Ee-mmergency! Releasing Change Agents!

Change Agents - Christian youth - Roger Saner

Think new, act new …

“Change Agents is a youth leaders training conference. It is a place where youth leaders of diverse cultures come to discuss changing ministry in a changing world. Change Agents was originally an extension of the first SACLA conference – indeed, the first few Change Agent’s were also referred to as SACLA – as well as a successor to Youth for Christ’s National Youth Leaders Training Conference.

We’ve set up this site as a centre of conversation around ministry and the changing youth ministry landscape in South Africa; the leadership is also using it to host their discussions around the different areas of responsibility they must fulfill so that the August conference can happen.

We’d love your input too, since the discussion around youth ministry is not something reserved for a few elite people but a grassroots thing. The site is divided into groups – some of which are restricted to certain people to allow for privacy, and some of which are open to allow for conversation (we’re hoping to extend these to the Connect groups soon). We encourage you to join.”  [Emphasis added]

[DTW note:  oh, pick me, pick me, I have some input. How about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it was preached 2000 years ago and stop trying to change it by brainwashing little change agents.]

Roger Saner from EmergingAfrica, once part of the leadership team for Change Agents had this to say on his facebook setup regarding repentance of sin that telling someone to “Stop sinning and follow God” is almost an insulting statement” and “is NOT the gospel.” [Emphasis added]

Emerging Church ‘Change Agent’ Conversation in South Africa

As more people start reading Brian McLaren and John MacArthur they’re finding out about this thing called “The Emerging Church” which is either a very hopeful thing, or the biggest threat to Christianity the world has ever seen.

So, first up, this “Church” isn’t a church – it’s a conversation and a friendship between people who suspect something has gone deeply wrong with Western Christianity. Although some of the conversation might be depressing, ultimately it’s a hopeful participation in the rebuilding of the very architecture of Western Christianity.

Within South Africa, we know from our history that in spite of over 70% of the country being Christian, we managed to divorce our private faith from our public beliefs quite successfully, taking a long time to denouce structural evil (at least, this applies to the whities – others always knew that this thing was wrong). And what is more, we used Biblical justification for Apartheid…which means, as we move beyond that, we need to see the incorrect ways in which we approached (and used) the Bible…

Plus, we’re surrounded with enough people in poverty for whom “Stop sinning and follow God” is almost an insulting statement. What good does it do to tell someone they have life with God after they die, but do nothing to help them now? We suspect that this story is more self-serving and although clothed in the appearance of the Gospel, is not the Gospel[Emphasis added]

“It is beyond me how the church managed to get through the last 200 years without paying much attention to these lines in the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Your will be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven.'” N.T. Wright, 1st century scholar and New Testament theologian.

We haven’t “watered down the Gospel” as some accuse, in fact we would say that the Gospel already has been watered down to appeal to modern, individualistic minds. Now we get a chance to create something new as we go forward into the 21st century…

Roger Saner:


Well Roger, lets see what the Bible has to say about repentance of sin; no matter if they are rich or poor,  no matter the time of day.  If you have a Bible please do go to the following verses and read along.

What is Sin?

Romans 8:7  7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so

Romans 8:3-4  3For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,  4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Should we be concerned about Sin?

Romans 6:23  23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

How does God view those who lead others into sin?

Mark 9:42 42 Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.

Consequences of sin:

  • Death:   

Genesis 2:16-17   16The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;   17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

  • Man’s shame and fear towards God.

Before the fall, Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. To us, how lucky they were. After they ate, they could not stand the sight of God, and felt ashamed in confronting God. To those who may take the Garden of Eden less literally than others, you can still see in yourself and others the shame of being around God when we know we’ve sinned.

  • All mankind is now sinners:  

Romans 5:12-14    12Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-  13for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

  • The Earth is also poisoned by sin.    

Genesis 3:17    17Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;  Cursed is the ground because of you;  In toil you will eat of it.All the days of your life

Romans 8:20-21   20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope.  21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

  • God’s wrath against sin:

Mankind was kicked out of the Garden of Eden by God for sinning, and was prevented from returning. God hates sin, and it was a while before one’s sins could be dealt with in the Mosaic laws.

Repentance of Sin is the only way to produce GOOD FRUIT:

Matthew 3:8 “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;

Repentance is a change of attitude and action, not just muttering:

Luke 3:8  8“Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

Restoration:  Example, The Prodigal Son:

Luke 15:21-22  21“And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22“But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet;  23and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;  24for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

Confess sin – Promise of Forgiveness:

1 John 9-11  8If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

Repent Repent Repent:

Luke 13:3  3“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Matthew 4:17  17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 3:2  2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Great commission / Good News was that:

Mark 6:12  12They went out and preached that men should repent.

Acts 2:38 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 14:12  12There is a way which seems right to a man,  But its end is the way of death.

Temptation turns to sin:

James 1:14-15 14But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.15Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.


Ezekiel 18:23-31  23“Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live? 24“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die.25“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right ‘ Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right?26“When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die. 27“Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life. 28“Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.29“But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right? 30“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord GOD. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. 31“Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel?

Ezekiel 33:11  11 Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’

Man’s ways contrast what God wants:

Ephesians 4:17-24  17So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;19and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.20But you did not learn Christ in this way,21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,22that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,24and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Ephesians 2:1-3  1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,  2in which you formerly walked  according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Galatians 5:16  16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Matthew 5:28-29  “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

Romans 8:5-9  Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are not controlled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you

Ephesians 5:15-17  Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Ephesians 5:8-10  For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.

James 1:25  25But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

The Gift of God that comes with Repentance:

1 Peter 2:2  Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Psalms 119:104-105 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore, I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Psalms 16:11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

2 Peter 1:3-4  3seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.4For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Romans 12:1-2  1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

MORE Warnings:

Isaiah 30:15  This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”

Philippians 3:19  Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.

2 Peter 2:21-22  It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and “A sow that is washed goes back to wallowing in the mud.”

Luke 9:62  62But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

How URGENT and IMPORTANT is repentance of sin?

Isaiah 55:6-7  Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Romans 2:4 4Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Acts 17:30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

James 5:19-20 19My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Revelation 3:3  3‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you

Acts 2:38  38Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 2:19  “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

Acts 3:19  “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

There are many many many verses here for you Roger “Change Agent” Saner regarding sin and repentance of sin and the preaching of repentance of sin.  Repentance of sin through Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Gospel. 

You preach another message, one that tries to obliterate the foundation, the foundation that is Jesus Christ.  If you think that telling someone to repent of their sin is an insult then you are saying that Jesus is NOT the one and only mediator between man and God.  By saying this you are saying that Jesus Christ who died for us so that His blood will wash away our sin for those who believe is a lie, useless or an insult – By that one paragraph you have completely removed Jesus Christ out of the picture. 

You hold your head high, all smug, that you and your future change agent campers, “now get a chance to create something new”.  Well, newsflash!  You are not creating anything new, this is ancient knowledge already, just being made known again – like an old secret that comes out of the closet.  Since the beginning of time Satan has been trying to remove Jesus Christ in any which way he can.  If I am not mistaken he probably has a patent on the design.  So run along now and stop trying to reinvent the pentagram and say you had something to do with it. 

You are a youth pastor are you not?  When I was listing the countless verses above I felt terribly sorry for you.  So here is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   Roger, repent of your sin, get on your knees before Jesus Christ the Son of God whom you INSULT and beg Him for forgiveness.  Your life is in HIS hands.  Not the other way around.

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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

66 Responses

  1. You see when I do my research on pastors and what they teach I do a good job of making sure my facts are as straight as a ruler!

    I get told Change Agents are great and wonderful and need to be featured on the up and coming “South Africa’s Got Talent” show. But the stuff I am reading on Change Agents’ associates websites tells a different story.

    What a surprise when Peter Veysie shows up. What a surprise when I find an interview he did on emergingafrica with a guy who believes that Satan and Jesus are one and the same. And Peter was not there to preach the gospel to him, repentance of sin through Jesus Christ…. Noooo no…no…

    So who needs another reality tv show when you can just come here for the next episode of:

    “These are the days of our emergent lies”
    …..oh sorry I mean ‘lives’.

    Peter Veysie from Ridgeway Ministries trying to ‘Bridge’ that Gap:

  2. Amanda says:

    Michael Anthony, I’ll second that. It was a great program. Chris Rosebrough, Bob DeWaay and Ingrid Schlueter are doing sterling work for the Body of Christ, bless them.

    Here in South Africa we also have Sarel van der Merwe and Thomas over at Watch and Pray.

  3. Michael Anthony says:

    Dear Change Agent

    By the very fact that you have chosen to use the term ‘change agent’ reveals naivety on your part and a lack of sensitivity to post-modern terms (and to those that actually study modern trends and cloaked socialist terms). Change in post-modernism means a ‘revolution’ which equates to this.

    Thesis (truth) + antithesis (an opposing idea) = synthesis.

    Simply put ‘change’ in the modern day church means synthesising clear biblical truths with post-modern thought where there are no absolutes. The result we get is this verbally fantastic nonsense that means whatever you want it to mean. Sprinkle it with words like jesus, culturally relevant, gospel, love, missional etc and you have what sounds like Christianity. The tolerance post-modernism teaches is totally intolerant to those that place the authority of scripture and accuracy of interpretation above all else. (That would be studying to show thyself approved and being led of the Holy Spirit).

    More Christ-like? Which Christ? The biblical one that says deny yourself, pick up your cross…? Or the modern, reinvented Christ? (Which one; cosmic jesus, christ consciousness, the only-love jesus, the socialist/revolutionary jesus, the universalist jesus, the dominionist jesus, the soppy, intimate, effeminate jesus, the end-world-poverty-and-eradicate-sickness-jesus…?

    We don’t want change!!! We want the old paths. The gospel – by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. The way, the truth the life.

    1 Corinthians 1:18
    For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

    The emergent church that is busy synthesizing their poisonous nonsense with the true church is Cross-less. And Christ-less.

    Kingdom purposes? Can you define that?

    Could that be paying with your LIFE for the sake of the gospel??? Like what is happening in north Korea, Iran, China, Nigeria etc? That is the highest ‘purpose’!

    You need to preach the true Gospel. The true Gospel is not culturally relevant – it will cause you to be hated by all men. It will cause you to influence the culture NOT Synthesize into it.

    Isaiah 66:4
    I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

  4. Michael Anthony says:


    If you like Ingrid Schueter here’s another modern day Deborah that you will like. The radio program is called ‘Understanding the times’.


  5. Amanda says:

    Michael Anthony

    Thank you! I have listened to Understanding the Times before. Solid stuff. Now I see on your link that they have a low bandwidth version of the programs available. Aha! Bookmarked.

    I will check out the Prophecy in the News link. Thanks!

  6. Roger

    >> And therefore, given that you believe me to be a trickster, what am I left to say?

    Not just me, Your friend Nic Paton first referred to you as the greatest trickster he knows and you thanked him for his wonderful compliment on his blog.

    So yeah, what are you left to say…

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