Tag Archives: jesus

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!

John

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!

John







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!

John

For English news read the following




Shepherds of the inner-city, social reform at its best!

In this blog today I have included part of an article which I read in Newsweek magazine on April 18, 1994. Now, 13 years later this article still makes so much sense that I want to share it with you. It deals with a depth of commitment in the areas of justice and social reform as we are lacking today. I copied this article from a paper copy of Newsweek, unfortunately it is not found on line:

Shepherds of the inner city
How to help troubled adolescents—and make welfare reform succeed – By Joe Klein

Leon Dickerson will be attending the Carrolton middle school in Baltimore this week. Leon is 23. He is a graduate of Holy Cross College. His presence at Carrollton will be a demonstration of concern and a show of force and an attempt to save a life. The life belongs to a 13-year-old named Shawn, whose story is all too common.

Shawn’s father isn’t around. His mother is incapable of caring for him. He lives with his grandmother. “He’s really smart,” Leon Dickerson says, “but he doesn’t want anyone to know it. He’s afraid they’ll pick on him in school, call him a nerd. So he acts out a lot, roams the halls, talks back to his teachers. I told him the next time he was given a ‘disciplinary removal,’ I’d spend a week sitting in class with him, making sure he didn’t mess around. He’s really embarrassed, but too bad. I had to show him I’m serious about his education.

Leon Dickerson is part of an extraordinary program called Choice. His official title is “team coordinator,” but a more accurate job description might be: -shepherd-which we’ll define here as something like a social worker, only a lot more intense.

His flock includes 60 troubled adolescents — “the cream of the crap” is the operative one-liner— who are under the direct supervision of six caseworkers, all recent college graduates who have agreed to work 70-hour weeks for a year for a pittance. The strategy is simple: prodigious face time with the kids (who are referred by an array of local agencies that process juvenile miscreants). The caseworkers are in contact with each kid three to five times each day. They make sure the kids are in school. They see that the kids do their home work, get tutored, get medical care. They trail after them in the evenings, herding them back toward limits’ their homes, making sure they’re in bed on time (each has a curfew). The kids are watched over for three to six months, which doesn’t seem long – but new habits and expectations apparent begin to percolate; a recent study showed that 73 percent stay out of trouble for six months after they leave the program.

Choice is a rather extreme example of an emerging truth about programs that deal with behavior-driven—that is, underclass— poverty: those that work best concentrate on socialization. “These kids know no fear,” says Leon Dickerson. “They need limits.” They need to be taught how to behave in civilized society; they need to be punished when they break the rules (and, off course, encouraged when they do well) In a word—and this – not very surprising, given the family disintegration in the poorest neighborhoods — they need parents. The trouble is, being a parent is very labor intensive.

Creative shepherddry also takes a lot of time—but it appears to be the indispensable element in addressing the anomic poor. The degree of attention may vary with the situation; the terminology may change, but not the basic principle.

At America Works, perhaps the most successful welfare-to- work program in the country, the shepherds are called “corporate representatives.” Each has 20 or so clients to watch. “They’re trouble-shooters,” says Peter Cove, the founder of America Works. “Their job is to cut through the static that overwhelms the lives of most welfare recipients—the babysitter and boyfriend problems, the confrontations with bureaucracy. They explain what’s expected in the work- place, how to behave.”

——————-

I can’t tell you how effective this welfare program is today; I did check them out on the internet and they still continue with their community development. When I read this article 14 years ago I was touched to my inner core… and even today I realize that what our world needs is people with the same kind of commitment to reach out and bring hope to their world, their communities and their neighborhoods.

If only we would be able to look past our own desires, our own ambitions and own dreams to flesh out the reality of the life of Jesus in the midst of brokeness, touching those who need a touch, praying for those who need prayer and; most of all, loving those who need to be loved and who long to be be loved…Then I know we will (finally) function as shepherds of the city to which we are called!

That’s the Way I see it!

God bless you,

John

Manifesting Jesus in Stockholm on May 3 – for or against?

Jesus manifestation

Preparations have gone on for a long time; one of my best friends has taken the responsibility to take care of all the practical arrangements of this Jesus manifestation in our capitol city. Intercessors have been praying for the event (because that what it is), and have prayed on the 7 squares where meetings will be held simultaneously from 12.00 -14.00 on that Saturday. From three of these squares, marches will be organized and they will at 15.00 converge at “Kungsträdgården” the “garden of the king” in the center of the city. Here we will have a worship service with many of the participants.

Much can be said about this day, opinions about it differ, and some lock themselves in opposite camps trying to sell the idea or telling how things should be done differently.

I REJOICE!

  • 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! The testimony of the attributes of Jesus will be addressed on every square and different churches and groups will somehow be a reflection of the richness and diversity of God Himself and His mind-boggling creation!
  • I rejoice because of the many different ethnic and international groups of believers who will join hands and hearts to proclaim Jesus as Lord!
  • 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!

On Saturday I will be on Sergelstorg, the infamous square in the heart of the city where drug pushers, addicts and many marginalized people hang out mixing with the crowd about to add yet another token on their totem of consumerism as they populate the stores in the center.

On the surface this same square seems to reflect the very heart disease our city is suffering from; a city seemingly filled with people with hearts of stone, indifference and independency… yet, as one comes beyond the facades one finds true people with true issues and questions looking for true answers. (By the way it was on this square that New Life Church was born, the church of which I am one of the pastors.

I am looking forward to my time on that square that day. Together with four other churches we have been asked to present a 2-hour program. Our heart goes out to those who have not heard, nor felt the Good News. We will try to present the Gospel in a relevant way and invite people for prayer, we will serve them the world famous “FIKA” (coffee with buns) for free and be there for them. Please come along, or pray that people will meet Jesus that day! As long as others philosophize about what to do I will together with thousands of others do my little part in this way, this day, this time…

That’s the Way I see it!

John