It’s Getting Rather Hot

Posted: 23 November, 2018 in Uncategorized

I watched Trevor Noah’s latest stand-up comedy this evening, Son of Patricia. His views are decidedly to the left. Obviously. He works on TV – and anyone who works on TV in America knows that to stay afloat one must toe the party line. The media is so liberal that they will not tolerate anybody who does not agree. Having said that, I don’t think he is being forced into those views. I think he, like many others has drunk enough liberal kool-aid to begin believing in the craziness.

Anyway, putting that performance together with what I hear of American news and what I see even in South Africa, I can only conclude that the world is going insane and Christians can either stand up in opposition or be swept into apostasy. There is no safe neutral ground. The sad part is that I feel like much of the Church is being slowly boiled alive like the frog in the pot on the stove. The Church is slowly being boiled to death in the cultural water without even realising it. When will we stand up and say, “The emperor has no clothes on and the gospel is the only solution to this mess,” rather than seeing how close we can get to the flame without getting burnt.

We need to believe what we say we believe and allow that truth to animate us. We simply cannot afford – I simply cannot afford to continue to say that I believe the Bible but live like truth is relative.


Pleasure in Toil

Posted: 10 April, 2018 in Uncategorized

I met with a few teenage boys last night, which is something that we do on a monthly basis. We get together to discuss topics related to being a godly man.

Last night we had a guest over and in general, the guest will give something of a biography of himself so that the boys can see how he got from where they are, to where he is currently, and how his testimony works itself out in his chosen profession.

As usual, I think I benefitted more than the kids did, and the discussion left me mulling over (among other things) the nature of work.

The speaker made the point that having worked in his dad’s shop since primary school, and hating every moment, he realised that the more he hated it, the slower the time moved. The experience taught him to find pleasure in excellence, no matter what he found himself doing.

The fact is, he said, there will be times when you are working, no matter what type of work it is, that you will not feel like doing it, but you have to just knuckle down and get the job done. There is much truth in that for teenage boys to hear – even the fighter pilot has to do things he doesnt feel like doing sometimes.

But its not just helpful to teenage boys – I needed to be reminded of that again. There is much in the way of work which requires sheer self-discipline.

Having said that, there is also much reward to be gained from work, if we do it with the proper perspective. If we stop thinking about work as a means to an end, the end of making a living, and simply focus on taking pleasure in the act of creation. As we create something good, we are expressing the image of God far better than a simple wage earner, even in a sin-cursed world where work is… well – hard work!

“…also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” Ecclesiastes 3:13


Last night some friends and I did a crazy, spontaneous thing by going to watch the 11pm screening of the new Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi.

I really enjoyed the movie, in spite of watching it in 3D (which I despise!). The cinematography and special effects made for a satisfying experience, and the way they were able to superimpose Carrie-Ann Fischer’s face onto the new actress, was absolutely flawless.

I was struck by a few very noticeable elements in the movie which came across quite boldly. There were definitely some agendas being pushed by this artwork. Using the word, “agenda”, sounds so sinister and conspiratorial. That is not my intention, but I have to recognize and acknowledge the reality that film is a very powerful medium. It is highly influential and widely disseminated, and while there may or may not be deliberate intentions for influencing the culture on the part of the movie-makers, they most certainly do set trends, and they also (wanting to please the masses and thereby make more money) will be quick to bow to current social pressures.

So what were these ‘agendas’, exactly?

Feminism. A strong feminist bent was about as subtle as one of those Kangaroo-dog-camels, rampaging through the casino. Females were cast for the majority of the leadership roles (not to mention the main character is a female). Interestingly, the makers did not try to portray the female leaders in a butch way, as if they were trying to live up to a male stereotype. Instead they made many of them very ‘girly’ but still wanted us to believe that they were highly effective, accomplished and war-hardened military heroes – something I found particularly unbelievable. In a day and age of gender fluidity and lack of definition, I saw the clearly lady-like women (albeit in very unladylike roles), very interesting.

Bunny-hugging. Or birdie-hugging, in this case. Clearly, the makers wanted to send a pro-animal message – they made some very cute, and cuddly looking creatures, and then put them in scenes where they were being cruelly-treated. That is all good and well – as a Christian, I am told to care for the life of my beasts. What I found disturbing, was how cruelty and immorality was being portrayed.

At one point Chewbacca was about to eat a roast bird, when a bunch of other cute, cuddly birds with big sorry-for-me-eyes came and watched him. He tried to scare them away, but in the end he didn’t eat the bird, and clearly felt ashamed for having killed it in the first place.

At another point we see some alien whipping a racing Kangaroo-dog-camel, and clearly the implication is that this is wrong. Of course, whipping an animal can easily be cruel, and there were stripes left on these creatures which support the idea that the whipping was excessive. However, using animals for racing and disciplining them corporally is not in-itself wrong. In fact, animals were made to be used and to serve man. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the implications of Darwinian evolution. If an evolutionist wishes to hold on to morality, he or she must not distinguish between humans and other less-evolved life-forms. If you say that animals are not worthy of the same rights as humans, then you must answer the question, “Why?” This is unanswerable from and evolutionary standpoint.

Crossing ethnic and racial divides. This comes across strongly, and clearly the makers want to show that ultimately we are all the same regardless of external factors, and we can work together for the greater good. I applaud this particular message, which just goes to show, that its not the fact that there are agenda’s and messages being sent in art which is the problem. It is who’s messages and agenda’s they are. Are they Satan’s or are they God’s?

My last observation for the purposes of this article is that they tried very hard to stick as closely as possible to the original trilogy (episode IV, V and VI) décor and themes – this is most noticeable in the form of Master Yoda, who appears toward the end of the film, looking and sounding far more like the original Yoda than the (in my opinion) better, more polished Yoda of Episodes I, II and III.

P.S. Whatever happened to training Jedi? So the oldschool Jedi had to train for years. Heck, they almost didn’t accept Anakin, because he was too old. But recently, it seems like Jedi can do it on their own, purely on natural talent, and without much more than a crash course, they can beat formidable dark opponents.

P.P.S. I did actually enjoy this movie, in spite of what may sound like a negative rant

A Consolation in Affliction

Posted: 3 December, 2017 in Uncategorized
The below is taken from The Great Gain of Godliness by Thomas Watson:
  1. When the Lord afflicts the saints yet he deals well with them because he is their God.
  2. When it goes badly with the godly, yet God deals well with them because, while he is inflicting evil upon them he is doing them good. ‘It is good for me that I have been afflicted’ (Psalm 119:71)
               The godly grow wiser
               Affliction promotes holiness
  1. When God puts his children to the school of the cross, yet he deals well with them because he does not leave them without a promise: ‘God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.’ (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  2. God deal swell with his people when he afflicts because afflictions are preventative.
               They prevent sin
               They prevent hell
  1. When God corrects he deals well with his people because all he does is in love. ‘As many as I love, I rebuke.’ (Revelation 3:19)
  2. God deals well with his people when he afflicts them because he moderates his stroke; ‘I will correct thee in measure.’ (Jeremiah 30:11; 46:28)
  3. When God afflicts his children he deals well with them because he keeps them from sinning in affliction; ‘I pray… that thou shouldest keep them from evil.’ (John 17:15)
               The godly are kept from impatience.
               The godly dare not use any dishonest means to extricate themselves out of trouble.
  1. God deals well with his children in affliction because though he correct them, he does not forsake them. ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever.’ (Lamentations 3:31)
  2. God deals well with his children in affliction because though their condition should be sad, yet it is not so bad as others. 
  3. God in affliction deals well with his children because, if he takes away one comfort, he leaves more behind. 
  4. When God afflicts, he deals well with his people because he takes away nothing from them but he gives them that which is better. 
  5. When God afflicts his children he deals well with them because he affords them his divine presence: ‘I will be with him in trouble.’ (Psalm 91:15)
  6. God in afflicting deals well with his children because he gives them that which makes amends for their afflictions; he drops in the oil of gladness; he makes them gather grapes of thorns: ‘Your sorrow shall be turned into joy’ (John 16:20)
  7. When God corrects his children he deals well with them because these paroxysms or hot trials do not last long. After the clouds, the sun. ‘I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever’ (1 Kings 11:39)
  8. When God puts his children to the school of the cross he deals well with them . ‘Our light affliction… worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory’ (2 Corinthians 4:17)

The World Without Worry

Posted: 21 October, 2017 in Uncategorized

Remember when you were a little kid, and you looked ahead to some career, or activity that you would only be able to do as an adult.

Think of driving, for example. How did you feel as you anticipated driving your own car one day? Don’t you remember feeling like to be able to drive would just be the best thing in the world? The freedom, the speed, the autonomy, the nice car, the independence! What’s not to love??

Then we grow up and few of us experience life the way we pictured it as a child. Not only does the novelty wear off, but our frontal cortex takes over and we begin to dwell on the RESPONSIBILITY of being an adult.
As a driver, you have to think about the wear and tear on your car; you have to think about the price of petrol, and the fact that your little joy ride costs something. You have to think about the risk of an accident, the time wasted in traffic, and a million other negatives. The result is – all the joy the child in you expected simply evaporates!

I have been thinking a lot about perspective, anxiety and fear-of-man, recently, and I am beginning to think that the perspective of the child is the better one.
Yes, the kid-version-of-you didn’t realise the responsibility that come with a career, or a car, or kids, but he did know where to focus.

I think that it is possible to be both responsible AND childlike in our experience of life. Stop thinking that life has to be perfect to be enjoyable. Realise the risks, but don’t dwell on them. Acknowledge the fact that life isn’t a bed of roses, but choose not to fixate on the thorns. Remember how young-you looked at life, and let that little guy/girl out to enjoy it!

I have heard and read so much on the subject of Christian dating. Some of it is helpful, but most of it is decidedly not. A lot of the current advice boils down to this:
“How can a young man or woman engage in a God-honouring romantic relationship?” The answer: “By not doing it.” This is often accompanied by the verse from Song of Solomon about “do not stir up or awaken love until it pleases”
Having now successfully dated a damsel, and married her, I would like to write briefly about my experience and share what worked, and what didn’t, what I am proud of and what I regret.
The Purpose-Driven Date
Let’s get this out of the way from the start. Christians do not date as a form of social recreation without any purpose other than their own hedonic desires. That is not only asking for trouble, physically and emotionally, but it creates bad patterns, worldviews and attitudes for marriage, and skews your thinking about Christ and his relationship with the Church.
Marriage Isn’t Everything
It seems so obvious it almost goes without saying, and yet it must be said. Just because the goal is marriage, does mean that every dating relationship must end there. Let me explain. I think that for the Christian every dating relationship entered into should have a reasonable chance on the face of it of ending in marriage, but without spending time getting to know the person, you cant know for sure. If you see that you aren’t a good match, be honest with the person and call it off. There is a huge difference between purposeless, hedonistic dating and a relationship which doesn’t end in marriage.
Levels to Your Love
Dating is not some “next level” sort of social dimension. Dating ought to be in my opinion, the natural progression in a good friendship between a man and a woman. This applies whether the said man and woman are in their late teens, or in their late twenties or even thirties.
The concept is basically an attempt to restore the progression of a friendship to what it naturally is.
I believe that it is best for lovers to have been friends first in order to:
        prove to themselves that their attraction is more than infatuation
        to have a solid basis on which to build a more unique relationship.
Without a friendship, they are thrown right into the “deep-end” so to speak, and whilst I dont deny the very real possiblity that it will work out in the end, I believe that its much easier to love someone you know meaningfully, and to deal with problems which inevitably arise when you have been good friends first.
Thus the flow of a relationship ideally proceeds as follows:
Acquintance → Friend → Good friend → Best friend → Lover → Spouse
This is not to say that relationships cannot develop very differently, but it seems to me to be the most natural progression from friendship to something more. Marriage is the closest human relationship we can experience. If it is not based on friendship, then we might as well throw our names in a hat and draw life partners. This of course, does not mean that the friendship cannot move quickly into deeper waters, but it does mean that you should not date someone for whom you have no attraction or common interests. (Lets leave arranged marriages out of this for the sake of staying on topic)
Therefore – we would like to avoid certain cultural ‘pitfalls’ which are not conducive to what we believe is natural. One of them is the idea of too definite ‘categories’. Specifically in this instance is the category of ‘dating’. This is not because we want to be different for its own sake, but because the category carries unhelpful baggage which only makes a God-glorifying friendship more difficult. The baggage I’m referring to is the expectations that come with the term. Expectations are not intrinsically wrong, and in fact many are praiseworthy – but these good expectations can still be fulfilled because of biblically transformed minds and good discussion.
However, the vast majority of expectations associated with dating are unhelpful – for example, a sudden increase in physical contact – this is not natural, and just makes temptation more difficult to deal with.
A second example is that of exclusion and exclusivity – we want to avoid damaging other edifying friendships by creating too strong an “us and them” understanding in our friend’s minds.
A third reason is that making it known that “we are dating” might be ok for those who are involved in the relationship, but for others it appears very much as if the pair have gone from ‘nothing to everything’ in an instant – how is that normal??
It would be much better to prove the depth of their bond by their growing friendship over time. Just as faith without works is dead, so, just because you say you love someone, doesn’t mean you do. The time for announcing things comes with engagement, not before.
Not everyone would agree with this style of doing things because its quite different and it doesn’t take much contemplation to realize that this idea is a bit of a ‘Utopia’ which means “No place”. This assessment isn’t completely off the mark because the idea of a natural progression is not without its complications – physical contact, giving answers to curious friends and parental approval, just to mention a few.
Parental Approval
This is, a true paradox – its easily the simplest and most difficult part at the same time. It is simple in the sense that the girl belongs to her parents, not to the guy, and the Bible demands that children obey their parents and honour their father and mother even where they haven’t spoken to a topic specifically. That’s easy enough to understand and implement. 1 + 1 = 2 there’s really nothing to it except acceptance.
It is simultaneously difficult because misunderstandings are easy both positively and negatively and because rules that parents lay down may be discussed, but not ignored. They are not always pleasant to the ones they affect. You cannot change many of the rules given by parents, even those which you disagree with, but as far as the future goes, as well as parts of our circumstances that we can control Christians will want to submit  themselves to the loving sovereignty of God in doing whatever their parents would like. This will be worth it in the end for the sake of a good conscience, pleasing the Lord and because sacrifice proves the genuineness of the love.
With regard to speaking to the girl’s father – I’ve always been of the opinion that the conservative Christian practice of “speaking to the father” has been grossly exaggerated to the point where asking the father to date his daughter is tantamount to asking for her hand in marriage – as far as I’m concerned, that is just ridiculous! Having said that, I will concede that “a good Greek boy would have come to me and asked to date my daughter” at least informing the father is only polite and right. It always helps to explain your intentions and bring parents on-board as far as your thinking goes. This is honouring to your potential future in-laws and shows them that you respect them and are mature enough to warrant trust. 
The Physics
The general rule is the principles laid down in Scripture, but there is a need to be more specific, without at the same time undoing the ‘naturalness’ we were aiming for by going the unconventional route we have outlined above in the first place.
More specific guidelines need to take into account parental advice/rules and mutual discussion, along with the desire to be godly on the one hand and on the other not to be unnaturally rigid so as to squash all displays of affection. Ecclesiastes speaks of a time for everything. The time for most physical contact is after marriage, but before that, there are times when touch is appropriate and times when it is not. I believe that this can be best controlled in a natural friendship, rather than a sudden implementation of a set of expectations that come with the ‘dating category.’
This is an area where I do have regrets. It is helpful to remember that with raging hormones, you are often not thinking straight and are able to justify behaviour which is sinful, and so if I were to do it all over again, I would err on the side of caution for the sake of honouring God.
The Law of Diminishing Returns
Be aware of the fact that what is really exciting and enjoyable now, will in all likelihood not remain that way. As sinners we are not easily contented and therefore always looking for more. This is especially relevant during the engagement period.
The Actual Dates
Avoid seclusion.
Choose dates which will enhance your relationship and knowledge of the individual. By this I mean – don’t let every date be a movie. Go out for coffee, and picnics, and walks. These activities will give you the opportunity to speak to each other and get to know each other more.
Go out with other friends too – this will give you a chance to see how your partner interacts with other people and in a group, and is a good opportunity to see your friends and your date together.
Set aside time to read the Bible together and discuss what you read. Follow this up with prayer. Kerry and I used to travel to university together quite often and arrive early and read, discuss and pray. This not only helped us to start the day off with truth and light, but also to form good habits, and orientate our relationship around the Lord
Answering the Curious Georges (or Georginas)
Its impossible to hide an attraction from onlookers forever, and there comes a point when there really is no reason to do so. When presented with the common question, “So are you dating?” it would probably be best to answer the person according to who they are. Closer church friends can be answered by either an explanation, or simply, “no, but I understand what you mean – and yes, we do care for each other” or something generic. To non-Christian friends, trying to explain is just a waste of breath – they’ll never understand so just answer them according to their expectations – telling them you’re not dating eventually gets seen as untruthful because to them
Love = date
And trying to explain to them seems like a matter of ‘nitpicky’ semantics which is not the case. The best response is probably a, “yes.” It might turn out to be an effective evangelistic opportunity when they see how we treat each other, and how different it is to relationships they’ve had or are currently in.
Take some opportunities to see your friends as individuals – this goes a long way to showing your friends that you haven’t forgotten about them.
Friendships, and by extension, dating relationships are based on communication. If not, then your partner may in fact be a straw man called “Infatuation”. All straw partners eventually show their true colours, but some only too late.
In my observation of other couples, I noticed that a large majority of fights and problems arise out of either misunderstandings or lack of communication.
In my relationship with Kerry we therefore resolved to always speak about everything as early as possible. This way the risk of misunderstanding, and small molehills turning into mountains is minimized. In addition this allows for mutual submission and service. Naturally, this requires a commitment from both parties not to take criticism personally, and to be willing to rethink and work through any topic. True love does not insist on its own way, and therefore if fights are arising commonly because one or both of you will not budge on an issue, then I think that there needs to be some serious self-examination.
The Fade to Normal
Remember that no matter how hard you try to keep the butterflies and the feelings of magic and romance, there is an inevitable familiarization which occurs in a relationship. Holding hands once thrilled your soul, but after a while you notice that it makes your hand sweaty and useless. Getting a message from your loved one used to make your day, but now its the norm. In a sense, and to a degree, there is nothing wrong with this, although I would urge people to fight to keep fanning the sparks into flames throughout life, there is a lesson to be learned. Your partner is on their best behaviour during the dating period. Therefore, if they are overly irksome and there are many disagreements and altercations during the dating period, beware – marriage will not magically make everything better. On the contrary, with familiarization, the chances are good that all of these negatives will be intensified.
Don’t overdo it
Proverbs 25:17 says, “Let your foot be seldom in your neighbour’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.”
This is wise advice and there is an application in the dating realm too.
Dating when you are seeking to honour the Lord is not easy, but things of value seldom come cheaply. Dating can be a wonderfully fruitful and productive time of getting to know someone you are attracted to. It has many pitfalls, and many opportunities for temptation, but the Christian who sincerely wants to pursue marriage and goes in with his eyes open, having a prayerful heart and in dependence on God’s divine aid, will find the process well worth the effort.

Lessons From Adoption

Posted: 5 May, 2017 in Adoption, Parenting

Ionizing radiation. X-rays, gamma-rays, nuclear power and atom bombs. I knew that they were dangerous, acted silently and could kill. Very few things stop ionizing radiation, so basically you can’t run or hide from it. It causes cancer.

Cancer – bald children, emaciated, skeletal old people with tubes on their faces. Death. “Could you catch it?” I wondered many times as a child.

Radiation and cancer struck fear into my young heart, and fear brought with it a desire to avoid both. Then I studied dentistry, which of course brought a lot of both radiation and cancer into my orbit. Strangely enough, the more I learned about the two topics, the more my fear melted away. I kept a healthy respect for radiation, but also learned to use it for good. I developed an empathy for cancer-sufferers, and a desire to help them wherever I could. Cancer wasn’t some dreaded bug, it was merely dysfunctional, fast-growing cells. These people were fundamentally normal.

This experience taught me a lesson which I will never forget: we fear things we don’t understand.

As a child, I did not have positive feelings toward adoption. I didn’t feel exactly negative, but I did think that it was unusual. At least, I was glad that I was not adopted. The adopted kids that I knew seemed normal enough but I didn’t know them very well, and I had heard stories about how adopted kids had “issues”.

Late 2005 God moved my family to Brackenhurst Baptist Church in Alberton, where I was exposed to adopted and fostered kids. Heck, I even fell in love with a girl who’s parents had run a home for babies and young kids awaiting adoption. She had an adopted brother. Once again, my walls were crumbling through exposure. Gradually, God used friends and circumstances to soften my heart to adoption and without necessarily verbalizing it, I knew that God was leading me to adopt a child one day. God was doing the same thing in Kerry’s heart, and by the time we got married, we both knew that we wanted to adopt.

About a year and a half into our marriage, we made the decision to adopt a little boy first, before trying to fall pregnant. Our reasoning was that we wanted our adopted child to know that they were chosen – that we wanted them, and that we hadn’t simply adopted them because we wanted A CHILD, and couldn’t have one the normal way. God gave us twin girls, which goes to show that He is sovereign even over those circumstances which you think that you can control!


Since 16 October 2015, I have learned some profound lessons about parenting which I think having adopted children has made easier to understand for me than for other parents who have had children through natural methods.

1.       I have come to understand something of the meaning of being adopted into God’s family. My girls didn’t have much to offer us. Basically, by adopting them, we were committing to provide for them emotionally, spiritually and financially without knowing anything about their personalities, and very little about their needs. Of course in the case of an adopted baby, you get a really cute child, and the joyous experience of raising a little human. When God adopts a sinner into His family, He pays the ultimate price, for a reprehensible individual who actually wants nothing to do with him, lives in ways He finds offensive, and even after being shown unspeakable kindness by being made one of His children, continually disappoints Him by going back to their old ways.

2.       I have been shown something deep about parenting which sadly, I think many, if not most parents never see. Perhaps it would even prevent a lot of heartache. Your children are not your property! Whether they share some of your DNA or not, they are not yours. It may sound obvious to say out aloud – Every child is an individual. This is true regardless of where they came from. We know this about ourselves – we all think of ourselves as being our own people, not somehow owned by our parents. Hypocritically, we believe that having children through biological means, somehow makes them belong to us, whereas adopted children are foreigners living in families not their own.


The truth is that God places children into families to be shaped and cared for, for about twenty years, and then they fly the coop. Adoption has brought this fact to the forefront of my thinking in a unique way. You may suspect that this knowledge makes me feel like I am raising nieces rather than daughters and that I would be a father distant and aloof from my children. Paradoxically, knowing that I do not own my girls, has helped me to love them more, and not less than I would have if I believed that they were my own property. The realization has just brought perspective, and allowed me to see that it is ultimately God who builds families. He destined Erin and Julia to be daughters to Anton and Kerry, just as surely as if they had been born into our family the natural way.

It comes down to this conviction: He didn’t make some sort of mistake by causing their biological or “tummy mommy” to fall pregnant with them and then give them up for adoption. No – He meant for them to be Beetges, just as He meant for me to be a Beetge.


Trying to possess things on this earth that were meant to be stewarded and not possessed, just brings pain and disappointment. Children don’t conform to the pattern parents set out for them and parents are not able to raise them in the fear and instruction of the Lord because they fear their rejection. Ultimately God is the only “thing” we can truly possess. He alone satisfies, and He alone has permanence. Possessing any other thing is an illusion.