Friday, 12 June 2015 - 12:20
Jesus-denying pastor suspended add'l three months
Pastor Edward van der Kaaij will not be allowed to preach for another three months. The pastor was banned from the pulpit because he denies the historicity of Jesus Christ. This ban would have ended on Sunday, but has now been extended to September. The Vredeskerk in Nijkerk confirmed this to Trouw on Thursday. It seems that the independent commission of inquiry, who is doing the investigation into Van der Kaaij, is finding the issue more complicated that they initially thought it would be. The commission decided that it will need more time to find out exactly what is going on. "It is a complex situation that needs to be addressed carefully." investigation chairman Wilbert van Iperen told Trouw. He would not give any further information. Van de Kaaij believes that the historical Jesus never existed, but is in fact a myth. “When someone reads Genesis 1 as a scientific explanation of how the world came into being, and concludes that the beginning was not about 13 billion years ago (as we know now) because the Bible states that it was about 70,000 years ago, then you do not properly understand the Bible,” explained van der Kaaij to NL Times in February. “The gospel is telling us a deeper truth, that goes far beyond the facts of life. That’s why I say: it did not happen like this and it is a fact that Jesus did not exist" Van der Kaaij's ideas have caused quite a bit of controversy in the Vredeskerk, where he has been a pastor for 23 years. Over the past few months a review committee has been speaking to the three main parties in the conflict - Van der Kaaij himself, his church council and the parishioners of the church. Van der Kaaij extensively explains his views in his book The Uncomfortable Truth about Christianity, which was published mid last year. Most other historians and theologians do not share his views. The vast majority of scholars believe that Jesus' historicity is undisputed.