When I was a kid there was a very popular childrens story magazine. You would get a magazine and a tape with stories at set intervals. We were never signed up for it, but I remember one of the stories on it. It was about this guy who sold his soul to the devil at the foot of table mountain. I can’t remember any detail though.

It’s a very popular expression, selling your soul to the devil, but one I haven’t paid any attention to in the past. But since I’m on semi holiday a the moment, I’m watching a lot of movies. Among them was Hansie, the movie about South African cricket captain Hansie Cronjé, and his journey of flirting with bookies. For those of us who remember the stories. Remember when we heard Hansie was charged for matchfixing, remember when Allan Donald forgot the run, it’s a very emotional movie. I nearly cried when I watched that final run of the semi-final…

Anyhow, that’s not the point, since few of those reading will probably have any emotional connection to these events. But the story suddenly gave meaning to the phrase “selling your soul to the devil”. No, the devil didn’t come up to Hansie and make him a deal, but it’s probably the appropriate metaphor. Those with power and money came to him and offered him money in exchange for his freedom… for his soul.

No, he didn’t go to hell for it, but what he created for himself can only be described as hell. Somehow we need to find this balance when listening to these stories. How do we gain from their wisdom, without forcing ourselves into views which are totally incompatible with our worldview. Cause to me it would seem like enforcing the devil into our worldview cause up to adopt views on demonology which was not that of the Bible or the church. At the same time we can discard these stories and not learn from their wisdom, and that wisdom we need.

Yes, we can sell our souls to the devil. No, he probably won’t manifest in front of you, and probably you’ll see demonological connectation only if you are actively searching for them. But for power and money we will lose our freedom… if that’s not selling your soul to the devil… what is? And if that is selling your soul to the devil, how many of us ain’t sold out?


questions they ask

October 8, 2007

Haven’t been blogging for a while now. It’s amazing how fast you get out of touch with your ideas if you stop. If I keep on blogging, I tend to have something to blog about, once I stop for a week or two, I just can’t seem to think what to write about!

But OK, I’m back to blogging for now:-)

From July – October is the time for camping on our churches. And the past few years this has been a hectic time, with camps almost every weekend, and some week-long camps as well. The last two camps was one with primary school kids in the congregation where I grew up, and one with 17year olds in the congregation where I am currently. This last one was really an amazing camp. One of those experiences which you just can’t say what caused it, or how to repeat it. But the young people really started talking about there thoughts about God, and questions and stuff. Amazing deep stuff.

They have been doing there last year of “Sunday school” and we took them on a camp at the end of it. I think it all started on Friday evening. We did an activity where they were blindfolded, and then led up to a point where they had to leave the hands of the rest of the group, and then took to a rope. They had to find the end of the circular rope, with people stading around, telling them that they are here to help them, the whole time! The end of the rope is when you ask for help, and the blindfold is taken of.

Through a process of reviewing we then started some conversation. The activity is made a metaphor for talking about God and faith, and we also started talking about the Bible. And then at one stage the pastor that came with me asked a question about how we understand creation (we knew that there was some creationists in the group). This started some discussion, but somewhere in this I think they started to see that it’s OK to ask questions.

They started some conversations among themselves, and on Saturday we had some individual conversations with everyone. They asked questions, and shared ideas, among themselves, and in the individual conversations some questions came out as well.

I think some of the following is what get’s asked a lot by young people in our context:

Why do bad things happen? A lot of them have lost friends through death. They mostly believe that God has a purpose with everything, although they doubt this sometimes, and some find it better when they get told that maybe we do not need to believe that there is a purpose behind everything. I’m actually very much troubled by the fact that so many of our young people have this idea, as I’ve also said here.

Some other questions is the classis: “Where does God come from” and some questions concerning the devil. Some of them don’t know how to handle the evolutionists, and rather decide not to believe the scientists at all. But OK, this is all church youth.