BACK TO THE BIBLE SUMMIT FOR REFORMATION AND REVIVAL

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IMG 8607MESSAGE OF SUPPORT BY PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY AND TRADITIONAL PRIME MINISTER TO THE ZULU MONARCH AND NATION

William Carey School of World Missions, Hazelmere

9 March 2019


Good morning; it is a privilege to greet you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


I want to thank Dr Peter Hammond and Dr Leslie James, and also Dr Peter Munns, for inviting me to this Summit. I must apologise that I am only able to spend a short time with you, as my Party has me on a strict campaign schedule as we prepare to launch our election manifesto in Chatsworth tomorrow.


With just eight weeks to go to the national and provincial elections, we are really in the thick of campaigning. I can tell you that I am clinging to Isaiah 40 verse 31 – “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”


It is good to have this chance to greet you though, because the core message of the IFP's campaign resonates with the message of this Summit. We are calling for South Africa to return to foundational values and principles.
Our country needs a government that is both capable and ethical. In the absence of a value system, any government is bound to fail. We need ethical leaders who understand the challenges and are able to provide solutions. Only ethical leadership can create social and economic justice.


I believe that the principles contained in the Bible are the principles by which we should live. For those who do not know me, I became a Christian very early in my childhood, for my mother, Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu, was a committed Christian who raised me in the knowledge of Christ. I was confirmed at St Faith's in Durban and have worshipped in the Anglican Church for more than 70 years. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour.
God called me to serve, and I have followed that calling for some 70 years, working to uproot oppression, poverty, ignorance and injustice. Indeed, God has called all of us to do two things: to keep justice and to do righteousness. Where justice prospers,
there is peace, and where there is peace, we can pursue the noble task of nation building.


This is a shared pursuit. It demands a collective effort. It must involve everyone, from every race, background, language group and tribe. It must even involve people of different political ideologies; which is complicated, for there are some who believe in socialism and sowing racial divisions. But still we can look for common ground.


I think where it becomes difficult for many Christians is when it comes to people of other religions. We often feel comfortable working with the Jewish community because of our ties to the Abrahamic covenant. But when it comes to working with the Hindu community, or the Islamic community or the Hare Krishnas, we prefer not to think about it.


I have a long friendship with these communities, particularly with the Divine Life Society which has done so much philanthropic work in our Province, building schools and feeding the needy. Is it wrong of me to work with non-Christians?
I think of Christ, who said He didn't come for the healthy, but for the sick. He had no qualms about mixing with those whom the Pharisees held in contempt. He was not afraid of defiling Himself, for He knew His identity. Are we confident enough in our own identity in Christ to be able to go wherever He calls us and work with those who are different to us, for the sake of expanding His Kingdom?


Surely His Kingdom is peace, reconciliation, healing and the restoration of relationship. Matthew 6 verse 33 commands us to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. If we live by biblical principles, we can promote biblical principles wherever we go, whether we are among Christians, or not.


Four years ago, I visited Israel at the invitation of the South African Friends of Israel. My long friendship with Prime Minister Shimon Peres and also with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, made me a friend of Israel. But I insisted, during our visit in 2015, that we meet with leaders from both the Knesset of the State of Israel in Jerusalem, and the Mukataa of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
I have always believed that the resolution of conflict is best achieved through negotiation: negotiation that is peaceful and done in good faith. I have been part of many peace processes in South Africa, and I am intrigued by the establishment of a National Peace Commission. I look forward to learning more about its work and its mission.


As the traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation, I appreciate the relationship that has been cultivated with His Majesty the King, and the respect being shown for the institution of Traditional Leadership.
As this Summit identifies the threats and challenges to instituting biblical principles, have no doubt that cultural differences will be highlighted.
In many traditional communities, for instance, polygamy is practiced and understood to be the norm. My own father had 20 wives. I have chosen differently, based on my faith. I have been married to one woman for almost 67 years, and the Lord has blessed us indeed.


In the IFP we have found that people from many different faiths find their home in the IFP. So too do people who practice polygamy. We won't exclude anyone based on their culture or religion, but neither will we as individuals change our fundamental beliefs to be more palatable to those who don't share them.


Having a fundamental belief system, based on absolute truth and moral values, enables one to lead with integrity.
I want to thank the Christian Action Network for putting together a Biblical Issues Voters' Guide for 2019. I am a firm believer in voter education and voter awareness. I realise though that condensing a party's policies into a yes or no answer is very tricky.
For instance, the Voters' Guide says that the IFP is against capital punishment for murder. Yet the IFP has been vocal on the need to reopen a national debate on this very issue in view of the violent crime plaguing our country.
Our election manifesto for 2019 addresses this issue, and many others. I encourage you to read our manifesto, once it has been launched tomorrow. It will be clear that we are champions of a free market economy and we hold the family to be the foundational building block of society.


So the Voters' Guide is a good starting point, but I hope that voters will go further and do their research.
In the same way, we all need to do our research on what the Bible says. Too often people make assumptions or think that familiar sayings like “God helps those who help themselves” are in the Bible.
The Bible is not just about spiritual things. It talks about government, about the administration of the state, about paying taxes, buying and selling, how to invest your money, food, clothing, work, and our responsibilities regarding social justice. It is a practical manual for everyday life. If we don't read, we won't know how to live.


Sadly I have heard young people argue that the Bible is no longer relevant because it was written thousands of years ago. Times have changed, they say. But God has not changed. Do you think the God who raised Christ from the dead, the God who parted the Red Sea, and the God who shook mountains, is not able to send us a revised version, if a revision was needed?


The Bible stands as absolute truth today, as it did yesterday, and as it did in the times of Moses, David, Ruth and Peter; the rock on which the church was built.
We need to obey God’s biblical commands. Only then will we see Amos 5:24 — "...let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.”


God bless you.

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa [email protected] - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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