Angus Buchan’s “Day of Prayer” in the South African Parliament
On the 24th November 2017, prominent South African Charismatic preacher, Angus Buchan, was the speaker at a “Day of Prayer” held in the South African parliament. “Church” leaders from all over South Africa were invited, and attended. And not surprisingly, Buchan and his followers hailed it as a wonderful blessing and a sign of great things to come in South Africa.
But it was not.
Much could be said about the unbiblical teachings of Angus Buchan, but this article is only an analysis of two events in November 2017. For further information the reader is referred to my article, Faith Like Potatoes, or Biblical Faith? which examines the message in the movie that was made about his life. He has held massive Charismatic meetings across South Africa and in other parts of the world. The Pentecostal/Charismatic phenomenon is one of the greatest false religious movements in the world, enthusiastically embraced by tens of millions of people who have been mesmerised by its claims to “signs and wonders”, “miracles and healings”, and “speaking in tongues and prophesying”. For a detailed examination of these things, we refer the reader to another article, and to recorded sermons. Now among all the other false teachings and claims of the movement, a prominent one is that the world is either on the brink of, or already experiencing, a massive revival, with multitudes “turning to the Lord” and “accepting Jesus” via the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. This is all confidently claimed to be the work of the Holy Spirit.
It has been a mighty coup for the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement that over the past few decades it has come to be accepted as part of what is called “Evangelicalism” (but which is really the heresy of “New Evangelicalism”). In earlier and better times, true Evangelicalism would never have welcomed Pentecostals and Charismatics as Evangelicals. But within “New Evangelicalism”, which is nothing but Liberalism in an Evangelical dress, there is plenty of room to welcome almost everyone who broadly “accepts Jesus as Saviour” as a brother or sister in Christ. This includes Pentecostals, Charismatics, Roman Catholics, Liberals, and many others.
And so it was that when Buchan and his supporters took over the South African parliament for this “Day of Prayer”, multitudes hailed it as the most wonderful thing. But it was anything but biblical. And in the very nature of the case it could not possibly have been biblical, given the false teachings of the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement, and the religious leaders gathered for the event.
New Evangelicalism and Liberation Theology
An article about this “Day of Prayer” was written by one Ashley Cloete, described as a missionary, intercessor and author (although of what particular religious persuasion we are not told). This man, a descendant of slaves and of the Khoi people, is obviously quite deeply influenced by the heretical teaching of “liberation theology”, which is Communism dressed up as “Christianity”; and yet even so he felt perfectly comfortable at the Buchan event at parliament, and praised it highly. The reason he could feel this way is simple: New Evangelicalism is welcoming of anyone who (as they say) “loves Jesus”. It never discerns between truth and error; between true doctrine and false. New Evangelicals don’t care if someone espouses radical leftist or even Communist ideology, even when it is dressed up in religious clothes.
He wrote that “one speaker after the other recalled laws that had affected my life down the years such as the Group Areas Act and the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. As a result of the former law and the related practice of so-called ‘slum clearance’, almost all the buildings and places of memories of my childhood have been eradicated and the latter law was the reason for my exile of just over 18 years.” Wait a minute: if all these people had gathered to pray for the present state of the country, what was he doing blathering on about long-defunct apartheid laws, instead of focusing entirely on the shocking state of South Africa under its present leadership? All those things from the past might indeed be true and very sad for Mr Cloete personally – but hardly relevant to present-day conditions in South Africa. Yet he was far less concerned about the present government’s “reverse apartheid” against white South Africans than he was about the old government’s apartheid laws, which have been dead and gone for a quarter of a century! Nor did he utter a word about the fact that white South Africans’ history is now being eradicated by the present government! This is typical selective indignation by those who fall for aspects of Satan’s lie of Marxist-inspired liberation theology, who have been brainwashed into thinking that the real or imagined sins of whites, under Colonialism and apartheid, are infinitely worse than anything any black Communist-inspired government might presently be doing.
A Woman Stands Up and Claims to Repent on Behalf of All Whites
Cloete then related how the events of the day transpired. It was shocking and anti-biblical, to say the very least.
One Anneke Rabie was called to the podium as co-MC. Cloete wrote: “Her moving prayer of confession on behalf of Whites for the hurts and effects of apartheid legislation is below.” Wait just a minute! A quarter of a century after apartheid officially ended, this woman stood up to pray a prayer of “confession on behalf of whites” for apartheid legislation? South Africans have lived through a quarter of a century of a Communist-dominated government and legislation almost unbelievable in its immorality and wickedness – and all this foolish woman could pray for was something which came to an end long, long ago! It was just another opportunity to blame whites for everything wrong in South Africa. It’s just so much easier than putting the blame where it really belongs. It’s just so politically correct. Remember this: “the issue” is never really the issue. It is just the excuse needed.
Let it be crystal clear: this woman was not praying “on behalf of whites”. To do that, all white South Africans would have had to authorise her to pray on their behalf – and such authorisation was certainly never given! Men like King Solomon prayed publicly on behalf of God’s people – but they were the divinely appointed representatives and mouthpieces of the people. But apart from those who know this woman personally – family, friends, and any others who may be so foolish as to look up to her as some kind of spiritual leader – South Africa’s millions of whites have never even heard of her, let alone appointed her to be their spokeswoman! It would be laughable if it wasn’t so arrogant.
To be fair, in his article Cloete did say: “The confessions on behalf of blacks, for example for the farm murders and other atrocities inspired by hatred of whites and then perpetrated by Blacks, were just as moving.” But that was pretty much the sum of his cursory acknowledgment of sins and crimes committed by blacks against whites. And yet these are the very crimes being committed today, making SA a land of violence and bloodshed and amounting to thousands and thousands of murders every year – far worse than anything that was ever committed under apartheid! But as with all those infected with the heresy of liberation theology, whites are always far more evil than anyone else, and it was Rabie’s prayer, confessing “on behalf” of whites, which Cloete was most excited about and covered in detail.
In truth, of course, the only blacks who could really repent of farm murders and other atrocities against whites are blacks who have actually committed these crimes – not some self-appointed “confessor” standing up to “confess” on their behalf!
Honouring a Revolutionary
Then: “A few minutes into her own confessional speech and prayer Anneke Rabie called Dr Mamphela Ramphele to the podium, apologising on behalf of the whites. Dr Ramphele was the co-founder of the Black Consciousness Movement and co-leader of the South African Student Organisation (SASO) with the late Steve Biko.” To which we ask: what was this woman doing there? If this really was a “Day of Prayer” by people solely interested in a spiritual change being wrought in SA, what was a woman who associated with some of the most radical and revolutionary black movements of the 1970s and beyond doing at the podium? If, since those days, she herself had truly repented of her sins and been converted to Christ, she would have publicly said so, and repudiated her past involvement with those movements – but this she has not done. Pentecostalism/Charismatism has always been unbiblical, but in the past, at least, it was not politically liberal or revolutionary/Communist; yet Communist liberation theology has now penetrated into New Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism/Charismatism.
Let us examine this woman’s so-called “prayer”.
White-Bashing in Full Swing at the Event
“Father, I submit this afternoon before You and ask that You will help me to pray this prayer of repentance. I stand before You and every Black, Coloured and Indian person of SA. I stand in the gap as a White Afrikaner woman. I stand for all White people in SA – both Afrikaans and English. I stand for the White people of the past, present and future generations. I also stand in the gap for those White people of SA whose hearts are hard and who will never say sorry.”
What arrogance! What unbiblical nonsense! She could not stand for past or future generations; and she did not stand for the present generation of white South Africans. All men and women are sinners, and when we sin against someone else we are to repent of it. But unless deputed to do so on behalf of others in a public prayer, no person can “say sorry” for anything other than his or her own sins. This woman was deceived, as were all those who said Amen to this religious rubbish.
“I want to ask forgiveness today to all my fellow Black, Coloured and Indian South Africans,” she harped on. “We, as White people have sinned against you and today almost 40 years after the Soweto riots and killings we are here in Soweto to repent unconditionally.” We are not sure why she said “we are here in Soweto”, as parliament is not in Soweto. Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue. But again, she cannot “ask forgiveness” on behalf of others unless they have authorised her to do so – and she was certainly not authorised to do so. As for white people sinning against other people, of course it is true that many did, and still do – but it is just as true that many black people and other people sinned against white people too, and still do. This goes on every single day, and always will, all over the world, because all are sinners. No one race has the monopoly on sinful behaviour towards others. As for bringing up the Soweto riots of far-distant 1976, this is just typical liberation theology garbage: the real story behind those riots is nothing like what she intimated in her pathetic prayer.
But she was far from done with her abject grovelling while claiming to speak for all whites.
“I want to ask forgiveness for the way we treated you [again, lady, two words in reply: no authorisation]. I repent of the pride of the White people [this may be news to Rabie, but all people are filled with pride, not just whites]. I repent that we thought that we are better than you [another news flash for Rabie: almost all races think they are better than others; many blacks today are firmly convinced they are better than whites – just ask Julius Malema and his cronies]. It is a sin [so is murder, rape, the theft of property, abortion, homosexuality, and a whole host of other things being committed now, under the present government – but she didn’t mention these. Surprise, surprise]. I repent for the way that we shamed, humiliated and oppressed you, your mothers, your fathers, your brothers, your sisters, your uncles and your aunts [why did she stop there? Why not go even further back? Why not “repent” for things committed by others a hundred years ago, or a thousand? It’s just as absurd to do that, as it is to “repent” for things committed by others just a few decades ago. Once this door is opened, there’s no end to the lunacy of “repenting” for real or imagined sins in the past].”
“I ask for forgiveness for the killings, for the people who died under the evil system of Apartheid [what about the people who have died under the infinitely more evil system of Communism and black nationalism since the ANC took power? And what about the killings committed by ANC terrorists against innocent people during the apartheid era?]. I ask forgiveness for the people that died in Sharpeville, Soweto and many other places. I especially ask forgiveness for the death of the children who died in Sharpeville, Soweto and many other places [perhaps she is just ignorant of the fact that the revolutionaries deliberately pushed children to the forefront of any riots, sacrificing them so that they could claim that the “evil apartheid system” murdered children. We would like to think that she just spoke from utter ignorance, so we will give her the benefit of the doubt].”
“I repent,” she then said, “for the inferior education that you received under apartheid [the education blacks received in SA was the best on the whole continent, under apartheid; and their education now is among the worst in the whole world!]…. I repent that we robbed you of a proper education [strange, then, that Mandela and so many others obtained high qualifications in many fields, under apartheid, and even at times in prison! But of course she would remain mute about that].”
She rambled on, asking forgiveness for a whole host of things; and then added:
“As a woman and a mother, I want to repent on behalf of all white women that influenced our husbands and children to be racist and to treat you harshly.” No more need be said about her arrogant claim to be repenting on behalf of an entire racial group: the woman was on a mission and there was no stopping her. But then she said:
“I thank God and you for staying true to the gospel of Jesus Christ in these terrible times of apartheid.” Oh, really? The so-called “black” churches were shot through and through with Marxist liberation theology, and preached this heresy to its utmost. The “gospel of Marx” is not the Gospel of Christ! It is a diabolical lie, a satanically inspired message from hell.
“Above all I want to repent today of the way the Church condoned Apartheid and because of that many turned away from God.” Not a word about how the other “Church”, the revolutionary false “Church”, the Marxism-inspired “Church”, condoned Communism in the Name of Christ and turned multitudes away from God by that!
“Lord, please quiet the blood that is calling out over our nation that was spilt during the Apartheid years. Lord please turn the tide and heal our land,” she ended. What about the blood that has been spilt since apartheid ended? What about SA having the reputation of the most violent land in the world outside of a war context – not under apartheid, but ever since apartheid ended and under the ruling ANC/Communist Party alliance? This woman prayed for “healing the land” based on her distorted view of a time in history that ended a quarter of a century ago – yet not for “healing the land” that has been drenched in blood ever since the ANC of Nelson Mandela came to power!
Just How Far Back will They Go, “Confessing” Sins?
But Anneke Rabie was not the only one who prayed that day. Another unbiblical prayer was also offered up at the event by Steve Swart, a member of parliament for the African Christian Democratic Party. He “confessed the anti-Semitism of the government during” – wait for this, it’s priceless! – “World War II years when Jews who had fled the Holocaust in Germany, were not allowed to disembark in Cape Town.” I beg your pardon? Did he really say World War Two? Didn’t that end 72 years ago?
Do you see what is happening? It starts with “confessing” the sins, real or imagined, of a quarter of a century ago; but once that door is cracked open, someone will always push it open even more and start to “confess” things which happened even earlier still – such as (in this case) over 70 years ago! As if people alive today can confess and repent of sins committed by people who are dead! It is ludicrous, nay it is lunacy – and yet has become so fashionable. Where will it end? Will we see someone claiming to repent on behalf of the British Empire for its treatment of Afrikaners during and after the Anglo-Boer War? What about the sins committed by the ancient Romans against the Jews in AD 70 – will some misguided fool stand up and start confessing those? Or perhaps a self-appointed “confessor” for the Israelites who annihilated the Canaanites upon entering the promised land will emerge out of the woodwork to claim his fifteen minutes of fame on some podium? What about some Egyptian standing up and “confessing” Pharaoh’s murder of baby Israelite boys, and of enslaving the entire Israelite nation? And could someone please “ask forgiveness” for poor old Cain, who was too hard-hearted himself to repent for killing his brother Abel?
Hey, in for a penny, in for a pound – why not confess the sin of Adam himself, which plunged the entire human race into misery?
Prayer for Rain
And where was Angus Buchan in all this? Cloete wrote: “Not surprisingly – the cherry on top of the cake was the relatively short speech and the terse, powerful prayer for rain of the unique pastor Angus Buchan. A few times ‘AMEN!!!’ would roar out loud through the auditorium!” Ah, that seals it then: as long as there were some loud “Amens”, it must have been a Christian event. Harp on and on about the “sins” of whites and of a political system which ended in the early 1990s; give a cursory nod to sins and crimes committed by others, both in the present as well as far back in the mid-twentieth century; and then? – pray for rain. And they dare to think that all this is acceptable to the Most High?
There is NO Revival in South Africa – and Pentecostalism/Charismatism Can’t Drum One Up
The “Day of Prayer” at parliament was hailed as a great moment in the country’s history, a wonderful opportunity, and the beginning of amazing things.
But Buchan, his multitudes of followers, and the millions of South African Charismatics and Pentecostals have been misled into believing two extremely serious errors: first, that South Africa is experiencing a spiritual revival, and second, that South Africa is a Christian country. Neither one of these assumptions is true.
Nor do those who believe these two errors appear to notice that the second error (if it was true) does away with the need for the first one: if SA is already a Christian country, then there is no need for a spiritual revival – for in a true spiritual revival large numbers of unconverted people hear the Gospel and believe savingly in Christ. If SA is already a Christian country, then the vast majority of the population is already Christian anyway.
As far as SA presently experiencing a spiritual revival is concerned, this is just the SA version of a fantasy as old as Pentecostalism itself. From its very inception, Pentecostalism has always claimed that it has brought great revival wherever it has spread. Yet the facts never bear out the claim. Throughout the twentieth century and now well into the twenty-first, we constantly hear that revival is happening in this country or that one. But who, inevitably, makes these claims? Some popular mega-star of the Pentecostal/Charismatic universe. Whoever holds the biggest meetings, whoever performs the greatest “miracles”, is always quick to say that revival is occurring under his “ministry”. But the unbiblical nature of Pentecostalism and its even more heretical sister, Charismatism, means that God will never bring about a revival through this means. The sovereign Lord does not bless false doctrine and false practices!
Besides, simple observation, and examination of the facts, proves conclusively that no revival is occurring. If SA really was experiencing a heaven-sent revival, the country would be a very different place from what it actually is! If the multitudes of people who attend gigantic meetings, rallies and conferences held by men such as Buchan were truly converted to Christ, the glorious fruits of such a mass conversion would be very evident on the streets, in the offices, and in the homes of these people across the nation. This, after all, is the effect genuine spiritual revivals had in the past. Bars and movie houses would be losing business and closing down; women would be dressing modestly and men would not be returning home after work to flop into their armchairs with a beer in one hand and the TV remote in the other; genuine New Testament churches would be springing up, overseen by true men of God; the charlatans lording it over their heretical “mega-churches” would be preaching their lying messages to empty auditoriums; and so much more. But is this what SA looks like? Not in the slightest. In fact, most Charismatics see nothing wrong with drinking and revelling, soaking up worldly entertainment, dressing immodestly, sounding and acting just like the people of the world – yet bouncing up and down to the worldly music in their “churches” on Sunday mornings. Pray tell: if this is the fruit of a revival, how are those who are supposedly affected by it different from the millions of others who never darken the door of a “church” building?
No, there is no heaven-sent revival presently occurring in SA. It is insulting to the Lord to even make such a false claim, when all the evidence is solidly against it.
Desiring a “Christian Theocracy”: the Blurring of “Church” and State
As far as SA being a Christian country is concerned, this is as much a fallacy as the first error. Here’s the plain truth: SA is not, never has been, and never will be a Christian country. For this to be the case,
the overwhelming majority of people in a particular country would have to be true Christians. Not churchgoers; not nominal Christians; not professing Christians – true Christians! But this has never been the case and never will be, because few find that narrow way that leads to life, and many walk down that broad way that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13,14). This is as true today as it has always been and always will be.
Of the 75% or 80% of South Africans who think they are Christians, how many are Papists? This accounts for millions of them – and they are not true Christians. How many belong to one or other of what are called the “African traditional churches”, which are a mixture of some elements of Christianity and a great deal of outright African heathenism and ancestor worship? Millions belong to these – and they are not true Christians. And what about all those belonging to the liberal, Christ-denying, Gospel-denying, once-Protestant “churches”, today so far departed from the true Gospel as to be nothing but “social justice” clubs, political parties at prayer, and politically correct versions of the old “freak shows” in a religious disguise? This accounts for the majority of these once-Protestant denominations – and their millions are not true Christians either. Then lastly, there are all the others: Arminian, Pentecostal, Charismatic, and who-knows-what-other “churches, proclaiming all kinds of doctrinal errors and permitting all kinds of worldliness. Most of their adherents are not true Christians either.
No, South Africa is not a Christian country. No country in the world has ever been a Christian country, and no country ever will be. And those who think such a thing actually exists have, firstly, broadened the term “Christian” to include all kinds of people to whom it does not belong, and, secondly, they have blurred the clear, biblical distinction between the State and the “Church”!
Multitudes professing to be “Christians” can’t see this; yet it was correctly pointed out by one Patrick Pillay, not a Christian but the author of an incisive article on the “Day of Prayer”. Although his article contained some of the usual liberal twaddle about apartheid and praised the ultra-liberal SA constitution, he was nevertheless 100% correct when he wrote: “For all intents and purposes, the South African Parliament on the afternoon of 24 November became a Christian church. From the opening prayer and address of Christian supremacist Reverend Kenneth Meshoe [leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, an opposition party in parliament] to the closing address and prayer of evangelist Angus Buchan, it was patently obvious that this was about power and matters of public policy in the here and now. From Reverent Meshoe declaring that ‘this place will never be the same again’ to the preaching of Pastor Angus Buchan in his address, ‘I don’t know another nation in the world who can take over Parliament and repent for three hours… It’s time for Christians in this nation to stand up and be counted… There is not another government that will allow Christians to dominate Parliament.’”
In saying such a thing, Buchan gave the impression that the SA government was either already Christian, or at the very least favourably inclined towards Christianity. Nothing could be further from the truth. The ruling party in parliament is made up of men and women who are former terrorists, who led a violent revolution against the State so as to take power. What’s more, this very same government legalised such abominations as abortion and homosexuality – which Buchan (to his credit) has condemned. This very same government is constantly seeking to restrict religious freedom, to control all pastors and churches, and reveals its anti-Christian bias in a thousand and one ways. Yet there he was, talking as if this government favoured Christianity, just because it permitted prayer in parliament in this way. This is so utterly naive and foolish as to leave one astonished.
The New Testament is crystal clear: the State and the “Church” (I write it this way because I refer both to the true Church and to the merely professing “Church”) are two entirely separate things. It is simply not the purpose of the true Church of Jesus Christ to christianize the State – although the false “Church” will often attempt to do so. Pentecostals are not unique in blurring the two: many other professing Christians do so as well. They think they are serving God when they christianize society – yet they are unable to point to a single Scripture which authorises them to do so.
The mission of the true Church (which consists only of truly regenerated and converted souls) in this world is to glorify and worship God by living separate from the world (2 Cor. 6:14-18) and living in holiness (2 Cor. 7:1); by preaching the Gospel to the people of the world that the elect among them may be saved (Matt. 28:19,20); and by being the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-16). Its mission in the world is not to turn any country into a theocracy. And yet truly, “this [the Buchan “Day of Prayer”] was advocacy for a Christian theocracy, writ large.”
And that, dear reader, should make the blood run cold! Not only have they confused “Church” and State by seeking to blend the two together in this way and assuming that this is the mission of the “Church”, but they have also revealed that what they would truly love to see in South Africa is some kind of theocracy. This is always an extremely dangerous situation, which history proves to have been the cause of innumerable abominations in one country after another. Israel in the Old Testament was the only divinely-sanctioned theocracy in the history of the world. In the New Testament period the Gospel is to go into all the world, and men and women from all the nations of the earth will be converted, forming the true Christian Church. The true Church will never be equated with the State. The Church is a new, “holy nation” (1 Pet. 2:9), made up of believers from all nations. The true Church consists only of those who have been born from above, not of those who are born into a particular earthly nation.
Ever since the Roman Emperor Constantine made his false version of “Christianity” the State religion, “Christian theocracy” (falsely so called) has led to the persecution of those who disagree with the official “State Church” position: the Roman Catholic system throughout the Dark Ages and into modern times; the “State Churches” of England, Scotland, Germany, Holland, Russia; and so many others. Since a “State Church” is never, and can never be, biblical Christianity (the two are mutually exclusive), this means it will always be a hybrid, unbiblical and ultimately intolerant of dissent. But many Pentecostal/Charismatics subscribe to the heretical Dominionist/Kingdom Now theology, which advocates that Christians need to take over the world and occupy positions of power everywhere. When multitudes of professing “Christians” in a country start to believe this error, they are falling right into a modern version of the same terrible “State Church” monstrosity held by Rome to this day, and by the various Protestant “State Church” advocates of earlier centuries.
With the above in mind, Patrick Pillay made an extremely valid point when he wrote: “Consider the possibility of a Hindu nationalist majority calling for a public order based on Hindu precepts for South Africa, or a South Africa based upon Zionist principles, or for Muslims calling for an Islamic caliphate. Religious theocracies, Christian or otherwise, do not square with the South African Constitution and are a bad idea. Period.” The fact that it doesn’t square with the SA constitution (a document we abhor) is irrelevant, but the rest of what he said was absolutely correct, and we would simply put it this way: Religious theocracies, “Christian” or otherwise, are a very, very bad idea. Period. He can see it, but so many professing “Christians” can’t. They have been imbibing false doctrine for so long.
India, right now, has just such a Hindu nationalist party in power – and Christians are facing increasing persecution there as a result. And we all know that wherever Islam is in power, persecution of Christians follows. No professing Christian in South Africa would want to see a Hindu, Zionist or Islamic theocracy ruling the land. But, as proved by the “Catholic State Church” of the Constantinian period and afterwards, the Papal “State Church” during the Dark Ages (and beyond), the Lutheran “State Church” in Germany, the Anglican “State Church” in England, and various other examples, persecution inevitably follows even when the State religion claims (albeit falsely) to be a “Christian” one.
And it’s not good enough to airily say, “South Africa is 75% or 80% Christian, therefore it is a Christian country and should be governed as a Christian country.” Even ignoring for the moment the self-evident fact that the majority of the SA population is not truly Christian, history reveals that a majority today can so easily become a minority tomorrow – and what then? If, when the country is supposedly comprised of a majority of “Christians”, they have the right to impose a “Christian theocracy” on the land, then should the day ever arrive when the majority is comprised of some other religion, they would then have the same right! And not one “Christian theocracy” advocate could open his mouth in protest.
Everything about this “Day of Prayer” at the SA parliament was unbiblical. Paul and the other apostles did not try to christianize the Roman Empire of their day. Caesar has his place and his work, but it is not the place of the “Church” to make Caesar, or his State, “Christian”. If, as an individual, Caesar is ever converted, he is to join a true Christian church as a member just like anyone else; but that is a different matter entirely.
True Christians, and even merely professing “Christians”, rightly claim that the State has no business ruling over the family or the Church; but then they cannot in the same breath claim that the Church (whether the true Church or the merely professing “Church”) has the right to rule over the State! Taking over parliament for a religious service might seem like a great idea to some, but what happens when the reverse occurs, and parliament decides to take over religious services? Legislation being considered right now, relating to the regulation of all churches in SA by forcing pastors and churches to register with the State, will do precisely that if passed into law: churches will be under the control of the State.
What great harm these people do under the banner of “Christianity”! Tragically, the world does not know the difference between true and false Christianity, and just assumes that what it is witnessing is Christian.
Buchan Honoured as a “Legend” at the SA Men of the Year Awards
In November 2017 at Carnival City Casino in Johannesburg, South Africa, four men were honoured as “legends” at the finals of the SA Men of the Year Awards, sponsored by the government of the province of Gauteng. They were a poet and author, a cricket administrator, and two preachers – one of whom was Angus Buchan! They were presented with the awards acknowledging their impact as role models for men.
All this would be bad enough. Imagine the Lord Jesus Christ receiving an award, or being described as a “legend”, by the government of His day! South Africa is a country (mis)governed by men who are former Communists or Communist-influenced terrorists, whose party came to power after waging an armed and bloody revolution against the previous government. This government has jettisoned almost every single moral restraint in society, sanctioning the most flagrantly vile immorality under the sun – and a man claiming to be a Christian evangelist receives an award sponsored by such a government, precisely for his supposed “Christian” work? Purporting to be a disciple of the lowly Jesus, he accepts the “honour” of being described as a “legend” by the people of the world!
But as bad as all this was, it was made even worse by what Buchan actually said at the event.
“I have never heard a crowd at a secular event talk so openly about Jesus Christ – anywhere in the world,” he enthused. “From the time we walked in to the time we walked out at 12 people only spoke about one person – Jesus Christ.” Talking about Christ openly is one thing – and not surprising in an overwhelmingly religious (note: religious, but not Christian) country like South Africa; but truly following Christ is another thing altogether. When the Lord Jesus walked on earth, people everywhere were talking about Him – but were all those multitudes actually following Him? Certainly not.
In typical Charismatic celebrity fashion Buchan spoke about himself, while at the same time seeing things which are just not there, as far as the country is concerned. “Everyone who greeted me said they watched me [on TV] at home every morning. It was overwhelming. People were optimistic and excited for our country and the future… I believe it’s because of a million people that have prayed [at the “It’s Time” prayer day on April 22] that God would have His way…. it’s going to be very exciting to see the way forward. I’m very optimistic for our nation.”
The fact that “everyone” said they watched him on TV would make a man feel all warm and fuzzy inside, perhaps, but here’s the thing: people lie. Especially at formal events like this one, people gush all over celebrities and say, “I’ve read every one of your books”, or, “I watch you every day”. But only a handful are usually telling the truth.
But even if each and every one of them was, in fact, telling the truth: so what? Again we must look at the hard evidence: where are these multitudes who claim to be Christians when Monday morning dawns? Where is this wonderfully changed country as a result of this mythical Charismatic revival? Optimism for the country is typical of Charismatics because they move in an atmosphere where they are constantly hearing false “prophecies”, false “words from the Lord”, about what the Lord is supposedly about to do in the land. Such “words” have been given for decades now – I remember hearing precisely the same “words from the Lord” from Pentecostals when I was a teenager in the 1970s – yet the country lurches from one abomination to another, year after year after year. Optimism is all fine and well, but misplaced optimism is a very pathetic thing to behold.
It is all a fallacy. There is no revival. South Africa is not a Christian country. And the mere fact that people at a secular event speak of Christ proves nothing whatsoever. In such a religious country this is hardly surprising. But those same people who spoke of Christ and so impressed Buchan, are the very same people who party, dance, drink, fill their minds with worldly entertainment, and support the once-terrorists who now rule the country, even though the SA constitution supports “gay rights”, abortion, etc.
Only one who is spiritually blind will rejoice that the holy Name of the Son of God was on the defiled lips of so many that night. And one wonders if this Scripture ever crossed Buchan’s mind, either before, during or after the event: “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Lk. 6:26). With the praises of the people of the world ringing in his ears, it is no wonder that Buchan got carried away by it all. Very few are strong enough to resist the magnetic power of fame and adulation. But how different from the One he professes to follow and serve!
Buchan then said that after a formal banquet they went into the auditorium and the master of ceremonies asked a pastor to open in prayer. “I thought ‘okay’,” said Buchan, “but then he went on to preach – with an altar call – giving people the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.” Even overlooking the utterly unbiblical nature of an Arminian “altar call”, we have to ask: who was this man who prayed? Was he a true Christian? Does just anyone who is called a “pastor” these days automatically get accepted as such by men like Buchan? It would appear so. Does he not know that South Africa is filled with all kinds of “churches”? Of course he does – but it doesn’t appear to bother him. After all, he himself is a Charismatic – and Charismatics are notoriously ecumenical, welcoming of pretty much anyone who calls himself a Christian, or pretty much any gathering calling itself a church. Even Romish priests and nuns, despite all their antibiblical, indeed heathen doctrines and practices, are accepted as brethren in Christ (years ago Buchan told me personally that he firmly believed many of them were true Christians). Yet Charismatics boast of possessing such miraculous gifts as that of “discerning of spirits”! Most of them would not recognise a false spirit if he slapped them through the face with a Bible – as long as he kept saying “Jesus!” and “Amen!” and “Halleluiah!” If you think this is an exaggeration, just remember Todd Bentley. He boasted of kicking people with his boots as part of his “healing” campaign – and still they came back for more and called him a servant of the Lord. I rest my case.
Buchan, in true Charismatic fashion, added that the programme also featured dancing and singing – and the singer only sang “Christian songs”. Yes, well, when it comes to singing, Charismatics again pretty much accept anything passing itself off as a “Christian song”; and dancing is par for the course in Charismatic circles, even though the New Testament never once says that dancing should be part of any Christian worship, and in fact is entirely contrary to the holy and spiritual nature of true Christian worship.
The Bible says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 Jn. 4:1). We are to try (meaning test) them by two things: their doctrine, and their behaviour. If both their doctrine and their conduct is unbiblical, they are to be rejected; if they appear sound in doctrine but their conduct is unbiblical, they are to be rejected; and if their conduct appears good but their doctrine is unbiblical, they are to be rejected. The distinctive doctrines of Pentecostalism/Charismatism are unbiblical; the conduct of many of the leaders of this movement, and large numbers of their followers, is unbiblical; and therefore we are to turn away from them. No matter how personable a man may be, the test is simply this: what does the Bible say?
Nothing else matters.
Shaun Willcock is a minister, author and researcher. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
. Faith Like Potatoes, or Biblical Faith? by Shaun Willcock. Bible Based Ministries. See the website for details.
. Charismatic Doctrine in the Light of God’s Word (article); Pentecostal/Charismatic Doctrine in the Light of Scripture (a series of sermons available as MP3s, or on CDs); That Which is Perfect (MP3 or CD series); and Sickness and Healing (MP3 or CD series), all by Shaun Willcock. Bible Based Ministries. See the website for details.
. For further information: Liberalism, Neo-Orthodoxy, and New Evangelicalism, by Shaun Willcock (MP3 or CD series). See the website for details.
. For teaching exposing liberation theology: Liberation Theology, by Shaun Willcock (MP3 or CD series). See the website for details.
. Article: “‘My White Friday’ – a historic day in parliament.” Gateway News, November 29, 2017. http://gatewaynews.co.za.
. See How the Revolutionaries Use Children, by Helene Roux. Lone Tree Publications, Halfway House, South Africa, 1994.
. For a biblical and historical study of this topic: Revival, by Shaun Willcock (MP3 or CD series). See our website for details.
. Article: “The Jesus Factor, Parliament and Angus Buchan: Constitutionalism under threat.” Daily Maverick, 1 December 2017. www.dailymaverick.co.za.
. “The Jesus Factor, Parliament and Angus Buchan: Constitutionalism under threat.”
. “The Jesus Factor, Parliament and Angus Buchan: Constitutionalism under threat.”
. Article: “Angus Buchan amazed at love for Jesus at ‘SA Men of Year Awards’ event.” Gateway News, November 30, 2017. http://gatewaynews.co.za.
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