The new tolerance

“TOLERANCE MAY INDEED BE THE DOMINANT theme of the modern curriculum. The authors of a recent study of high schools concluded tolerating diversity is the moral glue that holds schools together. One study of history books found toleration presented as “the only ‘religious’
idea worth remembering.” Steven Bates One writer in the magazine, Teaching Tolerance, stated that “tolerance is an idea that is universally relevant [to every class], and it belongs everywhere in the curriculum.” Teachers are being told how to teach it in every single subject. From history to literature to mathematics, the children are learning tolerance. Tolerance is being willing to put up with, endure, bear with those whose views or lifestyles are diff erent from others’ views without agreeing with them. And every Christian should be tolerant in the correct and historical meaning of that word. It is what the Bible means in the love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13: “Love endureth all things.” Every Christian should be tolerant. It is the sign of a gentleman to put up with people who have strange ideas or even strange habits or customs, even though you don’t agree with them.
But if you think that is what is being taught in the curricula of this country, you are very wrong. The New Tolerance is the title of a book recently released by Josh McDowell which I recommend for everyone of you to read.

The ‘new tolerance’ means this: Not only do you put up with and endure and bear with those who have different views, habits, and/or lifestyles than your own, but you must agree with their views as well. Furthermore, you must even be willing to promote and endorse that other lifestyle, since it is every bit as good as yours. It begins with the idea that there is no absolute truth. Everything is relative. Th erefore, one kind of lifestyle is as good as another kind of lifestyle. You mustn’t judge because there is no absolute standard to judge by!

The Post-Modernist says, “Reason has failed. We must resort to feeling.” It is always not “I think,” but “I feel.” We have even invented a new civil right – the civil right for my feelings not to be hurt. A young lady in one of the high schools recently sued because they sang a patriotic song that had some religious words in it. She said that it hurt her feelings. Th e whole school ground to a halt. Th e courts moved into action, “We cannot have anybody’s feelings hurt!” Part of Post-Modernism is this universal individual. We don’t have countries. There is just the individual, and his/her feelings, and they must not be off ended.

“There is no truth, there are no moral absolutes, and the important thing is my feelings.” There are not even any universal truths of any kind for people, and whatever truths we have are simply societal constructs that each community or society or nation has created, and these do not apply beyond the borders of that culture. All morality is culturally created and culturally defined. So it is the end of all truth. Truth does not exist
in any objective sense, and it is always limited to a particular culture.

Tolerance is the last virtue of a depraved society. When you have an immoral society that has blatantly, proudly, violated all of the commandments of God, there is one last virtue they insist upon: tolerance for their immorality. They will not have you condemning what they have done as being wrong, and they have created a whole world construct in which it is not wrong, and in which they are no longer the criminal or the villain or the evil person, but you are! And so they call evil good, and good evil … and believe me, that is just the beginning. I was told about a totalitarian nation where they would not even allow the mention of homosexuality on television or radio. If anybody read Romans 1, or any of the many other passages in the Bible where God condemns homosexuality, that person would go straight to jail. What benighted nation would have such an immoral law as that? It is found in deepest Canada. Th e very things I’ve said here today could land me in prison in Canada.
You see:

If it is true what they say that there are no judgments by which we can condemn any standard of right and wrong or good and evil as better or worse,
And if it is true that the only thing that matters is our feelings, And if it is also true, as they say, that you cannot separate what a person does from what the person is,
And since Christians for 2,000 years have believed that we are to love the sinner, but hate the sin (they say, “Oh, no you don’t”),
And since polls have repeatedly shown that high school students in this country believe that you cannot criticise anything anyone believes without criticising and finding fault with that person.

Therefore, if you have a discussion of atheism with an atheist, you are finding fault with that man and criticising his views. You can’t separate the two. If you fi nd fault with a thief and you would criticise his stealing, though as a Christian we would want to love him, then you are finding fault with him, not merely what he does. The same thing is true of a homosexual. You cannot have a rational discussion of the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality, because if you fi nd any fault with it, you are fi nding fault with that person who will tell you that “what I do is what I am,” and you cannot distinguish between the two.

‘Hate’ crimes
We’re going down hill. Does it matter? Yes, it matters, because you see, when you are criticising what that person believes or what he does, you are hurting his feelings, and that is a ‘hate’ crime. For the first time in history you can be judged for what is inside your head or inside your heart! They first ridiculed them. They laughed at them. Then they began to condemn them. And then they began to silence them and censure them, and
censorship came into place. Then they began to persecute them. And then they began to imprison them. And then… and then they began to kill them, all in the name of tolerance. As one school administrator said, “It is the mission of the public schools not to tolerate intolerance!”

Now, my friends, Christianity is the most loving religion in the world. God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus Christ gave His life. God gives to us eternal life. God forgives us and He urges us to love others, to love our friends, to love our enemies, to love even those who
want to kill us. But Christianity is an absolute religion. By the way, all of these strictures do not apply to other religions – only to Christianity – God is a jealous God and He will not have any other gods before Him. All of the gods of the heathen, He says, are but idols. Christ says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me”. (John 14:6). That statement alone could one day have landed Him in jail
because it is absolutist. How many people today say, “Well, all religions are basically the same.” There is a theological term for that idea. It is called ‘hogwash’. (That’s a direct translation from the Greek.) It only reveals the ignorance of the person who makes that statement. Gautama Buddha died for no one. Lao-tze died for no one. Confucius died for no one. Mohammed died for no one. Only Christ died for the sins of the world. Only Christ rose again from the dead. Only Christ off ers eternal life freely to those who will trust in Him. Christianity is diametrically opposite from all of the other world’s religions in those things that really matter. But because it is absolute and not relative, it is Christianity against which all of this that I have mentioned is aimed. It is like being corralled like sheep to the slaughter. Most of the sheep don’t even know what is happening.
Wake up!! WAKE UP!

Dear friends, for forty years I have urged Christians to be faithful to the Great Commission of sharing the Gospel with a needy world. Many of you have been indescribably faithful in doing that year after year, decade after decade. But even more of you didn’t lead anybody to Christ last year. You didn’t lead anybody to Christ the year before that. You didn’t lead anybody to Christ in the last decade. You are going to fi nd out what is at the end of the road of disobedience to the Great Commission. It is time that we stand up for Jesus Christ and show some backbone while we still have a place to stand.

DR. JAMES KENNEDY is the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and the President of Evangelism Explosion International.
View their website at:
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6)
Joy 7 BC.indd 42 2007/03/17 01:17:51 PM

Who Killed Jesus?

During this Easter season, as we are reminded again of the sufferings of Christ on the cross, we need to consider the question:  Who is responsible for the sufferings of Christ?  As we read the Gospel narratives, or as we see the crucifixion of our Saviour depicted by The Passion of the Christ film, we have to ask the question: Who killed Jesus?
Do we blame the Roman soldiers?  Certainly they crucified Him. 
Surely though it was the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, who was responsible?  He alone had the power to enforce the death penalty, it was he who, as a magistrate of the Roman Empire, declared: “I cannot find any reason to condemn Him” John 19:4; “I find no reason to condemn Him” John 19:65; “I find no reason to condemn this man” Luke 23:4.  Yet, Pilate bowed to pressure and condemned an innocent man for political expediency and popularity. 
It was a meaningless gesture for him to publically “wash his hands” and declare: “I am innocent of the blood of this just person.  You see to it”  Matthew 27:24.  How hypocritical!  He was the Roman governor.  As the highest magistrate in the land he had declared: “Having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this man, concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.” Luke 23:14
“He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.” Proverbs 17:15
But what about the mob of people in the streets?  They were the ones who pressured Pontius Pilate to condemn the Lord to death.  “We have no king but Caesar!” they cried.  “Release Barabbas!” “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” was their demand.  “His blood be on us and on our children” Matthew 27:25.
However, it was the religious leaders who initiated the arrest and trial of Jesus.  It was the religious leaders who incited the mob to scream for Barabbas to be released and Christ to be crucified. (Matthew 26:3 – 4; Luke 22:3 – 4; John 7:32).  “And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion… but the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them.” Mark 15:7,11
“They were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified.  And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.  So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested.  And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.” Luke 23:23 – 25
“You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside many to pervert justice.” Exodus 23:2
And, of course, it was Judas who betrayed Christ – for mere silver.  Judas was one of the Lord’s trusted twelve disciples, the treasurer, but he became a traitor.  It has been common for Hollywood productions to deal very sympathetically with Judas, but the Bible is clear that Judas was greedy (Matt 26:14 – 15); treacherous (Luke 22:47 – 48); dishonest and hypocritical (John 12:5 – 6).  The Bible states it clearly that Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ (Matt10:4).  Judas asked the chief priests: “What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?” Matt 26:14.   The Bible records that the chief priests were ‘delighted’ at Judas’s treachery (Mark 14:10).  Although Judas was the treasurer of the twelve, and fained concern for the poor, the Bible reveals that, in fact, Judas was a thief, stealing from the funds of the Lord Himself (John 12:4 – 6).  Far from Judas being a well-meaning victim of circumstances, the Bible is quite clear that he was a malicious traitor.  John’s Gospel plainly states: “Then satan entered into Judas” John 13:27.  Jesus was betrayed by Judas.
Yet, was it not God’s will that Christ suffer and die on the cross?  In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed: “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42
However, we also need to ask whether it was not the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who was responsible for His own death?  As our Lord declared: “I lay down My life for the sheep… I lay down My life… no one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself…” John 10:15 – 18.  Our Lord Jesus was not a victim, or a martyr, he was a willing sacrifice – an Atonement – for our sins.
So, in the final analysis, was it not your sin and my sin that was responsible for the sufferings and the atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ?  It was for my sins that He suffered and died. 
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquity; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment, but who will declare His generation?  For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people He was stricken… and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:5 – 12
Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5:6 – 8); our sin offering (Rom 8:3); our Atonement (Rom 3:25).  When Christ, the perfect Son of God, a Lamb without spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:19) shed His precious blood on the cross it was a substitionary death.  He died for us, in our place (1 Peter 3:18), the innocent for the guilty, the just in the place of the unjust. 
He became like us – that we might become like Him.
He was rejected – that we might be accepted.
He was condemned – that we might be forgiven.
He was punished – that we might be pardoned.
He suffered – that we might be strengthened.
He was whipped – that we might healed.
He was hated – that we might be loved.
He was crucified – that we might be justified.
He was tortured – that we might be comforted.
He died – that we might live.
He went to hell – that we might go to Heaven.
He endured what we deserve – that we might enjoy what only He deserves.
“In this is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
God is a Holy God and His righteous standards are seen in His Law.  We are sinful and need to repent from our wickedness and place our trust in Christ.  Have you acknowledged your sinfulness and failings before Almighty God?  Have you thanked Him for dying on the cross for your sins?  Jesus died for you.  Are you living for Him?

True Servanthood: Priscilla Shirer

True Servanthood: Priscilla Shirer

. . .and Samuel said, “Speak, for thy servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10

Now that I am a mother of a small child, I know how it feels to need real help. I was so grateful when I first came home from the hospital after delivering Jackson to have food brought to my home from gracious members of my church for about a month. I was so thankful that my home was cleaned and well taken care of by my husband. I could not have been more excited then to have my son’s god-mother nearby seeking to help any way that she possibly could. Recovering from a C-section delivery, not sleeping through the night and nursing a hungry child every three hours was taking its toll. The help was needed and greatly appreciated.

Now that I have experienced new motherhood for myself, I have a different outlook on how to help others. I used to be the kind of friend who would call, offer my well-wishes and very sincerely offer my help. I would say, “If you need anything, please call”. The only problem with that was that if the poor sleep-deprived mother did need something she would be too delirious to actually pick up the phone and remember my phone number. I must admit, on occasion, I was counting on that. I said I wanted to help but sometimes I was very busy or consumed with other things and didn’t really have the time. In other instances, I did have the time but I was hoping that what was asked of me wouldn’t require too much energy and fit into a certain parameter of expectancy. I wanted to help but in the way that I wanted to help! I offered my assistance but only according to my desires.

Those days of offering pseudo-assistance under the disguise of genuine concern are over. Now, I am serious. In fact, I am so serious that I rarely tell someone to call me if they need anything. Let’s be honest, how often do we actually call someone to wash and fold our dirty laundry or come scrub our floors for us. These days, instead of offering, I just show up and DO! Most often, I will choose the most menial task in that new mom’s house and dive in. I will clean a bathroom, fold clothes or mop a floor. Whatever needs to be done I am willing to do it. I have been there, honey! I know what a blessing it is to wake up for the three am feeding and go into a kitchen with a spotless floor that wasn’t cleaned by you! I have experienced the blessing of having someone watch my little one in the other room for just a few hours so that I could have an uninterrupted nap.
Being a mom has made me a servant. It has taught me that sometimes menial tasks are the most needed and appreciated. It has taught me how to help out in whatever way that I can. Isn’t that what motherhood teaches us in so many different ways? It makes us willing to do whatever is necessary regardless of the way that we feel. When little Jackson spits up or needs a bath, I don’t always feel like doing it but motherhood makes a real servant out of you. Those of us who have children are at our baby’s mercy! If they want to play, then we play. If they want to eat, then we feed. If they want to cry, then we console. If they make a mess, we clean it up! We are servants and most of the time we enjoy it! I believe that God is looking for His true servants. True servants are those who offer their service to Him with no strings attached. Not just people who claim to want to do what He asks but those who are willing to dive in, head first, no matter what the task may be. What good are pseudo-servants who seem to be sincere in their desire to serve Him but have hopes in the back of their minds that He will not ask them to do something that they don’t particularly care to do. He is looking for those who are serious about doing whatever it is that He says, regardless of how menial the task may be.
Servants trust their master so completely that they are willing to put their own comfort on the backburner to meet his wishes. True servants are even willing to do life-threatening things to spare their master’s life. They will jeopardise their own safety and well-being in order to make sure that the affairs of their employers are well taken care of. You’ve read the ancient tales of the king’s cupbearers – their sole responsibility was to taste food and drink before it touched the lips of royalty. Any harm that these substances would cause, happened to them first. And they were willing to put their lives on the line to show their loyalty to their king.

What shows the love and devotion of a true servant so much more is not that he will do the big things for his master, but rather that he will, without complaint, do the small things for him. If I were a servant to some earthly royalty I think I would be willing to do the big things. That’s what I would be paid to do. But I readily admit that it may become frustrating when my list of things to do went from what I considered meaningful and worth-while tasks to menial mundane tasks. In Biblical days, the lowest servant was instructed to wash the feet of guests as they entered into his master’s home. If that were my charge, I would surely become frustrated and tell the guests to wash their own feet! If my master asked me to run his bath water, fix his plate for dinner or lay out his pajamas before bed, my attitude wouldn’t be one of complete cheer. I would want him to use me to do something more meaningful. But a servant, a true servant, is willing to do anything for the sake of his master. Not just for the tasks that suit his fancy but even for those small, insignificant services that he is instructed to complete.

When Samuel heard the Lord calling, his response was, “Speak Lord, for thy servant is listening”. He presented himself in complete humility and basically implied that no matter what he was asked to do, he would be willing to oblige. Are you a true servant to the Lord? Take a personal inventory. Look deep into your heart and really try to uncover your true feelings about what the Lord asks of you. Do you simply say you are a servant but deep down inside hope that the Lord doesn’t really ask anything of you or are you sincere? Do you serve the Lord with strings attached? I cannot tell you how many times I have told the Lord that I would gladly do what He asks if only He would gladly do for me what I was asking. Are you willing to be obedient to Him even if He doesn’t bless your business, even if your husband doesn’t change and even if your financial situation never improves? Are you willing to become a missionary to some remote country or give up your financial stability to start the ministry He is asking you to?
Are you willing to cheerfully change the diapers one more day and tidy your home with gladness if that is what He has called you to? Are you willing to remain single or accept the fact that you may not have children if that is what He is saying is best for His kingdom agenda? What if, like Abraham, He tells you to sacrifice Isaac? What if, like Moses, He sets you up to do something that you feel ill-prepared to handle? How will you respond if His call sounds similar to His instructions to the virgin Mary; something that is not only hard and impossible but it is going to embarrass you and cause you to be ostracised by your friends and family? Can you and I honestly say, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening” and truly, without reservation, mean it?

Astrology, Christianity & Common Sense

Astrology, Christianity & Common Sense
The world today is a completely different one from 10 years ago. We have the internet, GPRS, 3G, Skype, IPOD’s, stem cell research, hybrid cars and even robotic pets – inventions that previous generations could not even conceive. Yet, throughout time, man has clearly demonstrated a fascination with spiritual things (however misguided) and a spiritual hunger that can only be satisfied by the Biblical God. Media has popularized the idea of tarot cards, palm readings, iridology, ancestry and ‘throwing of the bones’ by Sangomas as the solution. Astrology has taken precedence in this arena, with almost all secular magazines glamorizing and promising the zodiac as the solution to discovering your “perfect match”, “your financial future” and even your “emotional wellbeing.”
Deprived of Sunday school and the knowledge of Christ, most children grow up believing that the stars hold their destinies. Many older women seek counsel for their empty lives in the predictions of freelance astrologers – putting their faith in this false truth instead of the Word of God. Sadly, many Christians have been led astray too, not realizing that astrology is more than just a trendy topic of conversation – it is actually a form of divination prohibited by the Lord.
Deuteronomy 18: 9-13
When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination* or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults with the dead.
Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.
You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
 Isaiah 47: 13
All the counsel you have received has only worn you out!
Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers, who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.
* Some astrology is claimed to be ‘Divination’ 
One-third of Americans believe in astrology with the fastest growing segment being among executives and professionals and even Ronald Reagan used to consult an astrologer!
There is no doubt that the statistics in South Africa would be equally as high.
So what is Astrology?
Astrology refers to any of several systems, traditions or beliefs in which knowledge of the apparent positions of celestial bodies is held to be useful in understanding, interpreting and organizing knowledge about personality, human affairs and various events on Earth. A practitioner of astrology is called an astrologer or, less often, an astrologist. Historically the term mathematicus was used to denote a person proficient in astrology, astronomy, and mathematics.
Although the two fields share a common origin, modern astronomy as practiced today is not to be confused with astrology. While astronomy is the scientific study of astronomical objects and phenomena, astrology is the study of the supposed correlation of those objects with earthly affairs.
Many of those who practice astrology believe the positions of certain celestial bodies either influence or correlate with people’s personality traits, important events in their lives, physical characteristics, and to some extent their destiny.
Horoscopic astrology is a very specific and complex system of astrology that was developed in the Mediterranean region and specifically Hellenistic Egypt sometime around the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE that deals largely with astrological charts cast for specific moments in time in order to interpret the inherent meaning underlying the alignment of the planets at that moment based on specific sets of rules and guidelines.
Within the contemporary scientific community astrology is generally labelled a pseudoscience and it has been criticized as being unscientific both by scientific bodies and by individual scientists. In 1975, the American Humanist Association, which advocates humanism, published one of the most widely known criticisms of astrology, characterizing those who continue to have faith in the subject as doing so “in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary.”
Let us deal with the word ‘influence’ that is used. What effect can the relative positions of the sun, stars, moon and planets have on us?
The only force (influence) in the universe that exists between ourselves and these bodies is Gravity but before we discuss this force we need to look at the question of relative position.
From Aristotle and Ptolemy it was believed that the earth was the centre of the universe and that the sun, stars, planets and moon revolved around it. Further they believed that all these heavenly bodies existed on eight, two dimensional spheres. It was never clear what existed beyond the last sphere. This is the model that astrologers use. All Zodiacal signs and bodies exist on a two dimensional plane.
Beam me up Scotty
The reality, of course, is that they exist in a three dimensional, finite but boundary-less universe. Every body lies on its own ‘sphere’, depending on its distance from us. So for instance, when looking at Orion’s belt in the night sky it looks like three close together, fairly equidistant stars. Of course the ‘depth’ perspective is completely different, with distances millions of miles between them.
Could these three stars have an influence on you? The answer is yes but is an incredibly small influence where as the shirt you are wearing or the car you are driving, by comparison, has an enormous influence. Even the effects of these last two are not even noticeable compared to the influence of the earth’s gravity, without which you (along with everything else) would be flung off this planet. So what is gravity? Strangely the answer to this question is unknown. We know the effects and have access to very precise mathematics to prove them but we do not actually know what causes it.
It is one of the three forces ‘glueing’ the universe together. The two sub-atomic glues are; ‘The Strong Nuclear Force’ and the Electro Magnetic Force’. Gravity although by far the weakest is the dominant force because it is always attractive and acts over distances that span the universe. The force of gravity in a ‘Black Hole’ is so great that light cannot escape its grasp and time and physics as we know them, don’t/can’t exist.
The doctor’s glasses, the nurse’s clipboard or the sheet on the bed had more influence on you, at birth, than the stars and even the sun.
When you were born there were (and the number is increasing) hundreds of satellites (and thousands of bits of junk) orbiting the earth. These again would have had more influence on you than Mars or Capricorn. I have never heard of anyone’s horoscope described as: “Your Sputnik is rising in your GPS satellite #332/6/09 and Aquarius is in conjunction with your Space Shuttle docking with the Mia Space Station”. Or: “The world will end when a piece of junk from an obsolete spy satellite crosses the Ecliptic”.
Karma crazy
Finally, on the subject of the signs of the zodiac; as one who has spent many, many nights, on ship’s bridges, studying the night sky, all I can say is that those ancient Greeks sure had a vivid imagination.
In my book I discuss ‘free will and predestination’ and highlight how little control you actually have over you. It seems to me that if your destiny is influenced by the random position of heavenly bodies at your birth and the decisions and choices you make throughout your life are a result of personality traits also dished out at random, then life really is a lotto. What were you paying for in your first life? This of course makes the belief in Karma, even more worrying.
It would seem that, given the choice between living through billions of lives (most of them not human and including the organisms that assure the efficient mechanism of septic tanks) to pay off karma (as mentioned above) and attain spiritual perfection or accepting the single gift of eternal life (from a God that came to earth to give it to me), would be an easy one.
To help you decide, here is how a septic tank works: The septic system is a natural sewage treatment and disposal system. By natural, we mean that it relies on bacteria to digest and clean the wastewater. The bacteria in the septic tank literally eat the solids in the tank turning them into liquids and gasses. As you might expect these gasses have a foul odour. To avoid these bad odours they are vented off through pipes on the house roof. The liquid wastes flow to the drainfield. The final purification occurs by organisms living in the soil.

Solly Ozrovech: An Inspired Life

Solly Ozrovech: An Inspired Life
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh completed the first solo trans-Atlantic flight; the Oscars were first awarded, Pavlov discovered his Conditioning Theory with dogs; and Solly Ozrovech was born to Polish parents.
After WW1 the family immigrated to South Africa, where soon after, both parents were killed in a car accident leaving Solly (7 months old) and his older brother, Mark (4 years old), in the care of the state. The boys were supposed to be sent to a Jewish orphanage, but due to a mix-up, they were placed in a Dutch Reformed orphanage in Ugie in the Eastern Cape. The boys grew up sharing dormitories, playing sports and being taught by the church. By the time authorities discovered the mistake, the boys had already been fostered and were well adjusted. Mentored by his Grade 8 teacher, Mr Ken Carlson, Solly blossomed academically, on the sports field, as a leader and a boy after God’s heart. Over a period of eighteen months, through Mr Carlson’s prayers and guidance, Solly gave his life to the Lord. Kneeling in front of the iron bed in the orphanage, Solly decided to follow Jesus, and was baptised the same day. Solly was so touched by God’s grace, that he wanted to enter into the ministry as soon as he finished school.
Not one to ever take half measures, Solly was determined to attend the Outeniqua High School – even though the orphanage could not afford to send him. “I was due to attend the local industrial high school in George, but I knew if I ever wanted to further my studies, I would need to attend an academic school to study English. The orphanage elders laughed at me saying there was no money, but I didn’t accept this and went on a hunger fast in protest. After several days, I was so ill that I had to be hospitalised. Somehow the story was spread amongst local townsfolk, and one man offered to pay for my schooling. To this day I do not know who he was, but I am grateful that he allowed God to use him as a blessing.”
After completing university, meeting his lady love, Louise, and obtaining his Master’s degrees in English and Afrikaans, Solly returned to Ugie to run the orphanage where he grew up. There Solly and Louise strived to give children a home (rather than just board and lodging) with love and discipline. When his tenure was completed, the vivacious Mr Ozrovech led 21 tours to Israel and became a pastor of a Dutch Reformed Church in Strand, in the Western Cape. With his gentle spirit, striking humility and shepherd’s heart, Solly’s congregation increased in numbers and he became a local figure in the community. “I have always been a bit of a maverick in my life…whilst leading the church in Strand, I decided to start a telephone message service, where people could call in and listen to a two-minute Bible reading and half-a-minute prayer. These became quite popular and at one stage we had 700 calls a day – the messages reached all parts and peoples of the country, across denominations and cultures.”
It was out of these inspired telephone messages, that Elise Muller approached Oom Solly (as he affectionately became known) and asked him to create a daily devotional book. The book was an instant success and unleashed the creative writer inside Solly. Inspired by the Lord, His creation and His Word, Solly took to writing from midnight to six o’ clock in the morning, while he dedicated his days to pasturing the church. According to Oom Solly, it is perhaps his lack of sleep that has led to a lack of height! Though he may be small in height, he is certainly not lacking in spiritual stature!
The first thing that strikes you about this man of God is his humility and love for people. Throughout his life he has served others and looked for new ways to bring people to the knowledge of Christ. In the turbulent times of the 1950’s, this DRC Minister was breaking boundaries by hosting a ‘drive-in church’ during the holidays.
 “So often God is left out of the church, and the human element invades what we do. I believe the church today is heading for the same fate as the Reformation Church – God is going to use His agents to sweep through and clean out the house of God. When I was a minister in Strand, I noticed that every Christmas, thousands of visitors would come to the coast and because they were dressed casually and belonged to various denominations, had no church to attend. My little church was too crowded, so one day God showed me an idea for a drive in church. One of the members in the congregation owned a drive in and we discussed using this for Sunday services. He generously donated the grounds each week and converted a stage and speakers to accommodate all the cars. Families would come from all over, bringing their children in pajamas and food for the evening. They would sit in their cars listening to the service and many were touched by God there. On average we had 4 000 people every Sunday from all ages, races and denominations. There was a strong evangelistic message in those services. It is so important that the Church gives people the opportunity to accept Christ and that pastors are prepared to preach the uncompromised Gospel.”
Having done so much in his life, one wonders if Oom Solly has time to rest and enjoy his retirement! As a leader and example to so many, Solly is strikingly humble about his status within Christian circles. His first words to me when sitting down for the interview were, “Please make sure the article points to Jesus. He is Jehovah Jireh, the Provider and He deserves the glory.”
Oom Solly is fit, healthy and full of life. He was a Western Province Referee for many years, an avid squash player, a keen fisherman and today, an impressive 16 handicap golfer. “Golf is a great sport…it breeds honesty, patience and forces people to be social. From the tee-box to the putting green, people open up their hearts to you, and there is always an opportunity to display Christ.” When not on the golf course, Solly is in his study, surrounded by books and overlooking the lapping ocean.
It is easy to see where his passion comes from, but I want to know where he finds inspiration when God feels far away? “We all experience times of testing and drought. Instead of running from God, I encourage you to run to Him. Draw even nearer, and bow your knee before Him. God knows what you go through, and He has your best interests at heart. We lost a daughter and it was a tough time, we could not understand why it happened. You dedicate your life to God, and you lose a loved one. It is not easy to stay strong…but you must not let your mind and heart trick you. God will never forsake you. Now is a time of testing for believers and for their faith, but just keep pressing on. Your rewards come from heaven.”

A Worn-Out Welcome

JUST AS GOD GAVE JESUS AUTHORITY to release His disciples, God gives us authority for the purpose of liberating those who follow us to embrace God’s call on their lives.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, all authority in heaven and on earth has  been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:18-19)
Here we see authority being given to a leader and His response is to use that authority to set others free to use their authority to act and fulfill their purpose. This is leadership in its purest form. As I have argued, the true success of leadership is not what you’ve done in your lifetime but rather that your work will survive the next generation. No matter how successful you are, if your vision dies with you, you are a failure.

So, why is it that many leaders fail when it comes to mentoring?

because we struggle with a spirit of insecurity and fear, refusing to consider mentoring because of past experiences and ignorance of the purpose, value and role of mentoring in our leadership responsibilities.
because we ourselves were not mentored or fathered by a leader – we have no reference for this important component of leadership.
because we were oppressed by insecure leaders under whom we served and therefore we possess a negative attitude toward mentoring.
because we did not have true leaders to emulate and have no one to  model ourselves after.
because we were not formally trained in the principles of successful and effective leadership. We were not taught the value and role of mentoring in leadership responsibility and in some cases were indirectly trained to the contrary. Perhaps, we were taught to protect our position rather than to prepare a replacement.
because we fear that delegating authority to others might undermine our own authority.
because we find it difficult to give up power and refuse to let go of authority. We possess a sense of entitlement that makes letting go of a position or power difficult.
because we place a higher priority on our daily work than our future plans. We put paper before people. We place priority on securing the present rather than preserving the future.
because we have not ourselves experienced encouragement, edification and affirmation from leaders we were associated with.
because we see progressive and aggressive emerging leaders as a threat to our security, authority and position. We have no room for dreamers and are suspicious of visionaries.
because our insecurities require that all persons around us follow our orders and dictates so that we feed our sense of control and pride.
because we are not true leaders.
If the most important act of leadership is mentoring – securing the future through trained leadership – how should we look at the task of mentoring?
Our first act of leadership should be to establish a plan to leave the day we take our positions.
We should understand and accept the fact that how we finish as a leader is the ultimate measure of our leadership success.
We should be mindful that leadership is a privileged position and not a right to be grasped. Our position is not our personal property, but one entrusted to us by destiny for a time. Our most important prayer should be to know when it is time to give up the position.
We must be conscious that we can be a greater detriment to the organisation if we overstay our time in a position than if we left early.
Remind yourself every day that your greatest contribution to the future is your successor. So focus on mentoring.
Leadership is the most important activity in human relationship on earth. If we are to see improvement in the quality, competence, standard, values and morals of leaders in this and the next generation, we must follow the model of Jesus Christ – One who did not leave leadership development to chance but spent three years training, developing, moulding, shaping and modelling leadership for His twelve students.

MYLES MUNROE, is the founder, president and senior pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries International (  This article was adapted from his book, “The Burden of Freedom”.  Used with permission.