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The “Kingdom of Heaven”? December 15, 2006

Posted by Cobus in church, theology.

At first I thought about stopping my blogging for a while, taking a holiday. But I decided against it. If you make a habit of visiting, you would have noticed that I’ve become a bit lazy the past few days, and I guess I’ll just keep on being lazy for a while. Shortly after Christmas I’ll be part of a group going to a holiday resort near Warmbad (Klein Kariba), after that I might start blogging again. But only for a while, then we have a first year’s camp. By the last week of January I’ll be back to normal (hopefully). Until then, you might see something new once in a while, but no promises.

I thought of writing something about Christmas, but hey, you all know the meaning of Christmas, lets just go live it. If you’re still wondering about it, I’m sure a lot of bloggers will be writing about it in the next few days. So something from the movie “Kingdom of Heaven” for today…

You might get the wrong impression about me from these past few weeks of blogging. I don’t really watch a lot of movies. Well, that is why the movie Kingdom of Heaven was on my list of movies to watch for more than a year before I finally did it. So, what are we to do with the crusades, inquisitions, Apartheid, and all the atrocities around colonialism, all of which the church, or some part of it, in some way had a role in? And what about claims presenting these as reasons for not being Christian?

Well, it doesn’t look that nice if you look at the history of the church. I mean, there is no way to get around it. You can go blame it on Roman Catholics if you like, but Protestants also have there fare share of mistakes, big mistakes. So at some point you just have to admit that the church really sometimes made a great big mess of things. And I have to admit that I can’t really blame someone for not wanting to be a part of this.

On the other hand, maybe Jesus just really had a bad PR team at times (yes, I did steal this from someone else, but can’t remember where, so sorry, no link). We have to admit that the church wasn’t always the representatives of God, sometimes, a lot of times, they were simply representing themselves, there countries, there money.

I don’t think it’s really rational to build an argument for atheism on the atrocities of the church, or of any faith group. The church messed up, just like atheist governments and ideologies also messed up. But can we face our history, and again stand up and try anew to present Jesus to people?

I live my life under the presumption that Christ is God, and God exist. In spite of our bad history. And I’m still struggling with what the next step should be. How can I invite people to know Christ, in spite of the church, without ignoring where I’m coming from? Any thoughts? And what was your thoughts on The Kingdom of Heaven?

WARNING! Don’t assume everything you read at Wikipedia is correct. But I do like to promote what they are doing.



1. storbakken - December 15, 2006

Thanks for the post. You’re right. The atrocities of the church should not be an excuse for atheims. Sadly, many reason that it is. My ancestors (several generations removed) were Mennonite Anabaptists. They were persecuted by both the Holy Roman Empire (Catholics) and Protestants. It’s sad when the persecuted become the persecutor. Some would argue that is what is happening in Israel today. I won’t go there (even though I kinda did). Thanks again for your post. And God bless!

2. Glenn - December 18, 2006


My, how I struggle with that! To make matters worse, I am hard pressed to find a local church to invite people to attend or to attend myself.

I think we acknowledge the limitations and the excesses, abuses and atrocities of the PR team and keep taking about Jesus and about becoming a part of his kingdom.

We keep re-dreaming God’s dream of the church until we close in on what was His original intent and how it might look in our culture. We will keep making mistakes, but we don’t have to make the same ones in the same way!

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