ArchiveMay 2020

You cannot close a church by closing it


You cannot close a church by closing in. Mao Tse Tung tried it during his communist rule in China. He ruled as the chairman of the Communist Party in China from 1949 to 1976. When he came into power in 1949, there were not more than 2,5 million Christians in China. By 1956 he said that he destroyed the church completely and that there are no Christians left in China. When the “Bamboo...

There is, after all, a man on the moon


So often we lose perspective. What is this all about? Where do I fit in the bigger scheme of things? Do I even fit? A perspective of the bigger picture can make all the difference. The following is apparently a true story. During a visit to the NASA space centre in 1962, President John F. Kennedy noticed a janitor. He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man, and introduced himself saying...

Looking for the approval of the old man


Irrespective of who we are: all of us are playing for someone’s approval. Before whom are you living your life, whom do you want to approve what you do and how you live? For some people, it is themselves. They want their own approval. For nearly all people, their dads must approve and also their mothers. Others are playing for the crowds – for glory and fame. What would be for you the ultimate...

To separate the wheat from the chaff


How does one distinguish between what is true and what is fake news? It is a good question with a very unsatisfactory answer: with great difficulty. The old “gut feel” method is not working anymore. The world is too complex. You can ask 10 people in Syria about the situation in the country. You may very well get 10 different answers. And all of them may be true. The answer depends on...

Happiness, love and trouble


The Biblical scholar William Barclay famously described a New Testament Christian as having three remarkable characteristics: “One, they were absurdly happy; two, they were filled with an irrational love for everyone; and three, they were always in trouble!” Persecuted Christians are constantly in trouble. As a Palestinian pastor put it, “If you speak truth to power, power always reacts.” An...