Read two very interesting blog posts today from different sources. One is from Jan den Ouden about ‘Washerism‘, the other one from Daniel de Wolf on politician Bolkestein (both in Dutch – use Google Translate for a Dutchistic English version)
Daniel comments on Bolkesteins’ remarks concerning Christianity, which he (Bolkestein) calls a religion of guilt. He states: ‘Selfcriticism, selfrelativism and guilt are inherent to Christianity. Maybe that is the origin of our lack of selfconfidence’, refering to the allegedly soft way Europe is confronting Islam (a religion of shame). Daniel goes on to say that this could be true but only because ‘we’ have taken the bigger picture out of Christianity, leaving it weak and irrelevant.
Jan describes his annoyment with Washers’ message, who states that ‘everything should be about God’. This is brave, because how can one argue against such statement? Jan explains that it is Washer’s dualistic view that bothers him: some things are spiritual (and therefore good) and many other things in life are not (and therefore bad).
Why do I connect these two seemingly unrelated posts? Because I think Washer’s statements (as they are quoted in the article) are the perfect example of Bolkesteins statement. They are loaded with guilt, selfcriticism and judgment and take the heart out of the gospel – the big picture of God, out of love, rescuing creation and longing for relationship through Jesus Christ with people. And if ‘we’ church-people don’t understand the big story, how can we ever expect others to start seeing it? Instead of being part of the solution (bringing peace and reconciliation to all people) we are actually part of the problem.