Monday, July 27, 2009

Open letter to Björn Ulvaeus

First an introduction. Björn Ulvaeus is one of Sweden's most well known cultural figures and is mainly known as one of the four members of the super-group ABBA. Together with his fellow ABBA member Benny Andersson, he wrote the musicals Chess and Kristina. Now he is involved with the hit musical "Mamma Mia!" which has been seen by 25 million people around the world.

He is also a member of the Swedish Humanist Association and here are some of his thoughts on faith based education that can be read on the Guardians website that I want to respond to.


I used to know Björn Ulvaeus back in the seventies when we were both at the same record company and shared the same manager, Mr Stig Andersson. Björn and Benny produced some of my records and even wrote some of the songs I sang.

Björn Ulveaus, who I know to be a very intelligent, smart individual is using his name and influence to come against faith based schools in Sweden. He questions why tax payer’s money should be used. I’m a Christian and can only speak for Christians; first of all, Christians are tax payers like everybody else and are great contributors to our society. They are hard working with ethics way beyond average. They should have the same right to give their children an education where they feel true values are taught. I also know that in most cases the tax funded part is not sufficient to run Christian schools, and parents are paying extra money to keep their children there. They are also dedicated to volunteer to take care of the facilities, doing all the cleaning and general maintenance when needed.

I quote Björn Ulveaus : -“ Freedom from indoctrination ought to be a basic human right for all children.”

One of the reasons Christian parents don’t want their children in public schools is that they don’t want them to be indoctrinated by an atheistic, humanistic, God denying society. I don’t think it’s a human right to be taught that there is no God.

There is no neutral ground, even if that’s a very popular “Swedish” thought. You are either for or against something. Jesus says in Matthew 12:30: "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”

Christian children are mocked and ridiculed by both teachers and their peers in Swedish schools today. You can’t speak up against for example evolution or the homosexual lifestyle without repercussions. Evolution is taught as being proven facts when in reality it is just a theory and a belief. The homosexual lifestyle is said to be just as natural as being heterosexual. This is completely contradictory to what the Bible says. (Homosexual groups are welcomed into our schools today encouraging children at a very sensitive age to try and see if they are homosexual.)

We still have freedom of faith in Sweden. This means that you are allowed to have your faith, to live in accordance to your faith and to act and speak in accordance to your faith.

As adults and parents we are called to teach and guide children and show them what is right from wrong. We are not here to present a smorgasbord where we show everything there is in this world and then ask them to choose. No, we are showing them the right way so they will have the best life they can have and thrive and prosper. What parent would want their child to try heroin just because it’s out there? In the same way there’s “poison” in the spiritual realm and in the intellectual realm with thought systems that lead directly to hell.

Children don’t belong to the government. It’s the parent’s responsibility to give them what they need for this life.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:3

Someone once said, for to know a false $100 bill from an authentic $100 bill you don’t study all the false ones, you study the authentic one till you know it so well you can’t be fooled.

Christian parents want their children to know who God is, how God fits into history and our society today, and to know that Jesus died for them, loves them and wants the very best for them. They will never get that in a public school today. I’m old enough to remember morning prayer in my public school and we had Christendom on the schedule my first years before the government took that away. That was back in the 50’s and early 60’s. It was a different time very much because of the still domineering Christian influence.

I read another article with Björn Ulveaus where he seems to think that there is a contradiction between Christianity and science. The scientific thinking in itself with cause and effect, trial and error stems from Christian thinking. You don’t have that in for example Hindu thinking. I’m over my head here but I will refer to a friend of mine, Krister Renard. He was an atheist physicist and came to faith when he saw the mathematical equations in the universe and how exactly everything is working.

The Swedish Humanist Association had this advertising campaign in Sweden, (and I’ve seen a similar one here in the US), saying: "God probably doesn't exist: but still he affects you. Less than 20 percent of Swedes are religious. Yet God is holy in our country. We in the humanist movement think it is worth considering. There are many examples of how religion affects our lives - not only for believers but also for the seven million other people in Sweden. How religious are you? Do our web test!"

This is so funny to me. “God probably doesn't exist” So you’re not quite sure, are you? Well, let me tell you. The Christian faith is a living faith. It’s not a dead religion. It’s a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Every person that has ever received Jesus in his or her heart, knows that He is alive and real. We don’t believe in a dead thing. The word of God, the Bible has transformed us. Ever heard of metamorphous? This is it. This is a transformation that if you have not experienced it, there’s no way you can understand it. It’s spiritual and not intellectual. It doesn’t mean that you leave everything intellectual behind. It means that there are spiritual realities that cannot be comprehended by the intellect. Why? Because God is spirit and we can only receive His knowledge with our spirits. It will bear fruit in our intellect as well, but it doesn’t begin there. And it is for everybody to receive. Christian faith is not exclusive. Salvation is available for everybody. It cleanses our hearts and our minds.

To want to take away God from the schools which has already happened in Sweden, and is happening in the US, is to take away everything good. Thank God for Christian schools. Here is what Christian faith stands for, and you want to take that away?

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, righteousness and wisdom.

What is wrong with you people?!


Lars Nisson said...

I live in Sweden and I have an aquaintance who put their child in a Christian school since they thought that it would be a more calm place than a public school. But unfortunately that schild is being mocked every time he want to question, as children often do, anything the teachers or the other children says. Especially in some topics as evolution or the tendancy of somee Christians to exclude others who think differently, he has been mocked several times. Now this childs parents plans to move him to an ordinary school instead where children are allowed to think more independantly.

And about evolution. One can actually be Christian and still belive in evolution. God works in his own ways and evolution is a way of his plan. There is no contradiction there.
As a scientist in biology that have done research about evolution for many year I can actually say that. Evolution is not only a belief, its a fact, and I work with the evidence of it every day.

Lars said...

Konstigt att 99,9% av de som bestrider evolutionen som ett vetenskapligt faktum själva inte är vetenskapsmän (åtminstone inte inom biologi eller paleontologi)och sålunda egentligen inte kan bedöma ifall det finns bevis för den eller inte (vilket det finns i stor mängd).

Lena said...

To Lars
Thank you for your comment.My beliefs are not based on scientific facts but on the Word of God. I know that there are scientist out there that are firm believers that can give you the scientific answers that you are looking for.
I believe that we as humans are created in the image of God. We are the crown of creation and we are not equal to animals. We should treat animals in the best possible way, but the important thing is that WE are NOT animals and we have not evolved from being animals.
Another important thing is that we as humans are not evolving, we are actually degenerating. Adam and Eve were created with perfect, eternal bodies and we have because of sin degenerated since then.Just look at all the different deseases today, allergies, cancers etc. Some of that is the environment but most of it is genetic.

About your friends putting their kid in a Christian school. If they just put him there to be questioning everything and perhaps encouraging him in doing so, I think they missed a golden opportunity for their kid to get life changing knowledge and a richer life. They put him there to be in a more calm environment but made sure that he would make it not such a calm place by being obnoxious. That's what it sounds like to me.
Someone said; "To think freely is great, to think right is greater." I think it's great to have a "free" mind, but if that thinking leads to disaster, what good is it?