Open Letter to Graham Power regarding the Unashamedly Ethical Campaign

Unashamedly EthicalMr Graham Power
Unashamedly Ethical Campaign

Dear Mr Power


I have read your “3 wave vision” to deal with “our common crisis” (i.e., “moral decay”) and desire to “stem the filthy river of corruption across the earth” by forming “Unashamedly Ethical communities all over the world,” with great interest – as stipulated on A person does not have to be a rocket scientist to recognise that the world, including our own society, is in a state of moral chaos. Corruption amongst Government officials and talk shows of the kind of Jerry Springer send shivers down the spine of anyone with an ounce of moral sensibility. But moral chaos never comes as a surprise to Christians for they know there is a deep connection between a secular worldview and ethical/moral beliefs and conduct.

Although your vision and the activities ensuing from it seem inspired and pursued with unshakeable confidence in its truth, I find it difficult to share in it. I would therefore be grateful if you could correct my understanding of your vision. As I see it, the commitment to being Unashamedly Ethical is:

(1)   entirely voluntary; it “begins with a simple choice,” and

(2)   the “10 commitments (not to be confused with the 10 Commandments)” is not meant to “exclude anyone on the basis of religion.”

Points (1) and (2) seem to be connected to two core assumptions:

(3)   “relationships are at the heart of transformation,” and

(4)   “leaders taking hands” is a sign of the “unifying of the body of Christ.”

If my understanding is correct – the words in quotation marks are taken from the articles posted on your website – then I, and other Christians, see reasons to be concerned. I will elaborate briefly on each of the points listed above.

1#.       Many scholars have drawn a distinction between “ethical” and “moral,” because a person can be ethical (i.e., comply with a certain set of rules) and yet be immoral. In our society, for example, it is required of prostitutes and homosexuals to give truthful evidence in a Court of Law, yet their lifestyles are not deemed immoral. But looking at ethics and morality from a biblical point of view leads to two conclusions:

(a)  What is ethical is moral, and vice versa. In other words, the inner (moral) orientation is as important as the outer conduct.

(b)  Ethical and moral conduct is a matter of obedience (cf. 1 Pet 1:14-16).

The problem is that I found nowhere in Scripture a single instance of Christians volunteering to be ethical/moral/obedient. Thus, to suggest that a Christian has a choice in such matters is contradictory to Scripture, and a distortion of what the concept “Christian” implies and entails.

2#.       Not being committed to being Unashamedly Ethical is the only ground on which a person can be excluded from community membership. Yet your call seems to be inclusive of all religions. That means that the truth of Christian beliefs is not the unifying factor. Or, to put it in the reverse, false beliefs does not disqualify one from being part of an ethical community. This means that your vision creates a dilemma for Christians.

3#.       The fact of the matter is that Scripture explicitly prohibits Christians from entering into certain partnerships, fellowships and agreements: “What agreement has the temple of God [body of Christ] with idols [false religion]?” (2 Cor 6:16). So what is the dilemma that your vision creates for Christians? On the one hand Christians cannot choose to be Unashamedly Ethical – they ought to be, since it is a matter of obedience to the Father, and on the other hand, they are to refrain from forming certain relationships. Yet your vision and campaign require compliance with both sides of the dilemma. It follows that your vision is contradictory to Scripture.

Further, it seems that your Unashamedly Ethical approach to “stem the filthy river of corruption across the earth” has the New Testament approach to salvation in reverse order. Nowhere in the New Testament, not even once, is it intimated or remotely suggested that ethical/moral campaigns are to be used by Christians in order to lead sinners to salvation. I assume that your ultimate goal is the salvation of sinners, and if it is, then we already have a mandate from Jesus Himself in Matthew 28:18-20 (read together with John 8:31-32). This means that no additional “visions” are required to fulfill that command. Further, we have to keep in mind that a Christian is always and everywhere part of a holy community; the body of Christ (1 Cor 3:16-17; 1 Pet 2:4-12ff.), first and foremost. Therefore, to call Christians into oneness with other religions and partnerships other than with the body of Christ is seriously at variance with Scripture (see 2 Cor 6:14-18).

But there is another problem lurking ahead: from religious inclusivism/pluralism is a short step to moral relativism. On what basis would conduct be declared wrong? If you, as a Christian, would base your answer on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ (cf. John 8:31; 14:6), then you are no longer religiously inclusive, for you thereby have excluded opposing religions. But, then, your “vision” does not permit you to be religiously exclusive. It seems, in other words, that your vision set Christians on a path where their answers to the world would be as true and good as any other.

4#.       If “leaders taking hands” is construed as a sign of the “unifying of the body of Christ,” then we are in trouble. I have recently spoken to a theologian who does not believe that Jesus is who He said who He was. Another refers to himself as a “dead-again Christian” and teaches theology at a well-known South African university. Another professor – the CEO of an institute of higher education – believes that the Creator gave us all the intellect to conceptualise Him in different ways. Yet they all “take hands” and are “Unashamedly Ethical.” The problem, however, is that two opposing beliefs about any proposition in or about Scripture cannot both be true at the same time in the same sense. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that falsehood in the body of Christ, and/or any attempt to compromise biblical truth, is a sure sign that the Spirit of truth is not at work and, therefore, not the cause of disunity.

All this leads to an important question. Is a focus on people’s beliefs not a better approach to changing their conduct than an ethical approach? I see at least three reasons to think it is. Firstly, beliefs are true or false; there is no middle way. Secondly, all ethical/moral conduct emanates from beliefs about what is right or wrong and good or bad. If, for example, someone believes that a human being is not a human person during the first three months of pregnancy, then that person will see nothing wrong with “aborting” (killing) a human being. And thirdly, there is only one way a person can change his or her own beliefs, and that is to THINK about the TRUTH of its content. It follows that Christians need to confront thoughts and beliefs of people with an eye on bringing them into obedience to Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Cor 10:1-6).

Please consider this letter as a disregard of your internet invitation to “Let us know what you are thinking!,” as I wish to allow you an opportunity to correct my understanding of your vision and to respond to my concerns first, rather than making them public on the facebook address provided by you.


Thank you in anticipation.


Dr Callie Joubert

E-mail: calliej[at]


Note:  This letter was emailed to Graham Power in April 2011.  We are still waiting for a response.

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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.

21 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    This is just another way in which to assemble the lovers of the love gospel and ecumenical bunch into the frothing poisonous cauldron of Ubuntu and to mix all into a socialist planned world government back to feudalism.
    These people will not change their views and I will be surprised if you do get an answer.
    What is to be achieved in the name of love, tolerance and peace, is the time the Scriptures mentions that good will be called evil and evil will be called good.
    If it were possible the very elect will be deceived.
    Thank the Lord Jesus for His revelation of the Scriptures and very clear illumination of applicable eschatological prophecies to make earnest end fervent Bible believers aware of this trapop false peace to come.

  2. Lourens says:

    Yes this article does say a lot… doesn’t it? Just like Chris said above: expect not to get any reply to this.. (they almost never get back to these ‘open letters’.. just like Buchan etc…) Once again another great addition to DTW – good job Deb’s! 😉

  3. Daniel says:

    well articulated but lacking one thing, LOVE since you are a doctor read more about love it will explain everything to you. learn to apply what you study. I dont think we need to go to greece to activate the bible, since its greek. i dont know why, but when people over study the word, they lose out on sipmle basics and become complicated in explaining small things. get back to the cross and its simplicity.

    Iam unashemedily ethical and i have seen positive results, many of my co-workers have under gone incredible turns to the lord because of my example. if thats my only way of winning for christ then my reward is in heaven not for yu to judge with a canal educated mind.

    thanks , blessing

  4. Daniel

    >> Iam unashemedily ethical and i have seen positive results, many of my co-workers have under gone incredible turns to the lord because of my example. if thats my only way of winning for christ then my reward is in heaven not for yu to judge with a canal educated mind.

    So your change was as a result of the ‘unashemedily ethical’ Jesus and not the biblical Jesus Christ?

    You do this: (Mark 7:6-8 ) “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men.

    The REAL way of winning for Jesus Christ is through first being genuinely saved…and then preaching the WORD of God

    (Luke 8:11-15 ) “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. ”

    (John 14:23-24) “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words….”

    “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

    Salvation through Jesus Christ: 09 – How to Become a Child of God

  5. Galinda says:

    I felt uneasy when I joined UE April 2011 but did anyway coz it was the “Christian thing to do” after being at the new Cape Town Stadium big Christian event, where we were all encouraged to join. Tonight I realised they are in essence Freemason (though perhaps not yet in membership???), there is NOTHING about Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life on their website, and so I’m seeking ways of un-joining, though I don’t see it on the website (I’ve written them an email). Then I googled “Unashamedly Ethical Freemason” and was not surprised to see that masons like UE’s principles, as if it has come from their own ranks… and I found your great open letter. Thank you!

    Are these groups and the required submission / obedience to an ombudsman who may work in the name of any and every god, not another way of binding Christians & seekers into an agreement that is not of God. Jesus in His revelation to John the Beloved, said a time is coming when no man will be able to buy or sell except they have the mark of the beast. UE is encouraging us to only “buy/work with/be worked with” people who are UE. I.e. if we don’t join EU, we have less of a chance of selling, that’s unethical in and of itself!!! It’s also religious intolerance to try force me to believe all gods are alike and that religiosity flows from ethics. Good works that are outside of God are born in rebellion to God and are as filthy rags in His sight… Good works that are pleasing to God are those that come from a heart that understands who God is and who we are in relation to Him, and thus joining ourselves to Him as the branch to the Vine and allowing the sap of His Holy Spirit to flow through us… the worship & works God requires is by His Spirit not of the flesh! All flesh has sinned and falls short of the glory of God… flesh cannot save flesh! Only the perfect Jesus Christ Who died in our place can. Amen!

    Nuf said, for now anyway…

  6. Galinda says:

    Aagh, how do I get a better picture??? This one is so… evil-looking!

    [Edited by DTW: Galinda, to change your picture go to and upload your own picture and match it to the same email address you used when you posted comments on this blog. Unfortunately the pictures that appear here are default and I can’t do anything to change them]

  7. Galinda

    So glad you saw the wood for the trees. The Ombudsman are actually non-Christians and didn’t even realise the UE was a Christian campaign – they were under the impression that you can be ANY RELIGION to join just as long as you adhere to the UE’s 10 commandments.

  8. Ulfried says:

    We, the Church, Christ’s bride, are continuously challenged to find that “balance” expressed in the phrase, “totally honest and yet totally kind”.
    As Dr Joubert speaks, Daniel answers and the discussion ‘heats up’, we struggle to keep our hearts and minds in line with the intentions of Christ.
    So, Daniel, you have a point there, but perhaps don’t rule out all of what Dr CJ has evaluated. Those following on after Daniel, keep on pursuing truth. I am highly edified by the to-the-point quoting of Scriptures. Pursue truth in all love, asking the Spirit to be the final spokesperson.
    Great debate – wakes me up, makes me look around with greater caution and care!

  9. Langjan says:

    And now I hear that a political party, the DA, has been enrolled as a member. You may as well close down now that you have allowed one of the most unethical groupings in the country into your membership. What were you thinking!!!!!!!??????

  10. Langjan

    The whole thing is unethical before the DA allegedly joined.

  11. MD says:

    Please note i signed UE as one of the first members on 11 November 2009. I had given this serious consideration before i signed. What worked for me is the fact that the guidelines make a person accountable when singing the pledge. This is great when making decisions you are reminded to try and do and be your best (but Nobody is Perfect except the Lord Himself Holy Spirit / Jesus). Jesus died on the cross for us and we are forgiven of all sin. When we take our sin to the cross and repent we are forgiven. This does not mean that we can continue to sin and we will have to be accountable. As Christians we are all sinners and fall short. My opinion is that this is a good initiative and should be implemented into Schools and all organisations. It is a sign that we are trying to make a difference.
    Church Leaders should sign the pledge as most of them are building there own kingdoms instead of building what God designed us to do and that is to unite and work together as one body. Maybe a code of Ethics such as UE should be a compulsory requirement for the Church and when the pastors mislead the sheep they should be accountable. Many pastors are building their own Kingdoms and the word says ‘Thy Kingdom come and not My Kingdom Come’ therefore i believe a code of ethics is a great initiative. There are too many pastors running out of control. This is my opinion. Sorry if i offend anyone but one of the UE requirements is to be honest. When a man like Graham is trying to do something good you will always have those who ridicule. We need to support one another and work with One Another according to Acts 1:14 and yes Christianity is all about LOVE first 1 John 4:16. My opinion is to get behind this initiative and know that none of us are perfect and we all fall short but signing UE gives some accountability and accountability is very rare these days. Graham did leave out No 11 and that is Punctuality a very rare quality in Life today and there may be a few others to be added therefore there is not only 10 this is a work in progress. I believe saying that this is the 10 commandants is blasphemy as this is a man of God and God has given him a calling we should respect this and as Christians support our Brother ‘Love your God with all your might and all your soul and you Neighbor as yourself’ This is the most important commandant and those of you who are turning against this brother is breaking the Commandant. Let God be God and God will work with this. If it is not of God it will fall away. These are certainly not commandants they are guidelines to been responsible and most people including our Leaders lack responsibility (once again we all fall short including myself but at least i have some guidelines to get up and press on with God at the Helm). Not everyone will join UE and that is fine. If it works for you you join and support if not you ask God to lead you in what works for you. This is Grahams calling and he is been Obedient to the best of his ability. Written in Love – Amen Marcel Durler and by the way I love Graham Power i wish we had more people like him in this world…it would be a better place. My advice to Graham is to key his eyes on God and press in Man will always let you down.

  12. MD

    God gave mankind the perfect CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS – the Ten Commandments and they failed dismally. None were able to keep them. Do you really think Graham Power’s code of ethics (Unashamedly Ethical) is going to accomplish what the Ten Commandments could not?

    This is what Graham Power’s UE looks like. He helped to fund the Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Cape Town in 1999 where one of the key note speakers – Supreme Master Ching Hai – taught people they are God. Graham Power is a dominionist who believes that frail and sinful man can establish the Kingdom of God on earth through unity with other religions and that’s why he helped to fund the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He is not even original. The code of ethics is part of the UN charter.


    Integrity is a core value in all aspects of our professional and personal life. Integrity includes, but is not limited to, probity, impartiality, fairness, honesty and truthfulness in all matters affecting work. These qualities provide a basis for ethical decision-making when staff
    members face situations where applying rules may be difficult or unpopular, where a conflict between professional and private interests arises, or where special concessions are requested. As the integrity of the United Nations depends on the integrity of its staff, we are expected to:

    Demonstrate in practice the values of the United Nations in our activities and behaviour;
    Make decisions without consideration for personal gain;
    Resist political pressure in decision-making;
    Ensure that official power or authority is not abused;
    Seek to promote the Organization’s interests at all times;
    Take prompt and effective action to deal with unprofessional or unethical behaviour.

    Graham Power’s UE is not only un-biblical to the extreme but another Gospel, presenting another Jesus and another spirit.

    Do you really think by signing the UE you are going to be more ethical? Poor Paul; he would’t have cried out ” O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” if he’d been familiar with Graham Power’s magic wand called Unashamedly Ethical.

    Read here.

    Graham Power is a false teacher and the sooner you open your eyes to his dangerous tactics, the better for you.

  13. Hennie Muller says:

    Dear people who do debate this issue since 2011 till date. I understand all debates and yes it does present some truth and facts. Right or wrong.
    All I know, because I and many other God fearing individuals and even non Christians are walking a road with Graham Power and I can testify, that he surely loves the Lord our God, being reborn in Spirit, and trying his best to be guided by the Holy Spirit and is a true light for the world and the sinners. He is a humble man, I have never ever heard anything negative or critical towards any person comes from his mouth, like some Christians in this platform. God is truly using him, to impact the world more positively, started in 2000 with the Global day of prayer movement that has gone around the world. I am surely a proud member of unashamedly ethical and if you understand the purpose and strategy behind it as a platform to be the light and the salt according to Mark 5, then man will not criticize a movement that is connecting us Christians to non believers. I think and understood that our Savior himself reached out to the lost. The UE vision is not to take the place of the church or every Christians responsibility to witness on a daily basis or to leave all other Christian initiatives. It has never been said to be the only answer to changing the world. As we as Christians are mandated to pray for our government (Proof exist in the Bible) I am not ashamed of the Gospel, nor a shame to stand up and being associated with Unashamedly Ethical Christian and non believer members, even while I am not yet close to perfection. At least I can debate and witness to non believers, with the same core value around ethics, to be a witness of more such Biblical truths. Final Note to Thomas Lessing who made such crude remarks about a true son of God, Graham Power: IF ONLY YOU HAD FIRST HAND INSIGHT. I would love to know where you are active as a Christian and what did you contributed to some change in your own community. I THUS ENDORSE THE NOTES OF MD ON 1ST NOVEMBER 2014.

  14. Hennie Muller,

    I’m sure you’ll agree that the the Ten Commandments of God is the epitome of ethics. Do you really think by trying to be unashamedly ethical (keeping the Ten Commandments) and teaching others to do the same we are going to change the world? Graham Power is an ecumenicist who believes that his unashamedly ethical project is the catalyst to bring all religions together in a working relationship. Rick Warren fosters the very same idea. Hence Power’s funding of the World Parliament of Religions in 1999. Jesus never commanded us to change the world. It is impossible to change a world. It hates Christ and anyone who tries to do it is not promoting or furthering His cause. Graham Power’s recent visit to Pope Francis underscores his ecumenical ventures.

    I am not interested in changing my community. Jesus did not give us a mandate to change our community by encouraging others to be unashamedly ethical. Neither He nor his disciples wanted to change Rome. We have a single mandate and that is to make disciples of all the nations. It does not mean that whole nations must be changed to adhere to the same ethics. It simply means that we should make disciples from every nation (those who are willing to respond to the Gospel). And indeed, only a few respond. You cannot be unashamedly ethical (by trying to keep the Ten Commandments) and a follower of Christ at the same time. As soon as you do this you are going from grace to Law. (Galatians 2:21; 5:4).

  15. Hennie Muller wrote:

    He [Graham Power] is a humble man, I have never ever heard anything negative or critical towards any person comes from his mouth, like some Christians in this platform.

    I really think you should look very hard at this verse again.

    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

    Testing the spirits is NOT criticism.

    You cannot test someone’s doctrines by merely looking at his alleged humility. Paul constantly and unashamedly warned his brethren against false teachers. Was he not a humble man?

  16. Marius Muller says:

    It seems that Dominionists are believers in the inherent goodness of man,that mans problem is not sin but low self esteem and that Christians should encourage each other to believe in themselves and brim with self confidence.As long as we focus on positive things,avoid being “judgemental”,leave repentence,sin and hell out of it and take ecumenical hands and be moral ,we will eventually have a world which is improved ,with wonderful moral human beings ,a much better place and finally Jesus can come back.The focus is on social upliftment,to eradicate poverty etc .The attitude seems to be “God exists for me”,and the gospel is for the benefit of mankind and his welfare .Dominionists are actually humanists.Dominionists do not realise that they believe the false gospel wrought by the false religion called Psychology.
    Should it not be that “I exist for God” ISIAH 43:7,21.48:11 there is no goodness in man LUKE 18:19,PSALM 53:3.To be moral does not save anyone,we need to be perfectly moral if that is our aim,to obey the commandments perfectly ,to be moral is not acceptable to God ISIAH 53:6,JOB14:4.Our problem is never a low self esteem,rather our self esteem is not low enough,it is a broken and contrite heart that God will not despise.It is in brokeness that we should be born again,God meets us when we kneel not when we uplift ourselves,He will surely bring us down,then He will lift us up and give us His Holy Spirit,for His glory.I believe that one of the greatest enemies of Christianity is Psychology and it is one of Satans greatest weapons,it started in the garden of eden and before when people and Satan thought they could be gods too.Psychology plays into the hands of Humanistic Dominionists another name would be man-worshippers.Psychology is no science but a religion,God never sent any psychologist to help man,he sent His Son,he is our Physician and no one else.Psychology is riddled with Buddhist principles ,all to serve mankind and the self.Psychology is the underlying influence of the false gospel and false church presenting a false Christ ,psychology supports mans love for himself.Psychology and its mouthpiece Hollywood and the media.Dominionists should wake up and realise Gods kingdom is not of this world,He is not trying to turn you into a “better “person,or to change the world,but to instill His image of Christ into the individual,for His own pleasure and for us to honour and serve Him.It isnt about us.

  17. Eddy says:

    UE Is this the same system, created way before, then only recently Graham Powers was found guilty of colluding to fix prises and share profit for the construction of stadiums for the world cup. Hmmmmmm – He still has not owned up to pay his fine.

    [Edited by DTW: See article:

  18. Anthea says:

    How painful to read some of these comments. I can almost taste the judgement, hostility and viciousness. Let us examine our hearts. How can you say you love Christ but you don’t love your brother?

  19. Anthea,

    Would you rather have Graham Power mislead many people and pied piper them to hell? Do you call that love?

    Jesus commanded us to take heed that no one mislead us (Matthew 24:4). If you don’t obey his command you don’t love Him. Period!

  20. Anthea

    I see you are an unashemedly ethical person. Tell me are the 10 commandments of UE more important that the 10 commandments God gave you? Or do you prefer the UE’s 10 commandments over the God’s because they are easier to uphold than God’s 10 commandments? What’s the deal?

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