In view of the on-going political upheaval here, Roger Jervois, who’s been keeping us updated on the political Ulster-Eire front, offers a Southern African perspective based upon his personal experience, on the value of the Church getting directly involved in politics. It is particularly a-propos with my increasing political coverage, albeit from a prophetical stance. Roger writes,
‘I was born in then-Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, in 1963. There, the evangelical church was largely silent, with basically only the Catholics resisting the racist Rhodesian government. The evangelical Church largely stayed out of the political realm, to the great cost of the average person in latter decades.
‘After emigrating to South Africa, in 1986 I (reluctantly, to be honest) joined a very controversial church, Rhema Bible Church, Randburg under a fearless pastor Ray Macauley. The political climate was very difficult still, getting steadily worse – the Apartheid government was ruthless in dealing with criticism.
‘God spoke to Ray’s heart about getting involved in politics and changing the course of the nation. God said it was going to be very costly for him and the church in terms of public opinion, a fact which continues today. God sent many great men and women of God to confirm His word, in front of the congregation, which I personally witnessed.
‘As a church, we rallied around our pastor in obedience to the Holy Spirit. Thus we began to pray for the nation diligently, from 1988 onwards. God opened doors, and even the then-Minister of Finance, Barend Du Plessis, a newly born-again Christian of Afrikaans background, came and spoke briefly to the church, to tumultuous applause. It continued, and God led Ray to reach out further, and he did.
‘The result was a gathering in 1990, after months of intercession, of the extreme left-, centre- and right-wings of the Christian Church in SA at a place of great spiritual significance, Rustenburg – the first capital of the Transvaal Republic and bastion of Afrikaanerdom. It was known as the Rustenburg or Bishop’s Conference where the church leaders wept openly for what they had brought into the nation, asking God’s forgiveness. The result was the miracle turnaround in SA, which continues unto today.
‘Last weekend saw the inauguration of a convert of 20 years, from the very same Rhema Bible Church Randburg, take the oath of office as our State President. The Church in SA continues to be prodded by difficulties into praying for and interacting directly with politicians, to our greater benefit.
‘It is highly recommended that Christians engage with their authorities.’
Roger Jervois, 1st June 2019
PS 3rd June – ‘Just see this story, Richard > Thousands raised for petrol attendant hero (reply: Good to learn of a Godly guy helping a gal)
PPS 4th June – ‘Donations to the petrol attendant have now topped R460,000. Original target was R100,000. (His monthly salary would be around R5,000) > News24.com Shell-has-exciting-plans-for-nkosikho-mbele-the-petrol-attendant-who-went-the-extra-mile
‘This says a lot about race relations in SA, the fruit of the revival perhaps.’