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THE ENSIGN MESSAGE

GOSPEL DEFENCE LEAGUE

By

P O Box 587, SEA POINT, 8060 RSA

TEL (021) 510-6854

Email: dscarborough@telkomsa.net

Web: www.gospeldefenceleague.org

July/August/September  2015

Dear  Friends,

On 21 June 201 , five Cuban intelligence officers arrived in South Africa to a heroes’ welcome. They had served fifteen years in a US prison for conspiracy to commit espionage and  murder.  They had  come,  they said, to thank  the  South African people for  having  hastened  their  release,  and  the  South  Africans  thanked  them  for  having  fought  for them in Angola.  Gerardo  Hernandez,  Ramon  Labanino,  Fernando  Gonzalez,  Antonio  Guerrero  and  Rene  Gonzalez were  received  by  the  Department of International  Relations  and  Co-operation and  spent two  weeks  touring the historic  sites  of the   liberation struggle. ‘  Gwede  Mantashe  (general  secretary  of the  ANC  and  chairperson  of the South  African  Communist  Party)   presented  them  to the  nation(s)  on  SATV2’s  programme   “New  Age  Business Briefing,” and  Ahmed  Kathrada,  “an activist  in SA Communist  Party since  his youth,” took them  to  Robben Island.

In Praise of Cuba

The “Cuban Five” described Cuba and its rulers, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, in glowing colours. But who are these leaders and what role have they played? In 1959 they overthrew the regime of General Fulgencio Batista and established communist rule on the island. – Che Guevara  was an  Argentinian  doctor, a dedicated  marxist, who became Fidel Castro’s second in command.  He described himself as  ··one of those people who believe that the  solution to the world‘s problems is to be found behind the Iron Curtain.He became Castro’s executioner , and thousands  were executed  by  him.   Guevara  also established  slave  labour  camps on the pattern  of the  Soviet  Gulags.  1  ) – Fidel Castro, the dictator of Cuba, aligned himself with the Soviets. In 1962 he stationed Russian missi les on the island and threatened the West with nuclear war. In the 1980s he sent troops into Angola to aid Soviet imperialist expansion and fought against anti-communist UNITA freedom fighters and South Africa. In one year alone (1987)  Russia assigned more than a thousand Soviet advisers to Angola, and delivered $1,5 billion in military hardware. The Cuban army, however, suffered great losses at the hands of the South  African  Defence  Force.  Igor Zhdarkin, a  Russian Lt. Col., later published a book with the telling title: We did not see it (such fighting) even in Afghanistan,” and Walter Volker, an East German history professor , wrote: “South Africa’s resistance and success in the field of battle was a direct and significant contributor to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s/early 1990s.” The Cubans and Soviets withdrew their troops and advisers, and Castro executed by firing squad his general in charge, the much  decorated  general  Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez. 2)  South Africa  and the world  were saved  from soviet   domination!

Liberty

It is amazing that in welcoming  the Cuban  Five, a great number  of South Africans enthusiastically  lauded a system   and a country which is still officially listed as “communist”  and “repressive,” where everything  is controlled  by  a materialist worldview and a totalitarian government, and from where millions have fled. For South  Africa  is nearly 80% Christian and as such might be expected to reject communism. The Bible says: “Where the Spirit of the lord is there is liberty, ” (2 Corinthians 3:17) and nations who have experienced  this freedom have enjoyed  peace, progress and success. South Africa, too, owes her special position in sub-Saharan Africa to the power of Jesus Christ. lt is Christians who have known the love of Christ that have succeeded and built benefits  such as hospitals, missions, schools,  universities etc.

Some say that it does not matter what people believe, but as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Prov. 23:7). Though communism has failed and many of its systems collapsed, the underlying philosophy , man-centred Marxism ,  continues to gain ground in the world. Selfish man, craving to be rich and powerful , sets up new rules of right and wrong, and assumes the role of God. What the Bible calls evil, he calls good. Instead of telling others to be holy because  God is holy ( Leviticus  19:2), he appeals to the sinful desires and elevates sin to a virtue.  The Bible  says:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil. who put darkness for light and light for darkness,  who put  bitter for sweet and sweet for  bitter!   Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd  in their own sight.  ” (Is.5:20-21)

Normalising Sin

In South Africa, too, this destructive man-centred religion has made great inroads. It can be seen, for instance, in the shameful treatment meted  out to Zizipho  Pae, a Christian  student at the University  of Cape Town  and vice president  of the Students’ Representative  Counci l  (SRC). When she learned that, in late June 2015, the American  Supreme  Court had legalised same-sex marriages in all 50 states of the USA, she wrote: “We are institutionalising and normalising sin.  May God have mercy on us.” This  “sparked a massive uproar.‘  Her office was trashed, she was vilified, and the UCT management demanded that she retract and apologise. Giving way to the homosexual activists and thei r bullying, they then suspended her.  What was her crime?  It was to honour God and stand for the truth!

The Bible says: God created man in his own image; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them. Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Genesis 1:27) This creation order is the foundation of human society and necessary to secure ongoing generations. God calls homosexuality detestable. “an abomination(Leviticus 18:22), “very grave (Genesis 1 8:20), ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6), uncleanness,lust dishonourable” ( Romans 1 :24 ), “vile affections,” “against nature”( Romans 1 :26), unseemly, “error ” (Romans 1 :27), strange flesh, “fornication (Jude 7), “abomination. ” (Leviticus 20:13), unholy and unclean (Leviticus 10:10), “for by these things the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you.” (Leviticus 18:24) – God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because  they had  legalised perversion! –  ls Zizipho  wrong when she pleads for God ‘s  mercy?

This is only one example of how  man-centred  religion  makes  sin  into  a virtue.  There are many  more.  In  the once Christian  West,  the  law  now  allows  mothers  to  kill  their  children  (abortion)  and  children  to  kill  their  parents (euthanasia ). It allows children to be molested (lowered age of consent), paedophilia to flourish and prostitution to  be  condoned .   The  sacred  ties  of  motherhood,  filial  devotion  and  marital   love  can  be  lawfully  broken  by  cruel  deeds which result in horrible guilt. If it  were  not  for the  redeeming  love  of Christ,  how  could  anyone  ever  escape?  But thankfully, “God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified  by His Blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:8-9)

Christmas and Easter

The same man-centred religion wants to make us forget even  God’s great  seasons of love.  Our most  sacred  Christian holy days have yet again come under threat. The South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) is to examine whether Christmas and Good Friday should remain public holidays or become normal  working  days.  Religious arguments, of course, do not  count, and  so the Gospel  Defence  League  submitted  the  following:

“We arc disappointed that the question of Christian  public  holidays  is coming up again and again.  Public holidays are public. They are for all the people, no matter what their belief or practice. Everybody be fits from them. Yet the SA Law Reform Commission (SALRC) suggests that Christian public holidays cause discrimination toward   non-Christians.

Page 56 of the SALRC discussion paper, citing the Public Holidays Act, states that.. . ·the declaration of the two main Christian holidays as paid public holidays sets about creating a differentiation hetween those who practise Christianity and those who practise other religious faiths in the country whose faith-hased occasions are not included in the holidaysThis provision is a violation of section 9(3) of the Constitution and amounts to directdiscrimination on the basis of religion and belief. Other religions ... are disadvantaged in that their holidays are not declared public holidays and they do not have an automatic benefit  of pay on those days.” –  Let us reply as follows:

  1.   The last census showed  that nearly  80% of all  South Africans self-identify  as Christians.   15% have no religion  and  5%  are Muslim/Hindu/Jewish/African. lf the public holidays were abolished, would not the 80% Christians be discriminated against?
  2. Christmas and Easter are celebrated throughout the world on every continent and in every country. They are the most meaningful religious occasions for Christians and non-Christians  alike
  3.  In observing them the State is not “unfairly discriminating” against non-Christian religions,  because the Public Holidays Act does give non-Christians the right to request paid  leave on one of their own holy days,  e.g. Ramadan  or  Diwali.
  4.  Since 1994 several Christian public holidays were renamed or removed from the national calendar. Ascension Day was removed , and  Easter Monday, Boxing Day, and the Day of the Covenant  renamed.
  5. The 10 other public holidays on the national  calendar are all  secular.

We therefore urge the South African Law Reform Commission, the Department of Home Affairs and all other groups and bodies  involved  in this public  holiday debate, that they do not offend  the vast Christian  community  with  arguments about money and wages, but that they respect their feelings and dignify their religion. The Gospel Defence League demands that the Good Friday and Christmas public  holidays be retained , as they are in most  other civilised  countries. “

Whether  from  Cuba  or  elsewhere,  we  do  not  need  to  import  ideas  and  systems  which  are  bankrupt.    Our  own  present philosophies  are bad  enough.   For  the  same  spirit that  is  inherent  in  communist  systems  has  entered  into  the thinking of the nations and is making great strides in the world. The West, including South  Africa,  is  abandoning  its  Christian foundations  and  betraying  its  Saviour  and  Lord.   It is  time  that  we remembered  that  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven  is a pearl of great price, and that we should give our all to attain it. Jesus Christ is the Pearl.  Let us not lose Him, lest we  be lost.   In  having  Him, we have enough  to  make us  happy  here  and  for ever.

May  God bless  you richly,

D. Scarborough .

Footnotes:

  1. Che Guevara  fomented   revolutions also in  the Congo and  in  Bolivia , where he was  finally shot.  Since then  he has become a counter-cultural icon, a symbol  of rebellion.   Many teen-agers wear T-shirts featuring his  portrait.
  2. General Jannie Geldenhuys, How the Soviets and Cubans lost the War in Southern Africa, a compendium to We were there. Kraal Uitgewers.


HUMAN NATURE AND UNNATURAL HOMOSEXUALITY

By Rev Prof Dr Francis Nigel Lee, Australia

 (In view of the re-definition of marriage by the USA Supreme Court, we reissue this Bible study on homosexuality ).

God, according to His law of nature, made the animals male and female – intending them to be fruitful and to multiply.

“So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged  bird  according to its kind.  And  God  saw that  it was good.  God blessed  them  and said, ‘Be fruitful  and  increase in number  and fill the water  in the seas, and  let the  birds  increase   on  the  earth …’  God made the  wild  animals  according to their  kinds, the  livestock  according  to their  kinds,  and   all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:21-25) “Now the LORD had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air . .. The man gave names to the livestock … But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep… and made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:19-25)

“The LORD then said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark . .. Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.”‘ (Genesis 7:1-7f))

“Then God said to Noah: ‘I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that  was with  you – the birds, the livestock  and all the wild  animals, all those that came out  of the ark with you – every living creature on earth … Never  again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I  will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between   God and  all  living creatures of every  kind  on the earth.”‘ (Genesis  9:9-16)

According to the same law of nature, God then created also in His image man male and female, and commanded  them  too to be fruitful and multiply.

“Then God  said, ‘Let us make  man  in  our image,  in  our likeness,  and let them  rule  over the fish  of the  sea and   the  birds  of the  air,  over  the  livestock, over  all  the  earth,  and  over  all  the  creatures  that  move  along  the  ground.’ So God  created  man  in  his  own  image … male  and  female  he  created  them.  God  blessed  them  and  said  to  them, ‘Be fruitful  and  increase  in  number;  fill  the  earth  and  subdue  it . ..” (Genesis 1:26-28)

“Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh .” (Genesis 2:20-25)

“God said to Noah … I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark – you and your sons and your  wife  and  your  sons’  wives  with  you.”  (Genesis 6:18)

“All the animals and all the creatures… came out of the ark, one kind  after another.” (Genesis  8:18f)

“Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth . .. multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” (Genesis 9:1 -7)

Homosexuality is not only against God’s law of nature, but is also essentially unfruitful. For lesbians and sodomites  cannot  produce any offspring at  all.

“They exchanged  the truth  of God for a lie, and worshipped  and served created things  rather than   the Creator. .. Because of  this,  God  gave  them  over  to  shameful  lusts.  Even  their  women  exchanged  natural  relations for  unnatural  ones,  in  the  same way  the  men  also  abandoned  natural  relations  with  women  and  were  inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the penalty for  their perversion.” (Romans  1:22-2:16)

It is also probable that homosexuality was one of the sins God punished capitally, during Noah’s great Flood.

“The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time… So the LORD said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, off from the face of the earth – men and animals… for I am grieved that I have made them.”‘ (Genesis 6:1-11 )

“If God did not spare the ancient world when  he brought  the flood on  its ungodly  people, but protected Noah …  If he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah  by  burning  them to ashes… and if he rescued  Lot … if this  is  so, then  the  Lord knows how to rescue godly men  from trials.” (2 Peter  2:5-8)

Certainly because of homosexuality, and possibly also for bestiality, the LORD wiped out the inhabitants of Sodom  and Gomorrah.

‘Then the LORD said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me . ..’ The LORD said, ‘If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake….’ Then Abraham said, ‘May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?’ He answered, ‘For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”‘ (Genesis 18:20-32)

“Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom – both young and old – surrounded the house. They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them … ‘ The two men said to Lot, ‘Do you have anyone else here – sons-in-law , sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you ? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place.”‘ (Genesis 19:4-24)

”Sodom and Gomorrah  and the surrounding towns gave themselves  up to sexual  immorality and   perversion. They  serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment  of eternal  fire.” (Jude 7)

Similarly, under  the Mosaic Law, God  again  prescribed  capital punishment  for all practising homosexuals.

“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Do not have sexual relations with an animal . .. Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.” ( Leviticus 18:22-30)

”If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.  They must be put to death; their blood  will  be on their own heads …  lf a man has sexual relations with an animal, he must be   put to death, and you must  kill the animal.” (Leviticus 20:13-22f)

“A woman must not wear men ‘s clothing, nor a man women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.” ( Deuteronomy 22:5)

”No Israelite man  or woman  is to become  a temple prostitute.” ( Deuteronomy  23:17f)

Also under the New Testament, the Apostle Paul declares that practising lesbians and sodomites had sinned with “vile affections… against nature.” They were “burned out with lust toward one another” in “their error” – having a “reprobate mind” and being “worthy of death.”  (Romans  1:26-2:14f)

None who continue in sodomy and keep on being “abusers of themselves with mankind … shall inherit the Kingdom of God.” Mercifully, some turn away from that sin – by becoming practising Christians.

”Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” ( 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Thus the Law was made against the lawless and disobedient – for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane; for murderers… and them that defile themselves with mankind.”(1  Timothy 1:9f)

The Apostle Peter warns even Christians against “false teachers in their midst who secretly shall bring in damnable heresies” such as those of condoning lesbianism and sodomy. “God did not spare the old world but saved Noah,” while “bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” God went on to “turn the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes” – and “condemned them by overthrow.” The LORD made them “an example to those who would later persist in ungodly living.” Thus, for the “filthy behaviour of the wicked” and their “unlawful deeds” – God continues to “reserve the unjust until the day of judgment to be punished.” (2 Peter 2:1 -8)

Also, the Apostle Jude warns Christians against “ungodly men” who keep on “turning the grace of our God  into lasciviousness.”  Such  include  those  like the  inhabitants  of  “Sodom  and Gomorrah  and  the cities surrounding them.” They kept on “giving themselves over to sexual immoralities and going after strange flesh,” i.e. a queer carnality. Such “are set forth as an example – and suffer the vengeance  of everlasting  fire.”  (Jude 4-7)

Finally, both the Apostle John and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself teach that “whoremongers” and suchlike “shall have their part in the lake which keeps on burning with fire and brimstone – which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

Yet, as regards Christians, i.e. the true children of God: “Blessed are they who keep on doing His Commandments, and continue to have the right to the tree of life; and enter in through the city-gates “of the New Jerusalem, both the Christian Church and the Heavenly City. We pray that many homosexuals may seek and find the Lord Jesus Christ who can release them from bondage and grant them the glorious freedom of the children of God.

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