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Choose This Day

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In just days from today, registered South African voters will make their way to their designated station and make their mark on three ballot papers. Almost all political pundits have billed this 2024 election as the most important in South African history. The 1994 election ended nationalist apartheid and opened the vote to all citizens. That election was certainly historic, but this 2024 election is monumental. Why? Because not only do we stand at the very edge of a social and economic abyss, but we also cast our vote for either Democracy or Marxist Socialism.

Why This Election is so Important

This might sound to you to be overdramatic and overstated, but consider the following: Most analysts predict a coalition government as the most likely outcome of the elections. The African National Congress (ANC) will likely remain the major party with 37% – 42% of the vote. To form a government, they’ll need to partner with a party or parties holding around 20%. There are two main options: an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) combination (around 24% together), or a Democratic Alliance (DA) and Inkatha (IFP) and the balance of the Multi-Party Charter (MPC) combination (around 32% together). These two options represent different ideologies: Radical Socialism/Marxism (EFF and MK) and Conservative Democracy (DA and MPC).

Why do I contend that the one grouping represents Marxism and why is this such a problem for the nation? Well, here are some of the main negative features in the manifestos of EFF and MK:

  • Expropriation without compensation resulting in the nationalisation of land throughout the country. Not only would this remove the rights of individuals and corporations to own what they have paid for and developed, but it would also present the single biggest obstacle to international investment.
  • The nationalisation of banks, insurance companies, mines, the Reserve Bank and so on. This would place huge power and control in the hands of the government and individuals and clans within the government.
  • The change of the system of law from Anglo/Dutch to Traditional African Tribal. I see this as negative and not just different: Anglo-Dutch law is practised by all Western first-world countries, codified and standardised, with a hierarchical system in that it has appeal and high courts, and a focus on individual rights. Moreover, in South Africa, it is subject to the National Constitution as interpreted by a Constitutional Court. Traditional African law, on the other hand, is limited to some African nations and differs from country to country and even tribe to tribe, not codified and standardised, is more oral than documented, has no system of higher or appeals courts, more focused on group cohesion than individual rights, and not subject to the national constitution.
  • A conversion from a constitutional democracy to a system where the Parlament reigns supreme over even the courts of law. The sheer weight of the number of parliamentarians loyal to particular political parties would determine law and practice within the nation and not even the highest court would be able to annul or alter such promulgations.
  • A change to the Pension Funds Act so that their immense funds are used for ‘national development’. This would essentially steal the hard-won pensions of millions of people and reduce all pensioners to the lowest common denominator of quality of life.
  • Scrap the Independent Examinations Board for schools. This would mean that all learners in the nation would be subject to a woefully deficient and abysmally low standard of education. This would have profound effects on the development of the next generations and the wealth and future of the nation.
  • Open all borders to allow free movement of people across Africa. Just consider the migration problems we currently experience in the nation and the problems in countries such as the United Kingdom and the USA.
These changes would lead to a flight of capital and skills, causing a dramatic negative effect on foreign exchange rates, food insecurity, business, inflation, and so on. In the absence of a viable tax base, the government would probably print more and more money resulting in runaway inflation and failure to service national debt. It is no wonder that some have called this toxic combination of ANC, EFF, and MK the Doomsday Coalition.

Alternatively, an ANC, DA, and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) (and balance of the MPC) coalition could lead to a slow but positive turnaround, if radical opposition parties don’t make the country ungovernable. Of course, five years as a junior partner to the ANC could discredit and all but wipe out the DA. However, here is a thought to consider: If the ANC only gets 37% of the vote then the DA, or Multi Party Charter, only needs 38% to have the right to form a government. This would position the ANC as a minority party and provide the DA and its coalition partners with greater power and a more favourable public profile.

So you can see that in this election the forces of radical ‘transformation’ (Marxism) are aligned against the forces of conservative democracy, with the ANC straddling the fence with one foot on the conservative side, but the bulk of its body falling over onto the radical side. Who wins and who loses will make a huge difference to the future of the nation and the well-being of all South Africans.

A Day of Individual Choice

The numerous polls in the last months presented different scenarios and outcomes. However, all that counts, literally, is that on election day each person registered to vote makes their mark according to their convictions. If all registered voters vote based on their conviction, rather than tradition, apathy, or race, then anything is possible.

Let me present two scriptural texts for your consideration:

  • Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”.

The call of God through Moses was to the people of Israel to choose between their redeemer God or the gods of the nations around them. That was the specific context of the passage, but the principles presented apply to all God’s people of all ages.

On the 29th May 2024, all citizens of South Africa who registered to vote will have to choose between life and death, blessing or curses. No matter what they profess, the Doomsday Coalition leaders do not honour the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Peter, and Paul. They honour no god but their self-images which they have projected into society. They do not value biblical ethics or morality and their agendas are for self-enrichment and power. Opposed to them are political parties that either openly or tacitly honour God and seek to implement biblical values into society.

There may be obtuse arguments for Africanisation versus Westernisation, but when you strip away the rhetoric and protestations it all comes down to opposition to the God of the bible and his values. Note again the words of Moses, “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him”. Note too the fact that the choice we all must make affects not only ourselves but our children’s livelihood and wellbeing, both physical and spiritual.

  • 1 Timothy 2:1-4 “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth”.

Paul was not instructing that the Jesus followers he was writing to should only pray for Christian national leaders. At that time there were no Christian national leaders because the governments of the day were firmly in the grasp of pagans. He presented the idea that we Christians should pray for all those in authority. Why? So that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. And if we are to pray and intercede then it surely follows that we should act accordingly.

Our action at this time is to vote for what we believe pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

What  Jesus and the Disciples Said

I wrote about the 2024 election in August 2023 and included a brief analysis of what Jesus and his disciples said concerning the interface between a life of faith and political and economic realities. Here is what I wrote:

It is true that Jesus did not seem to concern himself with the politics of his day, but he did have something to say that points us in the right direction today. Peter and Paul then expanded on this in their letters.

Luke 20: 20-26 (Matthew 22 and Mark 12) records one of the best-known sayings of the Lord Jesus. The Pharisees tried to trap him by asking if it was right to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus asked for a Roman coin that bore Caesar’s image and said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”. The Creator made man in his own image, and so Jesus was saying that humans should give themselves to God whose image we bare. However, Caesar’s image was on the coin so they should give that to him. A brilliant response indeed, but we should not focus on his allusion to the image of God to the extent that we miss the implication that Jesus was endorsing the Roman governmental right to what it was due.

Paul wrote that ‘Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities…’ (Romans 13:1). He then explained why and added, ‘Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour’. (Romans 13:7). He also wrote to Titus instructing him to, ‘Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good.’ (Titus 3:1).

Peter’s teaching on the subject is probably the most succinct of all: ‘Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honour the king’. (1 Peter 2:13-17)

The Lord Jesus, Paul, and Peter were positively interacting with the subject of politics and by so doing were giving us direction as we too interact with the politics of our nation today.

Two Final Injunctions

My concluding plea in the August 2023 article was that everyone legally able to vote should register to vote and actively support members of the MPC. However, the time has long run out to register. Now, all that remains is for each of us to vote according to conviction and a sense of the leading of the Holy Spirit.

In previous elections, many people, although registered, did not vote. The two main excuses were, “The ruling party are so dominant that my vote won’t matter”, or, “I am making a statement of objection by not voting”. Neither of these reasons has any merit whatsoever. These elections are going to be close … very close. Your vote will matter and the statement you will make by voting is “I care about the future of my nation, my children, and the generations to come.”

Yet, one other thing is vital at this time and that is to PRAY. Let me return to a text I cited earlier in this article, 1 Timothy 2:1-4 ‘I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth’. So the call is to pray and to vote.

There is a reason why God instructs us to pray for those in authority in the context of the crucial election before us and it is this: We cannot fully conceive what God can do in a day. Despite the polls and despite the politicking, rhetoric, and even cheap tricks, it is what happens on the 29th of May 2024 that matters. On that day the Lord can change the nation and express his influence through millions of people. If we pray for this and hope for this, then when it happens, only one name will be raised up in thanks and adoration. That name will not be your name, my name, or any politician’s name; that name will be … JESUS!

The two things we can all do to influence the destiny of our nation is to pray and vote … SO PLEASE PRAY and PLEASE VOTE according to your prayers.

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