Yesterday a letter was served on me by a Mrs. WR Shabalala from the Gauteng Department of Social Development. It was a Notice of Enforcement in which we are notified that we are contravening Act 70 of 2008. The crime we are accused of is based on the fact that we are operating an in-patient treatment centre without being registered in terms of Section 19 of the said Act. Due to this contravention I can be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 12 months and fined. I refuse to comply with such a registration because it is in direct contradiction to;
- The teachings of the Bible
- The constitution of this Country which is to respect our religious beliefs
- The right to choose which treatment model a family member must undergo for addiction, depression, mental and emotional disorders.
This Act only makes provision for professional mental health workers to work with substance abuse issues. It prescribes a multi-disciplinary team including professionals who subscribe to a psychological and medical modality. We do not agree with this as the Bible is sufficient in addressing the issues related to all addiction problems. Placing addicts on prescribed drugs does nothing to solve the underlying problems that cause their emotional. mental and spiritual problems. It is also in direct contradiction with the Bible as God forbids all mind and mood altering drugs.
If medical complications arise during their stay with us, we either take our students to a local Christian GP, or a local clinic, or a private Hospital, whichever their family prefer.
This Act also takes away the right for Christian Bible believing families to seek help from Biblically trained therapists. In fact this Act does not even acknowledge our existence.
After many discussions with various officials both verbally and in writing the Minister of Health concluded in a personal letter to me that we as a Faith Based organization do not fall under their mandate and that we must not stop our work in this regard. His letter was dated 14/6/2011.
This is really becoming a confused country; Some members in Parliament call upon the public to help them in the fight against drugs, then they release laws that say we can’t while other members in Parliament say the laws are not applicable to faith based organizations and then the others threaten us with jail if we don’t comply.
God tells us to reach out to all people with the saving love of Christ and we know from experience that Biblical Therapy works miracles. If I have to go to jail for doing what I believe in then so be it! This is not a drug rehab but a Bible based discipleship training centre. We just happen to have to deal with many people addicted to drugs and who have unsuccessfully been admitted to secular drug rehabs. It seems that these rehabs do not like competition from God in the marketplace. This Act favours them and therefore is also protecting their monopoly they enjoyed so far. Too bad, I am here to stay!
What is your opinion on the matter?