WATCHMAN ON THE WALLS PASSES THE TORCH
Dr. Edward Cain, a founder member of United Christian Action, and for many years its President, died on 4 November 2002. His funeral was held at Pretoria East Cemetery yesterday, 13 November. This was followed by a Memorial Service in celebration of his life at Central Baptist Church in Pretoria.
Tributes to Dr. Ed Cain from all over the world, including from Switzerland, England, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and from all over South Africa and America were read out at the Memorial service. Hundreds of Christian friends from all races, language groups and Church backgrounds attended the service. Some travelled up from as far afield as KwaZulu and Cape Town.
Dr. Ed Cain was described at the Memorial Service as:
“One of the foremost experts on Liberation Theology in the world”;
“A serious thorn in the flesh to liberation theologians as he exposed their false teaching”;
“A watchman on the walls”;
“A man of faithfulness and faith”;
“One who accurately diagnosed societies ills and faithfully prescribed the Biblical solutions”;
“One who identified important but neglected issues”;
“A man of principle”:
“A humble man of quiet integrity”;
“A man of unwavering faith”;
“who touched thousands of lives through the high quality newsletters he consistently produced”;
“His thought through and thought-provoking articles”;
“Painstakingly meticulous in his research”;
“Extremely well informed on current affairs”;
“If we had a dozen people like Ed Cain, South Africa would be a different country”;
“A man of passion, faith, respect and love”;
“One who had unique insights into the battle between good and evil”;
“He analysed current issues in the light of Biblical issues”;
“He tackled controversial subjects with respect and dignity”;
“He used his pen as a sword and did battle with giants”;
“He has done an invaluable service to our country”;
“True to his strongly held convictions”;
“He impacted more lives than we can imagine”;
“He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered”;
Edward Phillip Cain was born in Johannesburg on 28 June 1935. He was converted to Christ when he was 20 years old. He sensed the call of God to full time Christian service and enrolled in the Missionary Training College in Glasgow, Scotland – from where he graduated in 1961. Ed served as a missionary to Moçambique with WEC – from 1964 to 1975. He opened the first Protestant bookshop in that Roman Catholic country. He was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity by Covington Theological Seminary in Georgia, USA.
For 20 years Ed published Signposts – a bi-monthly newsletter warning Christians of issues of social and political concern. He also produced the Roca Report (Review of Current Affairs) which monitored and analysed political and social trends on a month-by-month basis. The ROCA Report was greatly appreciated and sought after. As President of United Christian Action (UCA), Ed wrote to and counselled key political leaders, advised church leaders and led numerous delegations to government.
Apart from his ministry, Ed always made time for his family. In 1965 he married an American missionary from WEC, Alice. They had two children, David and Miriam. Alice died from cancer shortly after they were forced to leave Moçambique by the Marxist revolution there. Ed married Deanna in 1978. Together they ran Signposts, and the ROCA Report.
Ed was very interested in history and, together with his daughter, Miriam, wrote Biblical Democracy. His family is requesting that in lieu of flowers – that donations be made to the Biblical Democracy Publishing Fund. Just before his death, Ed completed a revision and expansion of Biblical Democracy. UCA would like to sponsor a major printing of this inspiring and important book and donate copies to libraries of Bible Colleges, schools and universities.
Great hymns and victorious Scripture choruses were sung at the gravesite, while the men took turns to fill in the grave with spadefuls of soil. At the Memorial service, Ed’s daughter, Miriam, and a friend, Beverly van Rensburg, sang Ed’s favourite Hymn, Thy Blessed Will Divine¸ as a duo.
Thy Blessed Will Divine
I want my life to be all filled with praise to Thee,
My precious Lord divine Who died for me,
Let all my will be Thine, Controlled by love divine
Live out in me Thy life, O Mighty Saviour.
Thy blessed will divine, with joy I make it mine,
My heart shall be Thy throne, and Thine alone.
Choose Thou the path I tread and whither, I am led,
Help me to follow on, O mighty Saviour.
A pilgrim born anew, a stranger going through,
Not of this world am I, since I am Thine.
Weaned from its passing show, transformed Thy love to know,
Hold Thou my hand in Thine, O mighty Saviour.
When evil foes assail and almost would prevail,
In that dark hour be Thou my strength and shield.
Lend then Thy strong embrace, uphold me by Thy grace,
In weakness be my strength, O mighty Saviour.
Yea, choose the path for me, although I may not see,
The reason Thou dost will to lead me so.
I know the toilsome way will lead to realms of day,
Where I shall dwell with Thee, O mighty Saviour.
The sermon was presented by Rev. Charles Die Kiewit on John 11:25:
“Jesus said to her: ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.”
Dr. Peter Hammond