Original Research

The South African Pentecostal ostrich of corruption

Marius Nel
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 44, No 1 | a69 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v44i1.69 | © 2020 Marius Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 May 2020 | Published: 27 August 2020

About the author(s)

Marius Nel, Unit for Reformed Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Corruption and corrupt practices in the public and private sector have become endemic to South African society, requiring the cooperation and participation of all citizens to uproot its evils. Classical Pentecostals are historically notoriously absent in confronting societal issues, and they represent as much as a third of the South African population. As a primitivist-restorationist movement, early Pentecostals followed the early Christian church in differentiating themselves from its social, cultural and political Umwelt, acting like the proverbial ostrich that hides its head in the sand to ignore any threat of danger. Why should and how can Pentecostals be involved in confronting corruption? It is argued that Pentecostals should reconsider their widespread lack of involvement in societal issues for historical, hermeneutical and evangelical reasons. By way of a comparative literature analysis, these reasons are discussed, and then, the principles of prophetic politics are developed in broad lines to make some suggestions for their application in South African society.


separation; corruption; prophetic politics; community development; Pentecostal; hermeneutics


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Crossref Citations

1. Destroying the City, Burning the fields: Towards a New Testament Concept and Definition of Corruption
McGlory Speckman
Pharos Journal of Theology  issue: 103(2)  year: 2022  
doi: 10.46222/pharosjot.103.2041