For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. I Corinthians 1:18There’s a feud going on in the Bible belt in the Netherlands that is all too conspicuously familiar with what is happening in America and Great Britain, and various other countries around the world. Throwing the name of Jesus out of the country through the court system. Who would ever believe that this is the same country that produced a great Christian woman, Corrie ten Boom, who saved hundreds of Jews from certain death in the Holocaust during an undergound movement during the Nazi invasion of The Netherlands in WWII less than 70 years ago?
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
The Dutch local council says the “Jesus Saves” sign has to go. But as far as Mr Van Ooijen is concerned, a Messianic Christian, “Jesus Saves” is here to stay.
Two years ago the local Giessenlanden council ruled that the message in massive white letters broke its rules on the appearance of buildings. The council ordered the farm’s evangelical owner, Joop van Ooijen, to remove the letters under penalty of a fine. Determined to stand up for his right to freedom of speech, Mr Van Ooijen appealed to the Council of State, which acts as an appeal court in disputes between citizens and government.
"You are allowed to believe in anything in this country, as long as it's nothing to do with Christians or the Church," says Ms. Bons, describing the prevailing Dutch attitude to religion."
Mr Van Ooijen has held out for two years, refusing to remove the message from his roof. Giessenlanden local council is fining him 500 euros a week, but he refuses to pay. He has been fighting the council decision for two years and says he's willing to go to the European Court if necessary.
Mr Van Ooijen and Ms Bons both live in Alblasserwaard, an area near Rotterdam, in the heart of the Dutch bible belt. The position adopted by Giessenlanden Council has met with disbelief in this predominantly Christian region.
The council argues that it's pollution of the landscape. Giessenlanden Councillor Berend Buddingh explains that white letters on a red roof is too big a colour contrast. Mr Van Ooijen counters that it is "too big a contrast with the councillor's own beliefs". More here with video.
God bless Mr Van Ooijen and all of his supporters!
Related Story: John Huibers Taking Gospel of Christ To The Netherlands In Noah's Ark
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