Tag Archives: jesus

Neverland – ingenmansland

Follow the link to read the Swedish version of Neverland which was published today in “Världen Idag” Other media have written their parts: here, here, here and here.

“Alla försöker att utnyttja hans död men få försöker redovisa en ärlig bild av en man vars liv präglades av brustenhet, identitetskriser och udda utspel”. Läs mer: länk.

Be in touch! John

Är inte Immanuel 153 en församling?

Idag läste jag en artikel i Dagen som reste några frågor… Jonas Eveborn från Immanuel 153 ”lämnar sin tjänst för att bli församlingspastor”. Han lämnar sin tjänst som pastor för att bli församlingspastor…???

Kanske har mina frågor att göra med min oförmåga att kommunicera på svenska men är inte Immanuel 153 en församling? Citat: ”153 som en gemenskap som vill vara både inåtriktad och utåtriktad, liturgisk och karismatisk på en och samma gång, och som bygger en gemenskap som inte enbart räcker ett par timmar på söndag eftermiddag. – Vi vill vara en gemenskap som är bärande och där vi bygger relationer samtidigt som vi gör något gott”. Är detta inte en församling?

En annan fråga som kommer upp genom artikeln är hur 153 kan fortsätta… Även om jag själv inte har besökt 153 har jag fått veta genom olika vänner hur viktigt 153 är och hur många har hittat ett andligt hem i denna gemenskap. Immanuel 153 omfattar 250 personer… Varför kommer då frågan upp om man kan bära ett ekonomiskt ansvar för 153s pastor(er) eftersom Immanuel kyrkans ekonomi är ansträngt? Ursäkta mig, men om man betjänar 250 personer ska inte dessa ta ansvar för sina pastorer? Enkel matematik… om 40 av dessa ger sina tionden kan man utan problem avlöna en pastor på heltid… även om alla skulle vara studenter som ger sitt tionde skulle 50 personer räcka till en heltidslön.

Eller är givande i församlingarna ett problem? Jonas Melin på sin blog anser det tror jag… Jag tycker att Immanuel ska bekräfta det som händer i 153 genom att frigöra ännu mer resurser. I en tid som denna där få av våra visioner blir verklighet ska vi lyfta fram det som Gud gör bland oss och stödja det med alla våra möjligheter och resurser!

Så ser jag på det!


A manifesto from the “Christian left” – have they “left” the Christian perspective?

Representatives from a so-called Christian wing in the Social Democratic Party called Broderskapsrörelse (the brotherhood movement) have come out of their closet presenting a manifesto which really offers nothing new under the sun, they endorse the viewpoints of their party comrades rather than any self-respecting Christian. The title of their manifesto states that greed should not rule a society… a rather important issue nowadays which I addressed in my blog many times. However their focus in not on this issue, they join in with the large majority of the Swedish population which endorses a politically correct view on condemning all these horrible right wing Christians who still believe in the exclusive claims of the Bible and God of the Bible.

The debaters in Brännpunkt address the importance of freedom, equality and solidarity; which are the main slogans of a socialistic perspective. However, these are also the principles deeply rooted in the word of God; the Bible and the Christian Church. The other day I was talking to one of the former leading social democrats in our city. For a while we have built up a relationship which grows more in depth and where we share about our lives. A statement he made keeps ringing in my ears…”We, in the Democratic Party, have been very good in writing down principles and making laws… but you in the Free Church do the things we write and decide about!”

I think that statement is overdone quite a bit; there is so much we have to learn and we in the Christian Church have to repent from an egoistic life-style where greed rules in many of our decisions and ambitions. However, I do believe he touched on a glimpse of truth… freedom, equality and solidarity costs… because LOVE costs… “All love is good love” the debaters wrote… The Bible would be the first to refute that statement because the love which the Bible speaks about is the agape kind of love which Jesus addresses when they asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus said, “‘Love (agapao) the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love (agapao) your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-41)

The word agape refers to the self-sacrificing love of God for humanity, which they were committed to reciprocating and practicing towards God and among one another. This love has implications where truth and non-truth diverse their ways and where not anything is accepted and endorsed. Actually true love might affirm, comfort, direct, guide, disagree, but also confront and refute! The real essence of love is not to be able to accept everything, anything at any time… it is the ability to discern and act based upon a reality outside oneself based on an objective truth that is found in the Bible.

I do not agree with much that is identified as Christian right wing politics as exemplified in American politics… (more of that another time)… But the fact that I am identified with what the debaters call the Christian right wing in Sweden together with the Clapham institute is an honorable identification. And if we are the only ones in this society believing in certain of our convictions and viewpoints in regards to values, norms and praxis… so be it… I remember a man who in most of His views was against the norms and praxis of His society. Thinking of that fact I feel in great company!

That’s the Way I see it!


Cut and paste theology – nothing new under the sun!

Many may find the approach of the post-modern, post-Christian person living in 2008 which practices a smorgasbord (pick and choose favorite dishes) in regards to theology difficult to understand. But the truth is (there we have that word again J)… there is nothing new under the sun!

Tomas Jefferson, one of the presidents of the United States compiled his own “wee little book” of 46 pages where he compiled the four Gospels into one text. He literally cut out verses and teachings that liked and placed them all in his book, it was “like finding diamonds in a dunghill” he said.

He literally sifted the Scriptures leaving out every miracle, every inconsistency (in his mind) and of course finishing off with Jesus’ burial rather than the resurrection.

“There is nothing new under the sun”; I have said this now a couple of times. In our world in 2008 we have many people, churches and denominations who sift out the parts of the Bible which are either politically incorrect, sensitive or just too tough to follow.

My stand? Bring it on…, all of it! I struggle with the Word of God, I have parts I strongly dislike, there are verses and stories that cut down to my bones and hurt my inner being, but… as I dare to embrace it, as I dare to face it. It gives me life in spite of the fact that I have to admit that something within me had to die first.

I guess that is what life with God is al about?!

That’s the Way I see it!


Is Olle Carlsson a real reformer?

In the article “Reformator retar – och ratas?” in Brännpunkt of SVD today, members and politically chosen representatives of the left fraction within the leadership of Katarina Church (Swedish Church) in Stockholm are questioning the fact that the Ole was not endorsed to become the vicar of the church. ”Was the reformer (Olle) teased and rejected was their question?”

The authors tell us in the article that Olle Carlsson had become one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the Swedish Church (former State Church), his ministry, according to them, reached thousands of people in the city and beyond. His message touched modern people and him life experience made him trustworthy. They continue to say that one has to judge leadership by considering results and in regard to this Allahelgona church had few contestants. Over and over again the authors use the words revival, renewal and reformation to describe the so called spiritual phenomenon which is going on in Allahelgonakyrkan through the ministry of Olle.

My question is: Is Olle Carlsson a real reformer? Well, the answer has everything to do with the way you describe the term reformation. Did Olle use unusual ways, methods and messages to get his viewpoints across? Certainly! In many ways he was so much different from the more liturgical and traditional approaches in the Swedish Church. His ability to see people as individuals and their needs is a refreshing approach in a rather stale form of Christianity that we exercise in Sweden. His ability to identify with people’s hurts, hardships and brokenness brought a mind-blowing dimension to the life of church goers. He was a man who dared to break out of the box.

BUT…Is he a reformer in the Biblical sense? That’s the question!

When we go back into the history of the church and the Reformation (I use this because the authors use the concept as a building stone), we find that real Reformation in our history had to do with strong fundamental Biblical issues calling people back to God and the authority of His Word.

The four questions or doctrines addressed were: How is a person saved? Where does religious authority lie? What is the church? And what is the essence of Christian living?

In answering these questions, Protestant Reformers such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, and John Knox established what would be known as the “Five Solas” of the Reformation (sola being the Latin word for “alone”). These five points of doctrine were at the heart of the Protestant Reformation.

1. “Sola Scriptura,” or Scripture Alone: This affirms the Biblical doctrine that the Bible alone is the sole authority for all matters of faith and practice. Scripture and Scripture alone is the standard by which all teachings and doctrines of the church must be measured. As Martin Luther so movingly stated when asked to renounce his teachings, “Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason -….- my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”

2. “Sola Gratia,” Salvation by Grace Alone: This affirms the Biblical doctrine that salvation is by God’s grace alone and that we are rescued from His wrath by His grace alone. God’s grace in Christ is not merely necessary, but is the sole efficient cause of salvation. This grace is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life.

3. “Sola Fide,” Salvation by Faith Alone: This affirms the Biblical doctrine that justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. It is by faith in Christ that His righteousness is given to us as the only possible satisfaction of God’s perfect justice.

4. “Solus Christus,” In Christ Alone: This affirms the Biblical doctrine that salvation is found in Christ alone and that His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to God the Father. The gospel has not been preached if Christ’s substitutionary work is not declared, and if faith in Christ and His work is not solicited.

5. “Soli Deo Gloria”, For the Glory of God Alone: This affirms the Biblical doctrine that salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God for His glory alone. It affirms that as Christians we must glorify Him always, and must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God, and for His glory alone.

These five important and fundamental doctrines were the reason for the Protestant Reformation. They were a call back to the heart of Christianity, Christ, His work, death on the cross and resurrection, and also a revival to the authority of the Word of God.

Is Olle Carlsson a reformer in the Biblical sense? I do not believe so. I believe that the call for repentance, the call to Biblical Christianity and followership of Christ is not heard, nor taught under his ministry. The sheer presence of crowds is no confirmation of God’s presence. It might be the opposite at times. If we bring and preach what people want to hear we become crowd pleasers and politically correct but spiritually oh, so wrong. The message of the Cross, the need for repentance is not a message the Modern Swede wants to hear and seems to be old fashioned, reeking fundamentalism. However, the call from Jesus to follow Him must imply or willingness “to leave”, leave our past, leave our ways, leave our comfort or whatever needs to be left behind to be able to follow Him.

My prayer and hope is that a real reformation would hit the Swedish Church and our other churches as well… In many ways, much of Protestant Christianity needs to be challenged to return to these fundamental doctrines of faith, only then there will be a new hope for our nation!

That’s the Way I see it!


Leadership in the church: dealing with the “hireling” mentality!

Two months ago I wrote a blog as a reaction on the article in Dagen about the fact that pastors were encouraged to become part of a union to secure their rights and jobs. My first blog was semi-seriously written (check it out here). However after today’s articles in Dagen (here and here) I want to add my side of the story.

The problem I see is that most pastors are regarded as employees of the church that they serve. The reason for that is because most pastors are hired by churches in order to fulfill a particular job description, much as is done in the business world. The way we look at this “job” might or might not be in line with the Biblical perspective on what a pastor is meant to be / do. In such situations a pastor is more inclined to compromise with any unbiblical expectations of his employer otherwise he/she might loose their job.

I know of numerous pastors in both small and larger churches where there are issues in regards to the application of Biblical standards within the congregation. The churches in Sweden acknowledge the pastor mainly as a “hireling” who is supposed to yield to the decisions being made by the eldership and/or board.

It is not uncommon that the established laymen leadership (elders and board) has allowed certain unbiblical practices in the church among lay leaders, themselves and its members, thus setting up a potential division between the new appointed (hired) pastor(s) and the congregation. It is not unusual that congregations seek to recruit for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires (2 Tim.4:3). The fact is that most established churches don’t want any new pastor to rock the boat; they want peace and rest, maintaining what is going on in the church by strengthening the present and maybe making manageable changes to embrace the future!

“The hireling mentality” as I described above however, also exists among pastors.

This becomes clear to me when pastors look for promotion opportunities rather than to grow and develop on a long term basis with the church they are called to serve. Some actually are self-interested, showing greater concern for their compensation package and the earthly security it supposedly brings than ministering to the body of believers they are called to serve (Jn.10:12,13).

The practice of regarding pastors as employees has not been the norm through the church’s history. Historically, pastors have not been considered to be employees, but bond-servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, they are slaves of Christ, not slaves to an employer.

My family and I have during 15 years lived and ministered without a regular salary. A couple of years after we started New Life Church (where I presently still am serving as a pastor), we received for the first time a part-time salary which as time passed has been raised and is a full-time salary today. Our church has well taken care of us although I for one, have been opposed to raising my salary at times because I preferred to use the money to provide support for other workers so that we could form a team. I consider myself a bond-servant to Christ and not an employee first of all (although legally I am in that position within the context of the Swedish society). So, in essence I am saying that you as pastor have to make a decision whether you are a “hireling” or have been “called” as a pastor! If you cannot exercise the gifts God has given you, or cannot minister as a pastor you might have chosen the wrong place to minister. (By the way; did you take the employment because a job was offered when you needed it, or was it a CALL from God?!)

Let’s face it; some pastors need to get rid of their hireling mentality, but so do some churches!

I have friends in churches where they receive very little support and encouragement from the congregations they serve. They experience that they have minimal impact in the direction of the church’s ministry and often find themselves on the receiving end of hurtful criticisms. Others are inadequately compensated and feel little appreciation for the important work that they do on behalf of the church. Expressions of discouragement and unhappiness are not uncommon, and for some, ministry is no longer a sense of calling from God nor a source of joy and satisfaction in their life!

Do members understand the concept of being a people of God?

Much of how we relate to our pastors depends on how we as individual members understand our relationship to the life of the church and its ministries. Are we essentially religious consumers who see ourselves as being receivers of ministry, or do we understand ourselves to be part of the people of God who partner and who have a vital role in helping to fulfill the church’s collective ministry? Do we see our pastors as employees who are paid to serve to congregational customers or as spiritual leaders whose ministries of the Word of God and their leadership enables us to better fulfill our ministries of service and proclamation in the world?

Our answer to those questions makes all the difference in the world when it comes to determining our expectations of the pastoral ministry and those who are called to serve within it. Our pastors are neither self-made nor self-maintained.

They need to be supported, encouraged and affirmed. And when we neglect that important work, we pay a very heavy collective price. I’ve never known a church whose spirit, enthusiasm and commitment to ministry exceeded that of its leadership. I’ve never experienced a vibrant, flourishing congregation whose pastor wasn’t also receiving generous amounts of prayerful support and encouragement from its members!

Remember, it’s not simply a matter of getting the kind of leadership we deserve. It’s more a matter of receiving precisely the kind of leadership we choose to call forth and then support.

That’s the Way I see it,


Lessons from history; Todd Bentley, Peter, Sadducees and Gamaliel in the Florida revival.

There is a reason for it… There is a reason for it that news about revival in Florida travels so fast all over the world. The tremendously intense TV covering by the God Channel watched by millions of people directly in their homes through TV channels and computers fills a void in the lives of Christians (and hopefully non-Christians) throughout the world. The fact that we can watch it “first-hand”, “live” brings reality closer to us. However, even that live connection is not close enough and droves of people from all nations of the world travel there to “get it” to hopefully “bring it home”.

The fact that we live in a global world and that those of us in the West live in tremendous affluence makes it possible to experience matters in person. We can travel about anywhere we want and distance is only in your mind. This is one of the reasons why news about it spreads like fire across our planet.

The tremendous voids

There is another reason too for the quick spread of this phenomenon; the sheer absence of the super-natural, the power and the ever present need for EXPERIENCE (a main factor to be reckoned with in our Post-modern, Post-Christian Western world) in our churches has created a tremendous void. So when something supernatural happens we are overly focused on it because we are destitute for it.

As soon as things like this pop up (don’t forget that we have had the faith teaching, inner healing, the prophetic movement, Toronto, Pensacola etc.), the advocates/ambassadors get all excited trying to tell us why “this is it what God wants to do” and as a response to the (often) enthusiastic approach of them we set off the alarms so many other who approach these matters from totally different (often non-emotional) perspectives. They are seen as they pleasure killers of the Body of Christ and any question they might ask is considered criticism.

Fighting against God?

In the time of Jesus and the first church we all know that the Sadducees and Pharisees because of their religious and political power were threatened by the expressions and works of the Kingdom of God. (Acts 5:17 states that the Sadducees were filled with jealousy!) When the disciples were taken captive and brought before the Sanhedrin where they were asked to defend their case the Sanhedrin was so upset that some of their members wanted to kill the disciples (5:33). It was at that moment that a wise Pharisee took the word, NIV 5:34-39

But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

Our history – let’s get our homework done!

I know we hate homework! But there is an important lesson to be learned from the history of the Early Church and even of our recent history in Sweden. The last 25 years have been characterized by people and churches taking standpoints for and against different phenomenon in the Body of Christ. (By the way, if the matters involve whether we are to preach God’s Word as absolute Truth, you will find me on the barricades too!)

But in most cases it had nothing to do with truth; it had to do with style, emphasis, and sometimes over-emphasis. People who had been touched by renewal, revival or the (re)discovery of old truths and ways of God have not always been wise and mature in passing on a blessing; instead the blessing became a curse as it divided the Body of Christ and brought hurts and rejection.

Do the experiences become the norm of church life?

If experiences of special touches and (re)discovered principles become the norm for church life in our time and Christian walk we will automatically build in the inability to be a church, or to be a trustworthy and relevant body of believers. If what we read in the Acts of the Apostles is to be the norm of church life for us today why is it that so few people die in the church in spite of their greed, or so few sell everything they have and give it to the church and the poor? Or why is there so little accountability and little openness and confession? Why are so few new people reached… the list can go on…

If we believe that God is doing something new, let us in humility and in accountability live out what God is teaching and giving us in such ways that we seek for opportunities to wisely implement what He is giving us. After all, if it is from God it will prevail and grow!

Let us with humility towards God, each other and the tradition to which we belong approach the works of God realizing that we here at this time and age “…see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known”. (1 Cor 13:12)

That’s the Way I see it!


PS Accountability and openess is what it is all about!” Read> DS

Trust in Lust – the new approach to relationships! Sex sells, sell sex, xxx

Apoteket AB (drugstore, or pharmacy) has since 1970 a national monopoly position in Sweden. Until now, rubbers (condoms) and chewing gum (some kind of rubber) can be found located on the same shelf (NO! There is logic behind it!).

Soon however, to be precise on June 23, our national health store will with the help of RFSU present the “Trust in Lust” line of design of sex toys and change their image to a kind of kinky Afrodites pharmacy. The Afrodites pharmacy under leadership of erotic educationalist Ylva Franzén has continued to evolve and might have become the role model in the transformation of our national pride as they already offer products like: orgasm classes, orgasm coaching and designer dildos.

Whether this initiative is a strategic effort to raise the stocks of our nationally renowned pharmacy as it will be put up for sale latest by January 1, 2009 or, if this is yet another tasteless and un-thoughtful Big Brother State attempt trying to educate and support its citizens sex lives beyond the threshold of privacy – we might never know! Honestly I don’t want to know!

According to different articles and press releases, on many sites and publications it has become time —-“to welcome sex toys out in the open into the daylight”! “The Trust in Lust” product line has been developed through much research and evaluation by the RFSU and all the personnel of Apoteket has been trained by RFSU! “OH MY G…!” (Read how much I trust the RFSU in “Guidelines for teenagers who want sex – RFSU hands off”).

Let’s be honest, the catchy product line “Trust in Lust” says it all, trust your animal like instincts and uncontrolled lingering volcano-like lust boiling within your limbs: that will set you free! Right!

How different is the approach by God as He through Jesus and the apostle John addresses the deeper motives and pitfalls of humankind leading to distortion and de-humanized approaches of the same and/or opposite sex through lust. (Some might call this yet another “underlivs” (genital area) theology… I don’t care what you think, I do care what God thinks of this:

Matthew 5: 27-28 ”You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.” 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”.

1 John 2: 16 “For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world”.

We don’t need yet another effort to make overtly public that which belongs to the privacy of people. Big Brother hands off! (I totally agree with Per Gudmunsson ” Sell Apoteket fast so that we won’t have to explain these (awkward) matters for our international guests!)

That’s the Way I see it!


PS. How does this approach and unwanted public product placement in the stores affect our multi-cultural (orthodoxmuslimcatholicjewishchristianbuddhistshintoistetc) citizens as this is shoved down their throats?! Culturally sensitive BS? DS (I mean)

Does evil make us human?

Paul W. Kahn’s first sentence in his book “Out of Eden” says: “Evil makes us Human”… writing such a statement surely calls for attention! Göran Skytte’s article in SVD “Personal evil is a reality” already releases responses of people who do not believe in the personal character of evil and declare it to be metaphysics.

Every single day all of our moral sensitivities are challenged by the depth of human depravity and the tremendous scenes of deep traumatic human suffering. What kinds of world are we living in where predators go after the most vulnerable and exposed people; the children, the suffering, the young and the poor? Ethnic cleansing, suicide bombers and people in power in Burma who allow the same people they are called to lead and protect, to expose to a potential genocide?

Even the places once thought safe, like school, home, church, and small towns, have all been penetrated by an evil presence that has created a culture of fear, hatred, and blame. We are left to make sense of it all and often look for someone to blame.

There the question might come in: How does God draw near to deal with the problem of evil?

I don’t try to say that there are easy short-cut answers to be found on all aspects of human suffering as we experience it. Questions like, “why was I raped and abused as a child?”, “why did my parents have to die in a tsunami?”, or “why do the rulers in Burma allow their people to die by not allowing help to flood in?”, make it clear that there are no easy answers resolving all “why” questions. Yet as a Christian I can speak in general terms about living within the remnants of a fallen creation which is marked by chaos and disorder, and deeply disfigurement by the horrendous effects of sin’s deformation of God’s original intention (Genesis 3).

Depths of human wickedness may take various forms, “the line between good and evil is never between ‘us’ and ‘them’, the ‘poor’ and the ‘rich’ , the ‘criminal’ and the ‘saint’, or the ‘left’ and the ‘right’, but runs through the heart of every individual and every society”.

The most sensitive, the most moral and the most religious persons among us are not immune from the influence of evil. The apostle Paul acknowledges that though he “wants to do good”, evil continually to take over the best of his intentions (Romans 7:14-24). There is a constant battle for those who wish to do good, and we should never play down personal evil as if it were the problem of a few, while the rest of us are immune (Romans 3:23). There are simply no easy answers that effectively tackle the way of evil in our world.

The fact is (and we are all aware of it ): evil is not limited to the personal level: it has possessed the corporate world through greed, the political world through power and ambition, and the institutional church through preserving the appearances at the expense of people. It takes the form of social injustice that promotes racism, poverty and the marginalization of various groups.

Evil sometimes wears a suit, lives in luxurious apartments in the inner-city districts of Kungsholmen and Östermalm in Stockholm while driving their BMW, but it is also dominant in the high-rising apartment buildings in Tensta, Botkyrka or Rinkeby where new Swedes try to make themselves a living and home.

Evil can also hide behind a success driven, consumer friendly, image conscious, program based church that exists for its own sake. And, we ought not to be surprised because “even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).

So what can we learn from the Bible about God’s way of addressing the problem of evil and shattering its horrible effects? Through Jesus, God’s justice takes on human flesh as Jesus came down to the earth and encounters the effects of evil with a holiness that produces cleansing, a power that breaks down the very strongholds of evil, and a Kingdom that provided a vision of an alternative way.

His presence exposed institutional corruption, and challenged the Roman Empire with an alternative Kingdom. The climatic exhibition of Jesus’ victory over personal, cosmic and global evil comes at the cross, when dark forces come together in personal betrayal and denial, institutional terrorism and threats, and political power-games and violence.

This is the way evil works in the world, and Jesus seems to be no match before these dark and accusing forces. But when taunted to use his powers for personal deliverance he refuses to play their power-games. When he is insulted and mocked, he refuses to allow tensions by hitting back in the same spirit. Instead, he answes their evil intentions with a real call for forgiveness, that has the potential of crushing evil’s deadly grip. Yes, in the darkness of the occasion even Jesus felt somehow abandoned by God – “My God, my God why have you forsaken me” Mark 15:34. In the end it was Jesus who was in control and calling the shots. Evil had taken its best shot, but even a Roman centurion had to admit, “Surely this man was the Son of God”.

Could it be that a sign of God, a sign of change has come down in the person Jesus Christ as he broke down the personal and corporate evil in our time and age?

I believe so and that’s the Way I see it!


Jesusmanifestationen in Stockholm…

I had the privilege to be part of the Jesusmanifestation… I was part of this day together with leaders and members from Korskyrkan, Vineyard, Tomaskyrkan and Petruskyrkan and our own church New Life as we met at Sergelstorg. See picture:

I had the privilege to lead the two-hour meeting on the infamous Sergelstorg where according to the Christian daily paper DAGEN 90% of Stockholm’s drugs exchange hands (pockets, mouths) or pass through. I told the audience (up to 2500 people) that the name “Jesusmanifestationen” was well-chosen because Jesus is able to manifest Himself and is still doing that as He is walking the streets of our beloved city Stockholm…

Musicians, gospel singers, a worship team, pastors and other people telling their stories of how Jesus had become real in their lives and the wonderful presence of Christians and non-Christians created a familiar atmosphere where many people stayed for long periods of time, sometimes maybe almost against their inclination… Yet they stayed… could it have been because the Holy Spirit was there and intercessors had prepared the ground?! (Thank you God!)

People were invited to receive prayer at the back of a truck which was dividing the stage from the people.. small trickles of people came for prayer… for different needs. At the end of the two hour meeting (divided in 3 sections of 40 minutes each) I felt the urge of the Holy Spirit to invite people forward to the stage as intercessors gathered… each of the 20 intercessors was busy praying for people who came forward to be prayed for (according to Dagen’s journalist).

What can one say about the manifestation… The press in the nation shows the importance of this event by its sheer absence (only Svenska Dagbladet wrote a small article about it).

I preached today in our church and said. “The only sin left in the Western world, and especially in Sweden is the sin of intolerance. “Diversity,” we are told, is the source of our strength”.

The absence of the press proofs another thing to me: In our pluralistic society we have to respect the “cultural diversity” of all peoples except those who keep Christ in the center of their lives!

Honestly, in the sermon (which you might be able to listen to via our homepage. I gave a warning in regards to pluralism and the temptation as a church to move the path of tolerance which our society offers us. (I even felt that the letter from the queen encouraged that pluralism which is endorsed by our society).

The church is following that same path and approach about which A.W. Tozer wrote,

“A new set of 10 commandments have been adopted by the neo Christians of our day, ‘Thou shall not disagree’ and a new set of Beatitudes too, “Blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they shall not be made accountable for anything.”

Now then we have the philosophers of our days who can give us tons of reasons not to join these kinds of events…

In an earlier blog about this event I said:

  • I rejoice, not because I find this the most effective and appropriate way to let the people in Sweden know that we as Christian Church exist. But because we are uniting around Jesus Christ and Who He is!
  • I rejoice because we are doing something! Many of those who are against this kind of manifestation have opinions on what to do, and how to do it. Let’s be honest; they are not particularly known of doing anything at all in regards of furthering the Gospel in our nation!

For now, that’s the Way I see it… and just that you know… I will join next time, and another, and another as long as I feel that God is in it!

Enjoy some of the pictures from Bas van den Eijkhof from this event!


For English news read the following