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Third revised copy 7 May 2009

A Framework for Christian Governance

Introduction

It is generally acknowledged that there are three models for the ordering of
human society:
• Christian Democracy, based on a Biblical Life and World View, and operating
according to by a leadership coalition based on the model of unity-in-diversity
with the enactment of charters of individual as well as cultural, religious and
language community rights (Consociational Democracy)
• Liberal democracy, operating according to the Westminster liberal democratic
ideal of the winner takes all
• Socialist Democracy, operating as an interventionist state that meddles in the
internal affairs of communities and organs of civil society
At the end of this document it is shown to what extent the Human Rights Charter
of the Constitution of SA, 1996 is in conflict with the dictates of Christian
governance.
Christian governance is the only guarantee for the protection of diverse
communities and the individual from the state’s abuse of public power.
The characteristics of governance according to Christian principles are as listed:

1. God makes Himself known as:


• Sovereign
• The Creator of everything that exists
• Involved in upholding creation
• Compassionate
• Just
• Seeking righteousness

2. The human person:


• Is created in the image of God
• Should live in total obedience to God
• Should live in an ethical relationship of love towards other people
• Is called as God’s instruments to establish the Kingdom of God on earth
• Has a right to support its culture, practice its religion and use its language
of choice
• Has the liberty to associate with other persons to form, join and maintain
cultural, religious and linguistic associations and other organs of civil
society

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• Has a right to life, which includes the life of the unborn child

3. The organisation of Christian society:


• Is done in accordance to the principle of unity-in-diversity.
• Unity refers to the common Christian religious direction of each of the
diverse social structures.
• Diversity refers to the diversity of organs of state and of organs of civil
society.
• The diversity of organs of civil society are characterised by cultural and
language identities.
• A Christian society rejects the dogma of liberalism that makes man the
centre of his own universe.
• A Christian society rejects the dogma of totalitarianism that allocates
overarching power to an institution of human society, such as the state

4. The Church:
• Is a religious institution of organised worship by Christian communities
• Has a special duty to teach the Word of God
• Has a specific duty to proclaim the Kingdom of God as being in heaven as
well as on earth
• Should exercise its prophetic responsibility towards proclaiming, directing,
instructing and reprimanding.

5. The state:
• Is a judicial institution and creation of God to ensure order and exercise
justice
• Is an institution that should create the prerequisites for the protection of
human kind, its institutions and the organs of state
• Should divide power according to the responsibility of each organ of civil
society, as well as of organs of state (the executive, the legislative, the
administrative and the judicial)
• Should govern according to just laws
• Should protect and advance the development of disadvantaged persons or
categories of persons.
• Should protect the right to life, including the life of the unborn child.
• May only in extreme circumstances relating to the public interest disown
owners of their property rights
• In the formulation of just laws to consult with organs of civil society and
organised communities in terms of aspects of its unique existence

6. The state’s structure:


• Is fixed by geographical boundaries
• Presupposes citizens with rights and obligations
• There must be an organised government structure
• Just laws are to structure and organise organs of state
• The federal state guarantees greater freedoms than the unitary state (due to
geopolitical separation in provinces with original functions and devolution
of power from the national to the provincial to the regional structures)

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7. The judiciary:
• Operates independently of the executive
• Appoints its own functionaries according to specific criteria and
procedures
• Structures itself according to the demands of functionality
• Is bound by Charters of Human and Community Rights
• May apply the death penalty in extreme situations of first degree murders
and rape, etc.
• Should exercise law according to the law of the land and in terms of
modern international laws and standards, in as much as those laws could
be reconciled with the four charters (individual rights, language rights,
cultural rights and religious rights) and as long as those laws and practices
respect the right to life (also of the unborn child) and the dignity of the
human personality

8. Jurisprudence:
• Should observe international and customary law, in as much as it is not in
conflict with the Charters of Individual and of Community Rights
• Must recognise indigenous laws and practices as the internal right of
traditional communities structured according to their own religious
direction and cultural orientation

9. Safety and Security Services:


• Are answerable to parliament
• Should be differentiated between the Police, the Armed Forces and the
Secret Services, with internal autonomy for each
• Exist to secure the rights of the individual, freedom of the state, the liberty
of organs of civil society and public as well as private property
• May not be used for political purposes
• Offenders who are employees of security services may be judged by
special military courts

10. State employees:


• Are public servants
• Are appointed on merit
• Are to be evaluated regularly according to performance criteria
• Are required to operate in accordance with ethical rules and norms

11. Penitentiaries:
• Are institutions where people are separated from society for the protection
of society
• Offenders should be punished in relation to the seriousness of the crime
but then accompanied by religious, educational and psychological
programmes exercised by trained and qualified persons (including clergy),
with the purpose to rehabilitate them with the purpose to reintegrate them
into society
• The link between an offender and the family is important

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• Penitentiaries should be developed as industries of a special kind, in order
to be as self-sufficient as possible

12. A political party:


• Is an institution of public law
• Offers a model for the meaningful organisation of human society
• Appoint candidates according to preset criteria, such as ability, quality of
character and qualifications as well as according to suitability and
personality traits, to serve as members of the legislative branches of
government
• Strive to form a government, based on Biblical principles, so as to be able
to put its model into practice
• If in a minority position, should negotiate constructively with the
government of the day so as to advance its solution to problems of state
• Should guard against personal vendettas against other parties and party
functionaries
• Should seek alliances with other parties based on written agreements so as
to further the goals of Christian democracy
• Suitable mechanisms should be developed to resolve conflicts and to
develop a working relationship with others

13. Organs of civil society:


• Are instruments in the organisation of society
• Warrants special protection against state intervention
• Should contribute to cooperative governance based on written
• Reflects the religious, language and cultural diversity in society

14. Organs of the organised economy:


• Have the liberty to determine the market place
• May not monopolise the economy in any way
• Should protect small businesses and entrepreneurs
• Private ownership of property is a cornerstone of a modern Christian
society
• Rural development and agriculture should receive special priority
• Existing monopolies should be dissolved

15. Educational institutions:


• Should be established by the state according to tested standards so as to
ensure quality education
• Should be run according to the religious direction, cultural orientation and
language preferences of organised parental communities
• Should operate according to the norms and standards formulated by the
appropriate organs of state in consultation with organised parental
organisations and institutions, so as to lay down national standards to be
adhered to
• Institutions of higher learning should be governed by private laws to
establish its objectives and to legalise its cultural orientation and religious
direction

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• Should not be misused as instruments of social engineering to further state
ideology
• Strict discipline and even corporeal punishment under controlled
conditions, should be exercised after due process
• Alternative forms of education, such as Home Schooling, should be
allowed

16. The family:


• Is the nucleus of human society
• Consists of one man and one women and their offspring as well as children
entrusted to it
• Warrants special protection from the state
• Paternal authority may not be undermined
• Maternal care is essential and must be encouraged by tax reductions
• Labour practices should enable fathers and mothers to overnight at home
• Parental discipline and even controlled corporeal punishment of children
are important aspects of order in the home
• The protection of the rights of the child should be managed in such a way
as to ensure that the reasonable authority of parents are not eroded nor
undermined
• Adoption of a child by same-sex partners is illegal

17. Human rights:


• Are specially designed to protect the liberty and freedom of the individual
from coercion and state intervention.
• Includes different and distinct charters of individual as well as community
rights of language, cultural and linguistic communities.

18. Christian Marriage:


• Is the union between one man and one women

19. An alliance of leaders:


• Is an important mechanism in the governance of plural societies
• Can combat conflicts in society
• Can contribute to nation building

Conclusion

It is obvious that emanating from this document fundamental criticism may be


directed at the content of the Human Rights Charter of the Constitution of SA, 1996.
The dictum of the supremacy of the Constitution (s.2) contradicts the
fundamental approach of Christian Governance that only God is supreme.
The formulation of rights (Chapter 2 of the Constitution) benefits liberal
democracy only. Community Rights are conspicuously absent in the Constitution.

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The so-called limitation clause (s.36 of the Constitution), makes it possible for
any party – be that liberalism, communism or national-socialism – once elected in the
majority position, to govern by enacting laws that qualifies each and every stipulation
of the Individual Human Rights Charter.
The right to life clause (s.11) is used to outlaw capital punishment, but also to
legalise abortion.
The right to property clause (s. 25) is limited within itself to allocate excessive
power to the government to deprive private property for public purposes or in the
general interest.
The rights of a child (s.28) undermine parental rights to the effect that a child
of 12 years may demand an abortion without the consent of the parent.
The education clause limits the right to education in private educational
institutions to education without state financial assistance.
In addition, organised parental institutions or governing bodies, are actually
substructures of the appropriate organs of state. The independence of organs of civil
societies are being systematically eroded.
Although a Christian may belong to a party which is not structured according
to the model of a Christian democracy, such personal religious orientation does not
make the party itself Christian in its decisions and functioning.
A party that strives to separate religion from politics inevitable redefines God
as an absent God far away from the very people that He created and from the cosmos
that God upholds.

Copy rights are reserved by Dr. JCH Landman until such time that it is accepted as a
working document of an Alliance of parties that wished to promote Christian
democracy.
Pretoria,
2009-05-06

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