Black faced Impala in the Etosha Pan Nature Reserve (Namibia) . Photo : J.Rieck

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Myth that Religion is the # 1 Cause of War

How many times have you heard this argument : " Religion is the # 1 cause of war ?" I have heard this many times. But it is a case of classic misinformation and of historical amnesia. These are the kind of  things that an ignorant public laps up , and so it perpetuates the myth. This article written by Robin Schumacher (edited by Matt Slick) makes an important point : 
Atheists and secular humanists consistently make the claim that religion is the #1 cause of violence and war throughout the history of mankind. One of hatetheism's key cheerleaders, Sam Harris, says in his book The End of Faith that faith and religion are “the most prolific source of violence in our history.”1
While there’s no denying that campaigns such as the Crusades and the Thirty Years’ War foundationally rested on religious ideology, it is simply incorrect to assert that religion has been the primary cause of war. Moreover, although there’s also no disagreement that radical Islam was the spirit behind 9/11, it is a fallacy to say that all faiths contribute equally where religiously-motivated violence and warfare are concerned.
An interesting source of truth on the matter is Philip and Axelrod’s three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars, which chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history. Of those wars, the authors categorize 123 as being religious in nature,2 which is an astonishingly low 6.98% of all wars. However, when one subtracts out those waged in the name of Islam (66), the percentage is cut by more than half to 3.23%.


That means that all faiths combined – minus Islam – have caused less than 4% of all of humanity’s wars and violent conflicts. Further, they played no motivating role in the major wars that have resulted in the most loss of life.  
Kind of puts a serious dent into Harris’ argument, doesn’t it?
The truth is, non-religious motivations and naturalistic philosophies bear the blame for nearly all of humankind’s wars. Lives lost during religious conflict pales in comparison to those experienced during the regimes who wanted nothing to do with the idea of God – something showcased in R. J. Rummel’s work Lethal Politics and Death by Government:
Non-Religious Dictator Lives Lost
·        Joseph Stalin - 42,672,000
·        Mao Zedong - 37,828,000
·        Adolf Hitler - 20,946,000
·        Chiang Kai-shek - 10,214,000
·        Vladimir Lenin - 4,017,000
·        Hideki Tojo - 3,990,000
·        Pol Pot - 2,397,0003
Rummel says: “Almost 170 million men, women and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed or worked to death; buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed or killed in any other of a myriad of ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens and foreigners. The dead could conceivably be nearly 360 million people. It is though our species has been devastated by a modern Black Plague. And indeed it has, but a plague of Power, not germs.”4
The historical evidence is quite clear: Religion is not the #1 cause of war.
If religion can’t be blamed for most wars and violence, then what is the primary cause? The same thing that triggers all crime, cruelty, loss of life, and other such things. Jesus provides the answer very clearly: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man,” (Mark 7:21–23).
James (naturally) agrees with Christ when he says: “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel,” (James 4:1–2).
In the end, the evidence shows that the atheists are quite wrong about the wars they claim to so desperately despise. Sin is the #1 cause of war and violence, not religion, and certainly not Christianity.

·        1.http://books.google.com/books?id=XP_86itwp2IC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=sam+harris+%22the+most+prolific+source+of+violence+in+our+history%22&source=bl&ots=sdpOO04g1D&sig=asL3JyvcaRp9zWRI9a4oVyoPU2E&hl=en&sa=X&ei=d9CKT92fGYqogweQgsXfCQ&ved=0CFgQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q&f=false
·        2.http://books.google.com/books?id=sF8wv_Y54j8C&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq=encyclopedia+of+wars+%22Almohad+conquest+of+Muslim+Spain%22&source=bl&ots=VBRkLHXHj3&sig=XLT88ICr2Lu98L1_eldxRwMPgIY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SdKKT4jLHIr1gAf8vNjiCQ&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=encyclopedia%20of%20wars%20%22Almohad%20conquest%20of%20Muslim%20Spain%22&f=false
·        3.http://books.google.com/books?id=sK5CJFpb2DAC&pg=PA23&lpg=PA23&dq=stalin+42,672,000&source=bl&ots=Tw7FJG9OnR&sig=aSUiodXqC4euU2UTyVNlnFkwyRE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fc2KT7rnNcipgwe9tL3mCQ&ved=0CFMQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=stalin%2042%2C672%2C000&f=false and http://books.google.com/books?id=mbnLn6A3q-4C&pg=PA178&lpg=PA178&dq=Zedong+37,828,000&source=bl&ots=-VlfCns1xy&sig=2TrcOYMxZTjr653ULLdNkIkltwU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2c6KT-G7BYGXgwf63-3kCQ&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Zedong%2037%2C828%2C000&f=false
·        4.http://books.google.com/books?id=N1j1QdPMockC&printsec=frontcover&dq=death+by+government&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WcyKT5TBDITiggfdpO28BQ&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Almost%20170%20million%20men&f=false

Monday, July 14, 2014

Soccer - the New Religion ?

Soccer world cup 2014  in Brazil  has now truly   come and gone! 

We have enjoyed a  month of  great soccer.  The standard of  soccer is phenomenal, and one cannot but admire the skill of the modern  soccer players whose  brains are surely in their feet.   It is indeed “the beautiful  game” - a term apparently  coined by  the sports commentator Stuart  Hall in 1958 .  And what  a  great demonstration  once again of the fact that a united team   is  a formidable  team !

Statue of Christ the Redeemer  in Rio de Janeiro  in front of a full moon 
And yet  I can’t help but thinking that  soccer  has become  a  religious  affair. 

Think about this :  The  soccer players  huddle together for prayer  before the  game. They  look to   whatever god to answer their  prayer  for a win. They give whatever god the glory when they score  a goal . They  make the sign of the cross  before they go  on,    or  come off the field .  The coach   acts  the “pastor or priest ”,  and the players  perform  the sacred rites  trying to please the gods.  The   strongest god on that day wins !  The stadium is the cathedral (the soccer temple) and the tens of thousands are the worshipers, fervently praying  to their gods  for their team to win. In the process  they  become an emotional community,  singing  their anthems (hymns) ,  and raise their hands  like a bunch of charismatic worshipers!

I came across a blog written by Jonathan A. Lopez,   in which the fact that “soccer is religion  is  unashamedly asserted .  He writes :  “What is it about soccer that creates these emotions and feelings found in events like the World Cup? Well, there is a simple response to this. Soccer is no longer just a sport but a religion. To be specific, it is a civil religion. According to author Jordi Xifra, the term "civil religion"refers to a religion that demonstrates both the moral and spiritual values of a community or modern society. It is meant to uphold the political and social culture of a people. It involves myths, symbols of popular devotion, and public rituals. In light of this, civil religion stresses identity amongst a people. http://soccerisreligion.weebly.com/ .

Sport  in general  is  indeed  the  primary religion of the world of our  day, although  it had been common  in the days of the  ancient Greeks and Romans,   who  in their times had built impressive sport stadiums.  An interesting article in this regard can be found at : http://www.worldstadiums.com/stadium_menu/architecture/historic_stadiums.shtml

A Christian Mind ?

Christians  need to  think  carefully  about the the place and influence of sport  in society . Here are  a couple of my personal  reflections on the matter : 

1.      Our world   continues   to seek human heroes whom they  may  idolize.  Sport  and music  are  the primary  contemporary forums  for this purpose. This desire for  ‘idols‘  is   an indication  of  the fact that the human heart is made for worship.  Unfortunately  human sin and  pride refuses to come  to  God the Creator, choosing   to exchange the truth of God for a lie, worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator (Romans  1:25) 

2.     Is it possible  to  enjoy sport  (soccer)  in a God centred way ?  I believe that it is. There are many things that are good about   sport. Physical discipline , endurance , patience , commitment , fair play , consideration of the other  team member, team effort, enjoyment, skill , humility (the  ability to  lose  gracefully)    are all godly virtues , and those who practise them ,  may glorify God  in them.  Eric Lidell[1] (1902 – 1945)  a Scottish athlete, Rugby player and missionary , made famous by the 1981 film “Chariots of Fire”,    is a famous example  of a  man  who glorified God in  the sport arena.

3.     Having said this, it is doubtful that the 2014  Soccer World cup displayed  much of God’s glory. Rather, it was an exercise of human glory, (and make no mistake – it was glorious!) – but it  was a cheap imitation of  the Glory of God .  Sadly,  when human glory  eclipses  God’s glory    it becomes idolatry  and so we are tempted  to become  children of a lesser god.    

So, how  did  I  as a Christian,  deal with  the world cup?  I enjoyed  it for what it was. I enjoyed the skill  of the players  and the  thrill  of competition. 
I even chose a side  - that side which happened to win the world cup this year! But I refused to pray for the German team to win J. I determined not  to  have a blue Monday, just   in  case they had lost  the match on Sunday evening  L

I refuse to  build my  hope on something  that is  nice but … ultimately oh so superficial and so utterly inconsequential  and  so temporary !

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest  frame , but wholly lean on Jesu’s Name
On Christ the solid Rock I stand!
All other ground is sinking sand !

(Edward Mote – 1832)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

SAVING NAMIBIAN CHRISTIANS FROM THE WORST OF WESTERN CULTURE

Please note:  This article is not an attack on western people. I myself am a product of  European Western culture.  There are however many aspects about modern western culture that are deeply subversive to the Christian faith. They must be named ,  they must  be warned against and  they must be avoided.

We must admit that western   culture has a winsome flavour.  Everything,  from TV programs and movies,  from to fashion to food, and  from  western Christmas celebrations   to   western  Christian wedding rites  is being exported into all the world. The  West  has become the pacesetter  in many things . The world desperately seeks to imitate the West.   India can come up with nothing better than calling its growing movie industry ‘Bollywood’! 
Christian Dior, Mercedes Benz , Coca Cola , Kentucky Fried Chicken and Mc Donald’s are house brands in every part of the world. Truly, it seems as if western civilization has subdued the modern earth and…  Namibia.  

Do we want Western  Democracy and Capitalism ?

Most political  systems (except those  guided by an explicit atheism)   will work provided  that God fearing men  are behind it. 
There is the problem … the lack of God fearing men in western democratic and  capitalistic  thinking!  But capitalism   without Christ  is catastrophic! Democracy without  Deity  is dangerous!  Man’s pursuit  of  life  without God as the final  reference point  is  self –destructive!

Many seem to think  that   western    economic systems are biblically   sanctioned. After all, they appear to be successful on the surface of things. Are  we  saying  that  democracy  or capitalism  is  God’s truth per se because we perceive it  to be  successful? Health, wealth and prosperity teachers seem to think so, but the biblically saturated mind can come to no such conclusion. The parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21)  teaches us that  wealth is  a deceptive measurement for success.

Western culture is not presently influenced by a God-centered worldview. If the truth be  told  modern   western culture is  strongly  influenced by ‘secular humanism’,  a man centered worldview.  We must never  forget  that  the present  form  of western  humanism  was  conceived during  the  French Revolution   in 1789, when  the  “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”  was formulated.  Now to be  fair, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”    was  formulated  against the background of severe political and spiritual abuses by the French monarchy which was  then  in cahoots with the Roman Catholic Church. 

The authors of the humanist declaration rightly  rejected the   concept of the “divine right of kings“ and they  rightly rejected the false authority of the Roman Catholic church, but they made a huge mistake  by excluding God and His Word  from their manifesto, which was  based on what they called, “natural law”.  This secular document  succeeded  to throw out the baby with the bathwater, and it has managed  to   dispose  of God centered thinking  in terms  of  politics,  economics, science, education   etc. , giving  rise to the thought of the ‘secular state’ – an ideal also enshrined in the “Preamble of the Namibian Constitution” !  

In tandem  with  this  concept of  “natural law”  the  theory of evolution , the brainchild of Charles Darwin  (1809 – 1882)  was  conceived and   born into  the framework  of  western  thinking  in the 19th century.  The ‘theory of evolution’ became the replacement for the biblical account of creation. This secular doctrine of creation provided an alternative viewpoint to the  biblical  view  of  “creatio ex nihilo”  by a Sovereign Creator,  and it helped the secular humanists to do away with the thought of God.  

Western Culture   as the Primary Exporter of Immorality

While the western world cannot be held solely responsible for the degree of moral decay in the world  (for clearly every  human heart  without Christ  is  a fallen heart – Romans 3:23 ), we do know that the   present western world has been the leader  and  prime exporter of    perverse sexuality. Apart from the dissemination   and legalizing of pornography in   so called ‘western liberal societies’, many forms of deviant sexual expression have come to the world through the western door.   The west leads the world in presenting homosexuality as ‘normal’ sexual behaviour.  From a biblical worldview[1]   this clearly clashes with Scripture and with nature.  Can the Anglican Church in Africa   with good conscience look to the mother church in the UK for an unflinching commitment   to the authority of Scripture?    Thank God that African Anglicans are taking a strong stance against the homosexual agenda of the western liberals!

The West also leads the agenda on gender equality, maintaining that there is no functional difference between male and female. [2]  In this regard we   are made aware of some   bizarre stories, like the Canadian couple in Toronto raising their 4-month-old without identifying the child as a boy or a girl. This, as you might imagine created a media firestorm in Canada:

Kathy Witterick, 38, and David Stocker, 39, are raising their third child, Storm, to be free of societal norms regarding gender. Is Storm male or female? The parents won't say, so no one knows except Storm's older brothers, Jazz and Kio, as well as a close family friend and two midwives who helped deliver the baby, according to the Toronto Star.” (Fox News:  24th May 2011).

A BBC report of the 7th July 2011 reports that Sweden has opened its first gender neutral school! Where is this happening? Not in Namibia – not in Africa! This is happening in the so called western world!

Do we really want to look to the church in the western world as our definitive guide for life and faith in these challenging days?

The liberal theology   of the 18th  century  which   has  so profoundly undermined  the historic Christian faith   came as a reaction to the 16th century  theology of the Reformers, and it  has been much more insidious  and  subversive  and  devastating  in terms of  its effects,  than the Roman Catholic “Counter Reformation” of the 16th century.

Whereas  the  theologians  of the Reformation  affirmed the  SOLA SCRIPTURA principle – namely  that the  Bible  was  the Word of God , and as such  they affirmed  that  it  was  authoritative  and sufficient, Liberal theology (one of the horrible  children  begotten  of humanism), “made in 18th Century Germany”[3]  did exactly the opposite. It dismantled the Scriptures and rendered them “unbelievable“ and thus essentially useless!
Human opinion triumphed and was declared sovereign.   The venerable, God fearing evangelical  Dr. Martin Luther would turn in his grave if he  knew how neo- Lutheranism has infected an overwhelmingly large number of Lutherans with this liberal virus.

This liberal virus had affected every Protestant denomination.  My own Baptist denomination  were not immune from this cancer.  Charles Haddon Spurgeon a prominent Reformed Baptist of the 19th century battled the forces of the German led “Higher Criticism movement” which was undermining the English Baptists’ historically solid view of the authority of Scripture.  He was eventually excommunicated from the fellowship of English Baptist churches, because he dared to challenge the liberalism of the 19th century church.

Liberalism and the 20th century Western Charismatic Phenomenon

Theological liberalism is a destroyer of the Word of God and thus it is a destroyer of  the biblical church.  But it has a surprising ally, which came to us from the American   West: the Pentecostal  and Charismatic movement!

I know that many would like to make a distinction between the two, and there are always exceptions,   but it must be said that Pentecostalism is the seed bed for the later charismatic movement. 
This movement  rooted in the “1906 Azusa  Street  revival” , a spin off  from  the 1904 Welsh revival began to make more of signs , wonders and ecstatic phenomena  than of  the  plain revelation  of the Word of God. The results are now clearly seen.  American neo-Pentecostals  having dismantled the  SOLA SCRIPTURA principle  now have the world eating out of their  hands.  They are now the prime exporters of the new health, wealth and prosperity message.  It is amazing to see how Africans have bought into  Americans T.V. preachers like  Benny Hinn, Fred Price, Joyce Meyer, and Myles Munroe etc. . . .  These  western figures  have become celebrity figures in Africa! 

Apart from this the western world in America has become the prime exporter of cults and sects into the world! Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Christian Science, Scientology, Seventh Day Adventism etc. . . . .  These weren’t born in Africa, they were born in America - but they flourish here!
The 20th century Pentecostal and Charismatic movements (which were born in the west)   have continued to dismantle the  authority of the Scriptures  as they generally have relied  more on  their prophets, healers and tongue speakers  than on the  Word of  God.

The result is that we are now speaking about a post Christian world – a term that, I believe may have been coined by the eminent  American-Swiss theologian, Dr. Francis Schaeffer.  Dr. Schaeffer once observed that   western culture has continued to flourish for a while on the residual moral principles taught by Christianity; on what the Christian philosopher Henry Van Til called “borrowed capital”. The sun of the gospel which once shone so brightly in the west is setting at an alarming rate!

My question is  this: Does the African church  at large wish to continue borrowing from the morally and spiritually bankrupt West?  I know that there are wonderful exceptions  in the West, but it cannot be denied  that  the African church by and large feeds  on the West.  

When will  Africa  choose  to obey  the Word of God rather than the  enticing  and corrupt  values of  the West?





[1] Romans 1:18-32
[2] Gen 1:27 ; Eph 5 :22-33
[3] The Higher criticism movement  led by the likes of Graf Julius von Wellhausen  led the charge  to destroy the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.

Friday, May 23, 2014

THOUGHTS ON ASCENSION DAY - 29th May 2014


 In taking  a look  at their  calendars , many people  will be asking themselves  this coming week : “ Thursday,  29th May— Ascension Day.”  “What on earth is that?”  Why Ascension day ? Christmas we know , Easter we know – but  what is  Ascension day ?  And why should this still be a  public holiday  to be remembered on our  yearly calendar ?

Ascension Day marks the day when our dear   Lord Jesus  Christ ascended up into Heaven , following His days of humiliation on earth , when He had taken on the nature of a lowly servant , to take up His visible glory once more  (John 17:5) .  

This  happened  40 days after His resurrection from the dead, which this  year was commemorated  on   Sunday  the 20th  of April.  Following that , after  40 days from  that  Easter Sunday , you get  to  Ascension Day—Thursday, the 29th of May.

It  is an amazing fact that Ascension day still  forms  part of our Namibian   national calendar, for after all our country’s  constitution  claims  to be secular –  that is . without favour towards  any particular  religion. 

It is amazing to think that a  day of such little   relevance in the eye of the general public   (and sadly even the church)  should   still  occupy  a  reason for people to stop doing any work on this Thursday  and to  remember  this significant event on the Christian church calendar . 

I see this as divine providence, and therefore I call all Christians to   make this a day  of praise and worship . 

If you live in Windhoek and you read this , and if your church does not have a service of remembrance on this day , that I take the liberty to invite you to our service . 

Join us then on    this coming Thursday  29th May   at Eastside Baptist Church  from  09h30 - 10h30   to  worship our ascended Lord Jesus.

I believe  that   this day publicly  recognized  on our national calendar   singularly honours   our  Lord  Jesus , and therefore I say :  “God bless Namibia !”



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Biblical Counselling In Namibia: Why We Are Making This A Part Of Our Church’s ministry ?

My own  pilgrimage in  the field of counselling began  in 1986 when I  was a student  at  a seminary in Cape Town. Our  lecturer  at that time  in the field of counselling  was  a committed Rogerian[1] ( which is also known as Client Centred Therapy). I was exposed to and trained in this method, but  we were given no assurance that we could handle the difficult counselling cases that would arise  in the church.

Our lecturer taught us  to refer   and defer   the afflicted  church member   to the  ‘professionals’  – i.e. the psychologist and the psychiatrist. So,  if  the  church member was depressed or anxious  or if  he or she  showed  any  signs of  abnormal behaviour, they were  to be  referred to the ‘helping team‘ -  the psychologist or psychiatrist. This greatly discouraged me   at that time, for I really wanted to be a pastor  who  could help his people.  And so the inevitable question arose:  “ if  I really want  to help people, should I not become  a  psychologist ?”  

Three   major  questions   circulated  in my mind :
 1.     Unless the pastor  has additional training in psychology,  should  he  be counselling his people?
 2.     Is the  Bible   a sufficient  help  for  the wide range  of  counselling needs of the congregation?
 3.     Who did the counselling before  the  emergence of  psychology – which,  as we know is  a  relatively 
        new discipline ?

Dr Jay Adams 
My search for alternatives began in about 1987  and in the course of time  I  came across  the book  “Competent to Counsel”  by  Jay Adams[2] . I was intrigued by the fact  that here was a Reformed  theologian  and pastor who had dared  to  effectively challenge   the  counselling systems   of    revered  icons  of the   world of psychology,  such as  Sigmund Freud  and Carl Rogers. 

 Jay Adams answered  all three of my questions. He  believed   that counselling belonged to the church and her ministers. He believed  that the Bible was a sufficient guide   to  help people  with  their varied psychological problems. He believed that this had been the work of the church long before psychology made its entrance  on the world stage .

I am aware  of the fact that  Jay Adams  has  received  a lot of criticism – and much of it from  Christian quarters  – but  after 25 years in the pastoral ministry, I have  rarely found  a better  way than that which Jay Adams  had  led   me to. 
You see, as  a historic Protestant I am committed to  the principle  of the sufficiency of Scripture  (SOLA SCRIPTURA).  I believe in the  power of the Gospel. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and I believe that  He has delegated  His authority to the church  to  make  obedient disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). I believe  in the Holy Spirit  who comforts,  counsels  and  convicts  the world  of sin through the work of the church.

I have come to see that  pure psychology (if there is such a thing) is  nothing less than  a  humanistic substitute  for biblical theology and biblical anthropology  - the basis of all  genuine pastoral work.   Modern psychology is  essentially steeped  in humanistic  thinking   with respect to   the problems  of  the psyche  (soul)  of man.  It is an attempt to get rid of God and the Bible when dealing  with people. The  system of evolution  is its  willing handmaiden,  for the doctrine of evolution  is an attempt  to replace the Christian concept of a  personal Creator - God. The atheistic doctrine  of  “evolution”  ( i.e.  a series  of impersonal, random,  chance happenings)  is an attempt  to  do away  with  mankind’s personal accountability to  its Creator.

Sadly, many Christians have bought into  the psychological model of counselling.  In many cases  psychology (in its various  forms and expressions) has been  dressed up  in Christian language  to make it acceptable to the church. There is of course   some overlapping of  Biblical counselling with  the insights that  psychologists  derive from empirical  evidence and observation. The difference between biblical counselling and humanistic psychology  lies  in the ultimate questions and answers that only the Bible  provides.  A secular psychologist may  describe a symptom , but he fails  to prescribe    an accurate  cure  when he or she ignores  biblical  revelation about the nature of man and God. And so it is  that medications have become the ‘miracle  cure’ of the modern  psychologist. They   appear to provide relief for a tortured soul - but  they do not provide  ultimate relief.  Psychological medications do not deal with  ultimate problems of the soul. They   mask  the symptoms, and  do not really  deal with the symptoms.  

Biblical counselling is  no easy walk in the park! I have come to see that  authentic Christian counselling, or Biblical counselling  is hard work. There is nothing simplistic about it. It presupposes that the counselor knows  God  and the Bible  really well. It presupposes that  there is a true understanding of  the  fallen-ness of man with respect to his Creator  and hence an understanding  of the nature of sin  and its terrible effects  upon the world. It presupposes that  there is  a healing balm -  a  solution to mankind’s dilemma. It presupposes that God in His mercy has provided  a solution for sin. He is Christ the Saviour. It presupposes that this Saviour  has mandated His church  to exercise her  spiritual gifts among other things   for the healing  of  sick souls. It presupposes that this Saviour has invested real power in His church.  He has given the church   power and wisdom  and knowledge and prayer  to  truly help  tortured souls in this world.  All that genuinely come to Him He will never drive away.  

Wayne and Carol Mack at Eastside 2014 
Now   Dr.  Jay Adams  is the  father of the modern  biblical counselling movement, and  Dr. Wayne Mack, another venerable pioneer  in the Biblical Counselling movement  has  recently told me, “we all stand upon  the  shoulders  of Jay Adams”.  Dr Mack considers  Jay Adams as a modern Martin Luther, leading the church back to her true  roots and  to her source of  true authority in the field of   the care of the soul .  
We are thankful that others,  such as the men and women of the  Christian Counselling and Education Foundation (CCEF)  have followed in his footsteps to recover for us  a  renewed  confidence  in the  sufficiency of the Bible  with respect to  the discipline of counselling .

Tedd Tripp at Eastside 2013 
At Eastside Baptist Church   we  have been using the material of   Jay Adams, Wayne Mack  and the Christian  Counselling and Education  Foundation, and   the material of men such as Tedd and  Paul Tripp  and  many others   to provide  sound counselling resources for our people .

In 2013   Anita Manthe, a graduate  in Biblical Counselling from  the  Master’s  College  in Los Angeles, USA has  joined us, and   our elders have  felt compelled to  make use of her skills.

We  had invited  Dr Wayne Mack  who  has  resided in South Africa for a number of years now, and who is a director  of “ Strengthening Ministries Training International “  (SMTI) ,   to visit us in April 2014 with the view to  help us  to  establish  a biblical counselling  center  in our country.

We  have now established a Biblical Counselling  office at Eastside  Baptist Church,  and  we have formally  registered the  Biblical Counselling Association of Namibia ( BCAN) with the local authorities.   
As from   the 22nd of May  2014 we will  begin with  formal  biblical counselling training   with  the help of   Dr Mack’s  DVD  material.

So why are we  doing this?

1.     We believe  that   biblical counselling  helps the church  to truly reach out  with the compassion of Christ and the wisdom of His word  to a needy world .

2.     For many years we have been asking  how we can  get practically involved in our community  in a life transforming way.  Our  conviction is  that the church exists  to make Christ  known through  His Word.  This happens through the regular and faithful proclamation of the Word of God  through our regular church services  and  in our  small groups. Many people  in our community however  do not darken the door of   a church. However, since  our  community   is extremely needy  in terms of marriage  issues, child raising issues, financial  issues  and similar  other  matters we  will be able to reach into their hearts  through this means. Personal counselling and  regular  seminars that will  speak to  the community’s  real needs will go a long way  to help.

3.     We are committed to train and disciple  skilfull , thoughtful, loving  biblical counsellors   who will go a long way  to  help our community  to find the Lord Jesus Christ  as a living  LORD , and who through obedience to His Word  are enabled to live truly happy lives .  

Please pray for us and  encourage us  in this work ! 

Interested people in Namibia are  welcome to contact  Anita Manthe  or Pastor Joachim Rieck  for further information.  




[1] Named after Carl Rogers  ( 1902 – 1987) an influential American psychologist  and among the founders of the humanistic approach  (or client-centered approach) to psychology. Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research.
[2] Jay E. Adams : Competent to Counsel,  Presbyterian & Reformed , 1970