ADVERTISING
 
Wednesday, March 27   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Debate
 

Netherlands: ‘Freedom of speech is very strong, Nashville Statement case will probably not go to courts’

Jan Wolsheimer (Director of Missie Nederland) analyses the controversy surrounding a document on homosexuality signed by many evangelical pastors. “Dutch Christians are not very keen to import culture wars from the US”.

AUTHOR Joel Forster , Evangelical Focus AMSTERDAM 10 JANUARY 2019 16:46 h GMT+1
A rainbow flag in front of a uniersity building in Amsterdam, Netherlands. / ANP

The debate surrounding a Dutch translation of the Nashville Statement on homosexuality has not only caused a controversy in the media and the political scene. The document issued by key evangelical theologians of the United States in 2017 has also led to important conversations inside the Christian world in the Netherlands.



After the confusing messages in the last few days, it would be helpful that all evangelical churches would publicly state their position about their views about sexuality and the Bible, the Director of Missie Nederland (an alliance of key evangelical organisations) told Evangelical Focus.



Jan Wolsheimer analysed the controversy in church and society in the following interview.



 



Jan Wolsheimer, Director of Missie Nederland.

Question. International media have reported about the investigation of the Dutch prosecutor into the Nashville Statement signed by at least 250 Dutch Christian leaders. In brief, what has really happened?



Answer. The situation is much less spectacular than some foreign media seem to broadcast. A small section of Dutch (mostly Reformed) pastors translated the Nashville Statement from 2017 in the Dutch language.



Two Members of Parliament of the conservative Christian party signed the document – or that is what is seemed. In fact they did not sign anything but they did let the redactors know (in a very early stage) that the broader idea of the Nashville Statement was something they could agree with.



Unfortunately that was also the case with some of the pastors “signing” the statement. All the names have been removed from the internet in order to contact all the so-called signatories.



However, especially the names of the MPs drew attention from mainstream media and some individuals tried to build a court case against them. However, freedom of speech is very powerful in the Netherlands so there is a slim chance that this will go to court - I think there is no chance at all, to be honest.



Article 7 and 10 of the Nashville Statement stirred a lot of controversy among Christians, as well as non-Christians. The Dutch Christians are not very keen to import US culture wars, despite they might agree on most of the articles from the statement.



Q. What is the position of Missie Nederland in this situation?



A. What we always do in cases like this: we try to (re)build unity among Christians and facilitate meetings for heart-to-heart conversations to take the controversy out of the subject.



Q. How strong has the pressure of media, politicians and LGBT groups been these days?



A. Pretty strong, especially towards those two MPs. A lot of churches were very outspoken in public against the Statement.



Q. How should evangelical churches stay true to the biblical teaching on sexuality and marriage while sharing the good news of God's love to all of society?



A. We believe that local churches should speed up the process of decision making in order to let LGBT people know on beforehand what the stance of a particular church is. Many churches do not have an official stance on LGBT-matters which makes it difficult for Christian LGBTs to feel part of the church.



From a theological stance, it would be wise to stand firm for teaching in love for the people it concerns.



 



Missie Nederland unites several Dutch evangelical organisations.

Q. What percentage of evangelical Christians are there in the Netherlands, and how many support a traditional biblical view of sexuality?



A. Evangelicals constitute about 14% of Christians in the Netherlands – around 500,000 people. We don’t really have figures on how many support this view.



Q. How can Christians in Europe pray for the Netherlands?



A. For being bold and loving at the same time. Especially mission organizations feel a lot of pressure from the media.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Netherlands: ‘Freedom of speech is very strong, Nashville Statement case will probably not go to courts’
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
VIDEO Video
 
Romania: God’s Word among Roma people Romania: God’s Word among Roma people

Gypsies are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Romania. According to 2013 estimates, the Roma groups make up 10% of the country's population, accounting for about 1.5 million people.

 
Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology

Christian leaders from all over Latin America are concerned about the progress of gender ideology agendas in the region. Many are joining together in public demonstrations and training events.

 
How do fake news spread? How do fake news spread?

Tony Watkins, Coordinator of the Lausanne Media Engagement Network.

 
Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain

Church planting, the amount of books authored by Spanish evangelicals and the growth of the Christian student movement in the last decades, are some of the marks underlined by Lindsay Brown.

 
What do Christian communication and science communication have in common? What do Christian communication and science communication have in common?

“As Christians, we also try to communicate a detailed and often slightly technical message”, says Kay Carter, Director of Communications of Tyndale House (UK).

 
Church planting in Strasbourg Church planting in Strasbourg

A video on how evangelicals are planting churches in Strasbourg (France).

 
Christians, resilience and a post-Christian culture Christians, resilience and a post-Christian culture

Lindsay Brown: “The biblical pattern is not one of speed, but of steady sowing and gradual reaping in due course”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.