One might think that the land of country music and the Grand Ole Opry has little to do with the land of Erasmus and Rembrandt. But there is in fact a connection, and even I have a bit of a connection to both. The issue in question was something I thought I might write about at some point, but a few things motivated me to get this article rolling.
One was a very nasty comment I received to this site. Now there is nothing new about that, as I get them all the time. Yesterday I received two ugly and foul comments, one of them on this very matter. The story is really an update about an older story. Let me explain.
A year and a half ago a very helpful public document called the Nashville Statement appeared, seeking to affirm some basic biblical truths about human sexuality, marriage and the like. It was signed by a stellar line-up of evangelical heavyweights, including: Al Mohler, D. A. Carson, John MacArthur, John Piper, James Dobson, J. I. Packer, Wayne Grudem, R. C. Sproul, and Francis Chan. I wrote about it at the time, and concluded my piece with these words:
Overall this is a terrific restatement of some of the core biblical teachings on these issues, and it is well worth sharing far and wide. While it is of course not perfect, and other things might have been added, it is a very good start indeed. Many thanks to all those responsible for putting it together.
But it seems some Dutch Christians have embraced this document, only to get hammered for doing so. Thus I was thinking I might revisit this issue at some point. But my hand was forced a bit by one of the comments that came in yesterday. Obviously an angry homosexual was also aware of the latest development to this story, and it seems he came looking to see if I had written on it.
Well, he did find my first article, and that seemed to suffice. So he dutifully sent in his not very pleasant comment. Given that I get hundreds of comments like this, it was no real surprise. This is how the other side tends to ‘make its case’. Of course the comment is so vile and disgusting that I can only offer an edited version of it here. It comes from someone calling himself ‘Joe C*ck’.
I must first warn you and apologise in advance, but he said this: “Let us have a very nice gay f**kers day, with gay bears, leather gays, and lots of c**ckrings to f**k these Protestants a**holes all so they will feel how nice a big d**k in their holes will enjoy them all. Big a** f**kers are marvellous”
Hmm, feel the love. So many good logical arguments found there. Nice to have my position so thoroughly and intelligently refuted. But as I say, this is par for the course, and I get these sorts of ‘comments’ all the time. This is what we are up against.
Anyway, after having that sent to me, I decided it might be time to look at the newest development to this story. So let me provide that, and then offer a bit of commentary. The group that produced the Statement wrote about the Dutch response to it:
More than 250 pastors and church leaders in the Netherlands have signed a Dutch translation of the Nashville Statement, drawing widespread criticism in response. The translation, the signers of which come from conservative Protestant churches in the Netherlands, comes almost a year and a half after the Nashville Statement was originally released in August 2017, when a coalition of evangelical pastors, scholars, and other leaders sought to articulate a biblical view of human sexuality.
The issues that led to the original statement are not unique to English-speaking contexts, however. The group that produced the translation explain their motivation for the statement in a set of questions and answers on their website. “In this time, the biblical view of marriage is strongly opposed,” they write. “That is why we want to be in the gap. We are deeply convinced that life according to [God’s] order is beneficial for man and society.”
They observe that the content of the statement “has always been the general point of view,” but that many churches in Western Europe have recently adapted to the culture. “We are convinced, however,” they write, “that the Bible also has a message that applies to everyone.”
But the powers that be in ‘tolerant’ Holland – a country I happened to live in for five years – were not very tolerant about this. The Dutch pastors very quickly were blasted from various quarters. And there might even be legal action taken against these pastors – I kid you not. As another piece on this reports:
What happens when a nation abandons God and replaces Him with full-throated secularism? In the Netherlands, it has meant the unleashing of a torrent of hostility toward religion in general and biblical Christianity in particular as the keepers of the nation’s secular ethos seeks to marginalize those who would speak openly about biblical truth. Case in point, the overweening reaction to a group of pastors signing a simple statement of faith about marriage and gender. Authorities in the Netherlands are reportedly investigating whether the 250 evangelical pastors who signed the Nashville Statement on biblical sexuality have violated the law after objections were raised by so-called “equality organizations.”…
That decision to publish the website ignited a firestorm in the largely secular nation, prompting liberal churches to condemn the pastors. Many proclaimed their solidarity with the sexual revolutionaries by flying rainbow flags on their buildings. The Hague also joined the fray, flying a rainbow flag of their own in response to the pastors’ decision.
Dutch News reported this week that the prosecution service is “examining whether the Nashville Statement on marriage and sexuality breaches the law after a recent Dutch translation was condemned by equality organisations.”
The article goes on to say that the document was signed by “hardline Protestant ministers,” an apparent pejorative reference to “biblically faithful” Christians. A spokesman for the public prosecution service told Dutch News that they were “examining the statement to see if there was any basis for a criminal investigation” but did not indicate how long the investigation might take.
Not surprisingly, Denny Burk, President of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – which put out the Statement – also wrote about this issue. He said in part:
Yesterday, I did an interview with a TV News program in the Netherlands about the Nashville Statement (my part begins at 2:42, see below). The interviewer’s line of questioning reflects the general hostility that these pastors have been experiencing. It also reflects a basic misunderstanding about what the Nashville Statement is. For that reason, I clarified once again that the Nashville Statement is a church document, not a political document. It advocates for no candidate or public policy. Nor is it an evangelistic tract. It simply seeks to confess what the Christian church has always believed about sexuality.
But what the church believes about sexuality is precisely what is being contested today and what is so incomprehensible to secular people in the West. Much of my interview was edited out of the final version that you see above. In one exchange which is not included above, the interviewer asked if I believed in a “free society.” His question implied that Christian teaching about sexual morality is somehow at odds with free societies. He did not seem to recognize the irony of such a query. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that the outcry in the Netherlands threatens religious freedom, not sexual freedom.
I appreciate the opportunity to appear on this news program. They genuinely wanted to understand the aims and purposes of the Nashville Statement, and I think we made some headway on that front. That is more than I can say about the media’s response to the statement’s release in the U.S. a year and a half ago. Even though the Nashville Statement was widely covered in national media, not a single news outlet–secular, Christian, or otherwise–interviewed me about the statement. They interviewed our critics but failed to interview the people who spearheaded the effort. Consequently, a distorted narrative about the aims and purposes of the statement went unchallenged in many news reports.
I have been in touch with some of the Dutch signatories of the Nashville Statement. I am grateful for these men and their courageous stand for biblical teaching. Pray for these pastors. They did not anticipate this kind of opposition to what is essentially a confessional statement. But now they are being called to stand in the face of severe headwinds from the wider culture. They are also facing a potential criminal investigation from the country’s public prosecution service. Hopefully, this effort to criminalize Christian teaching will come to nothing, but we should nevertheless pray for these pastors until it does.
His comments in the three minutes of interview that did make it through were very good indeed. You can click on the above link to find this Dutch television interview.
As I said, I lived in the Netherlands, and it has a reputation for being a country of tolerance (think most recently of those sheltering Anne Frank in Amsterdam during WWII). But as the nation – and all of Europe – gets increasingly secular as it rejects its Christian heritage, true tolerance is also going out the window.
Now Holland is just another PC nation where tolerance is only a one-way street: you will be made to tolerate all the secular left agenda items, with all things homosexual and transgender topping the list. Those who oppose all this however will NOT be tolerated, and the heavy hand of the law will be brought in to deal with any dissenters.
Thus this small group of courageous Dutch pastors are now learning all about Dutch tolerance – and it is not doing them very much good at all. One-way tolerance very quickly becomes tyranny. We are seeing this occur all throughout the West.
The bizarre thing is, the origins of Dutch tolerance really began in the 16th century, and was of a religious nature, with a Protestant monarch showing toleration to the country’s Catholic minority. But as the Christian faith declines there, the only tolerance we find remaining is for all the radical leftist social policies, such as toleration for prostitution, drugs, homosexuality, euthanasia and so on.
As we find happening time and time again in history, the Judeo-Christian worldview helps produce all sorts of tremendous social goods – freedom, democracy, pluralism, rule of law, etc – but as the Christian foundation is undermined, weakened or abandoned, soon those social goods can no longer stand.
Or they become perverted. So now freedom in Holland means freedom for depravity, sin and evil, but no freedom for those who differ. So now tolerance in Holland means running with all the latest progressive causes, while opposing and even penalising “reactionaries” such as biblical Christians.
To simply state and reaffirm traditional morality on human sexuality is now something that will NOT be tolerated in “enlightened” and “progressive” Holland. Too bad about those brave believers who stand on these millennia-old social and moral norms. They are now the new outcasts, and they will not be tolerated.