Have you heard of a man named Torben Sondergaard? Probably not, but you can expect to hear much more, soon. I learned a few things, for the first time, recently, and the story is puzzling.
The story that we have is; A man, who apparently worked as a Christian street preacher, in Denmark, left his home country and moved to the United States. He had argued with the authorities in Denmark, and he believed he was in danger of being persecuted.
In the U.S. he was detained for smuggling weapons from Mexico. He claimed that he was innocent and that he had never been in Mexico or near the Mexican border. Also, he had never smuggled weapons, or used drugs, at any time.
From his own words, when the authorities dropped the weapons accusations, he expected to be released, on bail. At that time, he did not get what he expected, he was kept in jail, in solitary confinement, and no one told him why. Apparently, he was recently released from solitary, and he began to do his usual work, street preaching. There is a story that he has baptized at least one inmate.
But he is still locked in jail
If you want to hear the actual voice of Torden Sondergaard:
Probably the strangest part of this story is the silence.
Mainstream media sources will not mention this story, and the prosecutors are not clear about why he is locked up. There may be good answers to all the questions, but no one is giving them. The official statement is, the Department of Homeland Security “does not comment about any ongoing investigations.”
One news source has covered the story, but it is religious:
- READ: Evangelist Torben Søndergaard’s Wife Says Her Husband Was Not Arrested for ‘Smuggling’ or Any Other Crime
It is very strange.
There are some lessons for us, in this silent story:
The authorities are doing something. My best guess is that the government of Denmark is embarrassed that citizens are leaving their country, as refugees, to avoid persecution. This hurts their reputation. That’s just my guess, but someday we may learn why a street preacher was arrested and held in solitary confinement, for months.
The optics are terrible, and the silence of the authorities will generate rumors and conspiracy theories. It is easy to believe that a Christian preacher is being persecuted and many will believe that. I think we should all be careful, before we decide what we believe, and pass judgment. I’m also sure we should know what is really happening.
There will be push-back. I only learned about this story, a few days ago. I don’t want to choose sides, at this time, but the Bible instructs Christians “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5: 11).
Exposing things, taking secrets out of dark places, is the work of a Christian. Also, a much stronger reaction is coming, brace yourself.
This strange story has helped to make Torben Sondergaard famous, and he needs that to do his work. He will have a powerful reputation when this is all over. He is already preaching in the jail, and baptizing converts.
This is a model of the real thing. Christians were warned that they will be persecuted, and persecution can look like this. It is easy to see that the times are changing. Stories like this were unknown twenty years ago. We have some old lessons to learn:
“Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10 )
We have one other important job, besides exposing the truth. We should pray. “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
The instructions are clear. I don’t want to choose sides, when I know almost nothing, and start angry arguments. We don’t need to do the work of God, but God does.
Here is another model:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13 )