Point of View: Safety on Farms and Farm Murders

In ’n tyd soos hierdie is dit nodig om ’n duidelike standpunt oor plaasmoorde in te neem en tot die regte aksie oor te gaan. Om jou as Christen te help om verantwoordelik op te tree, deel ons graag met jou Amos Agrimin se amptelike standpunt.

Safety on Farms and Farm Murders

Point of view of Amos Agrimin by Hennie Viljoen – 31 October 2017

Amos Agrimin is deeply concerned about the renewed attacks on farms and the murder of agriculturalists in South Africa.  We express our sympathy to every individual, family and community that has been affected (directly or indirectly) by these events.

Point of View:

It is unnecessary to formulate a new point of view on attacks and murder on farms.  God’s Word is clear:  You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13).  This includes hate and insulting language (Matthew 5:21-22).  You may not harm your neighbour in any way.  You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14).  Any and all sex out of marriage is a rape of marriage as a holy institution of God.  This includes everything:  Dirty jokes about sex and pornography that undermines marriage, sex in exchange for money, rape, molestation and homosexual deeds (Leviticus 20:10-27;  Malachi 13-16;  Matthew 5:27-32; Romans 1:18-31;  1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 5:3-5 and 1 Timothy 1:8-11 to name but a few portions).  You shall not steal (Exodus 20:15).  You may not steal from the Lord (Malachi 3:6-12), from your fellow human being or from your employer (Ephesians 4:28) or from your employees (James 5:1-6).  Attacks, violence and murders on farms break all these commandments.  Therefore they are entirely unacceptable, no matter what the motive behind such attacks may be.  Therefore Amos Agrimin condemns these actions in the strongest terms.  It must stop!  It must stop now!  However, we call on agriculturalists (employers and employees) to make sure that they are not guilty of the same things in a more “civilised” way but to keep condemning them.

Action:

  1. Conquer evil with good!

Even though people do not want to hear it, this is what the Lord commands:  “Do not take revenge, … If your enemy is hungry, feed him;  if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:19-21.  Also read Exodus 23:4-5 and Proverbs 25:21-22 and Matthew 5:43-48).  Jesus said, “… love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you.”  (Luke 6:27 and 28).  I am not being pious – it is possible.  My own brother, Albert Viljoen, was murdered on a farm near Upington in September 1984.  We chose to get better instead of bitter. A few years later, in August 1993, my wife, Janetta, and I started the AMOS ministry:  Living and Farming God’s Way!  AMOS certainly has helped to prevent and conquer a great deal of “evil” in agriculture with good.

  • Be pro-active! Become involved in AMOS AGRIMIN (amosafrica.net) and other initiatives that overcome evil with good.  Let us farm with more integrity and strive towards Living and Farming God’s Way.
  • God wants to reveal Himself to people as the One who Provides (Genesis 22:14). He wants to provide in their needs and to take care of them.  But God works through people.  He calls on us as agriculturalists to produce food so that people will physically “taste” His goodness and care.  Let us keep producing sufficient nourishing and healthy food for those who insult, hate and kill us (See the above Scriptures).  Who knows, if we pray for them and they experience God’s goodness, many of them may be converted (Romans 2:4).

Let us be a blessing to our country and all her people, even though we are being hunted like animals.  When we treat others the way they treat us, we are just like them (Matthew 5:43-48).

  1. Dwell before the Throne

Agriculturalists are doers.  As you can imagine, my first response to the recent crisis in agriculture was:  Get into your “bakkie” and go and do something!  But the Lord convinced me that I should not try to do anything about the matter myself.  His instruction to me was:  Fast and pray for three days.  The result of my obedience to rather Dwell before the Throne did not resolve the crisis but many other breakthroughs were made.  Therefore Amos Agrimin calls on agriculturalists to first of all (1 Timothy 2:1-4) Dwell before the Throne in prayer.  Do not fall into the trap of quickly praying a brief prayer and then spending a great deal of time, money and energy on the physical battle.  A spiritual enemy (Ephesians 6:10-12) cannot be conquered with physical weapons and deeds.  Jesus warned his disciples about this way back in Gethsemane:  “… for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)  His Kingdom does not come by paying back violence with violence, but by obedience to the Father (Luke 22:39-46).  Do not forward prayer requests or participate in actions before you have sacrificed a meal or two and prayed decisively.

  • 2 Chronicles 7:14 must not merely be quoted. It must become a way of life.  It must be revealed through Living and Farming God’s Way.  Then God will hear our prayers (verse 15)!
  • Selfish prayers are no help. Pray for your enemies, other people and especially for leaders and those in authority (Luke 6:28;   Job 42:10 and 1 Timothy 2:1-4).  The Manual that accompanies Dwell before the Throne (40-Day Prayer Focus on Agriculture 2017) contains guidelines that will help you pray effectively for the rural and agricultural community.  Download it free of charge from amosafrica.net.  It is about much more than murder on farms.  Murder on farms is only one of the ways in which the widespread moral, religious, social, economic, authority and leadership crisis in the country is revealed. [According to the statistics released by the SAPS at the end of October, for period of 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, during this twelve month period 19 016 murders were committed in SA.  That is an average of 52 murders per day and 34.2 people per 100 000 of the population.][1] Focus your discussion with God on the diverse causes of the problem and His solution.

Read and pray the prayer in chapter 25 of the above-mentioned manual.  It focuses on safety on farms and is attached to this document.

  1. Make the unity of the Church of Christ visible:

The challenges faced by agriculture are big and diverse.   There are no simple answers or solutions.  We talk at cross-purposes not only because we are divided but also because we keep talking about “us” and “them”, “we” and “they”.  People who talk like this should take note of Proverbs 16:18.  “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”   James says that God opposes the proud (James 4:6) and does not show them favour or grace.  Boet Pretorius, former Zimbabwean farmer, often says that the arrogance of the farmers of Zimbabwe contributed to their destruction.  They did not heed 2 Chronicles 7:14 which was often impressed on them.  They believed that they were untouchable!  Therefore Amos Agrimin calls on every agriculturalist (and politician) not to become proud and to give offence by the way they express themselves and do business.  The price for such pride is very high (Proverbs 17:19 en 18:12)!

  • “This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this:  that they have the understanding to know Me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
  • Remember, division makes the minority even smaller and the weak more vulnerable. Unity is strength!  The greater the unity on farms, in agricultural organisations and the church in rural areas, the louder the cry for help will be heard.  Work for unity!
  • Hear one another’s pain! Pray for one another!  Take one another’s hands!  Become involved in one another’s distress!  If we do not take note of the distress of others (as expressed in the Belhar Declaration of the Uniting Reformed Church) the Word says our calls for help will also go unheard (Proverbs 21:13 and 28:9).  The Lord changed Job’s destiny when he started praying for his friends (Job 42:10).

Amos Agrimin expresses its thanks and appreciation to all Christians who keep praying for agriculturalists (employers and employees) and the challenges agriculture faces.  Please keep on doing so and help us to reveal the Kingdom of God and the culture of heaven here and now in agriculture (Matthew 6:9-13).

[1] https://africacheck.org/factsheets/south-africas-crime-statistics-201617/ (Accessed 31 October 2017)

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Extract from the 40-Day Prayer Focus on Agriculture 2017 – Dwell Before the Throne (Manual)

Chapter 25 – Safety on Farms

(Psalm 91 and Psalm 144:14)

It is not only people who live on farms whose lives are constantly under threat.  It is not only people from other countries and different races who commit violent crime.  Household violence and murder occur among the wealthy and among all races.  Farmers and the police, taxi drivers and the inhabitants of townships are targets.  Many men, women and children are raped and molested every day.  More unborn babies are murdered than anyone else.  A woman’s womb is a more dangerous place than a farm!  But nothing is said about that!  Gangs have taken over many areas.  They rule with military force.  Their authority is recognised, enforced and feared far more than the authority of the state.  The roots of this crisis are varied.  It is a vast moral, religious, economic and leadership crisis!  It affects all of us everywhere!

When we sow one violent crime by legalising it (as with abortion), we open the door to Evil.  We give him the right to sow other violent crimes.  The harvest is death on a large scale!

Therefore we must pray:

  • that the many dark roots of the problem will be brought to light.
  • for the wisdom to address the causes and consequences of the problem.
  • for a willingness and determination by all the role players to root out the problem completely.
  • that Christians will make the Lord their Guardian and Refuge.
  • that Christians will do what 2 Chronicles 7:14 says.

Pray the following prayer for farm murders:

Lord, please grant that cries of terror will never again be heard in our homes or on our farms.  Let no-one ever be assaulted or injured again.  Let no-one ever be molested or raped, tortured, maimed or murdered again.  Let no human blood ever be spilled on our farms again.

Based on Hebrews 1:14 we ask You to command Your angels to stand guard on every farm where your children live and work.  But we ask for more than physical safety.  We pray that You will let every plan of the evil one to attack a farm to be revealed before it is carried out (cf. Acts 23:12-16 and Daniel 2:11-23).  Let the motive behind it be disclosed.  You are the Lord who brings to light what is hidden in the darkness and exposes the motives of the heart (1 Corinthians 4:5).

We pray for good labour and race relations on farms.  We pray for the relationship between the state, the police, the defense forces, government and agriculturalists.  Let them all do their jobs responsibly and competently.  We pray for honest communication, integrity and mutual trust.  We pray that everyone will treat everyone else the way they would like to be treated (Matthew 7:12).  We pray that no-one will pay back evil with evil.  That no-one will harbour bitterness in their heart.  That no-one will take the law into their own hands or take revenge (Romans 12:17-21).  That no-one’s actions or words will lead to conflict and violence.  We pray that everyone will realise that the battle is between light and darkness.  It is not a battle between races and groups of people.

Please guard every farm.  Let Your peace reign there.  In the Name of the King we ask:  Let Your Kingdom come on every farm!

AMEN

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