‘decide’ (a positive deliberate decision) to marry implemented by non-cohabiting individuals.  Again research then shows that the cohabitation couples who ‘slide’ into marriage separate and divorce more readily, as they have not made as conscious a decision to marry in the first place.
Because of our work in Marriage and Family areas, we keep abreast of the latest research and facts.  Progressively more is coming to light to validate our Christian position and stand.  We have listed below the findings of some of the latest research on the ill-effects of cohabitation outside of marriage.  Trust they will be helpful for you in gently and wisely helping couples who are coming direct from the world into our churches.
Key Facts on Cohabitation Before Marriage
·         By 2000 well over half of all first marriages are preceded by cohabitation [Uni. Wisconsin doc.]  Now it is 76% [ABS].

Cohabitation doesn’t reduce the likelihood of divorce; in fact it leads to a higher divorce rate.  One study showed it has a 46% higher risk than the normal divorce rate [1992 Journal of Marriage and the Family].
No positive contribution of cohabitation to marriage has ever been found, not even sexual compatibility as usually suggested [1993 Journal of Marriage and the Family].
Cohabitants tend not to be as committed as married couples, or prepared to work on their differences [1995 Journal of Family Issues].  Generally it is unusual for cohabitation to last more than five years.
Particularly problematic is the area of serial cohabitation.  It generates a greater willingness to dissolve later relationships [1993 Journal of Family Issues].
About 60% of cohabitation end in marriage [1989 National Study on Cohabitation].
In general cohabiting relationships tend to be less satisfactory than married relationships, with cohabiting couples reporting lower levels of happiness, lower levels of sexual exclusivity and sexual satisfaction and poorer relationships with parents [Bumpass, Sweet & Cherlin’s 1991 study].
Cohabitation has been consistently associated with poorer marital communications, lower marital satisfaction, higher levels of domestic violence and a greater probability of divorce [Uni. Of Denver, Ct. for Marital/Family Studies].
After five years only 10% of cohabiting couples are together.  They do not tend to permanency [Bumpass, Sweet’s 1989 study].
Married couples have substantial benefits over the unmarried cohabiters in terms of labour force productivity, physical and mental health, general happiness and longevity [1994 American Journal of Sociology].
Annual rates of depression among cohabiting couples are more than three times the married rate [1990 Psychiatric Disorders in Australia].
Physical and sexual abuse of female is much higher.  One study showed at least twice as high; another study nearly three times [1991 Journal of Marriage and the Family].
Abuse 20 times higher for children with cohabiting, biological parents, but 33 times greater if parent cohabiting with non-parenting male partner [1993 Family Education Trust: London].
1996 poverty rate was 6% with married parents, but 31% with cohabiting parents [1996 Journal of Marriage and the Family].
Cohabiters have on average lower incomes and less education [1999 Social Forces].
Australian National University found unmarried people need an income of $70,000 to display the same happiness as married persons with income of only $20,000 [Readers Digest May 1993].
One of the annoying features is that there is growing evidence that tax reforms make it beneficial to stay single.  This has been blamed for falling numbers of weddings [Daily Telegraphy, July 7th, 2007].
Many cohabiting couples waste their young adulthood in relationships going nowhere [Weston, Qu: Aust. Institute of Family Studies].  It may contribute to later pregnancies than personally wanted and research has shown cohabitating relationships are becoming more unstable and less likely to lead to marriage [Melbourne Herald Sun Nov. 22, 2007].

Ivan Herald
Ivan & Pauline Herald head up OzFAME (Australian Family And Marriage Education).  They have the largest Marriage Seminar in Australia in either the Secular or Christian realm.  It is officially ratified by the Australian Federal Government.  They travel regularly throughout New Zealand and can be contacted, for inquiry or inclusion into their schedule, at/through:

A Biblical Voter’s Guide – What Every Christian Needs to Know

A Biblical Voter’s Guide – What Every Christian Needs to Know
In 2009, South Africans who have registered will have the responsibility of electing representatives for provincial and national government. How we exercise this right and responsibility of voting will have far reaching consequences for almost every area of our lives.
Concerning the role of Christians in social and political matters, the Bible instructs us 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 heal their land”    2 Chronicles 7:14
Expose Evil “Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”  Ephesians 5:11
Improve the Community “See the trouble we are in: Jerusalem is in ruins, and its 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
Oppose Ungodly Rulers “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting…”  Daniel 5:27
Uphold Christian Standards “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its       saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”  Matthew 5:13
Disciple the Nations “Make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded…” Matthew 28:19-20
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
Voters’ Guide to Biblical Issues
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” Psalm 9:17
As responsible citizens, Christians must strive to honour God in all areas of life (Matthew 5:14-20). We are to oppose evil (Isaiah 59) and work for righteousness.
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” Proverbs 14:34
Amidst all the electioneering, unrealistic promises, media performances, slogan shouting and empty rhetoric, it is very difficult to maintain an objective perspective on reality. Many even find it difficult to discern between what is right and what is wrong during election campaigns.
“See to it that no-one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” Colossians 2:8
Be careful to not merely listen to what is said, but to observe what is done. Cut through the vast volume of verbiage and evaluate each party and candidate in your area simply on the crucial Biblical issues:
1. Does the individual candidate and his party acknowledge the authority of Almighty God? (Exodus 20:3, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 127:1; Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 33:22; Matthew 28:18)
2. Is the candidate a moral, trustworthy person of integrity? (Proverbs 16:32; 1 Timothy 3:4-5)
3. Does the party permit a free and open market economy based on private ownership and individual enterprise, or does it hold to the discredited socialist strategies of state interference, central control and nationalisation (theft)? (Exodus 20:15-17, Leviticus19:15, Proverbs 10:2-4, Matt. 25:14-27, 2 Thess. 3:10)
4. Does the party uphold the right to life of pre-born babies? (Proverbs 6:16-17 & 24.11, 31:8, Matt. 18:10-14)
5. Does the party uphold the sanctity of human life by punishing all murderers with the Biblical sentence of capital punishment? (Genesis 9:6, Exodus 21:12-16, Leviticus 24:17-22, Num. 35: Romans 13:4)
6. Does the party uphold the principle that education – including teachers and textbooks – must be controlled by parents? (Deuteronomy 6:2-9, Psalm 78:4-7 & 111:10, Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4)
7. Does the party oppose the granting of special privileges to perverts (otherwise known as “homosexual rights”)? (Genesis 19, Numbers 15:15, Romans 1:24-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Revelation 21:8)
8. Does the party uphold Biblical publications control to protect society from the exploitative pornography industry? (Psalm 101:3, Proverbs 14:34, Luke 17:1-2, Mark 12:31, Galatians 5:13, Colossians 3:5-8, 1 Peter 2:16)
For further reading obtain: Biblical Principles for Africa and Make a Difference – a Christian Action Handbook for Southern Africa.
The 2009 Biblical Issues Voters’ Guide in English – detailing the positions of 8 leading political parties on 8 key Biblical issues – is now available from Distribute quantities to your congregation, community and colleagues.
Quantities can be ordered from Africa Christian Action, call 021 –6894481 or email:
Updated Afrikaans and Xhosa versions will also be available soon.
The website also features relevant articles, helpful links, a downloadable Voter Education tract and Powerpoint, plus view responses of political parties to the Christian Action Network’s Policy Survey. In addition, it includes the following general guideline to evaluating political candidates and parties.