Thursday, 17 September 2009


I am a child of the eighties. I grew up in a white, farming community. Every Monday after school my brother and I went to an “obligatory” Christian gathering for kids, called “Kinderkrans”.

Now forget everything you know about children education, experiential learning or fun activities, because the wife of the dominee had other plans.

Kinderkrans was a mini-church council meeting. We had agendas and minutes. We had to stay dead quite, only the adults could talk. Only once did they do something fun with us. On a hot summers day they brought out trays full of Oros cool drinks. That was it.

This morning I thought of the stuff they taught us in Kinderkrans.

1. The correct pronouncement of the word: “Hallelujah”.
2. To live “apart” from people that believe, look, think and talk differently from you is the way the world should be.
3. Jesus died on the cross for my sins.
4. Only missionaries should “work” amongst “the blacks”.
5. Jesus lives in my heart.
6. Black people don’t believe in Jesus, that’s why missionaries are so important.
7. All people who aren’t Christian will go to hell.
8. How to pray the “Our Father” prayer.
9. Christians don’t swear, drink, dance or marry blacks.
10. Catholics and Jehovah’s witnesses are also going to hell.
11. It’s the best to give money to help the missionaries hand out Bibles to the black people in Mozambique and Malawi, but you don’t have to give your money to help the blacks of South-Africa to live a decent, humane life.
12. Jesus loves all children.
13. Children must be seen, not heard.
14. Heaven is a perfect place for perfect people.
15. The Dutch Reformed Church has a perfect theology.

No wonder I am a doubtful believer, my faith was built on shit let alone sand.


Twyfelaar said...

Fourie. Ek stem so saam met jou maar doen die NG kerk dit nie nogsteeds nie? Ons eie gemeente? Vat maar nou die praatjie wat Gretah Wiid by die kerk sou hou 27 Aug. Die kerk stem nie saam met haar sieninge nou word daar vir my besluit dat ek nie na haar kan luister nie. Voel of ons weer na die jare tagtigs beweeg waar die kerk besluit wat goed is en wat nie goed is vir my nie.

Sparky said...

...of nog beter: Kinders wat nie gedoop mag word voordat die ouers nie aangeneem, die volle leer van die NG kerk aanvaar en so die "stamp of approval" kry nie; of die pa wat nie mag deel hê aan die doop (selfs al wil hy) omdat die kind buite die eg verwek is. Dominees wat besluit wie die doop verdien maak dat my bloed kook. Iemand het eenkeer die term "wit gepleisterde grafte" so mooi gebruik. Ek is jammer en hartseer vir die heilige tone waarop ek nou trap.

Fourie Rossouw said...

Twyfelaar en Sparky, I hear your battle, hurt and struggle with "church" as we know it. Even at the church where I breath, work, pray and live, we get it wrong every odd now and then. Sometimes I look at the way we do church and wonder if Jesus would have felt at home here with us.

Sparky, about your comment on the baptism, in a few weeks our church will baptise a baby of an unmarried couple living together, only one of them is a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, both of them being highly critical of mainstream church. For us it's a small step in the direction of a new way of being church. It will be the second time this year that we take this step when it comes to baptism.

Sparky said...

Thank you for sharing that Fourie. I find it very reassuring. It is indeed be a small step - but it is a small step in what I regard as the right direction.

I would like to clarify that the incident described above happened my wife's niece who wanted to baptise her son in her church (A Dutch Reformed church in a rather conservative town serving a predominantly farming community) alongside her husband, which was of another church group (APK). Although I strongly disagree with the APK's views - I feel even stronger that one cannot oppose the baptism of a baby. Acceptance and love should be the corner stones of reaching out. I apologise for the degree of hostility in my previous post. :-)

I cannot help but recall your analogy of Christianity that should be akin to a Jumping Castling as appose to the "real" castle. Take your shoes off and do not hurt the other kids.