Monday, June 11, 2007

Strike action...

This URCSA Executive has produced a position on the public service strike and it is found on our webpage. The initial just demands of workers however later became part and parcel of Cosatu's show of strength in the run-up to the elections of a new president. This seems to become a war now between unions ( and their private hooligan army) and government. It then strike me that in youth month, the unions are using the future of our children as cannon fodder, in their battle for political positions. This is bad taste in the extreme. Yesterday, I sensed in the only Afrikaans sunday newspaper, Rapport a low key support for the strike. Could it be that Rapport is now turning socialist on us ( in support of the power play of Cosatu ?)- No, its just their ussual anti-government, anti-black propaganda again pouncing on the opportunity to get a 'below-the belt upper cut' in -here from the side of the ring. Everybody is in on what ever there is outthere for the taking. In the meantime, their (Union bosses, government ministers, rapport's bigshot's) children goes to school, whilst the rest of our children are left unattended, they go to the private hospitals on medical aid and the rest ( like 87 year old auntie Minnie) is graspking for breath, because she was harrased away from two hospitals by maurauding 'health workers'. I almost said it smacks like Charles Taylor, using children in his terror on post-colonial West-africa. can someone show me the difference ??

NG Kerk, unification and so forth....

The General Synod of the NG Kerk is in the news again, especially the Afrikaans media. This time they made some progressive steps in their gay debate. I however wondered why this NG-gay debate (for lack of a better term) ballooned almost out of porportion. I can understand the relevance, the genuine-ness and seriousness with which they grappled with these matters. Who will dare to deny this ? This is also from what we've over-heard, not an easy discourse. My question however relates to the fact that again, it was their debate, in the corner and still, a debate which smacked the old styled apartheid. After their 1857 decision of seperate communion amongst races, which paved the way for seperate churches and later apartheid and which coloured (pun intended) this church as racially separatist and a colonial relic of a dark history, they were still not able to throw off this baggage-no, they choose to trek laager around (now also gay) white Afrikaners. The consequence is that they have not yet come to the point of opening up to their black, coloured and indian sisters and brothers and become one church, listening to God's word, irrepective of race, language or culture. It remains difficult to open up to the 'other', because maybe we would loose power or control over the outcome.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Prosperity cults, etc

This morning I listened in horror and pain to a breakfast show from a local Christian community radio station here on the Westrand. Many sincere believers called in to share their bit about a 'christian' investment scheme, started in the building of a prominent big coloured, Christian charismatic church here in Joburg. The leadership of this church and other churches promoted and provided the platform for this and many followed the integrity of the pastor and invested in the sceme. Apparantly what was promised was a '4 to1' return ( whatever that means). People 'invested' their savings, pension, a second ( or third bond) for a return in 4 months of 4 times the ammount they invested. Some allowed it to 'roll over' and millions were promised- in the church. In a context of declining jobsecurity, rising unemployment and underemployment ( government employees are striking now!), but more so, a bit of 'praise and worship', speaking in tongues and a 'word of prophecy', which is never to be challenged by scripture or common sence, who would not be susceptable and vulnerable? It sounded and appeared like a miracle and indeed divine intervention for our coloured communities. Hallelujah ! This was not to be. People lost houses, their hard earned pensions, childrens study money and are up in arms: the miracle worker dissappeared (he called in to the program to claim innocence: he is 'in hiding' somewhere, pleading the community to allow him to come back to clear his name. What was worse was the way in which the radiostation's boss and another 'pastor' was pasting the same lame, posperity texts over this mess... 'just trust and put your faith in God and He will supply your needs' (read greeds), 'God is in control'. don't say anothing against God's annointed, etc.etc... It painfull but true: we as christians and churches are guilty. We have been too quiet and submissive to put our God-given minds in action to analyse these bogus prophets of prosperity and their reckless 'gospel' and 'theology', in the face of real injustice and evil. They have been and clearly still are instruments - sometimes usefull idiots in the hands of global capitalism and we have been colluding, because maybe there's something out for us as well or we don't want to rock the boat. We'll the good that will come out of this is that a few people will be liberated from these religious charlatans and the bondage of prosperity cults- maybe (hopefully) a more humble church, identifying with the poor, standing against the rich and powerfull, who in their selfish interest have worked against God, will emerge... let's wait and hope... in the meantime let's test ourselves and if if need be, repent...

Musings.....