In the September edition of The Messenger (“Die Boodskapper”), arguably the most conservative Afrikaans-language Reformed publication in South Africa today, the monthly’s chief editor, Rev. Schalk Strauss, chose to entitle his editorial “Wolf! Wolf!” – alluding to the Afrikaans folk tale which has its roots in the classic Aesop’s Fable.1
The central argument of his editorial is that although the apostle Paul warns the flock of the dangers of false teachers (or “wolves”), one neglected danger is the other side of the coin – an alarmist mindset in which nearly every preacher is branded a false teacher. The risk of this, he argues, is that through the constant call of “wolf!” we become so numb to the warnings against false teaching, that we eventually fail to pay any attention to it.
This line of argument is particularly suspicious given Christ’s and the prophets’ constant rebuking of an entire class of clergy. One can only guess as to what Strauss’s response would have been to Elijah’s despairing call, “I alone am left a prophet of the LORD” (I Kings 18:22). Nonetheless, the main problem with Strauss’s article appears in the middle paragraph of his piece. Here, right after the aforementioned warning of crying wolf, he makes an exception to his own rule:
Like in the Garden of Eden, the attack is sometimes subtle and even paved with good intentions. These days one often hears: ‘The Lord is judging our people because of our disobedience. Before we repent and turn to Him, the Afrikaner cannot expect his blessings.’ . . . These claims go hand-in-hand with something of a tendency to decay into a Judaistic form of Christianity. It is the result of drawing direct parallels between the Afrikaner people and Israel.
The worst part of this entire claim is that Strauss admits that the Old Testament teaches the absolute necessity of repentance for the covenant people to receive true covenantal blessings. Yet, he argues that those who claim these promises to be perpetually true and applicable to covenanted nations adhere to a form of Judaism. Strauss clearly doesn’t know what Judaism is, and terribly confuses its Pharisaical heresies with the proto-Christianity of the Old Testament faithful. Furthermore, his dichotomy of the Old Testament covenantal promises with the New Testament promises reeks of Marcionite tendencies underlying his own teachings. All covenantal promises of the Old and New Testament find their true fulfillment in Christ, and it is on the basis of famous promises – such as II Chronicles 7:14 regarding national repentance – that Christ could command his disciples to bring in the nations (as nations) into covenant with Him (Matthew 28:19).
Apart from these theological errors and heresies, what remains further shocking is that while the entire theme of his article is centered around warning against too harsh a judgment on the teachings of others, he immediately makes an exception regarding those who teach that the Afrikaner-Boer people need to repent in order to escape God’s continuing judgment. He goes on to accuse those who teach this of adhering to forms of “works-sanctification” and the “prosperity-gospel.” Strauss is a known fan of Tim Keller, who teaches the New Calvinist error of gospel-sanctification, a love affair that in part explains Strauss’s deviation from the covenantal message of Scripture in this regard.
Strauss concludes: “making it one’s mission to expose false teachers” potentially leads to “loveless actions.” Again, one has to wonder whose definition of love he is adhering to, because it doesn’t seem to be that of Christ or his prophets.
To answer Rev. Strauss in the clear language of Scripture: yes, our God is eternally unchanging (James 1:17), and his covenantal promises endure forever (Ezra 3:11). This is what our Christian ancestors have historically always believed until the modernist heresies of individualism (promoted by Strauss) infiltrated our formerly Christian culture. Therefore, if any nation which enters into a covenantal relationship with God through the acceptance of the gospel thereafter apostatizes and refuses to repent, God’s judgment will surely fall upon it. Historically Christian nations, and in particular white nations, have much to fear for our and our children’s future if we fail to repent and seek the will of God. On the contrary, however, because God’s law is good, full of wisdom and inherently beneficial to human existence, any nation that faithfully adheres to and practices his precepts can expect the blessing of the Triune God, who sovereignly designed creation to function in accordance with his established order.
- Die Boodskapper, September 2016 – no. 294, pp. 1-2 – note: The publication is in Afrikaans. ↩