It is no secret that the Christian world at the moment is in some kind of turmoil. It seems everyone’s favourite Pastor, Rob Bell, has become a Heretic and a universalist and is making all kinds of wild and fanatical claims in his new book Love Wins.
And while this will not be my last post on this subject, nor is it specifically about the book or content, it will certainly shed some light some on my current musings.
You see, this subject has caused many a debate online, of which I have had to on several occasions refrain myself from launching my own onslaught of keyboard artillery. There wouldn’t be any point…I would simply get shafted by the same people who I am supposed to be walking through life with.
I recently learned that my views are NOT Christian. Apparently I am what they call a “Partial-Preterist” not a full preterist, or a futuricist, or a historicist or Idealist. Nor do my eschatological thoughts allow me to follow the same Jesus as those who believe in dispensational pre-millennialism, or historic pre-millenialism or post-millenialism or a-millenialism.
Phew. Pretty rough if you ask me.
Somewhere along the line we LOST what it means to be a disciple. We have taken a shining to placing people in these tiny confined boxes and labelling them “right” or “wrong” with our super self-righteous permanent marker. We have developed this stingy orthodoxy where we desperately want christianity to be some kind of exclusive club that only certain people can have access to and enjoy the benefits of. It’s a bit “little rascalish” and kinda makes me think of a little kid saying “you can’t come in you have cooties”.
When I read the Gospels…I don’t see a world of judging or confining people. Look at how Jesus engaged with his disciples, and vice versa. It was wonderfully dynamic, challenging and compelling. Questions were answered with questions, ideas were developed and backed up with signs of the Kingdom. There was a never ending sense of growing, developing and WRESTLING with this radical thing that Jesus was presenting. And to me…gosh it is beautiful.
It is not wrong to question. Or to challenge. Or to be challenged. It was a huge part of the jewish tradition and a massive part of the early Church. Let us reclaim that.
Rob Bell DOES DO some things very well. (let it be known that Rob Bell does not present anything NEW in his book, but rather ideas that have been around from very early on in the church and what a majority of highly acclaimed scholars like N.T Wright have already been writing about for some time)
- He reminds us that the Gospel message is not purely about our salvation but rather that God’s Kingdom is at hand NOW and that we are to engage with that.
- We are to continue to be a light to the world through an agenda of radical love.
- We need not be intimidated by engaging in dialogue that shapes and challenges us.
So I encourage you to read his book, and be open to the challenge of learning new things.
Let us drop these titles, the “isms”, destroy these boxes and start using our permanent markers to start scribbling and hashing out some exciting things.
Let us be Disciples. Committed followers of Jesus who work alongside rather than against one another.
Love and Blessings.