Considering the Zulu Nation and the Gospel of Jesus

Rural Ministry

In the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul makes two of the toughest statements in the entire New Testament:

Galatians 1:8-9 NASB

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! [9] As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

Galatians 3:10 NASB

For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.”

The particular characteristic of an aberrant gospel cited here is a replacement of faith in Jesus with the works of the Law, a belief system in which God’s presence was earned by human behavior. While Paul’s immediate context was Judaic Legalism, there have been many similar examples throughout history. In each case, faith in Jesus is always replaced by some combination of a false messiah and a ritual system of behaviour that supposedly generates a blessing. The result is a curse that is a fancy word describing the consequence of a life lived in separation from God. Either someone who preaches a false gospel or a person who believes in one are jeopardized.

Trina and I see a modern day example of this living in the middle of the traditional homeland of the Zulu tribe in South Africa. One of the principal false gospels that ensnares Zulus is entitled Shembe. The worship ascribes deity to present and past cult leaders, encorporates some of the Judaic laws from the Old Testament, and emphasizes spiritism, meaning contact with animal and ancestal spirits, in their worship practices.

This aberrant gospel ensnares around four million of the ten million Zulu people. The result of this misplaced faith cannot be described as anything other than an accursed existence. Alcoholism, AIDS, Tuberculosis and poverty are rife amongst this largely subjugated people group, with women and children often being the most effected.

We find hope in Galatians 3:13-14 NASB which says,

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, “Cursed IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON a TREE”- [14] in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Knowing Christ not only forgives us, but it provides access to the Holy Spirit. When individuals begin to be led by the direction of Jesus through the Holy Spirit, curse fades and HOPE begins to appear. Having seen some transformation already, we have done our best to pray and this is our plan among the Zulus in 2018:

1) We have spent the last ten years establishing relationships and encouraging pastors in several rural Zulu communities. They all have physical needs, especially improved meeting places, and specific needs for spiritual support. Up to this point we have largely centralized our efforts to reach the most leaders. In 2018, We will be taking preaching, teaching and interested sponsors to more localized works, concentrating more on the people in the villages themselves.

2) Uplifting women with the Gospel of Jesus will be a focus in 2018. There will be several Zulu women’s conferences featuring Trina and other ladies in the ministry.

3) We will be working with children by helping foster pre-primary English literacy in 2018. We have a simple program, based on Bible Scripture, that will greatly enhance young Zulus in becoming English literate. This will be run through our pastor’s network and their volunteers.

We covet your prayer for our work amongst the Zulus in 2018! We also invite you to pray about your specific involvement in this area of our ministry!

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