Yes, there really is a book with this extraordinary title. And even though the author categorically denies the existence of God, he remains the minister of a mainstream protestant church in Holland! You can read the whole story by following this link from the BBC website:
Here you will read of the Rev Klaas Hendrikse who presides over the Sunday service at the Exodus Church in Gorinchem, central Holland. It is part of the mainstream Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN), but Mr Hendrikse tells people to “Make the most of life on earth, because it will probably be the only one you get!”
Klaas Hendrikse doesn’t believe that God exists at all as a supernatural being. And he describes the Bible’s account of Jesus’s life as “a mythological story about a man who may never have existed”
So, why is he still the minister of a mainstream protestant church – especially after traditionalist Christians have called for him to be removed from his office?
The answer is frightening. A special church meeting decided his views were too widely shared among church thinkers for him to be singled out. A study by the Free University of Amsterdam found that one-in-six clergy in the PKN and six other smaller denominations was either agnostic or atheist. Klaas Hendrikse is not just an odd-ball cleric with no followers – he is one of a growing band of atheists still holding office in so-called Christian churches.
If you ever doubted the truth of Scripture read 1 Timothy 4:1: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”
If there ever was a time for a modern day Jeremiah, Ezekiel or Elijah to arise it’s now. We are living in days when Satan doesn’t need to attack the church from the outside, for its own members are destroying it from within. The apostate church is with us now – and we can’t look at Holland and isolate ourselves from what’s happening there as if that’s only their problem – the evidence of similar beliefs and practices, growing in all our western nations, is there for all to see. For example, according to a recent survey in the USA only 43% of Americans who consider themselves Christians believe in the existence of the devil. The problem is – Jesus did!
The time has come for weeping. In Isaiah 1:13 and 15, Isaiah spoke the heart of God when he said of such people “I cannot bear your evil assemblies . . . even if you offer many prayers I will not listen.” Perhaps the situation is worse in Holland than other nations at this time, because this is the nation that has pioneered such libertarian attitudes towards all manner of sexual and moral license. The door has been opened and the enemy has used the foothold he was given (Ephesians 4:27). In the light of all this it is perhaps not surprising that establishing the work of Ellel Ministries in Holland has proved harder than in many other countries.
When the Lord raised up Ellel Ministries as a healing ministry in the North West of England back in 1986, we soon discovered that without godly order (discipleship) in a person’s life, real healing was often very elusive. Today we know that healing and discipleship cannot ever be separated – for without the willingness of heart to walk in the ways of the Lord people cut themselves off from experiencing the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. And where a Church denies the deity of Christ it is not the Holy Spirit that is at work in the midst of them, but a deceiving spirit.
How I thank God for our brethren in China and the East, so many of whom have been raised up by the Lord in the face of great opposition and persecution. They are a blessing and a challenge to western complacency – here we need to pray for God to raise up a new generation of Isaiahs, Jeremiahs and Ezekiels, to challenge both the church and the world with the reality of what we have done with what God gave us through the sacrifice of God’s saints in generations past.