A Heart-touching Letter from South Africa

I received the following heart-touching letter from one of my web visitors in Novembers of 2005...

Hi David,

I like the website a lot - I decided to see what I could find on the Net about whether Catholics who praise Mary are practising idolatry - for my wife and I it is just too clear cut but of course you try telling them that... I see that we're not the only people to realise it!

Anyway, the other week I asked a Catholic outright, whether she thought she was practising idolatry, and quoted from the Ten Commandments - she was defensive and said that they don't worship Mary (??) but it's a bit like the Beatles' song "When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me" and it's almost like they can relate to her, being all maternal and that. Surely though this is a joke because of all the idols, icons and the simple fact that anybody from any gender can relate to Jesus???
So, I've printed out a lot of the articles and will take them home when I leave work, to show the wife.
It is really hard to be true to the Word these days... tell me about it... it doesn't surprise me in the least that people complain about your site, it does appear rather radical! But as time goes by and sin increases, the truth will hurt that little bit more. If I had not seen the light almost a year ago, then I would probably have also complained to you. But I did see the light, and I also embarked on a year-long Disciple course at the Methodist Church - so although I am not an expert, I certainly know a lot more about scriptures than many!
Like at work - I left my job, and a year later they asked me to come back. It's timeshare. I am not happy about timeshare, as there is so much bad stuff going on, but I think of myself as God's little helper in this bad industry, as I get as many clients booked as possible, so that they at least do not get ripped off, like so many do... but now I have to sign a new permanent contract - and the one clause states that I immediately consent to working on Sundays if needed. It is generally not needed, but still! I objected on religious grounds, and they will not back down. As a compromise, they will let me sign another 6-month temporary contract that doesn't have the clause. As it is, here in South Africa they took away Ascension and Whitsun! But, the truth is that jobs are scarce and, being white, sadly that plays a role - with Affirmitive Action, racism is now reversed. I don't foresee violence, but definitely in terms of jobs, as well as other things, whites lose out on a lot of things, and when they do achieve something, "it's racism". I can understand that whites over here could be punished this way for Apartheid, although the mainly Christian blacks wouldn't be practising forgiveness this way - but I only came down here 4 years ago and I never racially disadvantaged anybody - in fact, when I lived in The Netherlands (I'm originally from England), I endured horrible racism at the hands of the Dutch!
I think though that we all have sin in us - your website is a bit much - almost as if you were talking as a totally righteous person. I know you probably aren't, but it does come across that way a bit. I mean, I am doing all I can to be sin-free, and have abandoned (or am still abandoning) sinful things that I did/do as an atheist; I feel like a Jesus freak but frankly that's a good thing! But my wife and I still practise birth control, which some see as evil - life in today's world, especially South Africa, is so tough that having one child is impossible to survive with, let alone many! In South Africa, all prices have gone up to Western standards or higher, but wages didn't go up - we pay heavily for school fees, extortionate medical-aid rates, insurance is crazy, and with the economy being that of monopolies and restricted trade, companies milk us dry. Bank charges are 14x more expensive than by you in the USA! In a country with so much poverty, the evil economy just got a whole lot more evil. I am currently trying hard to find a bigger place to live, which is hard because house prices shot up 3-4x in just 3 years, and I have to earn a CEO's wage to buy my first house! And yet I'm not a bad earner, so for other young people or the poor masses seriously have no chance to get anywhere in life... I want to, so I can lay solid foundations, so that we can have a child soon. You can't have a child in a 1-bedroom flat, and the rent for a 2-bedroom is so high that you may as well buy a cheap place. I'm worried about the world we'd bring the child into, but also it is God's ultimate gift after all...
And how do you preach to the person who is blind? How do you make the non-believer or pagan see reason? Such people get easily offended, and in today's day and age, society BANS you from doing so. With such freedom of religion, sexual preference, etc - I simply am not allowed to tell a homosexual he is sinning, or tell a Hindu he is in the wrong religion... I can get sacked for it, I can get into serious trouble... but also, if you allow and condone sin in others, you yourself sin too! God does not want you to sin, but He also does not want you to commit suicide (I mean by that, losing your job, going to jail, whatever)
One thing that does worry me for the future, besides of course the magnitude of the world's sins, is America... I see that George W Bush has most of his support from the USA Bible Belt, which I don't get because Bush is clearly evil. For all the atrocities he has unleashed on people, for the wars he has started, for keeping the voters voting by simply raising the colour of the threat alert, for getting voted in by dubious means, for making the world paranoid so that he can get his hands on the oil... and recently I read in the news that he said, "God told him to invade Iraq and Afghanistan" ??!! I think Satan is at work, overtime...
All we can do is stay a sin-free as possible and help where we can! One person can't change the world but we can sure do our bit.
And of course, my home country, England - I could cry. Christianity has dwindled tremendously. In fact, it is the main religion by far, but it has been taken out of schools, media, everywhere. Being a Christian is basically offending all the other people with their false religions. So, a Muslim can be proudly Muslim, but a Christian talking about Christ is offensive. The latest is that it is an offence for a prisoner to bear the English flag (white with a red cross, the cross of St George) as it is racist and inflammatory - but now prisoners have the right to practise satanism, witchcraft, druidery, and can wear such charms and symbols, but they (luckily) stop short of sacrifice, bloody stuff and "muti" (what some Black Africans practise, which involves animal body parts, and sometimes human). The social depravity is terrible. Where I stayed for a few months before I came down to Africa, the teenagers at the playground would have competitions, who could have sex with a group of girls the most in a night - the guys would line up their used condoms and the one with the most would be the winner. The "disgusted" mother who told me this, also told me how they would watch in the evening and laugh. Drugs are rife, violence is high - I was even held up in a shop - schoolchildren having oral sex during class, 8-year-old girls walking the streets, dressed like hookers... and all of this in a tiny village! Imagine how the cities are...
Anyway, enough from me - keep spreading the Word, and do not worry about all the sinners who criticise you - As it says in 1 Peter, we must set ourselves apart from the world!!
God Bless
Pinetown, South Africa

I think the letter speaks for itself, we are truly a spoiled people in America.  How is it that a man 10,000 miles away can see the wickedness of George W. Bush, but most of the professed "Christians" in the Bible Belt cannot?  Isn't it ironic that foreigners care more about America than Americans do?  Do you know why?  Because we take our freedoms for granted, that's why!  Woe unto America!

David J. Stewart