top of page
Christian Travelers Network Logo

Belgium Unveiled: A Christian's Travel Guide to Brussels and Beyond

Updated: Mar 11

Hello, faithful wanderers! Join me today as we embark on a journey through Belgium, a magnificent country with treasures waiting to be discovered. In this alphabetical exploration of the world, we find ourselves delving into the heart of Belgium, rich with wonders and history.


Biblical Perspective on Belgium


As we begin, let's turn to Scripture. The verse that resonates with Belgium's renowned delights—waffles, beer, chocolate, fries, art, and architecture—is 1 Corinthians 10:31:

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

This verse reminds us that even in our indulgences, we can glorify God by appreciating the wonders of His creation.





Reflecting on Christian Travel


Balancing Past and Future

Belgium, with its mix of modern cities and historical architecture, challenges us to balance appreciation for both past and future. How can we, as Christians, draw from the Old and New Testament teachings to enrich our travels?


Travel Guide to Exploring Belgium's Wonders


1. Historic Center of Bruges

Our journey begins with the enchanting historic center of Bruges—a UNESCO World Heritage site. Immerse yourself in its well-preserved medieval architecture, charming cobblestone streets, and romantic ambiance.


2. Royal Palace of Brussels

While you can't enter the palace itself, exploring the stunning gardens and neoclassical building offers a glimpse into Belgium's royal history.


3. Antwerp Central

Marvel at the architectural masterpiece of Antwerp Central, one of the world's most beautiful train stations. If you're a Harry Potter fan, its design might remind you of wizardry!


4. Pairi Daiza Zoo and Botanical Garden

For nature lovers, the Pairi Daiza zoo is a must-visit, home to over 7,000 animals and beautiful gardens. Engage with God's creation as you explore this renowned zoo.


Understanding Belgium's Beliefs


In the diverse tapestry of Belgium, understanding the religious makeup is crucial for any traveler. As of now, the religious landscape is as follows:


  • Roman Catholic: 57.1%

  • Agnostic: 20.2%

  • Atheist: 9.1%

  • Muslim: 6.8%

  • Other faiths: Mix

For the Christian traveler, Belgium becomes not just a destination but an opportunity to share the journey of faith. Whether your path leads you to Belgium or any other destination, your conversations can be a reflection of the Lord.


Navigating Agnostic Beliefs


If you find yourself engaging with the 20.2% of the population that identifies as agnostic, remember the distinction from our previous episode. Agnostics acknowledge uncertainty about God's existence, making conversations potentially challenging.


Drawing insights from "The Christian Difference," we explore how agnostics and atheists often lean on rationalism, considering faith irrational. They might perceive science as evidence against religious beliefs, gravitating towards Darwinism evolution.


Engaging in Meaningful Conversations


As believers, it's crucial to approach these conversations with an open heart. Understanding the foundations of their beliefs can pave the way for constructive dialogues. Key points to consider:


  1. Science and Religion: Address the misconception that science and religion are inherently contradictory. Highlight that many early scientists were Christians, emphasizing compatibility between faith and scientific understanding.

  2. Evolution: Clarify the distinction between macro and micro evolution. While Christians accept micro evolution within species, the belief in macro evolution may differ due to the unobservable nature of such changes over extended periods.

  3. Rationalism: Challenge the perception that faith is irrational. Acknowledge that faith is a rational choice, akin to trusting in scientific principles. It's about placing trust in God, just as they place trust in scientific theories.

  4. Morality: Discuss differences in views on human authority and morals. Emphasize the Christian perspective on the need for divine guidance to avoid chaos in a fallen world.


A Heart of Compassion


Approaching conversations with agnostics and atheists requires a compassionate heart. Recognize the spiritual warfare at play and refrain from being defensive. Instead of getting angry at God's creation, focus on addressing the spiritual battle and opening avenues for witnessing about the Lord.


Remember, Belgium is not just a destination; it's an opportunity to bridge understanding and share the transformative power of faith. So, as you embark on conversations in Belgium, may your words reflect the love and compassion of Christ. Safe travels and meaningful connections await you.



belgium


Cultural Nuances in Belgium

Belgium's cultural nuances extend far beyond its picturesque landscapes. As you engage with locals, consider these aspects to foster meaningful connections:


  • Politeness and Respect: Belgians are known for their politeness and respect in social interactions. Greetings often involve handshakes, and it's customary to use titles and surnames, such as Mr. and Mrs. punctuality is highly appreciated, so being on time to appointments demonstrates courtesy.

  • Language Preferences: Belgium's linguistic diversity is reflected in its three predominant languages: Dutch, French, and German. When engaging in conversation, it's advisable to ask about language preferences, ensuring a respectful and inclusive exchange.

  • Tipping and Gift-Giving: Tipping is customary, usually around 10% in restaurants. Additionally, giving small gifts or flowers when visiting someone's home is a thoughtful gesture, demonstrating appreciation and goodwill.

  • Sensitivity to History: Belgium's historical context, including its complex past, can be a sensitive topic. Approach conversations about history with care, recognizing the diverse perspectives that may exist.

Navigating these cultural nuances will not only enhance your travel experience but also contribute to building meaningful connections with the people you encounter.


Christian Significance in Belgium


Museum of Reformation in Brussels

Located in Brussels, the Museum of Reformation provides a captivating journey into the impact of Martin Luther's Reformation during the 16th century. Delve into the historical narrative that shaped Belgium's religious landscape.


Understanding the 16th Century Divide

Martin Luther's influence sparked significant division, both religious and political, within Belgium. The aftermath of 80 years of war led to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, recognizing the independence of the Dutch Republic. However, Belgium remained under Spanish Habsburg's rule, leading to a religious and linguistic diversity that persists to this day.


Exploring Reformation Artifacts

The museum houses artifacts, documents, and exhibits that offer insights into the Reformation's profound impact on the people and religious practices of Belgium. From theological debates to cultural transformations, the museum unravels the layers of history.


Reflecting on Contemporary Faith

As a Christian traveler, visiting the Museum of Reformation provides an opportunity for reflection on how historical events have shaped contemporary expressions of faith in Belgium. Consider the resilience of Christian communities and their ongoing journey of faith amidst changing times.


Reflection Question

As you consider a visit to Belgium, reflect on how Christian fellowship might differ in a Belgian church compared to your home church. What unique aspects of faith and community might you discover?


Conclusion

Belgium beckons with its wonders, inviting you to explore and connect with fellow believers. If you're seeking to build a network of like-minded travelers, join us in building a platform to help Christians easily meet up, find worship, and build like-minded community wherever your travels take you - whether it's backpacking through Europe, road tripping across America, or cruising the Bahamas. And we need your help to make this vision a reality! Get early access today!


Until next time, safe travels, and may God bless your adventures!

7 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page