I remember when we first moved to the Cape, how it took a while to get familiar with our new surroundings. Even though I could get around Johannesburg and Pretoria without GPS with regular ease, the same was not true of the Cape. There were many things I had to learn about our new home. For starters, I learned that we are actually living in an area called “False Bay,” and that it is a massive area stretching all the way from Hang Clip to around Simon’s Town, and embracing many towns in between. But I kept wondering about the origin of its name. Interestingly, False Bay owes its name to a case of mistaken identity. Sailors who thought they had reached Table Bay, only to find out that they didn’t, gave False Bay its real name. There are many humorous examples like this to be found all over South Africa. Like False Bay, this is also the story of the little Free State town of Verkeerde Vlei or “wrong marsh.” Apparently the name was born when some of the first pioneers noticed the stream was flowing from east to west instead of the usual west to east, which was the norm for the district.
Spiritually speaking though, it is to be lamented that our country has become a type of “false bay” and a “wrong marsh” as it involves the sexual orientations of people. “Mistaken identities” and “upstream,” unbiblical living seem to abound, especially here in Cape Town, which boasts its own annual “gay-pride parade,” rendering it South Africa’s very own “San Francisco.” There are a good representation of people living here who either identify with one or more of the letters in the acronym LGBTQ (not knowing where it will stop), or who identify with and defend the people who represent these letters—or both! And sadly, the church, or the so-called representatives of Christ are setting the pace for the normalising of something which, scripturally speaking, is still described as sinful.
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