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Can Norms and Values Change the Heart of a Society?

Posted by Tom Lessing on October 7, 2008

Sunday 21 September 2008, according to Rev. Jannie Pelser of the Rant n Dal Community Church who led the morning service on RSG (“Radio Sonder Grense” or, when translated into English, “Radio Without Boundaries”), was an historic day. The New Heart Foundation and Heart Initiative of South Africa launched a project involving ministers, priests, bishops and prophets and other clergy of all the main stream churches throughout our country. They were specifically asked to focus on norms and values in their sermons.

In the introduction to his sermon Rev. Pelser said, with reference to Galatians 5:22, that the Holy Spirit ought to determine our behavior in life. Then he subtly makes a giant leap by saying that the fruit of the Spirit may also be dubbed norms and values which should govern every Christian’s life. Then he makes a shocking statement. Bear in mind that he has just said that the fruit of the Holy Spirit may also be dubbed norms and values, and then ingeniously carries these norms and values over and applies them to the society when he reduces the contents of Galatians 5:22 to four essential norms and values and – wait for this – calls them universal norms and values. He continues to say that these four essential norms and values, which are derived from Galatians 5:22, are not uniquely Christian values although they are principally biblical norms and values. He says there is a glaring shortage of these values in our society. Why didn’t Rev Jannie Pelser preach on biblical norms and values as we find them in Galatians 5:22? Why did he make a deliberate leap from the fruit of the Spirit to the following four norms and values?

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Fellow-humanness
  • Self-control
  • Responsibility

And so Rev. Jannie, with a swift slant of the tongue, reduces the fruit of the Spirit which the Holy Spirit alone can provide through repentance and sanctification to four norms and values so that even a human institution such as the New Heart Foundation and Initiative can now take the responsibility of empowering a society to integrate and implement these four norms and values. According to Rev. Jannie these norms and values cannot be determined or forced down upon anyone from above and then expect them to buy into these norms and values. No, you need to get them to buy into them on ground level so that they may live up and react to them accordingly.

That’s rather interesting. It is no longer necessary to teach people that they need to turn to God with all their hearts; that it is God alone who can give them a new heart on condition that they repent and allow the cross of Jesus Christ to transform their lives (2 Corinthians 5:17); that we make disciples of them and teach them to observe all things He commanded us. No! All we need to do now, is to persuade society to buy into the four norms and values Rev. Jannie described so neatly in his sermon. In any case, what does he mean when he says that these norms and values cannot be determined or forced upon society from above? It sounds too much like the post modern view that we no longer can expect society to buy into the authority of the Bible because it refuses to accept absolute truths and regard all things to be relative. We should rather use other methods, such as those the New Heart Foundation and Initiative promulgate to persuade society to buy into these norms and values.

Rev. Jannie divides society into five parts, i.e. schools (educational institutions), churches (faith community), businesses, the media and the local authorities. It is in these levels of society where the Heart Foundation and Initiative wish to make a difference and to encourage people to buy into the above four norms and values AGAIN. Please note his use of the word "AGAIN, as if these norms and values were consistently adhered to during the Apartheid era. These norms and values were equally absent during the Apartheid years; the only difference is that the lack of them in those days were covered up much better than today. I would therefore like to know how we are going to incorporate these norms and values in the society AGAIN with the help of the Heart Foundation and Initiative while they never existed before? In fact, the Lord clearly says in His Word "that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). Rev. Pelser, how far must we go back into the history of humanity in order to find an inkling of these four norms and values to which we may return and persuade people to buy into them AGAIN? How are we going to instil these norms and values in the hearts of people when the human heart is deceitful above all things and so desperately wicked? (Jeremiah 17:9). Let’s be honest with one another, as you have said so rightly. We deceive ourselves to think that God would willy-nilly give people new hearts while they trample the cross and the blood of Christ under their feet. Indeed, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:23 that the cross is foolishness unto the world and I can assure you that He would never give anyone a new heart whilst they regard the cross as foolishness. Forget it! (1 Corinthians 1:18). The New Heart Foundation and Initiative, ministers, reverends, pastors, priests, prophets of every imaginable denomination or church and whoever else will never be able to bring about a grain of change in the hearts of people unless God Himself changes their hearts through profound repentances. You may recall Jesus who once said that "Without Me you can do nothing" which also means that anything we venture to do without Him will always end up in a dead-end. It means absolutely nothing.

Rev. Jannie says in the course of his sermon that we should boldly proclaim to the world: "Thus says he Lord," and yet Rev. Jannie does not practice what he preaches. Instead of declaring to the whole of South Africa during the morning service on "Radio Sonder Grense" on 21 September 2008 "Thus says the Lord" he frequently told us what other people had to say – people like Annie Coetzee an internationally known motivational speaker, Dr. Isak du Plessis, the moderator of the AFM Church, Eben McLaren, an authoritative speaker on crime prevention, Rev. Richard Verreyne, Prof. Linda van Rooyen and Advocate Leon Wessels of the Human Rights Commission.

He kicks off with Annie Coetzee, a motivational speaker, who said "People can take away everything from us accepts what we value and what we believe to be true in our hearts. The truth is the most powerful message we can release." Please note the word "release." New Agers are very fond of the word and it means to release positive energy or thoughts into your environment. Truth is not released in an abstract or sub-conscious way; truth must be proclaimed by word of mouth and your deeds. Annie’s remark on values that everyone can believe in his own heart what the truth is, opens a whole can of worms. What I believe to be the truth in my own heart and the norms and values I practice are not necessary the same truth, norms and values people adhere to in their own hearts. What now? Ah! this is the reason why people have become so wise in heir own eyes and have reduced biblical norms and values (fruits of the Spirit) to four essential norms and values that are supposedly universal and are now subdivided into four categories, i.e. honesty and integrity, fellow-humanness, self-control and responsibility. These values and norms are so wonderfully universal that even the most hardened jail birds are now able to put them into practice and implement them in their lives. Why must the fruit of the Spirit be reduced to four essential norms and values? Because the genuine fruits of the Spirit as we encounter them in Galatians 5:22 are instilled in the hearts of men, women and children only through the Spirit of God and it occurs only when people repent and embrace the cross of Jesus Christ. It is a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit which no man is able to do and anyone who even tries to usurp the work of the Holy Spirit is arrogant, conceited and overly proud. But this the world societies refuse to accept . . . and why is that? Because the Lord says very clearly that the world societies cannot receive the Spirit of Truth because they do not see Him (understand Him) and cannot know Him (John 14: 15, 17). Apparently many of our preachers do not know what to say and consequently use the "wisdom" others "release" in the environment. Rev. Pelser said that we should encourage the society to buy into the four golden norms and values but it rather looks as if he wants to coax Christians to buy into the one world religion of whom even people like Mikhael Gorbachev and his State of the Word Forum set the following goals:

  • "Encourage commitment to core values… and strengthen the sense of common responsibility for the global neighbourhood."
  • "Express these values through a global ethic of specific rights and responsibilities…."
  • "Embody this ethic in the evolving system of international norms, adapting, where necessary existing norms of sovereignty… "

Gorbachev and his cronies seem to think that these norms and values are universal as well, and that they can be integrated in society AGAIN. Have you noticed Rev. Jannie’s norms, core values and common responsibilities in the above ethical codes of Gorbachev and his State of the World Forum? Rev. Pelser’s four norms and values are so wide and universal that even the enemies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the facilitators of a one world religion have bought into them.

But let us first get acquainted with Annie Coetzee. She introduces herself as follows on her website.

Annie Coetzee is currently one of South Africa’s leading speakers on Self-Empowerment with the focus on emotional intelligence, and passionately speaks about the latest research on this evergreen and ever-important subject of Human Development.

She is the owner of Creative Brain Management – and specializes in the training of Human Intelligence – throughout a person’s life. Annie gained excellent training experience, both nationally and internationally and her absorbing interest in matters of the mind, body and spirit, has influenced a number of medical and scientific experts to assist her with advice, confirmation and the follow-up of her real-life case studies.


A closer look at her site reveals that she often uses New Age terminology such as "positive thinking," "positive energy," "mind, body and spirit," and "the power of being." etc. In an interview on RSG in the programme "Oggend op RSG" with Amanda Olivier she explained that positive thinking is not sufficient to empower yourself but that you should also pay attention to your language. In one of her recent books "The Power of the Creative Life" in which, she says, she exceeded all boundaries, she does not only focus on positive thinking, which is the main focus point in all books written on empowerment, but also on the language you use. As an example she referred to a sentence many people have become comfortable with, i.e. "Hopefully I will finish next week." The word "hopefully," she explained is unnecessary because it causes a negativity in your language and your psyche. Well, Annie has probably never been that ill yet and is therefore very fortunate to abolish the negative word "hopefully" completely from her vocabulary. What does Scripture say?

Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapour (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]. You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing]. But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong. [it is evil] (James 4:14-16)

According to Scripture it is pure boasting to say: "I am certain that I will have completed this or that next week and therefore I never allow negative words such as ‘hopefully’ in my vocabulary. She continues to say in the interview that your words have tremendous creative powers. Here we are squarely back into the "positive confession" heresy of the Word of Faith movement that believes that your words are containers of blessings or curses and life or death depending on whether you use positive or negative words.

There is nothing new about positive thinking. Norman Vincent Peale, who introduced his positive thinking methodology as far back as 1937, is hailed as the most prolific motivational speaker of the 20th century. He wrote 46 books of which "The Power of Positive Thinking" is the most popular. 20 millions copies in 42 languages have been sold. He is also well-known for his introduction of "Christian Psychology" into the church which paved the way for the occult poison of Freudian and Jungian psychology. Robert Schuller. one of today’s most prolific followers of Norman Vincent Peale, said on TBN (Trinity Broadcast Network) during one of his sermons from the Chrystal Cathedral that "Possibility thinking is the ultimate need of every single human being." Really . . .? And I have always thought that man’s ultimate need is Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. Well, if man is able to secure his future by the exclusion of negative words from his vocabulary and negative thoughts from his mind, he does not need Jesus Christ at all and only needs to follow Rev. Jannie Pelser’s four norms and values mentioned above.

Annie Coetzee also refers in the interview to "vision power" according to which your positive thought processes and you heart power are harnessed to see yourself successful in your business and your relationship with other people. This is nothing less than one of the most dangerous occult practices known as visualization to fulfil your heart’s desires, dreams, visions and hopes. To substantiate her position on vision power she even throws in a Bible verse because that’s the most effective way of getting Christians to buy into the occult without them knowing it. Motivational speakers and Christian psychologists and psychiatrists seem to be very fond of proverbs 29:18: "Where there is no vision my people perish." Man has always been impudent to use certain Bible verses and to omit the most important parts of those verses to validate their own agendas. The rest of that verse reads as follows: " . . . but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." Die law refers to the entire written Word of God. In other words everyone who lives in submission to the Word of God and obeys it, is happy. The well-known KJV translation of this verse is misleading. The word for vision is hazon and refers to the visions and revelations God gave his chosen prophets to reveal His will to Israel. God had to do it this way because only a small part of the Bible was available in those days. The word for perish here is para and means to abandon self-control and to yield to your own desires. It amounts to lawlessness and rebellion. In short this verse wants to convey to us that anyone who refuses to carry God’s Word in their hearts and to obey it, surrenders to lawlessness and rebellion. It has absolutely nothing to do do with a dream or a vision you envisage for yourself and your future expectations and also not how those dreams, visions and future expectations may be realized through heart power, positive thoughts and words. She also postulates that your heart is the most powerful energy-giver of your body and this explains why Rev Jannie Pelser quotes her so eagerly to promote the Heart Foundation and Initiative’s efforts to instil norms and values of well-being in the heart of our society. Her most recent book "Are you connected?" is advertised as follows on the internet.


clip_image003[1]Don’t tell me this is NOT New Age!

Energy Crisis!!

Explore your own POWER SYSTEM.

Get connected. Discover the POWER of heart and mind becoming ONE solid force of energy to make your dreams come true.

FEELING energy from the heart is 5000 times stronger than THINKING energy from the brain. Think again! This paradigm-shattering workshop will free you from negative forces that could’ve blocked your way to living an empowered and healthy life.

You have no idea what you are capable of!

I really would like to know how she came to the conclusion that feeling energy from the heart is 5000 times stronger than thinking energy from the brain. What kind of instrument did she use to measure it? And to what should you get connected – your higher self or the god within you? What methods should women use to get connected to their higher self – meditation or silence (solitude) or both? I would advise Rev Jannie Pelser to rather adhere to his own admonishment and to say "Thus says the Lord" instead of "Thus says my positive thoughts and the feeling energy of my heart" and to stop promoting people who disregard God’s holy Word.

It is evident that Rev. Jannie Pelser who quoted Annie Coetzee directly, fails to follow her good advice NOT to use negative language and never to allow negative thoughts of energy to enter your mind. Listen to his negative and destructive words in the following quote.

We stand before terrible challenges. Its a wonderful country. Let’s not forget it for a single moment. Its an excellent country with wonderful opportunities; beautiful people. What a privilege it is to live in this sunshine country, but let’s say this to one another today, there are many challenges. I want to go so far to say that the writing is just about on the wall. . . we will have to begin talking about the context in which we ought to live our norms and values. (Emphasis added).

Rev. Pelser begins in a positive vein but progresses rapidly from a little negativity to a lot of negativity. Let’s rather all follow Annie’s advice and begin to release heart power and positive thoughts into the society, and voila! – without any further ado everything is just hunky-dory.

Rev. Pelser also quotes Eben McLaren, a man who has a lot to do with crime. He says:

The increasing crisis in corruption which is committed in many ways, is one of the most explicit signs that we are in a SERIOUS crisis from a moral point of view. Communities must realize that the government is not responsible for the stipulation of values. It is determined by the people of the country. (Emphasis added).

Rev. Pelser never seemed to realize that he continually contradicting himself. A little later in his sermon he says that God’s Word ought to be our standard. In other words the Bible determines our norms and values. He even upheld the fact that the Word of God is living and powerful in his opening prayer, but then makes an about turn and agrees with Eben McLaren that the people of the country determine our communal norms and values. This is precisely the problem. It is because every person determines his own norms and values that this beautiful country of ours is in such a mess, even to the extent that Rev. Pelser has to admit in a tone of despondency that “the writing is on the wall” for our country. If, according to Eben McLaren, the people themselves determine the norms and values of a society, why is it necessary to persuade them to buy into the norms and values that are supposedly derived from Galatians 5:22? If they are indeed derived from Galatians 5: 22 it is preposterous to say that the people of a community determine those norms and values. Doesn’t the Word say they are the fruits of the SPIRIT and not of men? Rev. Jannie ought to decide who he prefers to obey – the Word of God or the insipid pronouncements of men? In fact, God unequivocally declares that everyone who follows his own norms and standards will eventually end up in a state of eternal destruction if they do no repent and receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6)

Do we really need someone like Eben McLaren to tell us that we are facing a serious crisis from a moral point of view? Isn’t that obvious already? No! what we really need is for ministers, pastors, priests, bishops and prophets to stop echoing the “wisdom” of so-called leaders in our community in their sermons and rather say with steadfast conviction “Thus says the Lord: Repent because the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Please note that this Kingdom is not the false one the adherents to Dominionism, Latter Rain, Transformations, the Revivalist Movements etc. proclaim). We speak so easily of the heart as if God cheerfully and unconditionally provides everyone with a new heart whilst the community leaders affirm that the people themselves determine the norms and values of a country. What utter nonsense! If that were the case we would never have had any need of a democratically elected government to make the laws of the country. Everyone would be a law unto himself and every Tom, Dick and Harry would determine the norms and values of a community. Again, I say: What utter nonsense! God will never give anyone a new heart unless they turn to Him in repentance with their whole heart and confess that they have sinned against Him and Him alone (Ps. 51:4).

Even respected people like Dr. Isak Burger, Moderator of the AFM Church, who Rev. Pelser quotes in his sermon, attributes the crisis in our country to a dismal lack of norms and values and not to the glaring apostasy of our CHURCHES from the Word of God to another gospel infested with psychology and New Age practices. God Himself says in His Word:

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Ps 9:17) (Emphasis added)

Rev. Pelser continues to quote several other well-known South African VIP’s, amongst them Prof. Linda van Rooyen en Leon Wessels of the Human Rights Commission and they all say that the community must be built on sound norms and values before the crisis in or country can be resolved. Is that really the truth? Hasn’t the Lord of hosts given the democratically elected government the power to maintain law and order but have failed dismally because of blatant lawlessness and an inadequate judicial system. The Human Rights Commission is so successful in its endeavours to protect and fight for the rights of individuals that even a criminal who was caught in the act of robbing a woman of her handbag laid a charge of assault against the well-doer. How preposterous can it get? Rev. Pelser said that the constitution cannot change the hearts of people.

We have a need for the claims of God’s Word to be written in our hearts and that it be manifested in our lives from within, but the constitution will never change South Africa, however appreciated that document may be.

I agree wholeheartedly. It is God’s Word and his eternally immutable truth that changes hearts when those hearts turn to Him in repentance wholeheartedly. But then the churches should preach the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition the church should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints and refuse to sit and eat with people who are watering down this Gospel; who embrace and follow teachers such as Henry Blackaby, Rob Bell, Leonard Sweet, Erwin McManus, Max Lucado, Brian McLaren, Richard Foster, Tony Campolo, Eugene Peterson, Dan Kimball, Doug Pagitt, Rick Warren and many others as heroes of the faith; who hail and receive men like Dominic Crossan as an “erudite scholar” whilst he describes the crucifixion as transcendental child abuse.” God’s judgements begin at the house of God and not the community at large (1 Peter 4:17). The problem is not a communal one but one that lies within the church which is supposed to declare the unadulterated Word of God. Jeremiah weeps and says:

“[But this happened] because of the sins of her [false] prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed the blood of the just and righteous in the midst of her (Lamentation 4:13). (Emphasis added).

Rev Pelsser also quotes Rev. Richard Verryene who said:

If we in South Africa, with the Madiba factor, the world champion springbuck team beaming with Christians and with the prizewinning Soweto Gospel Choir are still crouching under the squalor of corruption, and crime, the sickening violence and shocking sexual offences, school pornography and teenage pregnancies, and a culture of . . . dishonesty, then we need to ask what is wrong with our rainbow nation. Can we find reasons for the rising sewer water of immorality?

If the South African constitution cannot provide new hearts and fails to instil the norms and values that allegedly can heal the community, how on earth are the Madiba factor, the world champion springbuck team beaming with Christians and the prizewinning Soweto Gospel Choir going to achieve it? You know, even the Lord Jesus Christ could not saturate the Roman community with healthy norms and values. In fact, He did not come to this earth to establish norms and values in any community. It was never his purpose to do something like that. He came here as God-man to be born of a virgin, to suffer and to be crucified so that He could redeem sinners FROM WITHOUT, I repeat FROM WITHOUT the kingdom of Satan (this world system of which he is the god) and to transfer them into the Kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). The cross of Christ is the power and wisdom of God and not the achievements of people such as the world champion springbuck team, Madiba or the Soweto Gospel Choir to deliver people from their miseries. God’s way is the way of the CROSS and anyone who rejects it will fall into a state of misery, for the simple reason that the godless have no rest: "Jesus once said: “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”

But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (Isaiah 57:20, 21) (Emphasis added)

The irony is that we want to give the godless peace by convincing them to buy into the four norms and values which, according to Eben McLaren, they themselves determine in any case, i.e. honesty and integrity, fellow-humanness, self-control and responsibility. Paradox . . .? You bet! But then again our post modern society is not only at the brink of a chaotic downfall but full of senseless paradoxes. Oh! if only they would buy into the redemptive values (which they themselves determine) – and no! they do not need to humble themselves before Almighty God and confess that they are lost sinners who need to repent – then there will be peace and tranquillity in our country. What utter nonsense!

The adherents to the Transformations Movement, the Alpha Course, the Latter Rain Movement, the Dominionism, the Emergent Church and the Revivalist preachers who says that we are already in the midst of a revival, are very fond of the verse that declares:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

In spite of the fact that the church (ecclesia) as it exists today – comprising of both Jews and Gentiles because Jesus has broken down the wall of separation between them – was a mystery (“musterion”) in the Old Testament (Ephesians 3:1-8), the church leaders persist in the belief that 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a direct reference to the church. It is nothing less than the abominable Replacement Theology of Augustine and Calvin who proclaimed that Israel as the people of God have been replaced by the church and that all the promises given to Israel have also been transferred to the church. If the believers throughout the world are called God’s people – and indeed the Bible calls all the believers the holy people of God (1 Peter 2:9) – then the believers in South Africa make up a very small part of the entire people of God throughout the world. Does 2 Chronicles 7:14 refer to the entire holy people of God throughout the world who live in different countries or just to the small part of God’s holy people in South Africa? Had it only referred to the small part of believers in South Africa (which did not even exist at the time) then the prophet could hardly have spoken of a people but only of a component of a people. Since the Bride of Christ or the holy people of God as we encounter them in 1 Peter 2:9 are spread throughout the world and live in different countries, you may well ask which country God is supposed to heal when his people return to him with all their heart? Do the heavily persecuted people of God in China need to return to God with all their heart so that God may heal their country from the scourge of Communism? If so, from what do they need to repent – from their devastated lives under the yoke of the Communist’s satanic persecution? No! the prophet does not refer to the church as we know it today but to Israel who has remained God’s people throughout their entire sad history. God is presently gathering them form every corner of the world to their own land in the Middle East where He is going to prepare them during the Great Tribulation for His return. At that particular time the entire remnant of Israel will be saved. Paul speaks of this magnanimous event in Romans 11:25-25 and the prophet Zechariah refers to it in chapters 12, 13 and 14 of his book.

Toward the end of Rev. Jannie Pelser’s sermon a glimmer of hope started to come into my heart when he said with determined conviction that the Word of God is our standard (Galatians 5:22), and that a willy-nilly attitude to the times we live in should no longer be tolerated. He rightly said that every Christian has a role to play in the spreading of the Gospel. But, oh dear, I felt disheartened again when he said that Christians should become involved in making this world a better place. No! Reverend Jannie, the Lord did not send his disciples into this world to make a better place of this world system, of which Satan is the god. He appointed and sent us out to make individual disciples from every nation and to teach them to observe all the things He commanded us, even unto death if necessary. The Bible says that this world will go from bad to worse in the end-times and that your own family members as well as you own children will hate you because you have chosen to follow Jesus Christ. The Lord Himself said so clearly that this world system and world community hated Him first and will therefore also hate his followers. How can we make a better place of this world when it hates Jesus Christ — must we enhance this world to hate Him even more? No! Reverend, your task and my task is to preach the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ without compromise and to contend for the faith once delivered to us by the apostles. Only the people who are of this world and who love this world system feel compelled to make it a better place. The Kingdom of God will be established on this earth only when Jesus returns at His Second Advent. Any other effort to make it a better place here and now will end in a miserable failure every single time. You are wasting your time in trying to rally as many Christians as you can around your idea to make a better place of this world. It is like chaff driven by the wind. The word “better” is the next step in the degrees of comparison, beginning with “good” and ending with “best.” Are you suggesting the this world is “good?” How on earth can this earth be “good” or even “better” when John, the apostle of love, reminds us: “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19).

To the end of his sermon Rev. Jannie Pelser became a little hot-tempered when he began so speak of people who refuse to go along with the project aiming to transform the community into something better. He said:

The time has come for a separation and a cleansing in the church; the time has come for membership registers to be cleaned out and that dead wood be thrown out so that we can become busy with the church and the calling God has given us, namely to equip the saints for their service and we must stop wasting time on people who don’t want to.

Well, that’s a whole mouth full and it makes one wonder who gave Rev. Pelser his mandate to cleanse the churches’ membership registries of dead wood and people who refuse to go along with the churches’ hierarchy. As far as I know, the Lord Jesus is the Head of the church and He alone has the mandate to remove a church’s candlestick, especially when the church lapses into all kinds of erroneous doctrines. Perhaps Rev. Pelser should rather propose that the Dutch Reformed Theological Faculty in Pretoria be cleansed of the professors who no longer believe in the virgin birth and the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. I am aware of many people overseas and locally who are very concerned about the direction the church has taken, especially with regards to the Emergent Church, the Latter Rain Movement, the Dominionist Movement (who proclaims that the entire world must be Christianized and inculcated with communal norms and values before Christ can return), and the Transformations Movement etc. It is precisely these concerned Christians who love Christ and choose to follow and obey Him and who have grown weary to sit under the preaching of the erroneous doctrines of the Emergent Church. that are asked to leave the church when they sound a strong word of warning. They are usually the ones who are regarded as the dead wood who cause divisions in the church. Oh! but that is so Christian-like! Not even Paul, the greatest preacher and missionary of all times, inspired his brethren to get rid of the dead wood. He even encouraged the church at Corinth to receive a man who had committed adultery with his mother in-law back into their fellowship when the man repented of his sin. Here’s how Paul handled the situation and Rev. Pelser, observe and learn:

But if someone [the one among you who committed incest] has caused [all this] grief and pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure, not to put it too severely, [he has distressed] all of you. For such a one this censure by the majority [which he has received is] sufficient [punishment]. So [instead of further rebuke, now] you should rather turn and [graciously] forgive and comfort and encourage [him], to keep him from being overwhelmed by excessive sorrow and despair. I therefore beg you to reinstate him in your affections and assure him of your love for him; For this was my purpose in writing you, to test your attitude and see if you would stand the test, whether you are obedient and altogether agreeable [to following my orders] in everything. (2 Corinthians 2:5-9) (Emphasis added)

Oh dear, it seems as though the Rant n Dal Community Church is not altogether agreeable to follow Paul’s orders and to obey him in everything but rather prefer to get rid of all the dead wood who refuse to follow the erroneous road the church has taken while they hop, skip, jump and sing with joy in their worship of God. Rev. Jannie Pelser continues to say:

That does not mean that they should not be treated as objects for evangelisation, but the church spends far too much time in getting the majority of the congregation who are not involved on board, while there are people who yearn to be equipped so that they may bring this world to the feet of the living Christ. It is time for the prophets to stand up and say” Thus says the Lord. The time has come that we stop making excuses for the standards and norms of God’s Word, despite what people say and that we return to the non-negotiable Word for our spiritual lives. The time has come to decide whether God’s Word is God’s Word.

This may sound like goodly Christian lingo but the irony is that there have been many watchmen on the walls who have voiced their concern over ministers, pastors and prophets who have fallen prey to the false teachings of T. B. Joshua, Erwin McManus, Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Leonard Sweet, Michael Cassidy and many others. Despite these prophets warnings of “Thus says the Lord” the very reverends, ministers and pastors who encourage everyone to listen when they say “Thus says the Lord” continue to plod along in their support of these false prophets and trespass their own command when they proclaim “Thus says the Lord.”

clip_image004The following advert of Rev. Jannie Pelsser’s “Jesus Project” appears with many other organisations on Transformations Africa’s website [1]

The "Jesus Project” addresses the abuse of the Name of God in die media. It has been a grateful and proud partner with "Transformation Africa" for the last five years. The "Jesus Project" wholeheartedly endorses the objectives of "Transformation Africa" and joins in fervent prayer for the nations of this continent and the world. – Jannie Pelser.

I have never truly believed that Christians are called to say to unbelievers: “Stop abusing the Name of God and His Son.” The more you tell them “don’t” the more they do it. Paul describes this phenomenon succinctly in Ephesians 2:1 and 2

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

How can you expect wretched people in whom the prince of the power of the air (the devil) is working to suddenly change their thoughts, their speech and their lifestyle? It is impossible! No project of whatever calibre is going to convince the unbeliever to stop his abuse of God’s Name because it is the prince of the air who provokes them to do so. That does not mean that we should blame the devil for everything. It simply means that the unbeliever is fettered to the devil’s sphere or realm of sin and death. They desperately need to be taken out of this life-sphere of sin and death and to be quickened by God. If we were able to prod people into a lifestyle free of sin, such as to no longer abuse the Name of the Lord, it would not have been necessary for Christ to die on the cross. We would only have needed to tell them: “Stop” . . . and they would have stopped immediately. No! these people need to repent and made alive from the deadly and deathly realm of the prince of the power of the air before the Holy Spirit can empower them to live lives pleasing to the Lord, and to stop abusing the Name of God.

Rev. Pelser continues to say:

The time has come that Christians stand up. More than 80% of our people say they are Christians, and then the time has come for them to stand up against corruption, against everything that is wrong in our society, to take up the weapon of the Spirit, to fight, to start talking about events of the day, to become involved in politics and social affairs. The time has come for Christians to leave their comfort zones and to make an impct on this world.

Again his words are very impressive but are they biblical? I see nowhere in Scripture that the Lord Jesus Christ commanded his disciples to become involved in the Roman Empire’s politics or social affairs. Had they done so they would probably not have been cast into jail and martyred so often. Paul once said:

What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]? God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside. (1 Corinthians 5:12, 13)

Paul never bothered to get involved with his day’s politics or social affairs. He also never gave himself the right to address his community’s corruption, violence and crime. To judge the society, he said, was God’s sole prerogative and not that of the Christians.

Rev. Jannie also said:

The time has come not to bicker over things that are not important.

At first he said that the Christians should begin to fight the good fight and then that they should not strife over unimportant things. Which of these is the most important – to contend for the faith that was once delivered to us by the apostles (Jude 1:3) or to fight for wholesome norms and values in the community? When we take into account what he said at the beginning of his sermon, that the four norms and values – honesty, fellow-humanness, self-control and responsibility – are universal values and not unique to Christianity, it is obvious that he did not mean that we should contend earnestly for our faith but for these four universally accepted norms and values. Let us therefore take Rev. Pelser’s norms and values to our hearts and at least be HONEST and ask ourselves whether the following things are unimportant and if we should ignore them for the sake of communal and universal norms and values.

  1. The gross heresies that some of the professors at the Theological Faculty in Pretoria are still propagating, such as Panentheism and the denial of the virgin birth and physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, not to speak of their denial of the existence of the devil as a real person. Can you believe that these people are educating our young budding clergy of the church?
  2. The endorsement of the teachings of Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt, Erwin McManus and many others by members of the Theological Faculty in Pretoria such as Dr. Nelus Niemandt (who recently wrote a book on the Emergent Church entitled “Nuwe Drome vir Nuwe Werklikhede,” “New Dreams for New Realities”) and Stephan Joubert of the e-church and the Mosaic Church. I voiced my concern on Stephan Joubert’s e-church website over their association with Erwin McManus. They did not even have the Christian decency to answer me and summarily forbade me to write commentaries on their website ever again. Similarly Dr. Hennie Stander ignored my warnings about Rick Warren. He too made it perfectly clear that I am no longer welcome on his blog.
  3. The gross heresies of the Transformations Movement, The Manifest Sons of God, the Latter Rain Movement, the Alpha Course and people like C.P. Wagner, George Otis, Graham Power, and Rick Joyner.

Apparently we may not argue about these matters because they cause divisions within the Christian fold. Paul said:

For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you (1 Corinthians 11:18).

To conclude I would like to say that the most important thing Rev. Jannie Pelser’s list of norms and values lacks, is love. According to Jesus there is one particular thing that determines whether we really love Him, and that is to provide the correct spiritual food and care for His sheep and lambs (John 21:15-17). How can preachers, ministers, pastors and other clergy of the church possibly provide the sheep and lambs with the correct spiritual food and care when they do not contend for the faith that was once delivered by the apostles and ignore the heresies that are spreading like wildfire in our country? Where are the men of God who are supposed to sound the alarm in the power of God’s Spirit? Where are the watchmen on the walls who are supposed to know that if they do not sound any warning the blood of many will be required of them at the day of judgment?

The writing is not on the wall for South Africa because the community of unbelievers fail to implement the four norms and values of the New Heart Foundation and Initiative and Rev. Jannie Pelser; the writing is on the wall because the fraternity of faith has turned its back on God and are presently following false teachings, false prophets and apostles.

clip_image005[1]Jesus is presently standing outside the door of the church and knocking to be given entrance once again into the church but there is hardly anyone who invites Him in. They are instead inviting false Christs and false prophets into their churches and congregations. Rev. Jannie rightly says that God’s judgements begin in the house of God and I’m afraid that these judgments have already begun.


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