Reconciliation has become something of a dirty word in South Africa, synonymous with a cheap reconciliation and a superficial notion of societal change. A concept which asks much of black people whilst asking relatively little of white people in return. A concept which deals with individual forgiveness but leaves unjust structural systems largely untouched. Nowhere has this concept of reconciliation been more readily adopted than the church. This concept of reconciliation must be rejected, many say, in favour of a more robust concept of justice.
Yet the Bible is filled not only with the language of reconciliation but time and again reconciliation is the goal and the desire to which all of creation is moving. What if the biblical concept of reconciliation is in fact far more radical, costly, and far-reaching than we have yet realised? What if true reconciliation is inextricably joined to justice, repentance and reconciliation? What if we could redeem reconciliation?
In this online seminar Grant Scheepers (Pastor of South Riding Baptist Church and [Acting] Chairperson of the Western Province Baptist Association) in conversation with John Scheepers (Director of Isiphambano) explore whether it is indeed possible or even desirable to redeem reconciliation.
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Land in South Africa today remains a critical issue for which people have fought for, been moved from, legislated for, and even gone to prison for. Land is intricately tied up to not only economic stability but also identity and belonging. What is significant is just how much of that land the church owns – more than 180 000 hectares. How could churches begin to use this land to start the healing process in this country and to start bridging the divides across a vastly unequal society?
In part two of our Redeeming Reconciliation series (watch part one here) Ryan Saville sat down with One Mokgatle and Jennie Tsekwa to talk about the practicalities of reconciliation. How do we actually practice reconciliation when our country and our churches remain so divided and divisive? How do we work towards deep and meaningful reconciliation in a context saturated with cheap concepts of reconciliation? What do meaningful acts of reconciliation actually look like in our churches, families and communities? Crucially how do we practice restitution and repentance, integral aspects to the process of reconciliation?
O, Father, you know my heart, you know my fears and worries, you know my disappointment, my temptation to give in and give up.
You are the Creator of these people, in this, your world; you are the Creator of me, in this, your world.
You ordain steps, and you’ve brought us here; and yet you know my heart full of questions. You hem me in, behind and before, and your hand is upon us (Ps. 139:5).
Brackenfell wat wil jy my vertel?
Vertel van die stryd
Oor ‘n aand
Wat min anders was as laas Saterdag aand
Want elke aand sit ons bymekaar,
Met min mense wat staar,
Want ons almal lyk en klink soos mekaar.