Zebras at a Waterhole in Okaukejo, Etosha Pan, Namibia . PHOTO : J . Rieck

Thursday, August 13, 2009

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY ON THE "WWW"



I remember that day so very well !
It was Thursday the 27th January 2005. I had just dropped off our eldest son, Jonathan at St Georges  his High School, when a friend stopped me and said: "I see that you're on the front page of "Die Republikein" , an Afrikaans daily newspaper (see article below)
I was stunned! How could I possibly make the front page of a news paper?
I bought the paper, and the heading said "Broer teen broer in kerkstryd" - "Brother against brother in church battle". Now I was even more mystified. As I read on  I saw that the journalist had obviously been surfing the "www" (world wide web) and came across this article (published in my last post) which had been published by the Evangelical Times on their website.
But here's the weird thing.
At the time of writing of this article the government controlled "Namibian Broadcasting Corporation" had placed a moratorium on Religious broadcasts because some pentecostal/ charismatic churches had apparently abused the code of conduct on the airwaves.
This was reported upon in the newspapers. Fair enough!

My article had appeared in  the Evangelical Times  in October 2004, 4 months before this incident with the NBC, and  it was unscrupulously  dragged into this debate in the newspapers at the end of January 2005. It was  used to fuel the fire of 'anti-charismatic / anti-pentecostal sentiments! 
Quite frankly, that  smacked of lack of journalistic integrity and abuse of intellectual property, for the journalist in question never consulted me, nor did he call to ask me  whether he could quote me  , or what my opinions on the ban of Religious Broadcasting issue were.

I had  phone calls from not a few charismatic pastors that day .... and I had a chance to put my concerns to them in, I trust, a loving and concerned way. The amazing thing is that they heard my heart , although they did not necessarily agree with me .

Oh well, be aware of the fact that your words published on the www may be used for good and ..."for whatever people want to make of it " .

Here' s the story as written by the journalist .
( For the benefit of my English readers , I will translate below )

27.01.2005
Broer teen broer in kerkstryd
DIE charismatiese kerklike beweging in Namibië, wat dikwels onder heftige regeringskritiek deurloop en skynbaar ook dieteiken van die onlangse NBC-verbod op godsdienstige uitsendings was, het weer in die spervuur beland. Hierdie keer uit die geledere van die Christelike kerk self, die Hervormde Baptiste.
Volgens die Baptiste is Namibië nou reeds té lank onder die invloed van "liberale en charismatiese leerstellinge" en daarom is die land op die oomblik op die afdraande pad. Selfs die Namibiese regering staan volgens die Baptiste onder die invloed van "liberales" veral ten opsigte van die stryd teen MIV/vigs wat die land verswelg.
Selfs die grootste kerklike groep in Namibië, die Lutherse geloof, het onder die Baptiste se kritiek deurgeloop met 'n aantyging dat dié kerk vandag 'n "liberale beweging en net 'n kerk in naam (nominaal)" is.
Hierdie heftige aanslae is vervat in 'n verslag oor die Hervormde Baptiste se tweede Konferensie van Genade wat pas deur die kerklike nuusdiens, die Evangelical Times, in Darlington, Engeland, gepubliseer is.
In die verslag oor die konferensie deur pastoor Joachim Rieck van die Eastside Baptiste Kerk in Windhoek, word daarop gewys dat die tema van die konferensie die verkondiging van Christus was en dat baie aandag deur sprekers gegee is aan die sogenaamde "post-moderne era" en die negatiewe invloede daarvan op die samelewing.
"Namibië is al vir té lank onder die invloed van liberale en charismatiese leerstellinge. Die land ervaar gevolglik die afbrekende, post-moderne invloede wat op die oomblik die wêreld oorvloed.
"Liberaliste en charismate ignoreer albei die Woord van God as die enigste voldoende antwoord op die groot probleme van ons land.
"'n Derde van ons volk is besmet met vigs. Die Regering, onder die invloed van liberale, is oortuig dat hierdie probleem aangespreek kan word deur die gebruik van kondome.
"Die huise van ons volk is in wanorde. Baie min kinders het 'n funksionele gesin, owerspel is aan die orde van die dag, dwelm- en drankmisbruik is algemeen.
Hierdie volk het werklik hervorming nodig," het past. Rieck in sy verslag geskryf.
Hy spreek ook die hoop uit dat God die Kerk in Namibië sal laat herleef deur God-gesentreerde verklarende evangeliebediening gegrond op die Bybel. "Die getuienis van die Skrif en van die geskiedenis is met ons," het hy gesê.
Die hoofsprekers by die konferensie was 'n ouderling van die Leeds Hervormde Baptiste Kerk in Brittanje en redakteur van die wêreld kerkblad, Reformation Today, past. Erroll Hulse, past. Conrad Mbewe van die Kabwata Baptiste Kerk in Zambië en pastore Colin Gibb en Joachim Rieck van die Baptiste in Namibië.
Kerkleiers van die Hervormde Baptiste, die Kerk van Engeland in Suid-Afrika, die Assemblies of God en die Nederduits Hervormde Kerk het die konferensie bygewoon.

Christo Retief

TRANSLATION :
"BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER IN CHURCH BATTLE "

The Charismatic Church movement in Namibia , frequently criticised by the Namibian government , and which had recently contributed to the fact that religious programs were prohibited from being aired on the Namibian Broadcasting Services , has once again landed in the cross fire .
This time it was from the ranks of the Christian church - The Reformed Baptists!
According to the Reformed Baptists , Namibia has been far too long under the influence of liberal and charismatic teachings , and therefore the country is currently on a downward spiral .
Even the Namibian government is under the influence of liberal theology , particularly with reference to the way in which the Government handles the current HIV/AIDS pandemic .
Even the biggest denomination in the country , the Lutherans , where subjected to the criticism of the Baptists who said that this church is under the influence of liberal influences and must therefore be considered as a ' nominal church ' .

This scathing attack was made in the context of a report written after the Namibian Grace Ministers Conference , and which was recently published by the Evangelical Times in England .

In his report of the conference , Pastor Joachim Rieck of the Eastside Baptist Church in Windhoek made mention of the fact that the theme of the conference related to " the proclamation of Christ " , and that much attention was given by the conference speakers to the phenomenon of " post modernistic thought " and its destructive influence upon our community .
He said that " liberals and charismatics both ignore the sufficiency of Scripture as the substantial answer to the problems of Namibia " .
"A third of our population is infected by AIDS and the government continues to be convinced that the answer to solving this problem is the use of condoms" .
" The homes of our nation are in a state of chaos . Few children grow up in functional homes " . " Corruption is the order of the day ; drugs and alcohol abuse are common..."
"This nation truly needs reformation " , Pastor Rieck wrote in this article .

He expressed the hope that God would grant revival in the church through God-centered , evangelistic proclamation based on the Scriptures alone .
He said that " the testimony of the Scriptures and history are with us ."

The main speakers at the Conference were Erroll Hulse from Leeds (UK) , editor of the periodical " Reformation Today " , Pastor Conrad Mbewe of the Kabwata Baptist Church in Zambia , Colin Gibb and Joachim Rieck from the Eastside Baptist Church in Windhoek ...


1 comment:

Conrad Mbewe said...

Joachim,

I personally see nothing wrong in what the reporter wrote about what you said. I mean, all that you said is true. Any Charismatic leader who has a quarrel with the statement that they ignore the sufficiency of Scripture probably just feels exposed. By insisting on prophecy and tongues today as a means of hearing God speaking to us today, does that not mean that expounding the Scriptures alone are not sufficient?