Recently, I was asked to make a statement about my experiences with the KwaSizabantu Mission (KSB). This is in response to many questions I have been asked in relation to my responsibilities within this “revival” in South Africa.
What can I write? In any case, I don’t want to shock or hurt anyone. So it is a strictly personal approach that I offer. What I write only concerns me. What I acknowledge does not necessarily relate to the other former leaders of this Mission in France or elsewhere.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (New International Version).
I have been active in the KSB Mission and the associations that have grown out of this collaboration since 1984. Being an idealist, I quickly adhered to the vision of the “revival”. I desired a holy, consecrated, simple, and practical life. This was the purpose of my adhesion. This adventure came to a spiritual end in May 2018 when we were asked to sign a document of total submission to the leaders of KSB RSA. Then, it stopped legally in 2019 with the separation between our assembly and this Mission, and with the dissolution of the Mission in France. After that, there was a long period of inner reformation in terms of faith, doctrine and its application among the believers. However, this is not the subject of my writing.
During this period, I found it very difficult to express myself, to put words on my thoughts and reflections. First of all, I noticed a personal failure, then a betrayal on the part of our spiritual leaders, finally I felt so guilty towards our young people… Like many others I was depressed, but I looked up to Jesus, the author of my faith in 1971, when I was just a pre-teen participating in the life of a reformed parish.
First of all, I want to testify that I am very grateful for how God cared for me in all circumstances, good and bad. There are things that I have received and that will remain as marks of God’s love and grace. I now believe that all this is not in vain. It is this same thought that I share with my wife.
Today, since I have been given the opportunity, I would like to humiliate myself, to ask forgiveness to all those who have been destabilised and bruised, especially the young. Many have come to me for advice and prayer, many for confession of sins. I believe I was sincere in the help given, but in its entirety it could not be effective or fair because the whole thing was distorted.
I therefore apologise for the following:
– In the past, brothers and sisters have left the Mission on the basis of a number of disagreements either on practical matters or on questions of doctrine. I have considered these people as “enemies” of God’s work. So I broke with them.
– As time went by, active people came to understand that the Mission was sectarian. In fact, as far as I was concerned, I was seduced by a very beautiful appearance of life and piety, and I was blinded.
– As we were in a “revival”, I neglected to seriously examine the content of the teachings, and so I accepted non-biblical teachings.
– Most of the time decisions were made in a small committee or in dependence on the South African Mission leadership. I followed this pyramidal view of the Mission, thus disregarding the members of the associations and congregations. This is the same observation that I make in relation to my local church. I decided, the church followed out of overconfidence.
– I was often too long in my preaching. Although I generally remained faithful to the Bible, as soon as I spoke about sin, I became harsh in my words.
– I accepted the Mission’s procedure for weddings, and I know that many young people have been wounded in their faith and in their couple because of this method. I won’t go into details, but those who have experienced it know what I am talking about.
– I was a legalist in terms of clothing, what came from possible occult origins, the collaboration between those responsible at the local level, the Holy Communion, etc. I was also a legalist in terms of the local community. Legalistic not because of what I thought, but by exerting a certain pressure on the members of the assembly .
– I placed the “men and women of awakening” above the others. I have often believed their word as if it were a prophecy from the Lord.
– I did not find public and administrative obligations (GA, CA and others) important.
– Sometimes unjust decisions were made against certain people, and I rarely took a stand.
– In the Mission, the woman was the object of a paradox: sometimes she was considered above all (the women in charge) and often she was despised (with no special status just there to satisfy the machismo of some men). I never took a position on this subject, contenting myself with being happy in my family environment.
– I never asked the Mission for an account of its finances, projects and objectives.
– I have often been satisfied to have the “revival” while other evangelicals, for me, did not have it (the criterion being the confession of sins before a witness).
– In fact, and this is the last point that encompasses all the others, I gave up my first love for my Lord Jesus, because I idolised the “revival”, then men, KSB, and finally myself!
What is at stake in all this is not me, or even all those who have experienced this spiritual and/or psychological imprisonment, but it is Jesus Christ who paid the price on Golgotha for the salvation of everyone.
But I would like to state here that the situation is not desperate. Why is it not desperate?
– Jesus is victorious!
– His goodness pushes every man who hopes in Him to repentance.
– Jesus is the author of our faith and will bring it to its perfection.
– Jesus is for us healing, he is our sun of righteousness. He will know how to deliver us from all our past, from all our mistakes, from all our guilt, from all our bitterness and from all our bruises, be they spiritual and/or psychological.
The Church of Jesus Christ is always there with the teaching of Jesus and the apostles, the fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer.
I thank everyone for their understanding,
Louis-Michel Fillatre, December 2020.