to the urgent plea to the leadership of Kwasizabantu Mission
by Karl Heinz Wicker, former member of the KSB Leadership and CFT Vice-President
I would hereby like to make an explanatory statement with regards to my separation in June 1999 from KSB and CFT, after having worked together with Kwasizabantu-South Africa as well as Kwasizabantu-Germany, having held the position(s) of the Kwasizabantu-Limburg fellowship leader, co-worker in Kwasizabantu-Germany and Kwasizabantu-Europe and Vice-President of CFT-Germany.
It was in autumn 1982 that I was invited to a series of meetings by the missionary, Erlo Stegen. I was a Catholic at the time and my wife, as a result of attending these meetings with me, began talking about love and salvation in and through Jesus. This was all foreign to me.
At these meetings, Erlo Stegen spoke of a tremendous work of God, which had started amongst the Zulu nation as well as his family. He shared about how everyone was serving God. He invited me to come visit, saying, “Come and see for yourself – this pure life we are living.”
So my family and I (5 people) travelled to KSB early in 1983. We also wanted to experience this pure life that we had been told about. And so we parted from all to give this new Revival-message room to do a complete work in our lives.
We lived in the expectation that God would use this revival-message, through a revival in Germany, to renew our country. Therefore I also invited Erlo Stegen to come and minister to us in my hometown – Limburg. After that we received Erlo Stegen and his team as guests in Limburg regularly. In the interim we got to meet and know many people from KSB-South Africa and many of their followers, but we virtually knew no other Christians. KSB in KwaZulu-Natal was portrayed to us as the place where, even now, a huge revival was spreading to the rest of the country.
So my life, reasoning and thoughts all became entwined with KSB-South Africa, and this flowed over into my family, my acquaintances, and also the fellowship in Limburg, which was meeting in our house.
If we noticed false developments, saw errors or were able to determine that preaching or practices within KSB went against God’s Word – we would shove such thoughts aside immediately. We did not want to judge or criticise. In such situations we still had the impression that were just not as spiritual yet as our brethren from KSB. We didn’t dare to think or act differently to the people at KSB as we understood this to be sinful.
In the meantime, CFT and KSB in Germany had been launched and our “independence” depended on our following the provisions of KSB and CFT – South Africa. Over the years, in the light of God’s Word, many questions arose and became bottled up in our hearts. This carried on until a group of brothers in the leadership of KSB- and CFT-Germany discussed their questions and problems in a meeting, at which it was decided to ask for a meeting with some of the leaders from KSB-South Africa with a view to sorting out these questions.
The points of discussion for this meeting were:
a) Legalism in all its forms, whether regarding clothing, marriage, weddings or engagements – yes, laws which governed our whole lives, in which KSB decided what was allowed and what not. In the meeting with the leaders from KSB – Friedel and Erlo Stegen were also present; we were unable to reach a single point of consensus, even when reference was made to the unbiblical foundation and standing of these laws. The issues were simply dismissed with the reason: KSB has its standards and will not part from them. In this meeting we had to come to terms with the fact that the decisions and laws of the KSB-leaders were above the Holy Scripture. Even that the work at KSB was above the teachings of our Lord and Saviour.
b) When KSB maintains that it is open to, and thankful for criticism, when they say that they do not put any pressure on anyone who asks questions, then they are not speaking the truth. Through painful experiences we have learnt: whoever criticises KSB’s laws and standards is not only shunned, but also “sorted out” and demoralized with thorough precision. Whoever questions the KSB-system is threatened with God’s curse.
Friedel Stegen proclaimed openly in a conference at Lindach in January 1999, “Whoever does not abide with the work of KSB, I part with that person. I have done so in the past and I will do so in the future. Even if the person is my own wife…” Is this the tolerance and freedom of Christianity? Or is this a dictator with an all-encompassing passion for control?
c) Neither the Lord Jesus nor the teachings of God through the Holy Spirit have their rightful place at KSB. The measuring rod or standard for everything, are the experiences from the “Revival”, those of Erlo Stegen and some of his co-workers. These experiences dictate everything and are made laws.
d) What became obvious during our conversations was that there was a serious lack of true fellowship in prayer. Prayer was “blocked”, it was doubted as real, and was actually discouraged. A quote from a Stegen-sermon, “… you can pray as much as you like, it (the prayer) doesn’t go higher than the ceiling…” Indeed, Jesus Christ, the Giver of Holiness was made foreign to us. We were never taught about an overflowing, victorious life through the Holy Spirit. Even the glad tidings of Salvation in Jesus Christ, the victory through the Cross, and the power and healing of His Blood, and His holiness paled by comparison to the exaltation of confession of sin – to another human being.
The working of the Holy Ghost was also just a reality to the KSB-South Africa congregation, through the revival. The love towards Israel and its nation was never taught. Communion and baptism were ministered for the first time in the KSB-Germany congregation in summer 1999. I visited KSB-South Africa more than 12 times and never experienced these ministries there either.
Dear friends, I have to acknowledge that I followed KSB in blind dependence and submission, without proving any facts and truths through God’s Word. In this state I led others to bondage. With a sad heart I ask for your forgiveness.
May God, through our Lord and Saviour and the Holy Spirit, bring Erlo Stegen and Friedel Stegen and the whole of KSB to repentance and acceptance of the Truth, and through true remorse lead them to a complete and total dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that through the Holy Spirit all people who are and have been involved with KSB can experience the opening of prison doors.
So that the Name of the Lord would not be slandered, but glorified.
Limburg, 20.02 2000
Karl Heinz Wicker