evangeliese initiatief & stuff

October 14, 2007

I know I’m not blogging that often at the moment. Something I believe we should give ourselves freedom to do: sometimes not blog! And I was at the point of writing something on Revelation and preaching, but that will have to wait. When I opened my dashboard, I saw the amount of people searching for stuff on the “evangeliese initiatief” (EI)*, and I decided that maybe it has become time that I write some thoughts on this.

First of all. I did not attend the EI event at moreleta yesterday. I was lucky enough to attend Arthur’s birthday party, and have some great conversations with Cori and some of the Nieucommunities people. About allergies, beer, God, poverty, South Africa, Rugby and some other stuff. But really, I did not want to attend this event! Usually I’m all for listening to everyone, and I would have said that actually I should go, even though I don’t agree with them. But then they came with the whole idea that if they get enough people at their event, then they can proceed with their cause, knowing that the church supports their ideas. Since when are we back to a democracy? Why, if I get 10000 young people in our church together to say that… well… to say anything, does that add weight to my argument? Come on, really, can’t anyone see where this is going?

And when are the church going to learn to talk to each other. I’ve been studying theology at TUKS for 5 years. I’ve been chairman of theological students for the past year. When will the EI, and all these other people stop talking about how bad it is for the poor students that get indoctrinated by lecturers, and start talking to us. Start really listening. And listening is only listening if it’s possible that both sides can change their point of view. So please, don’t come to theological students with the idea that you have all the answers and that they simply need to confirm your ideas of heresy in the faculties or something, we have had enough of that kind of thing!

So, you want the inside info? I like my lecturers (sorry for those of you whose classes I skip from time to time, if you were to read this, I know I’m not that good an example for other students:-)). I respect my lecturers. I respect them as academics, they are brilliant people. But I also respect them as fellow believers. They taught me some greek and hebrew (although I’m not always so sure how successful that was), they taught me theology. Theology which helped me through some difficult times. But in them I also saw fellow believers, in different ways some of them have been mentors for me.

But this happened in relationships. It happened in relation with lecturers, together with the rest of the theological students. So I just wish all those supposedly well meaning people from the EI who are so worried about the theological students and their lecturers would just keep quite for a while and act like Christians and take the conversation where it is supposed to go on: with the people it is about. You are really hurting students! Have you ever thought what you are doing to theological students when you tell them that the lecturers whom they like, respect, and learn from, are supposed to be heathens or heretics of whatever? Do you really think you will call them closer in the proses? Come on, stop the joke, all you are doing is making us more and more uncomfortable with the type of theology you are practising, since we see the bad side to it. You are reminding us to keep up with that which we have been taught: To search for better, more biblical, ways of being followers of Jesus in this world we live in today.

I dream of a church where we listen to each other

I dream of a church where we make room for each other

I dream of a church where we live in the way of Jesus, acknowledging that not one of us have the final word on this

I dream of a church where God is central, and we realize that sometimes our words are simply not enough, that the words of another might be necessary, and that sometimes we should all just shut up… be quite

The direct translation for Evangeliese Initiatief would be Evangelical Initiative, although I not sure if this will do justice to there cause. I understand that they want to link with the Reformed Evangelical tradition, rather than the more American Evangelical tradition, which is what people generally think about when they hear the word evangelical. They started a few months ago, have been talking a lot about a literal physical historical resurrection, claiming that this is the way the Bible portray the resurrection, and


11 Responses to “evangeliese initiatief & stuff”

  1. Annelie Says:

    THANK YOU!!!

    Finally someone’s saying what I believe most of us feel… I am not going to leave a long reply simply because 1. I am suppose to be at church working in a few minutes and 2. I believe you have said basically everything I wanted to shout these last few months but decided not to.

    I just wanted to reply to say that I agree with you whole heartedly and that you have my support, but then again you already know that:)

    sorry got to go

  2. Tiaan Says:

    Well said. I’m standing and applauding right now. Luckily you know me well enough to know that I back you all the way. I came to realize the importance of relationships yet again on 2 recent occasions: firstly, at last weekend’s “bosberaad” (which took place at the same time as the EI meeting)where I was asked how I see youth ministry. For me it boils down to: relationships!
    Second, I spend 8 and a half hours in our “Orgbad” from Sunday night at 23:00 with four friends from res – incidently one from each year group – and we had the greatest time, but I will blog aboutit myself if you want the details. Why did we do that? Because we can! And because I believe in relationship-building-theology.
    P.S. Dink jy ‘n deurnag in die orgbad tel as ‘n “dun oomblik/plek”? 😉

  3. Pete Says:

    First of all don’t even bother clicking on my blog adress, I haven’t blogged for quite a while secondly thank you to my friends: Annelie, Tiaan and Cobus, and also my lecturers at UP for your reflections on the Evangeliese Inisiatief and for the academic and spiritual way of thinking that you have taught me. I think that the whole public debate about so called herecy is hurting the church more than it is adding value.
    Actually I’m so fed up with the whole thing that I don’t want to spend a minute longer writing about this.

  4. kandas Says:

    I am also in the NG Kerk. I wonder why you blog in English, but I can help myself in English.

    It is my experience that nobody is listening to nobody. Your remark of these things happening in a relationship makes sense to me. I am not in a relationship with your lecturers or the people from the EI. I do not have the perspectives given by your lecturers on the EI. I have what I read in the media. What I do see in the media is that there is no love lost between either of these two camps. To me that does not seem to be very Christian.

    All in all I like what you say when you say: “I dream of a church where God is central, and we realize that sometimes our words are simply not enough, that the words of another might be necessary, and that sometimes we should all just shut up… be quite.”

    Just as long as we do not try to indicate that the people who do not agree with us are those to “shut up”. And just as long as we do not expect always to have the last word. In other words: The willingness to be teachable should form part of the process of listening to each other and making God central to our lives.

  5. cobus Says:

    I haven’t experienced lecturers giving perspectives on the EI actually, what I have experienced is lecturers as people, as fellow followers of Christ. Therefore, when all kinds of claims come in about heresy, I have some trouble understanding them. What I have had is lecturers explaining how they think about things, things that others have took the liberty of talking on their behalf, telling the church what these people believe.

    Blogging in English. I think I did post something on this about a year ago, but can’t seem to find it, so I’ll give a quick answer, maybe I’ll take some time during the week and explain this again. I blog in English because I like to be influenced by more than just the Afrikaans community. Blogging in Afrikaans is easy, but when I move to English I have to listen to a wider conversation. Also, there is the hope that I would make a contribution to a wider conversation, and lastly, there is the meeting of a more diverse group of people. But Afrikaans comments is fine, I’ve even had some Dutch comments at times.

    If people want to talk about what they believe, that is fine by me. If they want to celebrate it, it’s fine by me. If they start making other Christians heretics, I get uncomfortable. When they start elevating their way of doing as the only way, I get uncomfortable. This has been my experience of people positive about the EI (I haven’t met any of the leaders after the start of the movement), and this make me uncomfortable. Not what they say, but the way in which they say things.

    But in all honesty, I haven’t spent that much time on the EI, they really don’t help me answer questions that young people on ground level are asking, I they don’t really help me in my personal spiritual path, so I’d rather spend my time on other things which do help me. But that’s a personal thing, this is what work for me.

  6. Kandas. Says:

    Your blogging in English makes sense to me, but it wqas just a question of interest. Thanks for answering in any way.

    First of all I did attend the EI meeting. Second I was dissapointed. To be quite honest, I expected more people and most of the people attending were people already in the second half of their lives.

    But, I went back to our church where we have a lot of young people and I started asking whye they did not attend. Some of the answers I got were: I would like to attend and I do support what they are doing, but it was just to long and on a Saturday. Another answer was: We young people do not like these type of gatherings. Lets talk! They want to talk. They do not want to be talked to!

    When you say “they really don’t help me answer questions that young people on ground level are asking…” I think you make a mistake. You cannot create the impression that no young people are asking these questions? It is simply not true.

    I read this wonderful post inspired by Julian Muller yesterday. I enjoyed it very much. I have so much appreciation for the way Julina Muller talks and communicates. If he has been misrepresented on these imprtant issues. Why doesn’t he give a clear answer on thes ethings. At this stage many people have just decided not to listen or read anything Julian Muller says or wrights. I don’t think it is fair. But Julian can do something about it.

    I also think about the ressurection of Jesus Christ, but that does not mean, that i do not believe that it happened. I appreciate thinking about it.

    At the end of the day I am concerned that you judged the EI gathering as place where people were called heretics without being present. Are.nt you doing to them what you accuse them doing to your lecturers.

  7. cobus Says:

    mmm… maybe I didn’t say things that clearly, so let me touch on some things again:

    I don’t really care what the guys from the EI believe, I’m fine with it, it’s not aainst what the church believe, they are not outside the broader Christian tradition! They are not heretics! I haven’t ever said this, I haven’t ever implied this.

    Furthermore, why would I attend gathering if friend Adrio König (for whom I actually have quite some respect) keep on reminding me that the mass amount of people would be a sign to them to keep going on with a fight which I don’t think have grounds, or are good for the church, the Kingdom of God, or my health.

    And even furthermore, the fact that I don’t think the EI is helping me with answers with those I am in relation in a congregation, or my own spiritual path, doesn’t say that they are not asking questions, simply that what I hear from the EI doesn’t help me in conversations with them. That mean that my own Christology (which is in effect what a lot of this is about) or view of the Bible are not formed by what I hear from them (which doesn’t neccesarily mean they ma not work the way they do). And in any case, I’ve done EE3 and read some Josh McDowell, and with what I’ve seen this should give me a good idea of what the EI is saying, so what will I learn?

    Maybe a last point, anonymous Kandas, the Dutch Reformed Church hasn’t always proved to be a save place for conversation, so in all honesty, I’m not comfortable with the idea of a conversation with an anonymous person which might be a minister or something in the Dutch Reformed Church about stuff in the church. Read my last post.

  8. Kandas. Says:

    Well Cobus, to be quite honest I do not think it is the right thing to seek surport for what you want to say by arranging something like what was done on 13 October. If you feel strong about something, sy it even if you are alone. That is the way I feel about it.

    Furthermore, I never got the impression that you were calling anybody a heretic. In fact you were complaining about people calling other people heretics. Sorry if I was miss-understood and created that impression. The fact is that I understood you as someone making room for other views as well.

    The point however stays: You are doing to people what you don’t want them to do to other people.

    May I quote you: “If people want to talk about what they believe, that is fine by me. If they want to celebrate it, it’s fine by me. If they start making other Christians heretics, I get uncomfortable. When they start elevating their way of doing as the only way, I get uncomfortable. This has been my experience of people positive about the EI…”

    I wonder if you tried to follow any of the debate on the EI and saw what the people supporting Julina Muller and the other guys were saying. Now wouldn’t it be unfair for me to judge you or Julian or anybody else by what those people are doing. This is exactly the reason why we are not making progress. Now you are judging someone whom you have respect (Adrio Koning), by what his “followers” are saying and doing. I do not think that is fair.

    But… since you are uncomfortable with these discussions, this will be my last post. I tried on several occasions at several places to discuss this under my real name. I got crucified. I don’t have all the answers but as a member of the Dutch Reformed Church I am also searching for the truth. I actually enjoyed these discussions and you definitely gave me a few pointers that I will use in my search. Its a pity…

  9. Tiaan Says:

    Dis oorlat julle persoonlik geraak het aan die einde… Onthou die reëls verander as mense mekaar like…

  10. Cobus Says:

    maar is dit moontlik om hierdie gesprekke te voer sonder om persoonlik te raak? Hierdie goed is vir ons so ongelooflik persoonlik, o.a a.g.v d hoeveelheod pyn wat daarmee gepaardgaan. Maar dit veroorsaak sekerlik dat van ons, en ek dalk meer as enigiemand, oorsensitief raak oor dinge…

    Weet nie. Kandas, as jy hierdie lees, dalk sal ‘n kuier ‘n goeie idee wees. Stel jy belang? Sal graag wil probeer verduidelik wat al die emosies is wat hiermee gepaardgaan, en vra rondom studente se belewenis probeer antwoord as daar is. Ek’s in Pretoria, bly in Hatfield, en werk in Kameeldrif.

  11. joggie kotze Says:

    Hi ouens ek is n tentmaker ds in pta Tuine. Dit was lekker om vanoggend te lees wat julle alles te skryf het. Omdat ek ‘n tentmakker en allen leraar is het ek nie altyd die tyd om by gesprekke betrokke te raak nie, glo daar is so baie ander belangrike dinge wat ek eerder in daardie tyd kan doen wat ‘n verskil in mense se lewens maak. Al wat ek net wil se is dat ek het omtrent ses jaar gelede klaar gemaak by Tuks. Vir my was dit ‘n wonderlike tyd gewees, ‘n plek waar jy jy werklik jou geloof kon uitleef en deur met die bybel te werk jou geloof kon laat groei. Hoekom het ons so skielik God se bekermers geword? Petrus het dit tog in Getsemane ook probeer en dan se Jesus vir Hom dat as Hy beskerming wou gehad het sou Hy vra vir Engele en dit sou aan Hom gegee word. As ons onsself begin sien as die beskermers van God, stel ons dan nie vir God ondergeskik aan onselfs nie? Moet ons nie net eerder doen wat die bybel se opdrag is nie? En dit is om ‘n verkil in die wereld te maak deur die evangelie werklik uit te leef. Dit wil my voorkom asof leraars net te veel tyd op hulle hande het as hulle so by al hierdie argumente betrokke raak.

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