Tag Archives: politically correct

Liberalism, – Legalism versus Obedience

Leonard Ravenhill once said: “When there’s something in the Bible that churches don’t like, they call it ‘legalism.'” I have been stunned, as I have realized the degree of liberalism, which has entered our churches in the recent years. Actually one should never get stunned over anything because the depth of the falleness of humankind and our willingness to compromise are closely connected to our deep yearning for comfort and affirmation.

When we find our beliefs and praxis too far removed from what is acceptable and passable in the world around us (or should I say politically correct?), we are tempted to remove our convictions to the fringes of daily life, where they soon are intertwined with non-essentials, leaving only an empty shell of what once was core fruit of existence!

Ravenhill’s observation is like a prophetic voice going against the stream of a Christianity, which has removed the cross from its very center. Jesus once said: “I will call you friends if you do what I command (tell you)”. You want to be liberated? Obey Him and do what He tells you to without asking “why?”!

That’s the Way I see it!

John

Advertisements

Wiretapping of Christian leader top of the iceberg? FRA opens floodgates…

As I boarded the X2000 train from Stokholm to Gothenburg yesterday morning I decided to gather some information to write my perspective on the FRA LAW (is the common name for anti-terrorist legislative package in Sweden warrantless wiretapping law, check the back ground here). I was not able to finish my viewpoint and concerns about it because of time pressure. As I this afternoon finally had time to be on line again I found to both my joy and surprise that my good friend Stefan Swärd had written an article about the Swedish government’s initiative to tap the phones of one of Sweden’s far most Christian leaders Ulf Ekman. This was wiretapping was going on in a time when Livets Ord (The Word of Life Church) was having much missionary work in the former Soviet Union. It was only recently that this severe violation had come to the surface since it was disclosed through the exposure of secret stamped documents.

Stefan who also happens to be the chairman of the board of our denomination (www.efk.se) demands from FRA’s director Ingvar Åkesson answers to the following questions:

1. Why was secret wiretapping exercised in the case of Ekman? Which public authority ordered it?

2. Are there more examples of Christian or other religious leaders who secretly have been wiretapped? (Without having been suspected of having committed crimes or for security reasons). If so, why were they wiretapped, and who gave the orders to do so?

3. As we now through the FRA LAW expand our praxis of the law by not only considering “external military threats” but even “external threats” – how does the reigning government secure that wiretapping, and thus abusing the integrity of religious leaders will not be done, not now, nor in the future?

Personally I am not surprised that Ulf Ekman was under scrutiny, my subjective convictions are that other potential threatening people were scrutinized too. With potential threat I do not necessarily mean people who have the plan to commit crimes or who are a threat for our nation’s or people’s security.

In our quiet and almost peaceful, tolerant nation there are many slumbering volcanoes hidden under the surface waiting to erupt. When one does not fit the mould one can be considered a threat to the Status Quo or our so carefully well-planned, well kept balance and perspective on our reality. (Whether our perspective on this reality is false or true doesn’t matter –don’t rock the boat!)

With that in mind I foresee a multiplication of potential “external threats” (see question three), and I am also convinced that religious and especially Christian leaders will be considered to belong to those. Why? Because they follow another King. The kingdom that they belong to is not of this world and thus their allegiances are not foremost here in the kingdom of Sweden.

Late history in Sweden shows that Christians are harder to deal with that other “religious” people, that’s why there is less tolerance for them. (It is rather significant that in a so-called Christian nation where we preach tolerance we are able to show tolerance to almost all religions and peoples except Christians…)

To be honest, I don’t care too much about it on a personal level since I remember a man with a cross who wasn’t the favorite in His time either… But politically and publically I want to raise my voice about this matter since it reeks injustice and shows intolerance. I will keep you posted on more of my perspectives on FRA!

That’s the Way I see it and I am open to be wrong!

John

Oprah, the hip and materialistic Mother Teresa is finally seen for who she is!

Two years ago I addressed the semi-religion approach of Oprah Winfrey and others which are blasting into our living rooms through our TV’s. Her show, on the air in 122 countries, is one of the most influential and appreciated ones throughout the world. In a poll two years ago, 33% of 6,600 respondents said Winfrey had “a more profound impact” on their spiritual lives than their pastors / priests. She is like the hip and materialistic Mother Teresa and named the Fourth person of the Trinity and can do no harm.

Besides her show, her magazine, her charity projects and workshops Oprah developed the “O Groups” which are public or private places where you can connect with others. O Groups are created by you. You start the topics of discussion. You create the groups. Your group leads the discussion. Join an existing group or create one of your own!

Finally America is dealing with the nonsense, semi-religion approach of Oprah who has held a highly exalted position for many years among the American public and in the American churches for too long. The “O” religion as I called it slowly permeated people’s minds and their train of though leading to an attitude of compromise for true Biblical teaching. The fact is that no-one dared to approach and “touch” THE ALMIGHTY “O”!

Now according to the Kansas City daily: “Oprah Winfrey has offended evangelical Christians, and they are fighting back. For the first time, 23 Christian newspapers across the country united for a joint investigative project. Their aim was to explore the spiritual beliefs of the popular entertainment mogul. An article titled “Oprah’s God” ran in all the papers’ May or June issues, along with each one’s local input.” – “Oprah’s theology seems to be a version of America’s secular theology of self-improvement, doing good to others and the prosperity gospel.

The May edition of the O – Oprah magazine called “Welcome to the Banquet” said it all; the smorgasbord approach in regards to the pick and choose religion of Oprah is finally becoming a stumbling block for the religious (note that I did not say “spiritual”) community in the US.

Check the Youtube video visited and watched by 7,142,869 people ( I am one of them)

Here in Sweden we have very similar approaches to a smorgasbord kind of religious outlook on life, many of our churches and people have dabbled for a long time in similar deceptive and confusing issues as they try to be politically correct by removing the issues and doctrines by which our Christian faith is held together. The result of that? It is quite obvious: we see a broken, confused and soil body of believers without directions purpose and meaning! Of course there are pockets of believers whose faith and lives are directed by true discipleship; they will be the remnant which is needed to see a renewal brake fourth in our nation and churches!

That’s the Way I see it!

John

Dagens Nyheter puts Li Changqing the 2008 Golden Pen of Freedom price winner behind bars…

Dagens Nyheter puts Li Changqing, a Chinese journalist, who went to prison for reporting on a health threat before Chinese authorities announced it, who had been awarded the 2008 Golden Pen of Freedom, the annual press freedom prize of the World Association of Newspapers behind bars. Papers from all over the world as well as in Sweden (here, here, here, here and here) took the opportunity to high-light this occasion and to use it to expose the censorship and suffering that many undergo in China because of their opinions and writings.

Ironically the same accusations against freedom of press which are made against the Chinese regime are practiced by so-called ambassadors of freedom, namely Dagens Nyheter. (The largest daily paper in Sweden which prouds itself to be one of the forerunners of freedom of Press!) DN puts Li Changqing behind invisible bars as they silence him and remove from his statement that which doesn’t fit them.

This is typically an occasion of so called freedom of speech and writing which I addressed the other day in a blog called “Is freedom of speech in Sweden a farce?”

In the blog I wrote: “The rights of freedom of speech and press are practiced as long as we conform to that which is the norm, as long as we are politically correct, our voices will be heard through the spoken and written word. If we don’t conform we are silenced, ignored or attacked.”

In the case of Li Changqing DN says that they published the whole text of his address. THIS IS NOT TRUE, The Christian Daily Dagen identified this as a problem! DN removed the text where Li Changqing shares about his dark hours and how Jesus Christ turned his life around.

He said: “In 1992, my life had also welcomed a great event when I, extremely weak and dark in my spiritual world, became a Christian due to the compassion of Jesus Christ. He restored my conscience, allowing me to walk in the light. He rectified the relationship between my world and my spirit and with an insight coming from above helped me traverse obstacle after bewildering obstacle for a more penetrating view of the world. Hence, I am convinced that only the truth can save us! Only with the truth can we surpass narrow partisan doctrines and break through ideological barriers”.

It is obvious that DN thinks this is not politically correct or not within their perception of what they want to endorse or allow their readers to read! Wow! That’s called outright censorship!

For the whole text in English of Li Changqing’s address click here.

Unfortunately I get only confirmed in my views on press and media in our nation. This shows again how we in a small country can be really small in mind! Let the Truth be heard on the streets!

That’s the Way I see it!

John






Is freedom of speech in Sweden, a farce?

This morning on Monday, June 2, I woke up at “6-something” on my free morning (many pastors’ day off is on Mondays, and so is mine)… I came downstairs to say “hello” and “goodbye” to my wife who usually leaves our home at 6.30 am for work. Went down to get the paper and wondered what was up… With large white letters in a big black box across the whole paper (SvD) I read “This newspaper is not approved by the State”… I wondered what that meant. As I turned the pages more and more small ads addressed the same issue… This morning too many things demanded my attention (first gym at 7.00 am and then the renovation of our living room… – finally after having lived here for 13-14 years!).

Anyway it was not until this evening that I finally was able to draw some conclusions as I read my “Bloglines”…

The idea of SvD and a number of other newspapers is to emphasize the importance of freedom of speech and press. They wanted to let us know that if it was not for this freedom we would not be able to receive the information found in these, other papers (and other media). Censorship or outright threats on ones life could be the likely consequences if this above mentioned freedom was not part of our core values in a nation.

After having thought about that for some time I realized how great this sounds to us here in Sweden. In the article (which I recommend you to read because it was really good) some scaring examples were given of people who had become victims of political and other systems which exercised censorship and in many cases persecuted people who tried to address injustices, problems and other issues which might have spoken against those in power.

At the same time I am aware of the almost unnoticeable (at times) and yet very present demands to conformity which rule and reign in our so-called “free” country Sweden. The rights of freedom of speech and press are practiced as long as we conform to that which is the norm, as long as we are politically correct, our voices will be heard through the spoken and written word. If we don’t conform we are silenced, ignored or attacked.

In our nation we can persecute people through silence… we kill through attitudes, we quench lives through unspoken opinions and celebrate our so called victories when we have been able to remove yet another individual or group to the fringes of society!

Tough words? Maybe so! You might not agree, not at all, or just partly, but do you understand what I mean…? I am looking forward to your response (write in Swedish that’s totally ok!)

This is the Way I see it (until now)

John

Let’s secularize the Muslims! – Another way to meet the challenges of multi-cultural Sweden

Dagen and Svenska Dagbladet report about the new initiative of Lars Leijenborg, the minister responsible for college and university education in Sweden. The challenges in regard to integration of the Muslim citizens are growing and obviously there is a tremendous need to deal with these aspects of society as segregation continues grows in our nation.

The imams which are employed by the Muslim community are often schooled and supported by more traditional wings of Muslim believers, and are not always good examples of integration as they lack the ability to communicate in Swedish and show little interest in Sweden as a potential “home country”.

From a perspective of a practicing Muslim this is rather understandable; the far gone secularization within our society and the (in their eyes) normless and valueless way of life are truly a threat to the way of life as taught by them.

“The goal is not to have a reform of Islam” says Leijenborg, but let’s be honest, one way to steer away these groups from the feared radicalization of Islam is to secularize them! In the same way as our theological education has been influenced and adjusted to a politically correct perspective, so also will a state led imam education lead to a secularization of Islam.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not a supporter of Islam and its spread in our nation! But, we have to be realistic as we are a multi-cultural society; we have to give room for people and their beliefs as a consequence of their presence here.

If I were to name one of the strongest aspects of Swedish today’s society it is its ability to secularize everything and everyone! That’s not so strange… Some time ago I wrote a blog on a world values survey where Sweden ranked highest in these aspects. READ>

For now, I will not be fighting against the secularization of Islam, but will do everything in my power to remove the entanglements of secularization on the Church, the Body of Christ!

That’s the Way I see it!

John




A call on pastors not to restrict research to create biological children in laboratories.

The Telegraph addresses the request of a group of influential scientists to not restrict important research… The article goes on to state that this new scientific technique could allow same-sex parents to create their own biological child in a laboratory.

The influential scientists belong to the Hinxton group which is a clearing house, facilitating communication among scientists, policymakers, journal editors and the public about international scientific collaboration in the area of stem cell research. —- They know exactly the implications of the kind of research they want to do:

“Advances in PSC-derived gamete research may facilitate applications directed towards ends that will be socially controversial, such as germ line genetic modification for the correction of disease mutations, introduction of disease resistance, other forms of biological enhancement, increased possibilities for embryo selection or the birth of genetic offspring of same-sex parents.”

The Hinxton group is a well-thought through, strategic and powerful group which has set its agenda to change their (our) world step by step. They are very conscious about the different development in this area throughout the world. They report on country by country in regard to the laws and regulations as they set new goals to get socially controversial proposals accepted.

The whole idea is that of slow adaptation. You remember the story of the boiling frog? (First The phrase was first coined by Roger Ford, columnist for Modern Railways magazine). The boiling frog story states that a frog can be boiled alive if the water is heated slowly enough — it is said that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will never jump out.

The story is generally told in a figurative context, with the upshot being that people should make themselves aware of gradual change lest they suffer a catastrophic loss. Often it is used to illustrate a slippery-slope argument. Among others Al Gore uses the analogy in his presentations and the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”… as a warning against inaction in response to climate change.

Slowly but surely we are enticed by the things the world offers, slowly we can brought into a spirit of slumber which clouds our discernment and perspective. Almost unnoticeable we have become immune to the thoughts and deeds of humankind against their Maker as they want to replace Him with creations of their own. “Creating sperm from female instead of male cells could take longer but was still “possible”, they said.” (This reminds me of Romans 1)

What is my point? It is interesting that the Hinxton group appeals to ministers to not get in the way of this kind of research and development. It is interesting that they realize that this group of people and the people these ministers represent (those made in the image of God) might have a thing or two to say about the way things go in our world!

This leads me to yet another conclusion: Don’t hold back! Keep speaking; keep fighting for that which is righteous and just! Don’t let anyone, anything keep you away to speak light into the darkness! There is power in the appeals and prayers of the righteous. Let us therefore not follow the (politically correct) agenda of the world but be open to speak up on behalf of God, his people and His creation.

This is the Way I see it!

John