South African President Thabo Mbeki delivered an address at the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture, held at Wits University on the 29th July 2006. This was broadcast on SABC 2 on the 30th July. I am going to quote sections of his speech at length, without comment at first, so that the reader may take in all the relevant portions of the speech together; and then I will dissect it and comment on various sections of it. To those with eyes to see, it gives a picture of the kind of South Africa envisaged by our Communist leaders, as well as (horrifyingly) the way they continue to distort the Scriptures to suit themselves, by their heresy known as “liberation theology” (religious Communism).
The Bible says, “Honour the king [ruler]” (1 Pet.2:17); and, “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour” (Rom. 13:7). Thabo Mbeki is president of South Africa, and as such, for the sake of the office he holds, he must be honoured by all Christians in the land; but the Bible shows that it is not inconsistent with the commandment to honour the head of State, to point out his sins or wrongdoings (e.g. Lk. 3:19,20; Acts 24:24,25). If a ruler is a “fox”, for example, it is not sinful to say so (Lk. 13:31,32); and if a president preaches Marxism, or falsely quotes the Holy Scriptures, this may certainly be exposed. But this must be done with proper regard for his office (e.g. Acts 26:24-27); for regardless of the personal character of the man holding the office, God in His sovereignty has permitted him to be there (Rom. 13:1-7). Honour must be given because of the office he holds, not because of the personal character of the man occupying the office, who may not in his personal character be worthy of honour at all. We may abhor his deeds, but honour him for the office he holds, and pray for him.
This is what he said:
“The book of Proverbs, in the Holy Bible, contains some injunctions that capture a number of elements of what I believe constitute important features of the spirit of ‘Ubuntu’, which would strive to implant in the very bosom of the New South Africa that has been born, the food of the soul that would inspire all our people to say that they are proud to be South African.
“The Proverbs say, ‘Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.’
“The book of Proverbs assumes that as human beings, we have the capacity to do as it says: not to withhold the good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of our hand to do it; and not to say no to our neighbour, ‘Come again, and we will give you something tomorrow’, even when we can give the necessary help today. It says that we can be encouraged not to devise evil against our neighbours, with whom we otherwise live in harmony. It assumes that we are capable of responding to the injunction that we should not declare war against anybody without cause, especially those who have not caused us any harm. It urges that in our actions we should not seek to emulate the demeanour of our oppressors, nor adopt their evil practices.
“All revolutions, which by definition seek to replace one social order with another, are in the end, and in essence, concerned with human beings and the improvement of the human condition. This is also true of our democratic revolution of 1994.
“As distinct from other species of the animal world, human beings also have spiritual needs…. Thus do all of us, and not merely the religious leaders, speak of the intangible element that is immanent in all human beings – the soul.”
(Mr Mbeki then proceeded to attack Capitalism, and said “white society” in the past was dominated by the desire to accumulate wealth, by the exploitation of the blacks. He then blamed the fact that, after 1994, society continued to be dominated by personal acquisition of wealth, and thus crime, etc., on the historical reality of white Capitalist rule!).
“R.H. Tawney wrote in his famous book, ‘Religion and the Rise of Capitalism’: ‘…granted that I should love my neighbour as myself, the questions which… remain for solution are, Who precisely is my neighbour? And how exactly am I to make my love for him effective in practice?’ To these questions, the conventional religious teachings, said Tawney, supplied no answer, for it had not even realised that these questions could be put. Religion had not yet learned to console itself for the practical difficulty of applying its moral principles by clasping the comfortable formula that for the transactions of economic life, no moral principles exist.”