Author Topic: Nelson Mandela - RIP  (Read 2567 times)

Eileen Smith

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Nelson Mandela - RIP
« on: December 05, 2013, 06:53:50 PM »
It's news we've expected for months - if not longer - yet shock and grief greeted the news of the death of Nelson Mandela.  Sadly, within what seemed moments of the announcement of his death, social media was awash in a sea of hateful posts about this man.   

The ugly system of apartheid is alive only in one's memory thanks to this man.  He offered forgiveness to those who persecuted him.  May he live on through his example of love and forgiveness. 

I am hoping that we could, for a moment, set discussion aside and offer a prayer of thanksgiving for this man who changed our world for the better.

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in thanksgiving for Nelson Mandela
and for all the dead known to You.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.
Amen




scott8

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 08:48:07 PM »
I was not expecting to be so affected by the announcement, but as I listened to the Oregon Public Broadcasting network, when the live announcement came over the radio as I was driving, I almost had to pull over because of the tears.  A great man has died.  He was likely the greatest African man within my memory, and it was very moving to hear of his passing.  Much wisdom has been lost, though he has left a life to be emulated.  If only we all could leave such a legacy.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 09:19:43 PM »
Certainly one of the greatest men of the 20th Century. I heard him speak twice and heard our African Lutheran brothers and sisters speak of the impact he had. Not only did he free his people from the evil of apartheid, he was an agent of reconciliation with those who had actually imposed that awful system.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 12:55:41 PM by Richard Johnson »

Eileen Smith

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 10:59:21 PM »
I was not expecting to be so affected by the announcement, but as I listened to the Oregon Public Broadcasting network, when the live announcement came over the radio as I was driving, I almost had to pull over because of the tears.  A great man has died.  He was likely the greatest African man within my memory, and it was very moving to hear of his passing.  Much wisdom has been lost, though he has left a life to be emulated.  If only we all could leave such a legacy.

I had the same sense of loss and was not expecting to feel this death so strongly.  My husband was close to tears as well.  Thanks for your beautiful words.  It seemed with minutes some very unkind things were put out on various social media.   Perhaps those who would post such things have a greater loss as they never got to know the great man he was.   For his suffering for a system that should never have been - for the freedoms he helped others realized - for forgiving those who persecuted him - May God say, "Well done good and faithful servant."

Dan Fienen

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 11:15:02 PM »
Although there were many factors and many people involved, one measure of his greatness is to compare the fates of South Africa under the influence of Nelson Mandela and Zimbabwe under the influence of Robert Mugabe.  The difference is not only in the lives of the Whites in those two countries, but even more in the lives of average blacks.  Nelson Mandela was able to help guide South Africa through the transition with respect for all citizens and maintain South Africa as a relatively prosperous and free nation.  Under Mugabe, Zimbabwe has become a disaster for all but Mugabe and his cronies.

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mariemeyer

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 09:47:47 AM »
From the Lutheran World Federation....


Mandela Stood for Principle, Justice, Peace
LWF Praises Former South African President as “One of the Most Inspiring Persons of Our Time”
GENEVA, 6 December 2013 (LWI) The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has paid tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday, aged 95, “as one of the most inspiring persons of our time.”

“We join with his family, the people of South Africa, and people all across the world in prayer and mourning, but also in celebration of the character and accomplishments of this great man,” LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan and General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge said in a joint statement today.

“He stood for principle, he fought for justice, he made for peace,” the LWF leaders added in the message of condolence for the celebrated anti-apartheid activist, who served as South Africa’s first democratically-elected president from 1994 to 1999.

During South Africa’s apartheid period, Mandela was convicted of attempts to use violence to overthrow the then government, and was imprisoned for 27 years until his release in 1990, following a global campaign. In 1993, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former President Frederik W. de Klerk.

“He devoted his life to building a new South Africa—a country in which all are equal under the law, a country in which racial discrimination and apartheid have no place, a country in which, in the words of Martin Luther King, people are judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin,” the LWF said.

During his time in prison, Mandela was resolute, never wavering in his confidence that the African National Congress anti-apartheid struggle was just and that it would end in victory.

“He taught the white South Africans—indeed all South Africans—that all have a place in the new South Africa. All would be treated with dignity, all would be protected by the constitution, all would be full citizens,” Junge and Younan said.

Mandela, who voluntarily stepped down at the end of his first term as president, understood that reconciliation was key to a lasting peace in South Africa and that there was no room for either vengeance on the one hand, or erasing the past and pretending there was no wrongdoing, on the other.

“He understood that a people without a memory is a people without a future,” the LWF emphasized. In setting up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Mandela allowed for a process of confession and forgiveness so South Africa could move forward, the LWF statement added.

“Thanks be to God for Nelson Mandela,” the LWF leaders concluded.

Read the full text of the LWF statement and view the illustrated story online: http://www.lutheranworld.org/news/mandela-stood-principle-justice-peace

* * *


Dave Likeness

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 10:16:09 AM »
Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years
and yet he was able to forgive those who
imprisoned him.  How many of us would
have been forgiving if we had been in
prison for almost 3 decades?

George Erdner

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2013, 11:48:35 AM »
Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years
and yet he was able to forgive those who
imprisoned him.  How many of us would
have been forgiving if we had been in
prison for almost 3 decades?


I notice that no one in this forum, or anywhere else, is mentioning that before he was sent to prison, he joined an activist revolutionary movement that used violence and terrorism as tools to achieve their goals. Though he started out following the non-violent path of Ghandi, that didn't last long.


In prison, he apparently came to repent of his support of violence. I would no more condemn Mandela for his violent past prior to seeing the light than I would condemn the Apostle Paul for his actions prior to Christ calling him. By the same token, I don't ignore Paul's past, nor pretend it didn't exist. It appears that in the case of Nelson Mandela, any reference to his positions and actions prior to being imprisoned are strictly forbidden.


Personally, I'm more impressed by a violent man who learns to leave violence behind than with a mythical figure who never did anything negative.

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2013, 04:46:15 PM »
Dave and George,

Two excellent, thought provoking posts for this season of repentance.
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D. Engebretson

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2013, 07:53:58 AM »
One of the things I struggle with regarding Mandela's legacy was his support of armed violence to overthrow an exsisting government.  My struggle is with how that works with his image as a great man committed to peace.  That he became a capable leader of his country and contributed to the growing unity of his country is not in dispute.  There is also admiration for his long imprisonment and ability to come out without bitterness.  Yet he is hailed as a champion for peace and freedom, and I wonder: did he then eventually renounce his commitment to armed and violent resistance, and if so when and where?  The media have reported on his time at the helm of Umkhonto we Sizwe (the military arm of the ANC), but seem reticent about talking about the relationship between his support of armed violence (which did involve the bombing of some government installations) and his work for peace, and for good reason since the two are often seen in conflict. Would the public view him as an apostle of peace if they knew his committment to armed violence? Look at the rhetoric against our own government from some quarters every time we employ armed means against another country or terrorists group.  Obviously people can change, but I am curious whether Mandela ever renounced his support of armed and violent resistance, especially as it is used against one's own government.   
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 07:58:51 AM by D. Engebretson »
Pastor Don Engebretson
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George Erdner

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2013, 08:12:08 AM »

I think it's pretty simple. He went into prison a convicted terrorist. He supported evil actions, such as burning opponents alive with gasoline-filled tires around their necks. He deserved to be put in prison.


But, when he got out 27 years later, and found himself in a position of authority and power, he resisted the temptation to return to his evils ways, and instead worked for reconciliation and peace. He turned his back on his previous methods, abandoned the tools of hate and violence, and spent his final years working for peaceful solutions.


One of the most appalling things I've witnessed in the public discussion of Mandela here and in other venues is how many Christians cannot accept or recognize how Mandela made such a total change after his 27 years in prison. That time could have made him even more bitter and vengeful. Instead, it made him forgiving and conciliatory. Any Christian who cannot give someone credit for letting his heart be changed in such a way should be ashamed.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 12:58:49 PM by Richard Johnson »

Charles_Austin

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2013, 01:15:55 PM »
Mr. Erdner writes:
I think it's pretty simple. He went into prison a convicted terrorist. He supported evil actions, such as burning opponents alive with gasoline-filled tires around their necks. He deserved to be put in prison.

I comment:
He went to prison when a mere vocal protest constituted terrorism. He was convicted of conspiracy, not terrorism or any violent acts. The actions Mr. Erdner described actually came much much later in the struggle, when the ANC had changed and was actually not under his influence.

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2013, 02:19:33 PM »
One of the most appalling things I've witnessed in the public discussion of Mandela here and in other venues is how many Christians cannot accept or recognize how Mandela made such a total change after his 27 years in prison. That time could have made him even more bitter and vengeful. Instead, it made him forgiving and conciliatory. Any Christian who cannot give someone credit for letting his heart be changed in such a way should be ashamed.

In that regard, Mandela is an excellent example of what John the Forerunner preached.  And, in fact, he became a forerunner of sorts of the fulfillment of the vision of justice which Isaiah prophesied.

Both points were in today's sermon.
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swbohler

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2013, 10:21:40 AM »

Michael Slusser

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Re: Nelson Mandela - RIP
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2013, 10:50:01 AM »
Interesting article: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/white-washing_mandelas_memory.html

Why do you find that article "interesting"? Were you a fan of the Apartheid laws imposed upon South Africa in 1948? Do you think that South Africans should have accepted them peacefully?

What I find interesting is in the Bible, Ezekiel 18:

But if the wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live. He shall not die! None of the crimes he has committed shall be remembered against him; he shall live because of the justice he has shown. Do I find pleasure in the death of the wicked—oracle of the Lord GOD? Do I not rejoice when they turn from their evil way and live?

And if the just turn from justice and do evil, like all the abominations the wicked do, can they do this evil and still live? None of the justice they did shall be remembered, because they acted treacherously and committed these sins; because of this, they shall die. You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!”* Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair? Are not your ways unfair? When the just turn away from justice to do evil and die, on account of the evil they did they must die. But if the wicked turn from the wickedness they did and do what is right and just, they save their lives; since they turned away from all the sins they committed, they shall live; they shall not die. But the house of Israel says, “The Lord’s way is not fair!” Is it my way that is not fair, house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not fair?

Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, all of you according to your ways—oracle of the Lord GOD. Turn, turn back from all your crimes, that they may not be a cause of sin for you ever again. Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die, house of Israel? For I find no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies—oracle of the Lord GOD. Turn back and live!


Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian