Nelson Mandela (AD 1918-2013) was an outstanding South African and world leader. I’m sure I would not agree with him on every detail of religion and politics, but there is no doubt he accomplished great things.
A few significant quotes by and about Mandela:
"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
-Nelson Mandela. Spoken in 1964, he lived out the truth of this statement.
Baptist Press noted Mandela rarely discussed religion outside the arena of religious freedom, but gave this quote of Mandela from a 2000 Christian Science Monitor interview:
"Religion has had a tremendous influence on my own life. You must remember that during our time - right from Grade 1 up to university - our education was provided by religious institutions. I was in [Christian] missionary schools. The government [of the day] had no interest whatsoever in our education and, therefore, religion became a force which was responsible for our development.
I appreciate the importance of religion. You have to have been in a South African jail under apartheid where you could see the cruelty of human beings to each other in its naked form. Again, religious institutions and their leaders gave us hope that one day we would return.”
Comments on Mandela from Gordon Fort:
"While tackling the daunting task of dismantling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, [Mandela] gave a clarion call to national unity and religious freedom. This atmosphere led to a season of opportunity for the church and its missionary representatives to advance the Gospel, engage new people groups, and play a part in the healing of the deep rifts within the nation.
President Mandela was among the first to invite and welcome the role of the church in the new nation he was seeking to build. After retirement from the presidency, he continued to provide leadership and an example of statesmanship that allowed the church to flourish.”
-Gordon Fort, SBC International Mission Board Senior Vice-President, and former IMB missionary in Africa.
Adeniya Ojutiku on Mandela:
Nelson Mandela was “an epitome of forgiveness, kindness and love" who had "a dogged resolve for the pursuit of peace and justice."
"His extraordinary life story, witty sense of humor and lack of bitterness toward his former oppressors has ensured global appeal for his type of charismatic leadership.
Mandela has no antecedence, parallel or equal in the contemporary history of harmonious race relations.
He rekindled hope in the humaneness and greatness of the black, colored and white races, as he soared above the petty confines of party politics and prejudice.”
-Nigeria native Adeniya Ojutiku, a Southern Baptist in the U.S. who fights for Christians and their livelihood in his homeland; from Baptist Press.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” -Nelson Mandela
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.” -Nelson Mandela
“Appearances matter - and remember to smile.” -Nelson Mandela
“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” -Nelson Mandela
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 7, AD 2013.
10 Commandments For Christmas
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