The Family Policy Institute
Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord!
Having returned from your six month stay in the US recently, what are your immediate plans?
I have returned to my pastoral duties at my church in Tokai, Cape Town. However, at the same time, I have begun the process of laying the foundations to establish Family Policy Institute (FPI)
What is Family Policy Institute?
Family Policy Institute (FPI) is an independent, non-politically aligned, public policy think tank based upon the Judeo-Christian worldview. It exists to serve the greater Christian community in SA. FPI’s mission statement succinctly describes its purpose;
Family Policy Institute believes marriage and the family is the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society. FPI endeavors to shape public debate and formulate public policy that values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the family. Believing that God is the author of life, liberty, and the family, FPI promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society.
FPI’s slogan, ‘defending faith, family & freedom’ defines our core responsibility. Most Christians are unaware that their faith is increasingly coming under attack. The family is another institution singled out for unprecedented assault. And soon, the Christians right to freely exercise and advocate his beliefs will be seriously threatened as Hate Crimes laws attempts to silence the Church.
What inspired Family Policy Institute?
I received the inspiration for Family Policy Institute last year, in the midst of the battle to defend the sanctity of marriage. My wife and I attended Family Research Council’s (FRC), Washington Briefing, Values Voter Summit in Washington in September 2006. During that time God clearly spoke to me about establishing an organization in South Africa that would provide the Christian community with an organized, informed and coherent voice in the public arena.
Although I had a clear understanding of the need, I had no idea how to begin the process. I spent many hours seeking God for direction. It was during my time in God’s presence that the idea was birthed to spend six months in America studying the Family Research Council. But once again, I had no idea how to make this happen. During a meeting with our apostolic leader, Bill Bennot, in December 2006 God sovereignly revealed the plan to acquire everything we needed to travel to the US
I had a general idea of what was required in South Africa however; the strategy and organizational structure for FPI was more clearly defined during my time with FRC. My experience in America, gave me a deeper understanding of the principles of the public policy think tank dynamic.
Tell me more about the vision and objectives of Family Policy Institute?
The vision for Family Policy Institute was inspired by the tragic legalization of same-sex ‘marriage’ in South Africa last year. However, the need for an organization of this nature had become evident much earlier than that. Most laws/public policy are formulated and approved in Parliament without the knowledge and participation of the South African electorate. As far back as 1996 when the abortion law was enacted, citizens were either unaware of the democratic process, or if they did participate, were flatly ignored - as in the case of same-sex ‘marriage’. Significantly, no democracy on earth can survive when its citizens are uninvolved in the public policy arena.
Family Policy Institute will change all that! By the grace of God we plan to launch in April 2008 with a basic staff complement. This will give us exactly one year to prepare for the National General Elections in 2009. I am currently seeking office space in close proximity to Parliament. FPI will act as a watchdog over Parliament, informing, educating and updating the Christian community about the inner workings of the legislature. Our main priority is to motivate and equip this largely uninvolved but influential demographic to actively participate in the law-making/public policy process. We must utilize our numbers to influence our culture and determine our destiny! All we need is organized and purposeful involvement.
As a response, FPI Policy will provide the Christian community with the organizational structure, research, data and tools to significantly maximize our impact in the public policy arena. This is not only a civic responsibility for Christians but a direct command from our Lord Jesus. In Matthew 28 Jesus declares, “Go, and make disciples of all nations….teaching them to obey everything that I have taught you”. This must include Parliament.
What is Family Policy Institute’s strategy to affect change?
FPI Policy will develop think tanks drawn from every social sector of the Christian community. These men and women will combine their God-given talents to formulate public policy that will effectively address the many challenges facing our nation. There is a vast wealth of untapped skill and intellectual talent lying dormant in the Church today that must be utilized to rescue South Africa from its current social malaise. FPI Policy will create the intellectual forum to encourage and unite socially conscious Christians to formulate policy based on principle. The solution focused policy created by FPI think tanks will be utilized to positively influence the political and social spheres of society.
Because of liberal and secular humanistic dominance in the mainstream media, FPI Communications has formulated a communications and media strategy that will effectively level the playing fields. With the help of Joy, other Christian media and the FPI website, www.familypolicyinstitute.org, FPI will consistently and accurately inform and update its constituency about social issues in an unbiased and easy to understand manner. FPI Communications will also regularly engage and participate in the mainstream media to articulate and promote the Judeo-Christian view on social issues and offer Biblically-based solutions to the many social ills plaguing society.
FPI Government Affairs will be the Christian community’s champion in Parliament where most of our vital work takes place. We will have a constant and influential presence in Parliament, the NCOP, provincial legislatures and City Councils. Our primary objective is to conduct research and obtain critical data about public policy at the earliest stage and to make that information available to our constituencies to enable them to make wise and informed choices - especially at election time!
How can ordinary Christians get involved in shaping their culture?
The most important responsibility for Christians is to remain vigilant. There are many special interest groups in SA with blatant anti-Christian agendas. If Christians abdicate their responsibility to influence the law-making process they will, in effect, be voluntarily handing over this nation to the godless to freely create a pagan culture.
FPI - Action! Will equip action oriented Christians with the information and tools to make a difference. We will lead the fight against blasphemy, abortion pornography, gambling, alcohol and drug abuse, prostitution and woman abuse, child abuse, crime and corruption.
What kind of support have you received from the Christian community?
I have not presented Family Policy Institute to the general SA community yet. However, I have consulted with several regional, national and international Christian leaders. Their response was overwhelmingly positive. I have invited a number of prominent leaders from across the denominational spectrum to serve on the oversight advisory board of FPI. I have also established an independent Executive Finance Committee of finance professionals, to ensure the financial integrity, efficiency and stability of the organization.
How will you fund and sustain the vital work of Family Policy Institute?
The Church lost the battle to defend the sacred institution of marriage because we were unorganized, unprepared and fragmented. In stark contrast, the homosexual lobby was organized, committed and well funded. It fact, they had several million rand’s at their disposal to hire teams of high priced lawyers to advance their cause. As a result, we lost much ground.
Family Policy Institute exists primarily to serve the greater Christian community in South Africa in the public policy arena, the media and the social community. FPI is registered as a section 21, not-for-profit organization that depends entirely on donor contributions. With the prayerful support of the Christian community, - both active and financial - FPI can begin winning back lost ground.
How can Christians contribute to Family Policy Institute?
There are several ways. I encourage Christians to consider a monthly contribution to FPI. To ensure consistency, monthly debit orders are easiest. This way FPI can focus its time and energy on its vital work and not be distracted by financial concerns.
In addition, those wishing to make a more substantial contribution to help launch FPI in April 2008 can make a direct deposit into our account. Cheques can be made out to Family Policy Institute Banking details are as follows:
Account name: Family Policy Institute
Bank/Branch: Standard Bank - Cape Town
Account type: Current
Account number: 0000000
Branch Code: 000000
Credit Card contributions can also be made via our website www.familypolicyinstitute.org. Please click on the ‘contribute to FPI’ icon and follow the simple instructions
NB: FPI WEBSITE IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION.