1887

n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Moedertaal in die kerk : die Apostoliese Geloofsending van Suid-Afrika (AGS van SA) en Afrikaans as ’n illustrasie van die rol van moedertaal in die kerk

Volume 59 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751
USD

 

Abstract

Mother tongue in the church: The Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (AFM of SA) and Afrikaans as an illustration of the role of mother tongue in the church 

The article is written from the perspective of an Afrikaans-speaking Christian and uses the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (AFM of SA) as a case study of language, specifically mother tongue, that (probably unconsciously) perpetuates apartheid structures. The AFM originated in 1908 as a multiracial church led by two American missionaries, John G. Lake and Thomas Hezmalhalch, who from their involvement in the Azusa Street revival (since 1906) in Los Angeles came to Africa to proclaim the message of the outpouring of the Spirit. In particular, Lake was determined that worship remains multiracial and his ministry was characterised by several clashes with white believers, especially surrounding his intimate relationship with Elias Letwaba, a prominent black leader. When Pieter L. le Roux was elected as first South African president of the AFM, the church organised itself in patterns of congregations that matched the existing racial grid that characterised the South African society, by institutionalizing segregation between races by means of its church order. Especially Afrikaans-speaking whites took the lead in organising the church along racial lines. In 1996, the former four divisions of the AFM, black, Indian, white and mixed race-population churches, united in all its structures, but most congregations today still exist according to the formerly segregated appearance of languages and geographical areas, although leadership meetings and conferences within the church are multiracial with English as medium of communication. Some neighbourhoods have become multiracial but even in these the worship services still remain arranged mostly in terms of race, with the exception of English-speaking congregations and formerly white Afrikaans-speaking congregations in the Cape Province that included some of the mixed race population. However, most Afrikaans-speaking and black congregations are exclusively based on racial foundations. After a historical survey of the situation in the AFM, the article discusses the challenges that language diversity in the church implies and the sustainability to represent the diversity of the church in the local congregation. Various suggestions are being made that can accommodate the language sentiments of white Afrikaansspeaking members of the AFM, while also contributing to establishing the people of South Africa as a rainbow nation.

Die artikel word geskryf vanuit die perspektief van ’n Afrikaanssprekende Christen en gebruik die Apostoliese Geloof Sending van Suid-Afrika (AGS) as ’n gevallestudie van moedertaal wat apartheidstrukture (waarskynlik onbewustelik) perpetueer. Die AGS ontstaan in 1908 as ’n veelrassige, Engelstalige kerk onder leiding van twee Amerikaanse sendelinge, John G. Lake en Thomas Hezmalhalch, wat vanuit hulle betrokkenheid by die Azusastraatherlewing in Los Angeles (vanaf 1906) die boodskap na Afrika bring van die uitstorting van die Gees. Veral Lake is vasbeslote dat eredienste veelrassig bly en sy bediening word deur verskeie botsings hieroor met wit gelowiges gekenmerk, veral oor sy noue verhouding met Elias Letwaba, ’n prominente swart leier. Nog voor hulle vertrek na Amerika, wanneer Pieter L. le Roux as eerste Suid-Afrikaanse president verkies word, verval die kerk reeds in patrone van gemeentevestiging wat ooreenstem met die bestaande patrone wat die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing gekenmerk het, en segregasie tussen rasse institusionaliseer. Leiding hierin het veral van Afrikaanssprekende wit leiers gekom. In 1996 verenig die voormalige vier afdelings van die AGS in al sy strukture maar steeds bestaan die meeste gemeentes volgens taal en geografiese area in segregasie, alhoewel meerdere vergaderings en konferensies in die kerk veelrassig is en in Engels plaasvind. Slegs enkele Engelstalige gemeentes asook wit Kaapse Afrikaanstalige gemeentes wat enkele van die gemengde-rasbevolking insluit, het veelrassig geword. Ná ’n historiese bespreking vra die artikel na die uitdagings wat taaldiversiteit inhou en die houdbaarheid daarvan om die diversiteit wat die kerk verteenwoordig in die plaaslike gemeente gestalte te laat kry. Verskeie voorstelle word gemaak wat wit Afrikaanssprekende AGS-lidmate se taalsentimente akkommodeer terwyl dit ook ’n bydrae lewer om die mense van Suid-Afrika as ’n reënboognasie te vestig.

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/content/journal/10520/EJC-166a42e697
2019-06-01
2019-10-23

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