The Christian worship band InSalvation from The Netherlands, known for “Fill This House With Your Glory,” called off a performance because Pastor Alexander Noordijk, who is married to a man, was to pray there.
There Netherlands is famed for tolerance of all beliefs, and for liberal attitudes towards ethical matters from drugs to euthanasia to sexuality. It’s a tradition that runs deeps: this is where Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) laid the philosophical ground for the Enlightenment, and indeed where a cleric called Erasmus (1466-1532) tried to transcend Christian sectarianism and embrace humanism. As the 21st century dawned, this became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage.
Hence many would be surprised to know the Netherlands still has a Protestant Bible Belt. From Friesland in the north to Zeeland in the south, the country’s middle comprises towns where Sundays are silent, women defer to husbands, and pastors set rules in family life and politics.
The group was scheduled to perform last Saturday, Sept. 24, in a gymnasium. The concert was supposed to be a collaboration between the church where Noordijk is pastor and the so-called “worship band. Since the two parties “do not align theologically,” a last-minute decision was made to cancel the performance after all, much to the disappointment of nearly four hundred fans.
Various reactions can be read on InSalvation’s social media channels. Jafeth Bekx, bandleader and singer of InSalvation, says he does not want to comment on the situation. ,,It is not about us taking a stand against people. We have found in the intensive conversation with each other that we have a difference of opinion. Out of respect for these differences and the local church, we have chosen not to proceed with this evening.”