Liefde ©

Liefde is heel waarskynlik een van daardie woorde wat die meeste gebruik word in alletale. Paartjies stuur liefdes sms’e vir mekaar en ouers verklaar daagliks hul liefde aan hul kinders. Menigte telefoon gesprekke sluit af met die woorde “ek is lief vir jou”. Dink aan die talle liedtjies en rolprente wat handel oor die liefde. Dan is daar ook die liefde in die Skrif.

Johannes in die NT sê “Geliefdes, ons moet mekaar liefhê, want liefde kom van God, en elkeen wat liefhet, is ‘n kind van God en ken God. Wie nie liefhet nie, het geen kennis van God nie, want God is liefde”. Johannes sê hier dat God liefde is en nie dat God lief het nie. Verder sê Johannes ook nie dat die liefde God is nie, ‘n siening wat die wêreld huldig. Hierdie siening maak die liefde oppervlakkig en selfsugtig omdat liefde verstaan kan word as ‘n gevoel wat ‘n mens goed laat voel. Nee, God is liefde – beteken dat God Homself aanhoudend aan ander gee om so hul belange op die hart te dra. Hierdie liefde is nie ‘n abstrakte beginsel of sentiment nie, maar aktiewe handeling wat gedemonstreer word deur die sending van God se enigste Seun volgens Johannes 3:16.

Johannes 3:16 wys ook vir ons dat ware liefde nie staties of selfgesentreerd is nie. Ware liefde ryk uit en trek ander mense aan. Hierdie beginsels is ook duidlik uit die gelykenis van die goeie Samaritaan. Hierdie verhaal begin waar ‘n wetgeleerde ‘n strikvraag aan Jesus stel. Die vraag is “wat moet ek doen om die ewige lewe te verkry?” As Rabbi het Jesus die voorreg gehad om met ‘n teen vraag te antwoord. Dus vra Hy wat in die wet van Moses geskrywe staan. Die wetgeleerde haal Lev 19:18 aan “Jy moet die Here jou God liefhê met jou hele hart en met jou hele siel en met al jou krag en met jou hele verstand, en jou naaste soos jouself. Jesus sê toe dat hy reg geantwoord het en as hy dit doen sal hy die lewe verkry. Die wetgeleerde wou toe weet wie sy naaste is. Om die vraag te anwoord vertel Jesus die verhaal van die goeie Samaritaan (Luk 10:27-37).

Uit hierdie verhaal leer ons dat dit dikwels malik is om ‘n gebrek aan naasteliefde te regverdig. Ons leer ook dat ons eerder moet vra wie se naaste is ek wanneer iemand hulp nodig het. Verder leer ons dat ware liefde beteken juis dat ons aan die wat hulp nodig het se behoeftes sal voorsien sonder om iets terug te verwag. Ware liefde vra dus nie wat dit kan kry nie, maat soek wat dit kan gee.

Groete,

Dr. Danie Reynecke

COO Judea Harvest

7 Dae se wenke vir die Gesin se Uitdagings

Dag 1_Die Geestelike Uitdaging

Lukas 10:29 ‘n Skrifgeleerde vra vir Jesus: “En wie is my naaste”?

Jesus vertel hom toe ‘n storie van ‘n sekere man wat van Jerusalem na Jerigo gereis het en deur rowers oorval is. Hy is geslaan en vir dood langs die pad gelos. Twee amptenare van die kerk, ’n Priester en Leviet, het langs die pad verbygegaan en beide het hom geïgnoreer en anderkant verby gestap. Daar kom toe ‘n Samaritaan verby, versorg sy wonde en betaal ‘n herberg waar hy gesond kan word.

Toe vra Jesus die Skrifgeleerde; “Wie is die naaste van hom wat langs die pad beland het”?Die implikasie van die tegniek wat Jesus hier gebruik, is om daarop te wys, dat die man wat langs die pad lê, die Skrifgeleerde self is. Die verdere ironie is dat daar soms ook neerhalig na Jesus as ‘n Samaritaan verwys is. So in hierdie storie is die Skrifgeleerde nie net die man wat stukkend langs die pad lê nie, maar is Jesus ook die spreekwoordelike Samaritaan wat die middele het, om hom te kan genees.

Enige moderne Skrifgeleerde, wat die Bybel hoogstens wil gebruik as ‘n boek van reg en verkeerd, word deur daardie einste beginsels vernietig en langs die pad stukkend agtergelaat. Sodra ek die lewe as reg en verkeerd wil beoordeel, word ek gewoonlik die eerste slagoffer van daardie lewensuitkyk. Ek word ‘n kritiese mens, wat deur my eie liefdeloosheid vernietig word. Die lewe is te gekompliseerd omso daarmee om te gaan.

As iemand langs die pad lê, sal die liefdeshart nie vra “Wat is die regte ding om te doen”? Hy of sy sal dadelik oorgaan tot aksie om te help. Die liefde dóén eenvoudig.
Die ironie is dat, sodra die Leviet en die Priester as kerkamptenare, die vrae begin vra oor wat die regte ding is om te doen, hulle nie instaat is om hom wat langs die pad lê, te help nie. Solank as wat ons bang is dat ons dalk deur sonde besmet sal word, ontwikkel ons ‘n onvermoë om die nood aan te spreek.

Laat liefde jou dryf en wees vandag iemand se naaste.

Dag 2_Die uitdaging by die Werk

Handelinge 6:1-5
Gedurende die 60’s en 70’s waarin ek groot geword het was die man in die meeste gevalle die enigste broodwinner. Baie manne het die beroepsleer geklim en baie hoë poste in hul werk bereik. Die meeste vroue egter het by die huis gebly en kinders groot gemaak. Vandag 50 jaar later het die prentjie verander. As gevolg van ons land se politieke geskiedenis is dit die vroue vandag wat hoë poste bereik en goeie salarisse verdien. Baie mans is goed geskool en opgelei, maar die werksplatform bied hulle nie baie vooruitgang geleenthede nie. Ander mans het weer goeie betrekkinge, maar werk onder geweldige druk. Produksie en kwalitiet word heeltyd teen mekaar afgespeel en bring ongelooflike druk en konflik.

Die meeste konflik ontstaan a.g.v verskille in standpunte oor hoe om ‘n saak op te los. Ek dink ‘n man moet hierdie verskil in ‘n positiewe lig sien omdat dit jou ‘n ander perspektief kan gee. Niemand van ons het die perfekte kennis of wysheid nie, dus kan ander se verskille jou meer kreatief maak.

In ons teks sien ons die volgende om konflik op te los. Hierdie raamwerk kan vir beide die werkgewer en werknemer van hulp wees. Daar was geluister na die probleme. Soms moet ons meer luister as raad gee. Nadat jy geluister het, som dan die situasie eerlik op. Kyk na die totale saak en neem dan ‘n rasionele besluit wat die saak bevorder. Wees veral versigtig om kant te kies. Ek leer altyd my kinders dat God aan die kant van die waarheid is. Onthou daar is ook ‘n manier om die waarheid te kommunikeer. Dit moet nooit afbrekend gedoen word nie, maar met liefde en begrip. Dink dan saam om ‘n nuwe oplossing saam te vind vir die saak. Onthou een van die eerste opdragte wart God vir die mens gegee het was om te werk. Werk hard en lekker dis ‘n voorreg.

Dag 3_Die Uitdaging van die Huwelik

Efesiërs 5:21 – 33.

Alle getroude paartjies verstaan dat die huwelik die plek is waar eenheid, verbintenis, en imtimiteit natuurlik plaas vind. Daar is egter 2 dinge wat hierdie eienskappe onder geweldige druk plaas en dit is die gebrek aan vertroue en wedersydse respek vir mekaar. Respek en vertroue word veral gedaag wanneer die huwelik deur sekere seisoene gaan.

Om die verskillende seisoene te verstaan verwys ek graag na Chapman se boek “The 4 Seasons of Marriage”. Hy praat van die wintertyd wat geken word aan koue, hardheid en bitterheid. Die rede vir winter gee hy aan as die onwilligheid van die paartjie om mekaar se perspektiewe te verstaan. Emosies in hierdie fase is gewoonlik hartseer en teleurstelling. Dit hoef nie ‘n hopelose fase te wees nie, want winters gaan ook verby. Die wat hulp soek sal dit vind en terug na die tekenbord beginsel kan paartjies nader aan mekaar bring.

Gedurende lente is daar ‘n gevoel van opgewondenheid, blydskap en hoop. In hierdie seisoen is daar antisipasie, optimisme, liefde en vertroue. Dis maklik om saam te beplan en te kommunikeer. Lente is ook ‘n tyd van ‘n nuwe begin.

Somer word gekenmerk aan blydskap, satisfaksie en verbintenis tot groei. Aanvaarding vir mekaar se verskille kom normaal. Gedurende die somer geniet paartjies mekaar se geselskap asook sukses. Konflik word positief hanteer en die paartjie groei saam.

Herfs word geken aan vrees, verwerping en nie-aanvaarding. Bekommernis, onsekerheid en blaam is aan die orde van die dag. Dis hier waar paartjies uit mekaar groei en waar hulle besef iets is verkeerd, maar hulle kan nie hul vinger daarop plaas nie. Daar is ‘n gevoel van los making wat gewoonlik eers emotioneel plaas vind. Sou ‘n paartjie lank in die seisoen bly kom selfs hul vriende agter daar is fout.

Onthou die huwelik is in ‘n permanente staat van verandering. Identifiseer jou seisoen gereeld en werk doelgerig daardeur met die hulp van die Here om sukses te verseker. Geniet jou lewensmaat deur al die seisoene.

Dag 4_Die Uitdaging van Egskeiding

Psalm 9:10
Almal weet dat niemand trou om te skei nie. Tog gebeur dit met baie gelowiges. Dis ook een van die grootste uitdagings vir enige man. Wanneer jy die woorde hoor “ek is nie meer lief vir jou nie;” verander alles. Jou lewe ruk tot stilstand. Skaamte en woede saam met self verwyte en duisende vrae maal deur jou kop. Die bitter pad van egskeiding is ‘n eensame pad.

Een van die eerste dinge waarmee enkel manne worstel is die gevoelens en emosies waardeur jy moet werk. Baie van hierdie gevoelens het jy nog nooit beleef nie. Dit is die tyd waar jy moet water trap en jouself tyd moet gee om jouself weer te vind. Wees versigtig om nie onverantwoordelike dinge in hierdie stadium aan te vang nie. Ek onthou toe ‘n vriend my aanmoedig met die woorde: “wees getrou aan jouself”. Min ander raad sal jou op die stadium van die geveg help totdat jy op die punt kom waar jy besef dat daar dinge is in jou lewe wat jy net nie kan beheer nie.

Na die gevoel van skok kom daar nuwe emosies. Ontkenning, woede, die gevoel van hopeloosheid en onderhandeling met God volg. Maar dan soos ons almal weet die son skyn weer na die storm. Dit is dan wanneer jy besef jy is nie wat met jou gebeur nie, maar eerder die resultaat van hoe jy reageer wat met jou gebeur. Dis hier waar ek my kinders, my ex en die Here gevra het om my te vergewe vir my onsuksesvolle huwelik. Ek het ‘n rasionele besluit geneem om onvoorwaardelike vergifnis toe te pas. Ek moet eerlik wees ek het nie so gevoel nie, maar dis belangrik om nie besluite te maak wat gebaseer is oor hoe jy voel nie.

Wat ek wel geleer het is dat hierdie ramp in my lewe my ‘n nuwe perspektief in die lewe gegee het. Ek sien dinge anders met meer begrip en genade en vandag besef ek daar is lewe na egskeiding.

Dag 5_Die Uitdaging van Tieners en Geld

Spreuke 22:6
Alle ouers aanskou hoe jou kind deur die tienierfase al meer onafhanklik word. Vir sommige ouers is dit moeilik om te sien dat jou kind jou al hoe minder nodig het. Gebruik hierdie fase om jou tiener belangrike lewenslesse te leer. Hierdie gedagte fokus op een noodsaaklike aspek wat pa’s sal help om tieners op ‘n selfstandige finansiële pad te plaas. Hierdie is egter ‘n proses wat enige tyd kan begin, maar verkieslik wanneer jou kinders begrip begin toon vir geld.

Voordat jy ‘n afspraak met jou tiener maak neem tyd en berei ‘n uitgawestaat voor van jou tiener. Hierdie uitgawes moet alles insluit soos skoolfonds, klere, sakgeld, haarsny, naels, sport en selfs toiletware uitgawes. Stel dan ‘n begroting op wat inkomste toon teenoor voorgestelde uitgawes. Hierdie begroting kan in boek of e-formaat wees. Die volgende stap is om ‘n betaalstaat vir jou tiener op te trek wat inligting soos naam, adres en ID nommer insluit. As jou tiener nie ‘n bankrekening het nie sal dit noodsaaklik wees om ‘n bankrekening oop te maak.

Neem dan jou tiener uit na ‘n restaurant en begin te deel oor finansies. Rus jouself toe met kennis en gebruik jou eie ervaring om jou tiener goed in te lig rakende “geld”. Hierdie afspraak sal heelwaarskynklik meer as een keer gebeur. Onthou een van die lesse van geld is dat dit verdien moet word en verantwoordelik spandeer moet word. Begin dan die pad te stap waar jy hom/haar elke maand ‘n loon betaal. Begelei jou kind om verantwoordelik te wees met uitgawes. Jou tiener is nou verantwoordelik om skoolfonds te betaal, self klere te koop, hare te sny ensovoorts.

Onthou om ‘n oog op sake te hou. Beloon jou tiener as die begroting maandliks klop. Beloon ook jou kind as hy/sy spaar. Byvoorbeeld as jou tiener R200.00 oor ses maande spaar kan jy dit verdubbel. Hierdie aksieplan sal jou kind verantwoordelikheid leer en ook jou as pa vrugbare tyd met jou tiener bied.

Dag 6_Die Uitdaging van Jong Volwassenes in die Gesin

Lukas 15:11-32.
Kinders bring altyd plesier na enige gesin, maar ook sekere uitdagings soos hulle deur die verskillende fases van die lewe ontwikkel. Een van die uitdagings waarmee pa’s moet werk is wanneer die jongman en vrou in jou gesin hul eie lewens keuses begin maak. Jesus vertel ook so storie. In die verhaal vat ‘n jongman sy “pie” en loop. Dit lyk of die man keelvol is vir die oënskynlik beperkende konvensies van die samelewing. Van die kerk, die ouerhuis, wat gedurig wil voorskryf hoe hy sy lewe moet inrig en wat hy met sy toekoms moet aanvang.

Die jongman wil ander lewens-wêrelde beleef, en dan, op ‘n dag, verbrand hy sy vingers. Hy skrik, maar sy pêlle skrik ook, en vir die eerste keer besef hy dat daar tog wysheid ook daarin lê, om nie alle konvensies oorboord te gooi nie … dan kom hy skaam-stadig, terug na die plek waar hy weet, hy nie veroordeel sal word oor sy droogmaak nie.

In vandag se gedagte wil ek jou aanmoedig om ruimte te maak vir die jongmense in jou huis en om hulle te wys dat jy hulle vertrou. Onthou dat die jongmense nie soseer ‘n “cool” pa soek nie, maar eerder ‘n eerlike en opregte pa. ‘n Pa wat erken dat hy soms foute maak, maar wat nie oordeel nie, maar eerder met begrip en liefde aanvaarding bied. Onthou dat jou kind op sy of haar eie voete wil staan, want dit is presies wat volwassenheid beteken. In die proses gaan hulle sekere lewens keuses maak waarmee jy nie noodwendig saam stem nie. Gee vir hulle ruimte om hulle keuses deur te voer en wees gereed met goeie raad en ondersteuning as hulle daarvoor vra. Alhoewel hulle op hul eie voete staan moenie ophou bid vir hulle nie. Geniet die jongmense in jou lewe.

Dag 7_Die Uitdaging van Finansies

Spreuke 13:22
Het jy al gewonder wat sal gebeur as ons môre “geld” uit die wêreld sou haal? Hoe sal ons oorleef en wie sal dan nog wil werk? Dis maar ‘n paar vrae wat deur ‘n man se kop gaan. Interresant is dat die Skrif heelwat te sê het oor geld. Die Skrif praat baie meer oor geld as geloof en byna die helfte van Christus se gelykenisse handel oor geld. Met bogenoemde in gedagte wil ek die volgende areas van geld uitlig. Geld moet verdien of as jy wil gemaak word. Dit gebeur gewoonlik wanneer ons vir geld werk. Geld moet ook gespaar en spandeer word. Dan word in die Nuwe Testament na geld verwys as saad wat beteken ‘n man moet ook geld vir ‘n goeie saak kan gee.

Ons maak almal geld en dan spandeer ons dit. Behuising wat verbande of verhuring sowel as instanhouding insluit moet verkieslik nie meer as 25% beloop nie. Kruideniersware behoort tussen 15 en 20% te wees. Motor paaiemente behoort nie meer as 15% van jou inkomste te wees nie. Klerasie neem ‘n verdere 5% en versekering beloop tussen 8 en 10 %.

Dis ook goeie raad om ten minste 20% van jou inkomste te spaar. Spaar is ‘n Bybelse beginsel. Lees weer die verhaal van Josef (Gen 41) en sien hoe sy spaar plan baie mense gered het. Hierdie area van geld plaas jou in ‘n posisie waar geld op ‘n latere stadium van jou lewe weer vir jou werk.

Laastens, moenie vergeet om te saai nie en dan ook om op jouself ‘n paar rand te spandeer. Wanneer ‘n man ‘n paar rand op homself spandeer aan ontspanning, sport en stokperdtjies motiveer dit hom om Maandag weer te gaan werk. Die bogenoemde begroting dien as ‘n raamwerk om jou te help om verantwoordelik met jou geld te werk.

Groete,

Dr. Danie 

The Church and State

The Church and State

The relationship between the Church and State is important. The question if the church and state are to be one and the same has always been around. The Christian concept of the secular and the spiritual is founded on the words of Jesus: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17). Two distinct, but not altogether separate, areas of human life and activity had to be distinguished; hence, a theory of two powers came to form the basis of Christian thought and teaching from earliest times. Each occupies a separate realm of authority and responsibility, but they also have an intrinsic and direct relationship to each other consistent with Biblical truth, wisdom and reasoning.

History tells us that since the first century this relationship has been challenged and altered in many ways. We as a church are also dealing with the same relationship – church and state. In short the state is to establish and enforce criminal laws, govern and protect society, levy taxes. These responsibilities are relegated to secular government for the common good of all (Romans 13:3-6).

The church on the other hand has high responsibilities towards the state. First is to pray for those in authority, whether they’re godly or not (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Second is to counsel leaders on moral issues so government fulfills its justice mandate to punish evil and encourage good (Proverbs 25:15; 1 Peter 2:13-17). Next, the church is to influence the wider community for the common good through its salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16; Jeremiah 29:4-7) and mercy mandates (Matthew 22:39).

The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on values such as Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms. The Constitution of South Africa is the supreme law of the country. It provides the legal foundation for the existence of the republic, sets out the rights and duties of its citizens, and defines the structure of the government.

The introduction  to South Africa‘s Constitution of 1996 contains references to God in the form of a multilingual suggestion asking for God’s protection and blessing. The Constitution also preserves the right to freedom of religion. Chapter 2 of the Constitution  the Bill of Rights, contains a number of provisions dealing with religious freedom. Section 9, the equality clause, prohibits unfair discrimination on various grounds including religion and requires national legislation to be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination. Section 15 states that everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.

However, the recent controversial reports and articles in the media about pastors instructing their members to eat grass and snakes, to drink petrol to give large amounts of offerings to be guaranteed a miracle or blessing has left a large portion of society questioning whether religion has become a commercial institution or commodity to enrich a few. So the big question is – should government leave the church to carry on and so silly things or should religion be commercialized?

The CRL Rights Commission

(Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities)

CRL Rights Commission is one of the Chapter 9 Institutions in the Constitution with the purpose to guard and to promote democracy as well as the the rights of the citizens of the country. It is an independent institution and subject only to the constitution.

In response to the religious state of affairs the CRL decided to undertake an investigative study to:

  • Investigate and understand further issues surrounding the commercialization of religion.
  • Understand the deep societal thinking that makes members vulnerable to certain actions during religious ceremonies.
  • Assess the religious framework and its relevance to deal with the prevailing religious challenges.
  • Formulate findings and recommendations that address the status quo on commercialized religion.
  • What is the spread of religious institutions in the country?
  • What various miraculous claims are made by pastors?
  • What form of legal framework regulates religion?

How did the CRL do the investigation?

The investigation included quantitative and qualitative research. This was done by a research team from UNISA in 2016.The quantitative approaches targeted 905 respondents of religious, non-religious and traditional healing institutions through computer aided interviewer and telephone interviews as well as face-to-face interviews. Gauteng only.

The qualitative research was conducted after the quantitative research, and entailed 2 focus groups discussions each with 6 participants, mainly leaders, followers and members.

Examples of question that was presented are the following:

  • Does my church continuously ask for money?
  • Are the members of the church co-owners of the church?
  • My church is responsible for implementing a lot of community work?
  • My church has a proper book keeping system with regards to finances.

The leaders/pastors were asked the following questions:

  • Do you prepare and submit annual financial statements?
  • Do you audit your books?
  • Is there an annual business plan for the church?
  • Is your church registered in terms of legislative requirements?

The CRL Rights Commission invited representatives and they were asked the following questions:

  • What is your religious institution’s history?
  • Training of your leaders.
  • Transfer of money outside SA.
  • Employment of foreign pastors.

The rationale for the study included a deeper understanding of:

  • Religious practices. Sermons, sacrifices, funerals, prayer and so on.
  • Message and Communication.
  • Community engagement.
  • Registration and incorporation.
  • Governance, Structures, Funding and so on.

The findings of the CRL Rights Commission are the following:

  • There is a prima facie evidence of commercialization of religion. People are expected to pay money before blessings and prayers could be said over them. Blessed oils and water are sold so are T-Shirts, Towels, Vaseline etc.
  • Compliance with existing laws. Some Churches are not registered at all anywhere. Some operate freely without licensing certificates. No SARS.
  • Lack of good governance structures. No code of conduct. Some churches are controlled by one person. Financial committees are the pastor and wife.
  • Misuse of visa applications systems. Visiting pastors from outside the country work in SA but do not have a working visa.
  • Flouting of banking rules. Offerings are not banked. Sometimes money is banked into the pastors personal account.
  • Avoidance to pay tax to SARS. Most churches are not registered as NPO but their turnover is way beyond NPO limits.
  • Uncontrolled movement of cash in and out the country. Money is getting paid into Head Quarters outside the country.
  • Mushrooming of Religious Institutions. Very easy to plant a church in SA.
  • Illegal and Unethical advertising. In paper and media – Miracle center, come and get healed, jobs, luck, joy ….
  • Property bought with the Communities money. In many cases churches are registered in the pastor’s name.
  • Operation of church as business.
  • Lack of Religious Peer Review Mechanism.

After the findings the CRL Rights Commission recommended the following:

  • Religious communities should regulate themselves more diligently to be in line with the Constitution and law.
  • Existing legislation with regards to churches which includes training, employment, registration etc. needs to be enforced. Churches is registered as PBO but functions as business. Registering NPO and SARS.
  • The CRL should provide essential assistance in helping churches to get their house in order and to ensure compliance with existing legislation and propose new legislation.
  • Churches need to understand their responsibility.
  • Churches guilty of fraud should be prosecuted.
  • Churches must have a finance committee, proper structures, leadership in place.
  • Clear separation between business and church.

From the study done by UNISA the CRL Rights Commission identified 8 priority requirements that need to be addressed in order to effectively manage and control the commercialization of religious organizations. They are:

  • Ownership of religious institutions.
  • Government effective compliance monitoring of religious institutions.
  • Regulation of religious institutions in order to rule out harmful practices.
  • Preparation and submission of annual financial statements and reports.
  • Awareness of legislation governing the establishment, regulation and monitoring of religion.
  • Establishment of internal audit divisions to ensure ongoing risk based auditing.
  • Preparation of annual budget approved by the board and,
  • Registration with SARS to secure tax exemption certificates.

What should the church do with all this?

  • Religious leaders and the public must react to the findings and recommendations before the end of February 2017.
  • The CRL Rights Commission in a way forces the church now to come and work together. Let us use this to become one big voice.
  • This can happen when a platform is offered for churches to form networks. However, each church will keep its own identity.
  • This platform will assist churches with church board, registering at government, banking and financial systems, SARS, your constitution and all the requirements from government.

The Prevention And Combating Of Hate Crimes And Hate Speech Bill:

The Department of Justice released the draft Hate Crimes & Hate Speech Bill. This Bill will make certain offences a “hate crime” (and as such, carry a heavier sentence) if the offence was motivated, for example, by the victim’s race, gender or sexual orientation etc. What is really concerning about the Bill however, is the extremely broad definition of “hate speech” (section 4 of the Bill), which includes in its scope any communication that is considered “abusive or insulting” and intending to “bring into contempt or ridicule” a person or group of persons on the basis of, for example, their gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity etc. (Related offences include the distribution, including through e-mail or social media, of communications that contain such “hate speech”).

Needless to say, this definition will have dire implications for Christians, and will make it illegal to speak certain Scriptures which people holding to a non-Biblical worldview, may regard as “offensive”. In terms of the Bill, “hate speech” offenders will be sentenced to a fine or 3 years’ imprisonment, and a fine or 10 years’ imprisonment for a repeated offence!

The deadline for comments on the Bill, is THURSDAY, 31 JANUARY 2017. (The Department intends to introduce the Bill in Parliament in March 2017 already!). Comments can be submitted directly to the Department of Justice at the following details:

Name: Ms T Ross – Specialist State Law Adviser

Department: Justice and Constitutional Development

Tel: +27 (0) 12 406 4759.

Email: hatecrime@justice.gov.za

Definitions of acts of hate crimes/speech as per the draft bill is described as being the following action with the intent at discrimination:

  • gesture;
  • display;
  • expression;
  • written, illustrated, visual or other descriptive matter;
  • oral statement;
  • representation or reference; or
  • an electronic communication,

Relating to an action motivated on the basis of that person’s prejudice, bias or intolerance towards the victim of the hate crime in question because of one or more of the following characteristics or perceived characteristics of the victim or his or her family member:

  • Race;
  • gender;
  • sex, which includes intersex;
  • ethnic or social origin;
  • colour;
  • sexual orientation;
  • religion;
  • belief;
  • culture;
  • language;
  • birth;
  • disability;
  • HIV status;
  • nationality;
  • gender identity;
  • albinism; or
  • occupation or trade

As you can see from the information above this bill is a real concern to the church and its ability to function and should be objected to in the strongest possible manner as it infringes on the right to religious practices as provided for in the Constitution.

We as the Body of Christ take note of the CRL as an organ of the state. We also agree that those who break laws should be prosecuted and punished for breaking the laws.  However, we believe that the Constitution should not interfere how churches manage themselves in terms of their own rules and regulations that is in compliance with the existing laws of SA. We are also available to assist those churches who do not comply and to get them in line with government requirement.

The proposed introduction of a self-regulated mechanism in which the CRL becomes the final appeals commission is unacceptable.

Regards,

Dr. Danie Reynecke

COO Judea Harvest

Association of Christian Religious Practitioners (ACRP)

ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS PRACTITIONERS (ACRP)

(Reg no 2015/319357/08) PO Box 12424 Tel: 082 643 2562 Queenswood 0121 e-Mail: info@amtpafrica.com / dexia@mweb.co.za

MEMORANDUM

HISTORY

ACRP was formed through a merger between two related organisations, namely the Association for Ministry Training Practitioners and the Southern African Association for Pastoral Work. The Association for Ministry Training Practitioners (AMTP) was established in 2014 by a representative group of ministry practitioners, representing churches and church networks, other ministry institutions, faculties of theology, seminaries and other training institutions, and chaplaincies. The initiative to bring the parties together went out from the Centre for Contextual Ministry at the University of Pretoria and Bible Media in Wellington. The establishment of the organisation was in response to challenges related to ministry standards and ministry training, as experienced by many Christian churches and ministries in South and sub- Saharan Africa. The needs experienced by churches and ministries in the “independent” or “informal” church environment received special attention. The reality is that a very low percentage, even less than 10%, of Christian ministry leaders in South and sub-Saharan Africa have access to formal ministry training. There are currently more than an estimated 200,000 pastors in South Africa, and more than a million in sub-Saharan Africa, who did not have access to formal training for the work they do. Many informal (non-accredited) training institutions and programmes exist, but the work of these training centres are not strategically aligned, not comprehensive in nature and in some cases not of appropriate standard.

Southern African Association for Pastoral Work (SAAP) was founded in 1991 to attend to the professionalization of, and quality assurance in, pastoral counselling in Southern Africa. SAAP developed a registration and accreditation system which included the setting of counselling standards and the application of a code of ethics and a disciplinary code for counselling practitioners. The counselling practitioners it represents range from lay pastoral workers and counselors, to pastors, chaplains and specialist counselors. Specialist counselors include private practitioners, family and marriage counselors, trauma counselors and mediators. Areas of work include congregations, hospitals, counselling centers and help lines, and uniformed services (the military, police service and correctional services). ACRP will in future also be a vehicle for the functions formerly performed by SAAP.

Upon the suggestion of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), AMTP and SAAP were merged early in 2016 into one organisation, with different “ministry councils” dealing with the different professional groups represented in the organisation. The idea of a merger makes sense as both SAAP and AMTP had a Christian focus and both are applied to SAQA to be registered as a professional body for religious professionals.

MISSION

ACRP’s strategic focuses are:

  • •To pursue the formal professionalization of religious (church, ministry) practice within the Christian tradition, with a particular focus on the needs of the independent / informal church environment;
  • As a special case, to attend to the professionalization of pastoral counselling in Southern Africa, and eventually over the continent;
  • To develop a training dispensation that will guarantee access to affordable, formal ministry training to current and prospective ministry leaders across the continent, irrespective of challenges implied by their levels of prior learning, financial status, geographic location, etc;
  • To pursue the coordination (development of a joint vision and strategy) among a wide range of ministry training institutions in South, Southern and sub-Saharan Africa, and through this to strengthen the role churches and Christian ministries can play in the healing of communities in Africa; and
  • To support efforts of other institutions related to the above, over the continent and internationally

STRUCTURE

To fulfill its various functions, ACRP is structured as set out in the attached organisation chart.

CURRENT PARTICIPATION AND REPRESENTATION

Around 150 institutions are currently on the ACRP database, a significant proportion of whom are participating on various levels of involvement in the ACRP process. This includes universities, private tertiary training institutions, Bible schools and other ministry training institutions, church networks, individual churches, and chaplaincies. As far as church networks are concerned, the following are formally participating in ACRP’s processes: SA Council of Churches, the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, the Council for African Independent Churches with the AIC Development Programme, and the United African Federation of Churches. Several links into sub-Saharan Africa are being developed, including the development of a link with training institutions over the continent via the Network for African Congregational Theology (NetACT) and the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA). ACRP’s Council for Pastoral and Spiritual and Counseling (CPSC) has around 600 affiliated pastoral workers and professional counselors. It is also linked to various national and international institutions.

CURRENT PROCESSES

Progress made since August 2016 includes:

  • ACRP’s application to be recognised as Professional Body for Religious Professionals in terms of the NQF Act was submitted to SAQA during October 2016, after a lengthy process to be aligned with SAQA’s requirements. SAQA’s response to the application is expected soon. Preparations for the Professional Body function has already commenced.
  • An NQF Level 2 Christian Ministry qualification was developed during 2015/6 by a widely representative ACRP work group in conjunction with the QCTO and the HWSETA . This qualification was designed for pastors and ministry leaders who want to 1 be trained on a less intensive level, and with lower expectations in terms of a reading and writing proficiency. The qualification was finally approved by the QCTO in November 2016, and has been submitted to SAQA for formal registration. The opportunity to present this qualification will be open soon for training providers.
  • An NQF Level 5 Christian Ministry qualification was similarly developed by ACRP in conjunction with QCTO and HWSETA, and was provisionally approved by the QCTO on 25 November 2016, to be published in the Government Gazette for public comment. This qualification presents an opportunity for intensive ministry training. It was inter alia designed to accommodate the situation of current or prospective pastors who for whatever reason cannot or do not want to enroll at a university or tertiary seminary. This qualification is expected to be up for formal registration and ready for implementation by mid-2017. (Both the NQF Level 2 and 5 qualifications fall within the category of “occupational qualifications” as determined in South African educational policy, and was designed to ensure a high standard in ministry efficiency.)
  • ACRP’s application to be recognised as Assessment Quality Partner (AQP) for these two qualifications was approved on 28 February 2017. The formal AQP function involves the managing the assessment processes of the qualifications (setting internal assessment standards, developing the external assessment infrastructure and processes, etc). With the support of Bible Media the AQP office has been established with Dr Danie van Zyl having been seconded by Bible Media to manage the operations of the office.
  • Informally ACRP also assumed the role of guiding and mentoring training institutions who want to apply for accreditation by QCTO as training providers (so called “Skills Development Providers” of SDPs) for the NQF Level 2 and/or 5 ministry qualifications. The guidance and mentoring process is supported by qualification and systems development expert Mr Jurie van Zyl. Around 20 different training institutions already expressed interest in presenting the NQF Level 2 and 5 and are participating in ACRP’s the guidance and mentoring process.
  • An obvious requirement for the fulfilling of the Professional Body function is an accessible administrative office. This office was recently opened with Mr Piet Dreyer as development facilitator and Ms Doreen Sibiya as administrative officer.

INVITATION

A wide range of persons and institutions in ministry and training already confirmed the need for the services provided by ACRP. Initially ACRP cooperates with the institutions in an informal manner. The invitation to the partner institutions to formalise the relationship with ACRP in the form of memoranda of cooperation will open soon.

ACRP treasures its relationships with the broad spectrum of institutions who supports the endeavour to make good training, formal qualifications, and focused, quality assured ministry available within the church and Christian ministry environment in its widest sense.

CONTACT:

ACRP Administrative office:

info@acrpafrica.com

Administrative officer: Ms Doreen Sibiya

(Version 3.0 – Updated 6 March 2017)

SmartSelectImage_2017-04-04-21-24-56

 

The three phases in your finances ©

Today I would like to share with you the three different phase’s people experience in their finances.  We know that there are people who live in abundance  – they, actually have “more than enough”, we find those who are blessed and have enough in life, but then those who does not have enough in life.

When we look at the above-mentioned “categories” it reminds us of three phases or places, where Gods’ children found themselves to be, in the Old Testament.  Firstly the place called EGYPT, secondly there was the time in the wilderness (or desert) and lastly the placed  – called Canaan.

THE PLACE CALLED EGYPT

  • Egypt represents a worldly system
  • In Egypt you work hard, big cities are built  – but it is never yours
  • You work overtime, find a part-time job, trying to get through the month
  • When you live in Egypt money becomes the main aim in your life, it is almost like if it becomes your boss
  • When God takes you out of Egypt, you will never walk out empty handed

THE TIME IN THE WILDERNESS

  • Interestingly enough, it only took God one night to take the people out of EGYPT, but it took Him 40 years to get EGYPT out of the people!
  • The first thing the people did with their money was to build a golden calf.  We read in Exodus 25, God wanted them to built Him a sanctuary
  • When you are in the wilderness you will have enough money, but it will never be MORE THAN ENOUGH
  • Every day, you will have bread and meat, but if you get more than what you need it will go sour
  • Most children of God find themselves to be in the wilderness or desert
  • When they experience some kind of blessing from God, they think that they have made it and that they are at their best
  • The fact it GOD wants us to have MORE THAN ENOUGH for He is EL SHADDAI

THE PLACE CALLED CANAAN

  • It CANAAN you will have cities which you’ve never built
  • In CANAAN you will not just experience but KNOW God is more than enough
  • However, you will also find giants and fortified cities in CANAAN, and therefore you will have to follow in God’s pattern to be in control, and to take hold of these cities

I want to encourage you to move out of EGYPT. We are no longer slaves.  When you move into the wilderness it will go better, but it will still not be the best for you.   Move into CANAAN, so that you can receive blessings – to become a blessing, in order to be a blessing.  Remember, Jesus said it is far better to give than to receive!

Till next time

God bless

Dr. Danie Reynecke

Judea Harvest COO

Why do people get into debt? ©

First, greed is definitely the number one reason why people are in debt. Greed is one of the most powerful desires known to man. Proverbs 27:20 “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man never satisfied.”  People also believe that having more things will make them happy. Advertising tells us we’ve got to have “it” to really live. The average high school student, by the time he graduates, has seen 350,000 commercials and they are all saying, “Buy my stuff”.  Happiness can’t be bought. Eccl 5:10-11 “He who loves money shall never have enough. The foolishness of thinking that wealth brings happiness! The more you have, the more you spend…”  The goal of greed is to get you to look successful before you are successful. Greed will cause you to take all you can get without considering your family, friends, church, or any needs that they might have.

Second, the desire for new things gets people in debt. In school, kids always want to have the newest shoes and clothes first. Within six months the styles change and those shoes become outdated. We keep on updating our home PC’s, but at best it is used as a word processor and the kids are playing games on it. Remember that products are designed to interest you temporarily until the next fad comes through. Luke 12:15 “Be on your guard against greed in any shape or form. For a man’s real life in no way depends on the number of his possessions.”

 The lack of discipline causes people to get in debt.  Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Discipline is the key to success in all areas of life. When you feed your flesh more than you feed your spirit, your flesh has more control.

Then there is the idea that having more things will make me more secure. Every person has a vacuum in his or her spirit that God created and that only He can fill. When we attempt to fill that void with other things, we will never be satisfied. Total sufficiency and happiness comes from a relationship with God. Proverbs 11:28 “Those who depend on their wealth will fall like the leaves of autumn.”  Proverbs 18:18 “The rich man thinks of his wealth as an impregnable defense, a high wall of safety. What a dreamer!”

People get into debt trying to impress others. Many times people spend money that they don’t have on things they don’t need to impress people who don’t matter.  Many years ago the name tags on our clothes were on the inside. These days they are on the outside, making us walking advertisements. It is also very easy to get into debt. A friend told me about a woman that went through a shopping mall one day and after two hours she spent R65 000,00 all on credit. I call it plastic money. Impulsive buying can get you into debt. Everyone tells you, “60 easy payments”.  There is no such thing as an easy payment. We need to plan our spending. This is called budgeting. When making a purchase, it is wise to count the cost (Luke 14:28), to see how it will affect your budget, and to plan for it ahead of time.

Get out of debt

If you really want to get out of debt make a decision to get out of debt. Draw up a short or medium term plan with a budget and get out of debt. There are two ways of drawing a budget if you are married. One is to put all the earnings together in one budget, make all the payments and share what is left. The other is to work on separate budgets, sharing responsibilities. This is what a budget should look like:

10% The Tithe, Leviticus 27:30

20% Short & Long Term Investments, Genesis 41:34

70% Living Costs

Budget

INCOME/EARNINGS

  • Salary income R______________
  • Renting income R______________
  • Investments R______________
  • Selling R______________
  • Other income R______________
  • TOTAL                    R______________

EXPENSES

  • Tithe 10%           R______________
  • Seed    %             R______________
  • Short/Long term 20%R_____________

HOUSING     25-30%

  • Bond payments R______________
  • Garden services R______________
  • Maintenance 5% p/a R______________
  • Utilities R______________

 

 

GROCERIES 15-20%

  • Groceries R______________
  • Dining R______________

DEBT PAYMENTS 0-10%

  • Credit cards R______________
  • Personal loans R______________
  • Overdrafts R______________

CAR & TRANSPORT   10-15%

  • Car payments R______________
  • Petrol/Gas R______________
  • Maintenance R______________

CLOTHING   4-5%

  • Always pay cash!  R____________
  • Payments R______________

INSURANCE       8-10%

  • Medical R______________
  • Car R______________
  • Dentist R______________

RECREATION   3-5%

  • Sports R______________

EXTRAS        3-5%

  • Vacation R______________
  • Gifts R______________
  • Others R______________

It is Biblical and very important to have a budget. Jesus had a financial adviser. Paul worked with a budget as did Solomon and many more. Look at the following scriptures:

Luke 14:28  “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?”

Habakkuk 2:2  “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”

Proverbs 29:18  “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Here are practical steps to get out of debt.

  • Ask God to help you and start to live on Biblical principles.
  • Develop the right attitude about money and possessions.
  • Always spend less than you earn.
  • Pay off all your credit cards and cut them up.
  • Determine that you will never put furniture, clothes, or personal items on a charge card.
  • Establish a debt-reduction plan immediately to reduce principle and interest payments.
  • Set a goal to get out of debt.
  • Determine how much you owe. Get a total of your bills, and don’t leave anything out. If your bond payment is R2,800.00 per month and you have 120 months outstanding multiply it by 120. Thus, you owe 120×2800=R336,000.00. Do the same with your car and other payments.
  • Prioritize your bills from the smallest to the largest. This is very important. Take the smallest bill and focus your attention on paying it first.
  • Once bill number one is paid in full, take the money that you were paying on bill number one and apply it to bill number two. Repeat this process until all your debts are paid.
  • Now take that extra money and pay off your “BIG” debt such as your bond.
  • A house bond of R200, 000.00 at 15% interest will give you a payment of R2, 561.00 per month. This equals R640, 00.00 after 25 years.
  • R100, 00 extra per month will save you R192, 000.00.
  • R200, 00 extra per month will save you R281, 000.00.
  • R500, 00 extra per month will save you R417, 000, 00.
  • Let your interest work for you, not against you.
  • Always pay all debt you have created.
  • Start a savings program.
  • Start giving according to the Scriptures. Put God first and put yourself second.

Proverbs 22:7  “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” You don’t have to be in debt forever. God has given you the power to make money in order to provide for your family and achieve your goals. Get out of debt and stay out of debt and you will become financially free and prosperous.

God bless you!!!

Dr. Danie Reynecke

COO Judea Harvest