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Monday, February 23, 2009

Open letter to leaders of the ACDP and CDA

An Open Letter to Dr. Kenneth Meshoe, ACDP president, and leaders of the CDA (Louis Michael Green, Rev. Theunis Botha, Colin Wesley Fibiger and Jan Christoffel Hendrik Landman)

Good day to each of you gentlemen!

I would like each one of you to know that I am writing this open letter with the voters in mind. I am not trying to nail you, so to speak, however I do want to put you on the spot. This is certainly not for my own benefit, but for the benefit of those that you want to vote for you!

As you all know, South Africa has always been a country with deep divisions, whether racially or politically. Even within race groups (not that there are different races—we are all the human race), South Africans cannot stand together when it comes to politics.

Politics is primarily an ideologically driven endeavour. That makes it, at times, a lonely enterprise. I am sure that each of you have experienced that.

To come to the point, just a week or so ago, there were talks concerning unity between the ACDP (African Christian Democratic Party) and the CDA (Christian Democratic Alliance) for the upcoming elections. However, the ACDP turned down the offer.

As an interlude, I am sure each one of you have entertained the thought as to why your parties have not had a greater impact in previous elections. 1.6% certainly is not an impact, no matter which way you slice it.

Just ten days ago, 13 Feb 2009, I wrote a blog post called, Can there be unity among South Africa’s Christian political parties? My premise in that blog post is that without unity among Christian parties, they will not see a greatly increased impact upon our political landscape. And that, brothers, is a real shame.

Unity or in this case, disunity, among Christian parties is even being discussed on Facebook! The fact is that many Christian voters, who should form the biggest voters’ block in SA, simply do not know which Christian party to vote for! Why should they vote for one and not another? The end result is that they do what they have always done, vote for the DA or the ANC, and now they will vote for COPE too!

When each of these Christian parties believe in the same thing, which one would be the better one to vote for? I am sure you see the conundrum!

Now gentlemen, I would like to pose some questions to you!

First, to Dr. Kenneth Meshoe, president of the ACDP.

Knowing that the CDA put forth their hand of unity to the ACDP, could you please let the Christian voters of South Africa know why your party decided against walking in unity with the CDA?

I don’t want to make assumptions as to why this was decided, and I am sure that if you spell it out, then all assumptions can be put aside.

In my opinion there cannot be many more than 2 reasons, why different Christian groups cannot walk together in unity. The first reason would be that the other group is teaching false teaching or perhaps heresy. The second is that the other group is walking in sin.

Second, to each of the leaders of the CDA.

Having known that there was already a strong Christian party, as Christian parties go, in South Africa, why did you find it necessary to start more Christian parties in this country?

Again, either you thought that the existing party at the time, the ACDP was teaching some form of heresy or they were living in sin, and therefore you started more Christian parties. If your reasons are not any of those above, what could have been so bad within the ACDP to take you to the point of starting more Christian parties. Of course, I have my own assumptions, but whether they are right or not I do not know.

Third, a question that must be answered by the ACDP and the CDA.

Why should voters vote for your party and not the other Christian party?

Finally, it will really be a disservice to the voters of this country if you reply with some trite, innocuous reasons for the paths you all have chosen.

Please, give the voters real answers and not some diplomatic answer that hides the real reasons from the voters.

(1) A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! (2) It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! (3) It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.(Psa 133:1-3)

(1) I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, (2) with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, (3) eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (4) There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call-- (5) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph 4:1-6)

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. (1Pe 3:8)

These Scripture verses above make it very clear, unity is a very important component in God’s Kingdom. Among His people, there should be a clear purpose of unity and a striving towards such unity. Such unity is not something that must be rejected lightly.

In one way or another, it is my strong belief, that each one of you to whom I have directed this open letter has a part in this disunity among your parties.

I would urge you all to work harder towards walking in unity. If there are petty personality squabbles, all I can say is, GET OVER IT!

The future of this country is partly in your hands. Do not squander the opportunities that are before you!

(34) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (35) By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (Joh 13:34-35)

Gentlemen, for the sake of this country, and for the glory of God, walk together in unity if no heresy or sin divides you!

Please respond to this open letter at your earliest convenience. You may either respond to this blog post in the comment section, or you may find the email address for this blog at the top right of this blog at http://bibliopolit.blogspot.com.

Any reply will be made public so that voters can have real reasons to vote for either of your parties.

May you know God’s grace upon grace as you continue to work for Christ!

God bless,
William Dicks
Pretoria, South Africa

I have received responses from both parties. The CDA responded first, so the first link is to their response:
CDA Response
ACDP Response


Anonymous said...

Let it be known (now) that each one serves as Jesus would - for the glory of God alone.

William Dicks said...

I am submitting this comment on behalf of Keith Downs from KZN, South Africa:


William - Why are we having this conversation in the first place?

There is nothing that says that Christians should achieve "political unity" through a single political party and in some countries like The Netherlands there are two or three. They achieve resonance by behaving with good form to one and another, thereby enhancing their national debate with Christian principles. At this point in time the CDA's raison d'etre seems to be that of castigating the ACDP for not giving in to what Rev Kenneth Meshoe has correctly called unreasonable and unworkable demands.

The guys in the CDA are aware of our constitution as many of them copied it when they started their various groups. The ACDP stand by their constitution as it is a covenant between themselves. The demands of the CDA would require at least a full ACDP FCOP consensus before the popularly elected ACDP leader relinquishes his leadership to a "rotating chairmanship" made up of people who left the ACDP, mainly because they were not popularly elected leaders. The CDP have already tried this multiple leader idea when they floated their "tripartheid leadership" and the three leaders are now leaders of three separate political parties, who are not all a part of the CDA.

The FCOP would also be concerned as to why we should forego our already complete party listing process, a two year exercise, and yield positions to a group of people who only got off their backsides six months ago and who do not have anything near the extended branch structure and membership that the ACDP has.

If the ACDP is serious about bringing Godly governance then it must look toward playing a role in the centre arena and not dilute their negotiating strength with a group of people who will not otherwise gain a seat or be returned to parliament.

The ACDP currently has leaders who have stayed with the party through bitter dissapointments, they have stayed loyal and worked their way through the test. At floor crossing times they have been aware of their covenants and have not bowed to pressures "to find better political expression" (or whatever) with other political groups when their vanity is not flattered.

The FCOP in the ACDP has been established for over fifteen years; it would not be appropriate for it to yield it’s leadership to an outside collective group who do not even have constituent Provincial Councils among them. The proposed collection of leadership faces would seriously confuse the electorate and bring about a democratic deficit that is akin to that presented by the European Union’s council of ministers. As a member and FCOP delegate I voted for Dr Meshoe as our leader and I would like to stick with him. He does not have my mandate to bring in a new leadership that has not observed party structures and discipline.

The CDA's proposals would also constitute a pre-election alliance which is also verboten by our constitution. Note that the governance of the Western Cape is a power sharing arrangement and the ACDP constitution is unfettered by the dictates of the other parties in the arrangement.

I do notice that the outspoken Colin Fibiger has engaged in some serious personal attacks and slander. Is he the CDA’s answer to Julius Malema? Accusing Wesley Douglas of “A Blatant Lie” is slanderous and this is not the language of a seasoned politician. I would think that phrases such as "terminological inexactitude" or “stranger to the truth” would show better form, though they would be far from correct. I can attest that the ACDP had formulated their lists and submitted them for finalisation long before the meeting was mooted. I know this because I had Wesley Douglas on my voting paper and I put a tick against it. The name of Colin Fibiger was not there. I saw the names of people who, like Wesley, had worked in the party, worked through their disappointments, formed branches, put money into the party and had regularly attended their party, council or parliamentary meetings.

Colin is also living in a dream world if he thinks that he can develop credibility by citing an association with NaDeCo or their motives. His viewpoint from the Eastern Cape is most certainly not consistent with the majority of people in kwaZulu Natal where NaDeCo is a regional party with a bad reputation for being an ANC patsy.

The CDA are a political grouping with some talent and good policies and they should focus on their core issues and desist from attracting attention to themselves by slandering hard working ACDP people. By all means call for Christian Unity but please refrain from bringing the Gospel into disrepute. (And they should not give up their day jobs either)

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