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Silly Christian, How about Obesity?

Oh boy, this video is going to cost me some followers….

How about obesity? Or in other words, how about living an unhealthy lifestyle? Do we, as Christians, have anything to say about that? And if so, are there consequences for those who are mistreating their bodies?

Nissan Patrol

Well, before I dive into this one, I would like to tell you about my car… Boy! I love my car. You see, we work and live on Madagascar, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Honest! We live in a small village, in a wooden house with no running water, and only electricity from a solar panel. We pay a man to get our water from a pump on the other side of the village and sometimes, when the pump isn’t working, he gets it from the rice fields… In that case our water comes with many extras like dead frogs and insects.

Anyway, to get to our village we need a strong car. The last stretch is about 18 km unpaved road. Well, I wouldn’t even want to give it the honour to call it a road. It is more like a path with some smooth spots here and there. So, there we live. Me, my wife and our five children. The nearest decent hospital is about 2hours drive and vegetables need to be bought outside the area as well. No shops, no good markets etc. Maybe, you start to understand why I am so happy with my car.

What do you think is my first priority when I come to the capitol city Antananarivo? Right, the garage! There my car can be checked and if needed, fixed. Just last week I bought brand new mud-tires. Mudstars. Not the most expensive ones, but they do their job well. Every time I’m planning a trip I check all the fluids, tire pressure and what not. Every time we come back I do the same. That way the car is ready when I need it. I clean it, I check the electrical system, whether the wires are still intact and I cover the dashboard with cardboard so that the heat will not melt anything inside.

So, you tell me. Am I doing the right thing by maintaining my car? Isn’t that the responsible thing to do in our situation? I know, some would say that I should never had gone to that village in the first place. But that is besides the point. I am there, together with my family, and the car is our main transport in and out of the area. So keeping it top fit is the way to go.

Festivals

So let’s get back to the topic. Are Christians not allowed to enjoy life? Well, that statement is nonsense of course. When we look at the One we are following, we see that He was enjoying life quit often. Jesus went to weddings, He got invited for diner and so on. If you look at the Jewish history you’ll find out that Jews are very keen on good parties. God actually gave them all sorts of festivals to celebrate. It is like He is telling them to have a good time remembering Him and by celebrating the great deeds of God they honoured Him.

Over-indulgence

But now things seem to have changed for many believers, especially in the richer countries. Again, I am going to give a little example.

You might have heard about the Corona crisis? Well, we were in the middle of it during our furlough in Holland. Almost everybody was panicking. I was totally blown away by this response of our government but also from people within the church.

Somewhere in the beginning of March 2020, a man came up to me and said with big eyes: “You must be terrified for all your friends on Madagascar!”. Not understanding his question I asked why I should be. He said that they would all die because of Corona. His idea was that because they are all poor they are all weak, and they would definitely die. I told him that this was not going to happen. I explained to him that most Malagasy don’t have heart problems, diabetics or obesity. I told him that if a poor Malagasy would have a condition like this they would probably die soon because of a lack of all the wonderful medicine and other healthcare we have in the west. This was not the answer the gentleman expected. He concluded by telling me that I was wrong, the Malagasy were going to die, and I was just not knowledgeable enough.

Now, 10 months later. Madagascar’s official count is about 270 deaths, and most of them already had health issues… 270… Madagascar has a population of 22 million… Just saying.

What happened in Holland? In the first season we counted about 6.500 deaths. Most deaths were 70+ and among younger people mostly those with obesity, asthma, heart conditions and other known welfare deceases. Still, 6.500 is not even that high. In the flu season of 2017/2018 Holland counted 9.500 deaths, also mostly among the elderly and the unhealthy.

It is a painful conclusion that people who live an unhealthy lifestyle are the ones who will suffer more during outbreaks of the flu or a virus like Covid-19. In truth, people who are obese or those who drink too much alcohol and all the others who neglect their body, aren’t healthy at all. It is more accurate to say that they are sick al ready.

How to treat your body?

Until now, I didn’t even mention the Bible, did I? Your body is your vehicle on this earth and like my car you better maintain it or else.

Do you think it is strange that our Creator is concerned with our lifestyle? When the Bible teaches us to live in a sober way, it doesn’t say it is forbidden to enjoy!

The Bible does teach us however that we need to honour God in everything we do.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Your body is more than a car, your body is way more than just the vehicle you use here on earth. When you become a Christian the Holy Spirit wants to live within you, making your body a temple. How do you take care of a holy temple? Are you just going to fill it up with trash? Are you going to ruin the walls with mayonnaise and ketchup? Of course not! You’ll try to keep the temple clean and beautiful. You are going to maintain the temple. The other way around goes the same. The temple is beautiful and you are not going to strip away all the beauty. You are not going to throw away the nice paintings or golden chandeliers. Stripping the temple naked is just as wrong as filling it up with trash.

1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Warning

Yes I actually believe that Christians should do their best to live healthy. No, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat a hamburger so now and then. But I’ve seen that many Christians seem to think that ‘so now and then’ means something like daily. They like to eat it now and then in about two hours again.

We might consider someone who is fleshy as being healthy but in reality that is just not true. Skin over bone is the other extreme, so that would not be necessary. And although we are pretty lucky with the good medicine and healthcare in the west, that doesn’t mean that someone with obesity lives a longer healthy life. Yes sure, we all know people in their 80s who are way too heavy, but just ask them how much it takes to go for a walk. Or ask them about the medicine they need to use. On the other hand I also know about 80 years old who are not using any medicine. And whattah you know! They are mostly not to heavy or to light. They always worked and because of that had enough exercise. The ones I know are still working. Maybe not as hard as when they were younger, but they keep busy and make sure they get their exercise.

Proverbs 23:20-21 ESV
“Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.”

This proverb might not be relevant for us today? Think again. Poverty is not only the lack of money. During the whole Corona outbreak, countries went into lock-downs. Why? Because we were to protect our fellow countryman and woman. Don’t take me wrong! I don’t have a dead wish for other people, far from that. However, who are the people in that danger group? Yep, old people and people with all sorts of welfare related health issues. Now, the fear of the Corona virus has been and still is unwarranted. It is a good thing to know it is no more lethal than a severe flu. Of all the 70+ only 0,23% of the infected people die and for those below 70 it is only 0,04%. Still, wouldn’t you just love to walk around without having to fear a virus like this? I guess it most be pretty scary to know you are suffering from health issues and then hearing about a virus that seems to target people like you. In that sense you might acknowledge that you live in poverty because of your unhealthy lifestyle.

Balanced

It is possible to become so absorbed with our physical well-being that we let it take over our lives. When that happens, life can lose its joy, and we end up ignoring things that are just as important or maybe even more important.

1 Timothy 4:8 (AMP)
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.”

Again, it is good and Christ-like to live a healthy life. Eat good food and don’t eat too much! Or at the other spectrum, don’t exhaust you body to the limit through an extreme diet. Live a balanced life. But as always, put Jesus Christ at the centre of your life. Then strengthen your life spiritually every day. Concentrate on a spiritual healthy diet. You’ll find that ‘diet’ easily. God has already provided it for us. It is His word, the Bible together with prayer, and fellowship with other believers.

Silly Christian, isn’t God Against Capitalism?

Some words seem to carry an enormous load. Capitalism is such a word. Democracy is another one. In a previous video I already touched on democracy in the sense of freedom. In that video I also said that a Christian should promote freedom. Freedom of speech, religion and the freedom to have property.

But now this question pops up. Is the Bible against capitalism? Answering this question is not as simple as it seems.

Capitalism

I could say that the Bible doesn’t condemn capitalism because it narrates about having your own property.

For example Proverbs talks about establishing a good business by a trustworthy woman:

Proverbs 31:10;16 (AMP) “An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her? […] She considers a field before she buys or accepts it [expanding her business prudently]; With her profits she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.”

Well, let me tell you, if you find a lady like this you can consider yourself as a happy man! With a wife like this you don’t have to worry as long as you let her do her thing! So, it seems that starting a business isn’t a problem for God.

Socialism

But now we also have parts in which God seems to promote socialism.

Acts 2:44-45 (AMP) “And all those who had believed [in Jesus as Saviour] were together and had all things in common [considering their possessions to belong to the group as a whole]. And they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing the proceeds with all [the other believers], as anyone had need.”

This was when the church started. They considered all their goods to be for the community. You could say that the Bible portraits this as the ideal for the Church of Christ. It looks like believers need to give up personal belongings for the greater good.

So Which One is it?

The answer is: Neither and Both. You see both systems are flawed. They might sound good in theory but like many things in life they suffer under human sin.

Capitalism

I will clarify myself with some example. In the capitalistic world we’ve seen the rise of many small businesses. Hardworking people who started a shop, a restaurant, a bakery etcetera. But now comes a big boy to town. Let’s say a company named Burger Champion. Now Burger Champion looks at the rivals in that town. A small snack-bar, and a tea room attached to the local bakery. Burger Champion’s main office is thinking… “Hmm, let’s throw in hamburgers for only 50 cents and let’s give two doughnuts for free when buying a coffee.” You see, Burger Champion doesn’t need to make profit right away. They are huge and the loss on this one location does not make a big difference on the whole company. Now, the customers of the snack-bar and tea room need to choose. Do they go and pay less or do they stay and pay more. Many will go and if the owners of the snack-bar and bakery don’t find a way to compensate they will likely face bankruptcy. Burger Champion will become the only one in town and can raise its prices significantly without the risk of loosing.

I’ve made up the Burger Champion example, but we know this has happened everywhere in the real world but also on the internet. Amazon started with very low prices. They could do so because they had some rich investors. After years of no profits and even losing money they became one of the biggest online shops. Most others could not afford to drop their prices, so they had to stop. But just go to Amazon today and you’ll see that some products are not much cheaper than in you local shop, some are even more expensive.i

Socialism.

Imagine some nice innovative companies who are working on improving robotic prostheses. Normally, they will have to compete with each other. Which products is best when it comes to affordability and quality? These companies will have to do their best to make a wonderful product and will spend many hours exploring innovating and testing their goods. Now, a new government decides it is time to put an end to all inequality. In a zealous attempt they decide that it would be better to control these companies. We don’t want the board to become richer over the backs of the workers, don’t we? So, the government will put new laws in place to make sure that the normal workers are being paid just as well as the engineers. After a while the companies also need to allow the government to control the new investments. No longer the company can make deals with producers of for example hydraulic systems. No, these deals need to be controlled to make sure that all companies are getting an equal share. It all sounds so good but in reality we see that the system initially works for a few years but then starts to destroy itself. The economy stops growing, engineers can not fully use their creativity, factory workers don’t mind saying that they are sick because their payment will never change anyway. No promotion, no awards and no ownership feeling among the workers. Venezuela is example of a country in which there was a promising economy until socialism took over. Poverty is rule now and a few have all the power. ii

More Capitalism than Socialism

As you can see both systems have their problems when not regulated well enough. The Bible teaches us that it is okay to have your own business. This promise already started when Israel was said to have the country divided into parts so that every tribe could have its share.

Numbers 26:55 (KJV) “Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit.”

Every family was allocated a plot of land,iii and it was believed that this ancestral plot should remain, if not in the family’s possession, then at least in the possession of the clan. Thus, there really should be no sale of land.

The positive part of this agreement is of course that everyone could develop certain skills without having to worry that they couldn’t pay the rent for their land. If you worked hard you could earn more. Hard work was promoted with the idea of more prosperity.

Proverbs 14:23 (NIV) “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

Proverns 22:29 (KJV) “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”

This attitude can be found in the New Testament as well.

2 Timothy 2:6 (ESV) “It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.”

Colossians 3:23 (ESV) “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,”

I believe that the Bible promotes capitalism more than socialism. Why you ask? Well, all equality the Bible speaks of is equality in essence. Humans are all created in God’s image but they are not all the same. Nowadays, the left winged parties hijacked the word ‘equality’. They make it to mean ‘in everything the same’. This is simply not what the Bible states. The Bible recognises that some are better leaders than others. Some can carry more responsibility, are stronger, are more intelligent and some are more diligent than others. Still, all humans, are equally created in God’s image. Some would scoff hearing this and say that the Bible promotes slavery and that why the Bible doesn’t promote equality. For you I have a very nice essay to read, you’ll find the link in the description of this video.

While God promotes hard work and earning more money, He also sees the problem of having to deal with humans. Humans who are not always willing to honour God in their works and mainly because of this attitude make life miserable for others. Then, we also have the groups that are not very fortunate and make wrong decisions. Look around you and you’ll see a lot of poverty. It is for this reason that God promotes social behaviour. Not socialistic behaviour, no because socialism is forced behaviour. God wants us to be social in the sense of cordial, gracious, hospitable.

2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV) “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

The Bible also warns for having to much wealth. It doesn’t say you shouldn’t earn to much. No, but it does teach us that money can be burden in such a way that it draws us away from God. With that warning in mind we can also read about the pleasures of giving.

Hebrews 13:16 (ESV) “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

1 John 3:17 (ESV) “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”

Giving is Honouring God

This is why I said neither and both. The Bible is telling us we need to do the best we can with our gifts, but we should only put our trust on God.

1 Timothy 6:17 (AMP) “As for the rich in this present world, instruct them not to be conceited and arrogant, nor to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

Making money is great and taking care of the less fortunate is honouring your Creator. A famous text can be found in Proverbs 3:9 and 14:31

Honour the Lord with your wealth. And with the first fruits of all your crops”

He who oppresses the poor taunts and insults his Maker, But he who is kind and merciful and gracious to the needy honours Him.”

Giving Freely

As mentioned earlier, our human-made societies are far from perfect. Neither Capitalism nor Socialism work 100% perfect. My, totally unbiased, opinion is that if we have to choose, we should choose capitalism. Giving freely from well-earned riches can only take place in a capitalistic society.

New Earth

God promised to make everything new. Those who choose to live with Jesus Christ will inherit this new world. It is one of the biggest promises of God’s word. The biggest promise has been fulfilled in His son Jesus Christ, Who died and rose again on the third day. He took away our sin and by doing so, we will be with Him for eternity.

Isaiah 65:21-22 “[…]And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.[…]”

So we will build our own houses on the new earth and plant gardens and enjoy the work of our own hands. It will be a great place to be.

Isaiah 65:25 “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.”

I hope to meet you there! Sitting under our own vine and fig tree with nobody to scare us because the Lord is there with us for ever (Micah 4:4).


Endnotes

i https://www.fundable.com/learn/startup-stories/amazon

ii How’s Socialism Doing in Venezuela? <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCIdm3cM6zQ>

iii See: Numbers 26:52–54, 33:54; Joshua. 13–22

About Freedom

Startup Amazon

How’s Socialism Doing in Venezuela?

Slavery in the Bible

Recommended video

Silly Christian, Does God even Bother About Our Carbon-footprint

Short Answer

Short answer is yes! That is it, you can watch something else now. Bye!

Longer Answer

Not satisfying enough? Okay, there is a slightly longer answer as well. God is the Creator of all things and as such He is concerned with the world. We can read the creation account in the book Genesis. It is very interesting to read how He intentionally and specific created and formed the world. And finally, as crown of His work, He created Adam and Eve. He looked at His work and labelled it as very good.

Just by this last statement alone you can see that the world mattered to Him.

Task of Adam and Eve

God told Adam and Eve to take care of the earth, they had to tend to its needs. But instead of obeying God they actually ignored His word. They started to live for their own enjoyment. Sin came into the world and not long after we can read that we humans would only live by the sweat of our brow.

Genesis 3:19 “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground”

Everything Adam and Eve had to do became hard work.

Tenants of God’s earth

Still, as tenants of God’s earth we have to look after it. This is not debatable. The Bible is pretty clear on this.

People are not allowed to mistreat animals.

Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (KJV)

Exodus 23:5 “If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.” (ESV)

The Bible also states that vegetation and trees are to be protected, even in wartime. Other ancient near east societies systematically cut down whole orchards and burn crops of the enemy to make sure they would run out of food.

Deuteronomy 20:19 “When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them. You may eat from them, but you shall not cut them down. Are the trees in the field human, that they should be besieged by you?”

People are more Important

However, we need to remember that people are more important for God than things, even more important than His own creation. We see an example of God’s love for people in the story of Jonah. This prophet had to warn the people of Nineveh against God’s wrath. Jonah sat down and expected God to destroy Nineveh. The plant that kept Jonah out of the burning sun withered and we see that Jonah was more concerned with the plant than with the people of Nineveh. The Lord said in Jonah 4: 10-11 “You are concerned about a vine that you did not plant or take care of, a vine that grew up in one night and died the next. In that city of Nineveh there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell right from wrong, and many cattle are also there. Don’t you think I should be concerned about that big city?”

Distribution

The fact that God is more concerned with people should not make us think that He doesn’t care about the way we live our lives. It cannot be right that people in one part of the world waste all resources while people in other parts endure hardships like sickness or starvation. Again the Bible’s teaching is clear on this.

Proverbs 21:13 “Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.” (ESV)

Isaiah 58:10 “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.” (ESV)

New World

God is concerned with us and the rest of His creation. We see His concern through His promise to create a new earth. You see this world has become corrupt to the bone. Sure, good things happen all the time but it is not nearly as beautiful as in the beginning. God’s promise to make everything new is very important for Christians but it is not a wild cart to do whatever they want. Christians are called to honour God through their lifestyles. That means that Christians should care for the environment. However, this care should come forth out of love for God. The climate-change lobby is not focussed on God’s honour. It has become a religion in itself. Worshipping anything else than God is considered blaspheming.

So, Christians need to get their priorities right.

Mark 8:36 “For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world [with all its pleasures], and forfeit his soul?” (AMP)

It is fine to take care of your surroundings, to separate your waste, not to eat too much meat, to help with good initiatives regarding the poor etcetera. But don’t forget to honour and glorify your Creator. Trust in His son Jesus Christ and you too will one day enjoy life on the new earth.

What is God Like?

Silly Christian, you can’t even explain who God is.

I would love to explain to you what God is like… But, to do so would be of no value to anyone. All I can know and explain is what God revealed to us in the Bible. And that is what I will do!

As I have showed you in earlier videos, the Bible is the written revelation of God. The name of the God of the Bible is YHWH, which basically means ‘I am who I am’. This is the name He gave Moses. God is nothing like the spirit of Alladin’s lamp or Santa Claus. Anselm said that ‘God is that, the greater than which cannot be conceived’1

Trinity

God showed Himself as one God, and yet there are three Persons in the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 John 5:7)

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

Spirit

God is Spirit (John 4:24) and as such we can not see or touch Him. But it is wonderful to know that God became man and lived among us in the person of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 3:16).

Creative

God is creative. Just read the Genesis account of creation. Look around and look at yourself. Blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes, red hair, black hair, blond hair… God created us to have an enormous potency to vary.

Omniscient

He is all-knowing (omniscient). He created the natural laws and He understands them all. It will not surprise Him when you do something totally unexpected. He will never say: “Wow, I did not expect that!” He is the Creator of time and as such He is not under the restriction of time. The past, present and future are all under His control.

Omnipotent

The biblical God is all-powerful (omnipotent). He never grows tired, bored or disinterested. His power is endless and He will never run out of it.

Omnipresent

God is also all-present (omnipresent). He is everywhere, it is impossible to escape Him like Jona found out the hard way.

Immutable

God is always the same (immutable). This makes Him completely reliable because you don’t have to wait until He is in a good mood. You don’t have to be afraid that He acts out of irrational impulses. He is He and always be the same. He has no beginning or end because all that has begun to exist needs to have an absolute cause outside itself. God, as creator, is the one outside all that exists.

Holy

He is also perfect or, like the Bible says, holy. He is more holy than we ever can imagine. He is so holy that He cannot look on sinfulness. As a perfect being He has never sinned. He cannot even sin. So when someone asks you whether there is something God cannot do, this is your answer: he cannot sin. But this is troublesome for us. I don’t know about you, but I am far from being perfect. How can I come even close to the perfect Creator?

Just

Now we also have to talk a little about the consequences of God’s attributes. Because all the attributes together also brings us to the conclusion that He has to be absolutely just. He cannot dismiss sinful behaviour. Every sin, from small to big (if we can even make that distinction in light of perfectness) must receive a penalty. When my son steals candy from his brother I, as his father, will tell him to apologise and repay the debt. On a bigger scale, we would consider it immoral when a judge tells a murderer not to be naughty again, and then let the person go free. We demand justice in small and big cases. It is interesting that most of us understand this. It is a reflection of our Creator in our conscience. That reflection shows us that there is no injustice in God.

Depressing

I don’t know about you but these attributes are pretty depressing when you consider that God is all that, and we can’t even come close. You don’t have to be an Einstein to know that you fall short in every way. The Bible is clear: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Love

But hold on! We did talk about just a few attributes but not nearly all. One aspect of God we didn’t mention yet is, love. The Bible teaches us that He is all-loving. He loves us and wants to be in close contact but at the same time He has to bring forth justice. Are love and justice two incompatible qualities? You might think so, right? Wrong! God, in His endless wisdom, came with the perfect solution. He, Himself, became man. He lived among us!

This man, you probably know as Jesus Christ, never disobeyed any God-given rule. He lived a sinless life and as such He could stand between us and God the Father as a perfect Mediator. Jesus offered Himself as the scapegoat for the whole of humanity.

Our Punishment

The punishment we deserve is unbearable. Some think the punishment is like torture in the same way dissidents are tortured in some countries right now but than everlasting. Yeah right, like God enjoys the idea of having some deranged demons who, as appointed executioners, torment people in the hereafter. No, the Bible depicts a totally different scenario. The punishment is an everlasting separation from God’s proximity. This goes for humanity the same way as for those deranged demons, who, in reality are fallen angels. When judgement comes, God will separate that what belongs to Him, that what honours Him from that which is not His. All that what is good will be with Him. You enjoy friendship? It will be with God. All that what is good will be with Him. Now try to imagine nasty things. Not hard is it? Enmity, hatred, darkness, bitterness, pain, lies, filth, selfishness etc. These things will not enjoy an everlasting stay with God and they will be send in the place we call hell. The place where nothing good exists since all that is good will be with God.

What did Jesus do?

Anyway, let’s return to Jesus! What did He do? He, as sinless man, stepped up and took our place. He provided a way whereby we can have forgiveness. He paid our penalty in full. He took upon Himself all our wrongdoing and together with that load He died. He died a horrible death. He did not only died for your little mishap but also for the murderers, the thieves, the blasphemers. He took all sin and after being beaten to the bone he died on a cross. Sounds horrible? That’s because it is! Still, He did that to make sure justice can take its course. The wonderful thing is that He did not stay in the grave. Although he took all sin with Him, death could not hold Him. He never did anything that deserved the death-penalty. After three days He came back to the land of the living. Having conquered death He now sits at the right hand of God the Father. When you accept His offer, you too can live with God forever. Jesus will look at you and say: “Come now, and let us reason together […] Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 AMP).



1.https://www.britannica.com/topic/ontological-argument

Christianity is against freedom of speech… Right?

This accusation is a wide spread, and often celebrated argument against Christians. True enough, we have seen examples in the past where people were not allowed to believe or to say what they wanted. Blasphemy, criticism and disagreement within the ruling church was a perilous undertaking. However, before I continue I would like to quote mister David Chilton:

“Freedom cannot be exported to a nation that has no marketplace for the Gospel.“i

That is a bold statement! Mister Chilton argues that the freedom we know so well in the West, is rooted in the Christian world-view. When we talk about Christian world-view, we must acknowledge that this world-view is rooted in the teachings of Christ. Christ was the One who taught His followers to be humble, honest and lovers of people. So, to get the argument of a tyrannical church out of the way. We can safely say that, when the church or the clergy acted in fascistii and tyrannical ways, they absolutely did not hold to the teachings of Jesus. And, unless someone comes up with a teaching of Jesus in which we can undeniably read that He promoted such thinking, I leave the whole ‘suppressing church’ thing behind me now.

So why did mister Chilton said such a bold thing?

Chilton understands the impact of the Christian world-view! As Christians, we believe that our faith in Christ frees us from the chains of slavery to sin in a wicked, corrupt, and fallen world.

2 Corinthians 3:17 states: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

   Also read my article: Why Mission Matters.iii

Christians have always been involved in defending liberties. It was not only freedom of speech but also other forms of liberties. You might also think in terms of slavery, religious freedom, and the freedom to have your own property. Throughout history, Christians always defended these rights. A Christian has the duty, no, I would like to call it holy duty, to disagree with matters that are evil. We are not only talking about personal sin but ‘evil’ in a broader sense like wickedness, and tyrannical behaviour from leaders, fanatics, politicians, kings and even from within the church itself.

When I say ‘holy duty’ I say this not only based on one text in the Bible. The Bible is literally peppered with commands of being defenders of freedom. What to think about Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (KJV), or in a more understandable translation: “The Lord God has told us what is right and what he demands: “See that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God.” (CEV)

When we look at the history of Protestantism, we see a lot of disagreement. Yes, you’ve got it! That’s why it is called Protestantism… Protestants are those who protested against tyranny. The Protestants wanted to live a life according to God’s word. Needless to say that this wouldn’t be possible without freedom of speech and freedom of religion. You can only be a Protestant when you are allowed to disagree and disagreement is only possible when there is freedom of speech. Just look around you and see what happens when countries start to show contempt and disrespect for those who do not agree. Many of us right away think about North Korea and the Communist Chinese Party, where they treat Christian dissenters with contempt and scorn.

But hold on a minute!! What about our own countries? I am in my own country, the Netherlands, at the moment. I am appalled when I see how much censorship there is in my own country. I grew up in this beautiful small country. A country in which freedom of speech was basically the number one pillar of our democracy. Sure, I wasn’t always happy with the things other people said. But I always say that when someone is allowed to dance half naked on a boat in Amsterdam while he is kissing his friend, I also, am allowed to preach the Gospel on the boat that is floating behind him. That is freedom and with freedom comes the risk of being insulted. But now that freedom is under attack. We even have the army to check on us. True! Recently the news headlines in Holland stated that the army used their abilities to follow certain websites and persons who were labelled as being critical or in disagreement with the governmental Covid-19 policy. A reporter received a phone call from the local police because they were informed about the fact that he interviewed people who disagreed with many things concerning the governmental decisions. The officer said that they were worried about the fact that he gave a platform for conspiracy thinkers. These are just two examples from the Netherlands, but I am sure you can think of some in your country as well.

Let me cite Chilton again:

When the Puritans left England, they did not wander over the earth; God brought them into a land and made them rulers, and though the foundation they built has greatly eroded, it is still very much with us after 300 years. What will people 300 years from now say of the accomplishments of today’s shallow, retreatist evangelicalism?”iv

Looking back on the recent history of freedom we see people like Martin Luther and other reformers in Europe, the Puritans who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices. We also see William Wilberforce, who was an evangelical Christian and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. And of course the Founding Fathers who are well known in the US. They all had one thing in common, they were Bible-believing Christians who defended the freedom we sometimes take for granted.

A real Christian should realise that his or her spiritual battle is not much different from that of our forefathers. Sure, our forefathers didn’t have social media that could potentially discredit them… No, they ‘only’ had to get their message across by the written word and by actually going somewhere and talk in public. They faced kings, corrupt politicians and powerful clergy. Still, they never abandoned their holy duty to protect the freedom of speech.

Torba wrote an article about the big tech companies who misuse their position to silence disagreeable voices. He said:

“Christians must once again become Dissenters in today’s world, but in order to do so they must stop being wimps and rise up to the battle God is calling them to fight.”v

Christians shouldn’t back down when it comes to defend justice while preaching the Gospel of the Risen King. Keith Green sang “Oh, can’t you see it’s such sin? The world is sleeping in the dark that the church just can’t fight ’cause it’s asleep in the light.”vi Christians shouldn’t accept weak and compromised preaching. We have the truth in the Lord Jesus. Whenever this message gets compromised we end up with churches full of powerless individuals, who call themselves Christians but are in reality nothing more than the man who build his house on the sand. When the waves of political correctness come. Or when the wind of ‘tolerance’ begins to blow, their houses will crumble and collapse.

Again, Chilton explained this in his book:

“All heathen cultures have been statist and tyrannical, for a people who reject God will surrender themselves and their property to a dictator.”vii

Chilton uses 1 Samual 8 to expound. God gives a warning to the people. A people who rather have a human king. Not long after, they forgot about God and slowly but surely they found themselves under the rule of ‘freedom suppressing’ leaders who were not willing to accept any critical sound in their kingdom.

Practice what you preach and live it. Lead by example. Do what you can and expect to be persecuted like your Master (John 15:20). Don’t accept a watered down Gospel from a preacher who basically wants to propagate ‘tolerance’, ‘diversity’ and ‘acceptance’. Continue to speak the truth and support those who do the same in the public arena, be bold and not ashamed of the gospel of Christ “because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16 NIV).



i   Chilton, D., Paradise Restored: a biblical theology of dominion. Dominion Pr, 1985, Page 49.

ii   Contempt for electoral democracy and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites, and the desire to create a community, in which individual interests would be subordinated to the good of the nation. Internet: [https://www.britannica.com/topic/fascism], accessed 24-11-2020).

iii   Hofmann, J., Why Mission Matters, Internet: [https://www.apologeet.nl/en/faq/010_why-mission/] accessed on 17-11-2020.

iv   Chilton, D., Paradise Restored: a biblical theology of dominion. Dominion Pr, 1985, Page 51.

v   Torba, A., The Christian Crusade To Save Free Speech, Again. Internet: [https://news.gab.com/2020/11/17/the-christian-crusade-to-save-free-speech-again/] accessed on 17-11-2020.

vi   Green, K. G., Asleep in the light, 1987 the Sparrow Corporation.

vii   Chilton, D., Paradise Restored: a biblical theology of dominion. Dominion Pr, 1985, Page 50.

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