Thursday, August 01, 2013


PRAY AGAINST RELIGIOUS GANGS RULING THE CHURCH Tuesday morning this week, a Manenburg woman who had been gang raped a few years back under the supervision of Rashied Staggie, was gunned down along with her boyfriend. The boyfriend died instantly, while she is currently fighting for her life. The gang-rape shocked the Christian community, because at the time Staggie was professing to have converted to Christianity and was regularly attending city-wide prayer meetings. At one of these Transformation prayer meetings, I held hands with Staggie and we prayed together. I was at the time cautious about his conversion story and concerned that he was too quickly being allowed to speak on public platforms such as the Newlands Transformation prayer rally. After Staggies brother was burned to death by Islamic radicals on drug allegations, the whole gang professed conversion and gave their headquarters 'Die Hok' over for church and prayer meetings. Clearly, Cape Town's Christian leadership were fooled by his story. They offered their services to just out of jail Allan Boesak as 'bodyguards'. The woman who was gang-raped and shot was accused of being a police informer on the gang. Thankfully the police were not as easily fooled by Staggie as our city Christian leadership. Staggie is due to be released from prison on parole in September. In reterospect Boesak was also unrepentant - but better able to act the part of a religious person - and shortly afterwards catapulted back to senior leadership in his old denomination - where he promoted amongst other things 'homosexual theology'. Two of the high profile Christian leaders who at the time helped Boesak back on his road back to credibility were later exposed as adulterers. After I published an article in 2001 cautioning Allan Boesak's jump from jail to church power - I was called in by a group of church ministers and threatened with expulsion from the church. The same group of senior ministers continue to threaten, bully and slander me - for years afterwards, and defend other scandals and bully multiple other people. But there is not just one ministry operating on this leadership model. The sad reality is that probably maybe half the biggest Churches, ministries and many denominations in South Africa operate using the similar bully tactics, compromises, double standards - endorsing others who biblically fail the tests of eldership in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus. Each endorses the next and shuns those who speak against such hypocrisy. Many church leaders know who are the wolves in the church leadership gatherings they attend, but for whatever reason, the wolves are more often getting endorsements from other leaders than the church discipline they deserve. Most of the time, when there is doctrinal and moral compromise in the church, behind it and protecting it is a bullying religious cartel - using not physical violence but the abuse of religious authority. When you confront the compromise, you then are marked for a religious 'hit' by the gang that protects the falsehood. In 3 John we read "9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. 11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone-and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true." So the apostle John speaks up against the false leader Diotrephes and in support of the godly leader Demetrius. Unfortunately, the wolves currently control most of the religious levers of power in South Africa. It is hard without the miraculous help of the Holy Spirit to do any large project without the cooperation and support of these bullying religious power cartels - but neither is the Holy Spirit going to be associated with them. And there lies the dilemma: If we want revival, reformation and the blessing of the Holy Spirit, then we are going to have to have the courage to be persecuted and marginalied - and put our trust in him to support us rather than relying on the matrix of mutually endorsing power cartels. Let us follow the example of the apostle John and speak up and pray for the downfall of the religious power cartels. Philip Rosenthal