March 17, 2012

StroomWest in het Engelse nieuws. Klik voor hele artikel

“To compete in this market of ideas, some Christian groups seem ready virtually to reinvent Christianity. They want the Netherlands to be a laboratory for Christianity, experimenting with radical new ways of understanding the faith. Stroom (“Stream”) West is the experiment devised by one church to reach out to the young people. In an Amsterdam theatre young people contemplate the concept of eternity by spacing out a heap of rice grains individually across the floor. “The difference from other churches is that we are… experimenting with the contents of the gospel,” says Rikko Voorberg, who helps to run Stroom West. “Traditionally we bring a beautiful story and ask people to sit down listen and get convinced. This is the other way around.” Stroom focuses on people’s personal search for God, not on the church’s traditional black-and-white answers. Rikko believes traditional Christianity places God in too restricted a box. He believes that in a post-modern society that no longer has the same belief in certainty, there is an urgent need to “take God out of the box”. “The Church has to be alert to what is going on in society,” he says. “It has to change to stay Christian. You can’t preach heaven in the same way today as you did 2,000 years ago, and we have to think again what it is. We can use the same words and say something totally different.” When I asked Rikko whether he believed Jesus was the son of God he looked uncomfortable. ”That’s a very tough question. I’m not sure what it means,” he says. “People have very strict ideas about what it means. Some ideas I might agree with, some ideas I don’t.” Such equivocation is anathema in Holland’s Bible Belt, among the large number of people who live according to strict Christian orthodoxy.