Tag Archives: svenska kyrkan

Svenska Kyrkan – The Swedish Church – Politics as usual! Please: R.I.P

Svenska Kyrkan is top news again (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). In the “dry-spell of news” during the summer a discussion has blown up again about the acknowledgement and praxis of having same-sex-marriages performed with the Church context. It was ignited because of reaction from representatives of the Anglican Church in England who warn against a potential isolation because of this issue.

The large majority of the Swedish church, with the exception of a minority of local congregations, has lost its spiritual identity since many years ago. I remember discussing the process of the separation of Church and State with students from RMI Bergs the renowned commercial communication school enhancing different disciplines. Students of that school were to develop a marketing plan for the separation of Church and State (at that moment in time until the 1990ties, The Lutheran Church was the State Church).

As a number of their students and I were meeting, I suggested that a big advertisement campaign would be launched with photos and text displaying the funeral of the former State Church with the clear message R.I.P. (Rest In Peace). The students of Bergs were quite excited about that idea, but, as they later met with representatives of the Church, the idea was discarded. It was too radical, and it was probably too painful to admit that the Church needed a death to be able to resurrect.

RIP

The problem with the Swedish Church is that it never was separated from the State… It was done in name only and it is therefore that political powers and lobbying organizations like the RFSL do everything within their might to push their political and social agendas. (RFSL—The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights).

I personally look forward to an isolation of the Swedish Church! The Church with an agenda run by politicians and lobbying organizations needs to be isolated from the rest of the “Body of believers” to not spread its unhealthy unbiblical message poisoning the rest of Christianity. You don’t need to be a prophet to be able to “predict” where the Swedish Church is heading… and although there will remain a remnant of faithful and Biblically sound pockets of believers in the different congregations and fellowships, the Church as movement needs to undergo the long awaited and necessary funeral to be able finish the grieving process so that the ones who are still alive will be able to move on.

Without a death and funeral there will be no resurrection and new life! We will continue to see the rise of discussions, dissensions and frustrations as long as we don’t acknowledge the true state of the Swedish Church (and, let me add the spiritual state of many of our other churches as well!) Without that recognition we will continue to use the spiritual arena to fight our political and social battles. Jesus once said to people who were wondering about paying taxes (and fulfilling the obligation as a citizen): (Mark 12: 17) “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

For me, the idea of being an errand-boy of the State is far removed from my call to be faithful to God as His child, His son and His servant. I am for the implementation of keeping marriage sacred between one man and one woman… and to keep it as sacrament within the church where it belongs. Other, legal and juridical matters should be where they belong; in the hands of our government.

That’s the Way I see it!

John


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The only time I agree with Lennart Koskinen…

Lennart Koskinen stated in a seminar of Dagen on the development of the Church in Sweden: “Ten years from now Christianity will be stronger then today”. This statement I endorse 100%! It is actually the only time that I have agreed with Bishop Lennart Koskinen from the Swedish Church (former State Church).

I do agree with him that there will be a stronger Church in Sweden ten years from now! But it won’t be the Church which he represents. As he made clear earlier he would not like to have “my-kind –of-people” around; people with a strong Biblical conviction and lifestyle. People he considers to be “fundamentalist” because they believe in the Bible as authority for their lives. In an earlier blog I wrote: Christians – in name only! A call to radical Christ following – death to Christendom!” We will in the near future see the death of Christendom as we know it, yet we will see a rise of Bible believing Christians in the near future… How I know: I see the signs of the time as people turn again to God… and (you don’t need to be a prophet to recognize this) the state of the Church I Sweden cannot get much worse… so you don’t need to be a prophet to state that things will change! (See more statistics here).

So I do agree with Lennart on this and continue to not agree on most other things he addresses…(Honestly speaking I don’t think he minds me having these thoughts… He doesn’t even know about them and might not be interested in them anyway).

That’s the Way I see it!

John




Salvation through Christ Alone? Debating the uniqueness of Christ in Multi-Faith Britain!

The Church of England, what a challenge! I am happy that we some years ago have been able to burry the Swedish State church… now all churches are “free-churches”. Because of the fact that we (England and Sweden) both had “State churches” we find many similarities between us. It is therefore that I with interest follow what is happening in England. I know of the different theological stands in the Church of England and I am wondering how long these differences can be contained within one and the same church body.

With that in mind I want to call to your attention yet another challenge that is to be faced by this diverse church body. This coming July during their General Synod Paul Eddy, a lay theological student from Winchester who wants to become a priest is asking the all deciding question to the church body: “Is there Salvation through Christ alone?”

Through a “Private Member’s Motion” he has secured the signatures necessary to force the General Synod to deal with his motion. The contend of it might be shown to be dynamite within the Synod it reads: ‘That this Synod request the House of Bishops to report to the Synod on their understanding of the uniqueness of Christ in Britain’s multi-faith society, and offer examples and commendations of good practice in sharing the gospel of salvation through Christ alone with people of other faiths and of none.’

It is all about the Gospel itself and the specific question concerns the evangelization of Muslims. In the end, the outcome of this debate may, more than anything else, determine the future of the Church of England.

The motion has been condemned by many in the church and the Daily Mail [London] reports that liberal bishops attempted to discourage members from signing the motion. Nevertheless, the motion is now set and the General Synod will vote on whether the Church of England should evangelize Muslims.

The Daily Mail writes:

[Mr. Eddy] said that the active recruitment of non-believers and adherents of other faiths had always been a Biblical injunction on Christians, commanded by Christ himself.

But he claimed that many bishops were downplaying the missionary role of the Church and official documents often glossed over the requirement to convert Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs or followers of other religions.

He warned that the central role of Christianity in Britain was being eroded, and by ‘allowing the rise of another religion in our country, all that Britain stands for is up for grabs.’

Mr. Eddy’s motion has found support among at least some bishops, including the Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali. Bishop Nazir-Ali, born in Pakistan, is the only Asian-born bishop in the Church of England. In response to Mr. Eddy’s motion, the Bishop argued that the Church of England has failed in its responsibility to “welcome people of other faiths.” He suggested that the church had “gone too far” in responding to the sensitivities of British Muslims.

He also said, “Our nation is rooted in the Christian faith and that is the basis of welcoming people of other faiths. You cannot have an honest conversation on the basis of fudge.”

For more news read> and the BBC

Today it is Britain, what will we face tomorrow in many of our churches in Sweden? The signs of the times say it all…

That’s the Way I see it!

John

The Muslims have overtaken us…

Us, in this case was the Catholic Church, this news about a 2006 survey was released the other day by the Vatican.Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiled the Vatican’s newly-released 2008 yearbook, said Muslims made up 19.2 percent of the world’s population and Catholics 17.4 percent. “For the first time in history we are no longer at the top: the Muslims have overtaken us,” Formenti told Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano in an interview, saying the data referred to 2006.

However, this is not all the news… If all Christian groups were considered, including Orthodox churches, Anglicans and Protestants, then Christians made up 33 percent of the world’s population — or about 2 billion people.

Quite some joggling with figures and stats! Approx 83 % of the Swedish population belongs to a church (78% to the Swedish church = former State Church)… But only 2% will go to a church on Sundays…

This is the true reality behind the figures. Will the real Christians please stand up? As long as we cover up reality with fake figures and comforting statistics we don’t need to acknowledge the failure of the church to be the salt and light to our world. Believe me; our reality is darker than anticipated. But believe also whne I say that God’s Spirit is hovering over the void and empty hearts of people of Sweden ready to speak: “Let there be light!”

Until our light breaks forth,

John