An EMF-Sponsored Youth Rally



The Youth Conference held in Warsaw in November 2010 under the banner Wybory 2010 (‘Choices 2010’) is a cause of grave concern. Held under the auspices of four denominations, all of which claim allegiance to the evangelical tradition, its main organiser was a pastor serving a congregation in Żywiec, Dawid Kozioł. Mr Kozioł is not, however, supported by his own congregation, but is a missionary supported by British Christians through the European Missionary Fellowship [website currently down, text only version of Google's cache].


Readers are invited to watch a video showing scenes from the conference, and are urged to consider whether what is seen may be held to be scriptural and spiritual worship, consonant with the words of Titus 2:11-12, consistent with fleeing fornication and exhorting dying men and women to repentance from this adulterous and sinful generation.


The band shown in the video uses the name Kawa. Another band which played at the conference was Exodus 15. A record of their performance may be seen in these photographs, and also briefly in a second video of the conference. Exodus 15 have received fulsome praise from a respected Roman Catholic source – the leading Roman Catholic weekly Niedziela (‘Sunday’) – for their contribution to ecumenical “new evangelism”.


National youth conferences of this kind have been organised annually by Mr Kozioł since at least 2006, always following the same recipe. The ecumenical openness of the artists is matched by that of many of the speakers. For example, the 2009 event included a seminar on sex, led by Baptist pastor Zbigniew Niemasik (yet another former student of the FIEC’s man in Poland, Malcolm Clegg). On 18 January the same year, Mr Niemasik invited a senior Jesuit to preach at the church he pastors in Gdynia. Father (Matthew 23:9) Żmudziński leads the Eastern European Division of the International Jesuit Leadership Programme and is Director of the Pedro Arrupe Formation Centre for Educational Leaders, a Jesuit body which is actively recruiting missionaries to work in the UK.


Perhaps the worst element in this dreadful mixture is that which can be seen in the third and final section of the second video, to which reference has already been made. While it may be true that Mr Kozioł is not the author of this video, he most certainly bears full responsibility, as organiser of the conference, for the atmosphere in which the conference proceeded and for giving a clear lead in terms of attitudes considered acceptable for its participants. Is it wise for youth conferences to be used as a platform for drawing attention to relationships in this way? What will be the effect in the lives of the young people and the churches they represent – is the rising generation of married couples in Polish churches to consist of those which arose in an environment which so blatantly refuses to deny ungodliness? How will it be possible for sincere young believers to be sure of marrying only in the Lord, when friendships are formed at conferences such as those organised by Mr Kozioł, which may have a form of godliness, but which, in fact, deny the power thereof? British viewers may not realise the significance of the music used to accompany this portion of the video. It is, in fact, a rendering of the song Przecież nie tak miało być (“But it wasn’t supposed to be like this, I think I’ve gone crazy about you, You’ve gone mad over me, You woke me up in the middle of the day, And now I never want to sleep again ... In love, Spellbound”), popularised by singers Edyta Górniak and Natalia Kukulska. Here is a video of Ms Kukulska performing the song, and here is another of her hits, entitled Wierność jest nudna (‘Faithfulness is boring’). Perhaps in the next issue of Vision for Europe Mr Kozioł would like to provide us with a translation of the lyrics.


On seeing the videos showing Kawa at Wybory 2010, one respected Polish brother expressed the view that hip hop is a form of music which is ideally suited to presenting the message of the Gospel. Attentive viewers will, however, note that, even though Kawa appear to be performing in English, it is difficult to discern a presentation of Christ in their words. Is it possible that an art form which has always been noted for its use of profanity, its graphic descriptions of sex and violence and the rebellious and immoral attitudes of so many of its leading proponents – an art form which engenders the most vile of sins – can be a useful carrier of the message of the Cross?


The image of himself which Mr Kozioł presents to his British supporters is strikingly different from that which is evident to Christian workers on the ground in Poland. In the July-Sept 2009 issue of Vision of Europe, for example, Mr Kozioł wrote with apparent passion about “our unchanging God” and of “how important it is to invest wisely in the young generation”. Of more importance, though, are the views of the EMF and its supporting churches on this matter. An e-mail enquiry on this subject, sent to EMF Director Daniel Webber, has gone unanswered. But what about the supporting churches? Do they really see hip hop as a legitimate medium for presentation of the claims of Christ? Are they even aware that this turning of young people into the broad way that leads to destruction is being done, not only in their name, but with their money?


Peter Nicholson



An interesting sound bite

Wrocław page