I grew up with the books of Roald Dahl. I wasn’t such a great reader myself, but the teachers were doing a great job during the read aloud. I loved the story of the Twits and the Big Friendly Giant. These stories were colourful and exiting! But not very politically correct.
What did I know about being politically correct when I was young? I had a black boy in my class, well actually he was more in between. On Madagascar people say that it is the colour of the earth, loko tany. He was my friend, and I actually never really noticed his different skin colour. Likewise, I am 25% German, and we never really paid too much attention to that either. It was only after some remarks from other children I noticed it. These remarks weren’t your typical things a child would come up with, so I assume that the colour and my lineage was being discussed by adults, and little children’s ears picked it up.
Being 25% German isn’t a big deal. Except when you grow up in the Netherlands during the 70s and 80s. Many could still remember how the Nazi boots trampled our borders. It was only 30/40 years ago that Holland was occupied by these mean Germans. So, my grandma must have been a traitor who slept with a Nazi! Well, the story is much more decent and much more complicated than that. My grandpa actually already lived in the Netherlands many years before Hitler came into power.
Back to Roald Dahl. You might have heard that the British publisher of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s books started to removed colourful language from the books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. Yes, this to make them more acceptable to modern readers. By the way, I was surprised to find out that Roald Dahl was British. I have only read and heard his books in the Dutch language. Naive as I was, I thought that it was pretty cool that they even made films about these Dutch books… That wasn’t very correct, was it? Little boy me, thinking that all good stuff only comes from the Netherlands.
Anyway, this whole sensitivity towards language is seeping through all layers of our society. But this censorship of Dahl’s books touches on another sensitive contemporary point of contention, that of cancel culture: Can a work of art be seen separately from its (wrong) maker? Dahl was not of impeccable conduct: Two years ago, Dahl’s relatives were forced to distance themselves from anti-Semitic statements made by him in the 1980s two years ago.i
So, I ask again: Can a work of art be seen separately from its maker? The reason I ask this question again is that this same question goes deeper than you might think. Because the same goes for our words right? Can the words I speak be seen separately from that what happened in the past?
Sensitivity all Out
When I say something that might be uncomfortable for a group or for some individuals, do I say that because somewhere, deep inside, I feel superior? You see, in the Dutch golden age we ruled supreme in many parts of the world. A lot of the wealth in the west come forth out of that period. We have seen that there is a lot of pressure to correct that period. We see politicians who apologise for the slave-trade and the colonial wrongdoings. Don’t get me wrong! I despise slave-trade, and I don’t think that colonising is such a good idea either. So, I think it is okay for a country to openly admit that it abused weaker societies for its own benefit.
But the sensitivity has gone so far, that people can’t see certain actions apart from that of the past. In their opinion, what you say must be a reflection of the past? In other words, when a white European says sometime negative about a cultural habit in an African country, he says so because he or she must feel superior to the people who happen to live in that specific country. It doesn’t really matter whether the critique is valid or not. That white privileged European has just no right saying it in the first place.
Now mind you, most people who live in that specific country with that weird cultural habit, aren’t even offended about some words uttered by a white European. Let’s switch to the Malagasy people. The average Malagasy I meet is actually pretty much aware of the differences between Europeans and themselves.
This morning I talked with a Malagasy brother. He said he loved his culture and doesn’t want to leave his country. Except, he said, if God tells him to do so. In that case, he hoped that God would send him to the UK. He asked me about some differences between the UK and Madagascar. I told him that in the UK you shouldn’t automatically assume that you can stay in someone’s house, especially not when that person or family is there. On Madagascar, you can travel to a village and ask whether you can sleep somewhere. No worries! Especially in the countryside people will offer you a place. My Malagasy brother bluntly said that the British culture must be very weird… not social even, and much more. Well, I decided not to start about my own Dutch culture.
So, did he offend me? His words could easily do that. But no, why should it offend me? He was totally right that, in his view, it is peculiar. Also, my assumption is simply that he is not after insulting me. It is not like he was thinking: “What can I say to insult my brother.”
I found this amazing quote on Christianitytoday.comii
If you say you love and serve Jesus, I’m not going to look for reasons to doubt the sincerity of your faith. When you misspeak, or you are misquoted, I will believe your apology and/or explanation, rather than your misstep or misquote. I won’t give greater credence to the negative words others say about you than I will give to the positive words and actions you’ve spent a lifetime exemplifying.
Proverbs 19:11 (AMP)
Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, And it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment].
Wimps are not Born but Made
I started with the rewriting of Roald Dahls books. Not because I want to promote wrong words or insensitivity. No, I believe we should raise our children in such a way that they will become true followers of Christ. But you know what? A follower of Christ shouldn’t be a crybaby. To be a follower of Christ, one should be able to forgive and to move on.
Charles Spurgeon once saidiii
It would be better to be deceived a hundred times, than to live a life of suspicion.
It takes a strong person to choose to be deceived! It is much easier to live a life of suspicion. It will not make you happier, but at least you don’t have to fight your emotions. But if Spurgeon was alive now he would have taught his students that it is better to miss the possible offence in you read in your friend’s email. It is better to ignore the possible insult in someone’s actions. It is better to overlook the possible sexism, or racist remark. If your brother or sister shows some possible insensitivity or rudeness, you could decide that he or she might not have meant it like that.
Of course, things can become different when someone’s sin is clear as daylight, but mistrust will only result in us rebuking the other for sins they didn’t commit. Your intuition is not enough to feel offended!
Living your life without suspicion is extremely difficult. It demands willpower and a high portion of grace from the Lord.
1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (NIV)
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Don’t Follow the Delusion of the Day
The rewriting of Dahl’s books show the delusion of the day! We live in a world where complainers are being awarded and promoted. The harder you whine, the more attention you’ll receive. And trust me, this is not just reserved for the world. We see it in the Christian church as well. The woke ideology seeps through all layers of our society. Assumptions, feelings, and suspicion are becoming key to many decisions. Dealing with issues according to the biblical standards are becoming more and more subordinate to the delusion of the day.
My call to all my brothers and sisters is to be strong! Don’t fall for the delusion of the day. Don’t fall for the poisonous woke ideology. A Christian cannot, and should not, permit any wrong assumption in his or her life. Be careful to assume someone’s intentions. If someone gets offended it is mostly just because the other just used some wrong words or awkward jokes. Why do you assume that he or she wants to offend you on purpose? In the Netherlands we’ve got a saying: Zoals de waard is, vertrouwd hij zijn gasten. Which freely translates like: Ill doers are ill deemers, or bad people expect others to behave badly.
Remember Jesus’ words in John 13:34-35
A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Taking offence is easy! Criticising the other is easy! Assuming that a bad report about the other must be true, is easy!
But listening to the other, and love him without getting angry, that is hard. Protecting the other when bad things are being told about his conduct, yes that takes courage. Trusting that your brother or sister actually didn’t hurt you on purpose, wow! That demand a lot of grace on your side.
But doing so means that you love one another and that will show everyone that you are really disciples of Christ.
Anyway, as always I am looking forward to reading your thoughts about this topic.
Follow & Support
Check out the description of this video. There you’ll find a link to my Odysee channel. You can also check out my video channels on GabTV, Flote, and Bitchute, and my other social media. Also, you’ll find a link there to both the Dutch and English transcripts of this video. In the same description I’ll place a link to a earlier video I have mad about the woke ideology.iv
In any case, thank you very much for watching my videos, your prayers and support! You can look in the description of this video or on my website to find out how you can help me.
God bless you, thank you for watching, and Lord willing we’ll see each other in my next video!
i Sherwood, H,. Roald Dahl’s family apologises for his antisemitism, the Guardian, 06-12-2020, [internet] <https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/dec/06/roald-dahl-family-apologises-for-his-antisemitism> accessed 25-02-2023.
ii Vaters, K., Fellow Christian, I’m Going To Assume The Best Of You – Even If You Don’t Give Me The Same Courtesy, 03-07-2017, [internet] <https://www.christianitytoday.com/karl-vaters/2017/july/fellow-christian-assume-best.html> accessed 26-02-2023.
iii Spurgeon, C. H., Lectures to My Students, first published 1875, (e-book version) Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC, 2010, p.285.
iv Hofmann, J. The ‘Woke-Christian’, Apologeet.nl, 14-01-2023, [internet] <https://www.apologeet.nl/en/studies/the-woke-christian/> accessed 26-02-2023.