Posts Tagged ‘søren kierkegaard

08
Jun
08

More than a crutch

I’ve heard it myself a time or two, and it’s one of those classic lines that non-believers use to slam Christians with. It goes something like this: “Christianity and this whole Jesus-thing is just a crutch for you that helps you stand. You’re too weak and confused to stand on your own, and that’s why this works for you. I don’t need any help or any crutches“.

In your face!!…

After I came back from killing myself running around the island of Rusanavka (easy now…it’s only a few kilometers, we’re not talking running around Australia or anything) this morning it hit me that something is wrong with the response that believers often give (and are taught to give) when they hear an accusation like the crutch-one. Believers feel they have to defend themselves and accuse back with statements like: “everyone needs a crutch, some are addicted to coffee, sex or respect. You have a crutch too, mine is just different than yours“. It struck me though that Christ is not a crutch. If he was a crutch for me that would indicate that I just have some issues walking, and all I need is a little help to walk better. But my problems are much bigger than that. He is much more than a crutch for me. I pondered whether Jesus was a wheel chair then. If you’re in a wheel chair you’ve had to accept that you can’t walk on your own, and you need permanent help to be able to move around. But I realized again that my problems are much bigger than that. Jesus is much more than a wheel chair to me.

Jesus is not a crutch, Jesus is not a wheel chair, Jesus is nothing more or less than my life! I’m nothing without him! “Hooray…I knew it, Christians are pathetic!” I hear some non-Christians yell as they read this statement. “Please, Torben, you’re not helping us….we don’t have to sound more pathetic than we are” some believers might sigh as they read my ideas.

But it’s the truth, and with David I will gladly yell out that I will become even more undignified with God! (2. Samuel 6:21-22) In myself I am nothing. I am crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended with Christ! Jesus Christ is my life. And my life as a believer is one where he does it all. He is the vine, I’m just a branch. He gives life, light, love and joy to me and through me (John 15). He is the one who has given me everything! It’s because of him that I am a somebody! I am a prince! I am a co-heir with Christ to everything God has (Romans 8)! I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and I am a poem, a masterpiece in the eyes of God (Psalm 139 and Ephesians 2: 1-10)!

That’s my status as a child of God. But it’s all about him. So yes, Jesus is much more than a crutch or a wheel chair to me. He is my life. It is in him that I live and move and have my being (Acts 17:28). So yes, my problems are much bigger than walking difficulties. I can’t do anything worth anything without Jesus!

Is that humbling to me? Yes it is. But as Søren Kierkegaaard wrote it: “Christianity didn’t come in order to develop the heroic virtues of the individual, but rather to remove self-centeredness and establish love“. Growing as a believer requires that I give up on thinking that everything is about me, my ego and my accomplishments. Life is about Jesus. He is LIFE (John 14:6), and every time anybody, whether believer or atheist, experiences life that brings freedom they’re experiencing Christ. I cannot create life. I cannot create life in myself. I do need someone else to do it for me and in me and through me. And that someone is Jesus Christ.

And because I know Jesus to be kind, loving, caring, understanding, creative, fun, entertaining, wonderful, etc. I don’t mind giving up my felt right to think that I need to make things work on my own. I gladly surrender to him, and I choose to allow him to be my life! There are days where I choose to walk on my own and try to create life separate from Christ, but over and over again God in his mercy shows me that it doesn’t work, and only when I seek him will I – or any other human being – experience real life and love and meaning without any headaches and hangovers!

Torben

01
May
08

16 things you should know about Denmark

It’s been an ongoing joke in my time in Youth With A Mission that my students have to learn a lot about the little, fairly insignificant Scandinavian kingdom of Denmark. Of course I have to educate my students about the wonders of the fairy tale nation, and so I have with stories, quizzes, songs and different lovely food. Now that I’m soon leaving YWAM Kyiv and my role as the director of Discipleship Training Schools (DTS) here, I thought it was appropriate to make sure that the leaders who will follow in my shoes will continue to share important facts about Denmark with future students. So I made a little list with the 16 most important facts that anybody should know about Denmark. And here it is for you, dear blog reader, so you can be educated about the important things of life as well 😉

1.            Denmark is the oldest existing kingdom in the world

2.            Denmark has the oldest existing flag in the world (June 15, 1219)

3.           Denmark is ruled by a queen (Queen Margrethe II), and her husband is a prince not a king!

4.           Denmark has the happiest people in the world

5.           Søren Kierkegaard was a very intelligent Dane who said clever things such as : “Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself” and “Purity of heart is to will one thing

6.            “Rødgrød med fløde” (approximately strawberry porridge with cream) is really hard to say if you’re not a Dane

7.            LEGO is the greatest Danish invention ever

8.            …but Skype comes pretty close..!

9.             Norway is not the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen (København) is!

10.           Hans Christian Andersen, the world’s greatest fairy tale writer, was born in Odense, Denmark

11.           Denmark’s highest point is only 170 meters (557 feet) – in your face, Mount Everest!!

12.           Denmark is made up of 444 islands of which 76 are inhabited

13.           Clicking on www.fck.dk will take you to the website of Scandinavia’s best football club

14.           Denmark has, without much competition, the greatest food in the world (just look right here :-))

15.           Danes like to draw and print cartoons, also when they probably shouldn’t…

16.           Denmark’s language is called Danish, not Dutch…!!!

That won’t be too hard to remember, right?!!

Torben




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