Tag Archives: Uppsala

Thank God – fewer theologists available in the future!

I really thank God for the potential development, which is taking place in our theological institutions at the universities of Lund, Göteborg, Umeå, Gävle and Uppsala. Dagen reported about the new report from Högskoleverket and the reaction of ”employers” in regard to this development.

In an earlier blog I have addressed the tremendous problems with ”professional hirelings” in contrast to the people who have embraced a calling from God.

I am convinced that many of the educational institutions and especially the universities, have not only contributed but also initiated the tremendous secularization of the Church. To even regard theology as one among many other professions is an abomination before God and it shows how little respect and reference there is for God and His calling.

The basis of a calling of God is a life in obedience to God, to His Word and a life style that reflects willingness to followership of Jesus. That men and women can be educated and released into ministry as pastors and priests without having a confession of faith is like releasing a flock of wolves among the few sheep that are left in out churches. That’s exactly what is happening today.

The apostle Paul warned for such practices as he had called the elders of the church of Ephesus to him; Acts 20: 28-31 Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31So be on your guard!

Too many sheep are spiritually slaughtered in our churches because of lack of discernment and lack of spiritual life in the lives of so-called spiritual leaders. It’s about time that men and women rise up who are hungry for God, willing to be trained and educated but have the maturity and courage to refrain from adjusting to that which is offered in secular institutions. It needs new educational programs and a new perspective on what a calling is all about!

This recent development might show afterwards to be a blessing in disguise as new initiatives will be taken by people, filled with the Holy Spirit and sold to Jesus!

That’s the Way I see it! What do you see?

John

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What can we learn from Livets Ord and Ulf Ekman? A look over the shoulder…

With interest I have been reading the series about Livets Ord in the Christian Daily “Dagen”. (Here, here, here, here and here). My interest is not geared towards getting to know more about this church and its ministries; my interest is focused on learning how God has used their ministry and calling for the well being of the nation and our world.

Although one can make some footnotes and have some reservations about some of the early weaknesses and “unbalanced” aspects of their ministry, my opinion is that this ministry overall has been (is) a tremendous blessing to the nation and Christianity at large. The main purpose I see in an evaluation document after 25 years of ministry is to learn from it. What can we learn as Body of Christ in Sweden?

From the top of my head I am compelled to make a couple of quick observations:

1. It is possible to plant and build churches and ministries in Sweden today. I decided to start with this statement because we are surely not spoiled with positive reports about what is doing. After 25 years we can say: Livets Ord is established and has not lost its zeal and purpose!

2. It takes vision, determination, faithfulness and leadership well anchored in God to be able to make a difference in a spiritual hostile climate in secularized Sweden. One of my observations since I first arrived here in Sweden is that too many leaders and ministries come and go, many leaders lack one or more of the aspects which I mentioned earlier. Ulf Ekman does not lack these qualities and therefore he is able to build something lasting.

3. Leadership is built on character and transformation in a person’s life. In this last document about money it becomes quite clear that Ulf Ekman is not into ministry to become rich! He earns a good salary, (and he should!) as he is taking responsibility for such a demanding ministry! Money and the love of money are a good measurement of the character of a person; the way Ulf Ekman has passed on the right on royalties on his books and products to the ministry speaks for him! I would trust him with my wallet!

4. Some voices in the article talk about the emphasis on financial giving. First of all I believe that we speak too little about our finances in Sweden. There is really little transparency about what we earn and what we do with our finances. This whole area is privatized, it is in hiding… The Body of Christ in Sweden would be well off to address the area of financial accountability and giving because it is a spiritual stronghold. (Read more about consumerism and accountability here and here). Secondly I want us to realize that Livets Ord has used much of their income on missions, they have not spent it on themselves! For more reading about accountability check here>

Ulf, if you would ever read this… we only met once and shook hands on the stage of the Jesusmanifestationen… I appreciate all you have done for us and our nation. Thanks for your faithfulness and your commitment to follow the exhortation of the writer of Hebrews:

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12: 1-3)

That’s the Way I see it (when there is more to say I will continue on this subject).

John