On 12 May, the Sunday Times published an article on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) that led to public outrage concerning claims such as “children as young as nine years old will learn about masturbation when new life orientation textbooks are rolled out next year.”
In response, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) released a statement to calm the uproar, distancing itself from the Sunday Times article and calling it “misleading” and “a complete misrepresentation of the work the department is doing”.
Subsequently, CFJ Executive Director and Legal Counsel Ryan Smit met with the DBE on more than one occasion in order to confirm what will be taught to children in the new life skills/life orientation curriculum (LO/LS curriculum), and also where the controversial content originates from. Another important question asked of DBE was whether parents would be able to opt their children out of parts, or the whole, of the new LO/LS curriculum should they not agree with its content.
In the blog and video below, Ryan discusses the action CFJ has taken and what it has learnt, the processes followed and the information gaps that still persist, as well as the actual evidence of the effectiveness of CSE (spoiler: a proper interrogation of the evidence provided by UNESCO, the originator and promoter of CSE, indicates that CSE in school settings has shown little success and may be detrimental, doing more harm than good!).
You can learn more about CSE and the work CFJ is doing in three quick and easy ways:
Cause for Justice (CFJ) is a non-profit human rights and public interest organisation. It is comprised of legal experts who proactively identify and take on causes to ensure a just and flourishing society. These causes align with CFJ’s five core values, namely: (1) the responsible exercise of constitutional freedoms, (2) protecting and promoting human dignity (inherent worth), (3) protecting the vulnerable in society (social justice), (4) ensuring accountable government action and (5) protecting the family against destructive outside (and inside) forces. To this end, CFJ participates in law and policy-making processes in Parliament and government structures, and also acts in court cases to promote and protect laws in keeping with its core values.
We are excited to announce that one of our affiliates, Empowered21, is inviting you to Jerusalem2020, a global gathering of Spirit-empowered Believers, during the week of Pentecost 2020 (31 May – 3 June 2020).
Come experience the Holy Land and celebrate what the Holy Spirit is doing around the world. Experience a life-changing Pentecost in Jerusalem as we unite in prayer and worship, hear from leading voices around the world and discover where the global Church is headed in the future.
Connect with what God is doing around the world, see your faith come to life in the land of the Bible and encounter the Holy Spirit in a fresh and powerful way.
The four-day event will be held at Pais Arena in Jerusalem, with praise and worship celebrations led by Planetshakers and Gateway Worship, powerful times of prayer and fellowship with the global Body of Believers, and the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers such as Dr. Heidi Baker, Jentezen Franklin, Russell Evans, Sammy Rodriguez, Claudio Freidzon, Billy Wilson, Todd White, and many more.
AFRIque will give Shofar members the opportunity to travel together as a group.
Rick Rusaw is an author and regular international speaker at both church and business conferences, including previous Convergence conferences.
For Rick the two great commands of Jesus – to love God with all of our beings and love our neighbours as ourselves – are at the very heart of what Christianity is all about. Under his leadership LifeBridge Church in Colorado, where he has served as lead pastor since 1991, has made a lasting impact on the surrounding communities through serving and caring for those in need.
His strong outward-focus has motivated many other churches around the world to also become more externally focused. His knowledge and experience as a businessman place him in a unique position to help Christians make a difference for the Kingdom of God in the workplace.
Dr. Corné Bekker is an international speaker on Christian spirituality and leadership and regularly speaks at churches, conferences and seminars worldwide. He also specialises in Biblical interpretation (exegesis) and teaches powerfully on the Gospel, solidly grounding it in the books of the New Testament. Shofar has a longstanding relationship with him as a Convergence speaker and Bible School presenter.
Corné received his formal education at the University of Johannesburg (formerly known as RAU) and worked at the Rhema Bible College in Johannesburg as the Assistant Dean before he moved to the United States, where he now presides over the School of Divinity at Regent University as dean and is associate professor at the Regent University School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship.
Author and pastor Tom Smith co-founded Claypot Church in Johannesburg and Rhythm of Life, a ministry that partners with individuals, churches and organisations to develop growth, discipleship, balance and fullness of life.
He has a heart for inter-cultural and inter-ethnic reconciliation through the power of living out the Gospel, especially within the context of South Africa’s painful past. For Tom, Christian spirituality is living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ by truly seeing and loving those around us.
He consults for South African churches in the areas of spiritual formation and missional spirituality. His book Raw Spirituality motivates many churches, ministries and individuals to have an outward focus in ministry which is rooted in spiritual intimacy with Jesus.
Heinrich Titus has been involved in the ministry for over 20 years. He is the senior pastor of Shofar Somerset West, former chairperson of Kibwe Kids (a foster care organisation) and serves on the Apostolic Team as Shofar’s international leader.
Heinrich has a heart for the marginalised, the weak, and the downtrodden of society. He pursues social justice and is actively involved in providing foster care to orphans in surrounding communities.
He is a pastor’s son, carrying with him the legacy that God has given to his family to be a voice of hope and grace to the world. We know Heinrich as a humble servant who loves the presence of God, who always gives glory to God and never takes glory for himself; someone who truly loves and cares for all people from all social backgrounds. We are excited to hear from him at Convergence this year.
We as the church of Jesus Christ want to see the Kingdom of God come here on earth, just as it is in heaven. The Gospel transforms lives. It is through the proclamation of the Gospel that people can receive salvation from God and become part of His Kingdom. It is our mandate as the church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to establish God’s reign here on earth.
The Gospel not only transforms the life of the individual, but it also has the power to transform our communities, so that society as a whole can reflect the Kingdom of God. God never intended for us as Christians to separate our religious life from our vocation. Conducting our businesses and daily work in a godly manner, looking after the needs of the poor in our communities and developing our communities are as important to God as evangelising the unsaved. God’s mandate to the church is therefore all-encompassing. He is calling us to be the change in our society – to be the salt of the earth.
It is therefore not a matter of whether we should or should not engage in transforming our communities. Our purpose here on earth is to establish the Kingdom of God in all spheres of human life, and that includes the influence we have on the fabric of society. The question is rather: how do we move from just doing good to actually solving problems? What can we do differently so that we can see lasting change in our communities? How can we, as the Church of Jesus, be truly externally focused?
Rick Rusaw, one of the speakers at Convergence this year, will be presenting our first Short Course on Transforming Communities. He will be sharing his vast knowledge and experience on how we as the church can have a positive and lasting impact on our communities by being externally focused.
The course will be held at Shofar Durbanville on 9-10 September. You can also register to stream this course online if you are unable to attend the course at Shofar Durbanville.
Four years ago, as the number of young families in Shofar grew, a desire to develop a praise and worship resource for children was birthed. The worship ministry started adapting existing songs from Shofarband to create a product that could be used both at home and at children’s church for praise and worship.
Seven songs were reworked to be more child-friendly, without compromising on the truth. Production began in 2014 when Shofar’s global theme was ‘The Harvest’. Now, it will be released in the year where the church’s focus is ‘The Sound of the Harvest’, with a strong focus on reaching the nations. In the accompanying videos, kids fly around the world in a space ship. Each song has a different “destination”, representing the sound of a specific country, such as Argentina, Germany or China.
“The audio is an amazing tool for worship in the car or at home,” says James Pringle, worship pastor and father of two. “I’m really happy with how it came out.”