Tuesday, October 13, 2009

religiosity. pt. 1

Rob Bell has his share of fans. he also has his share of enemies.
recently he was interviewed by the Boston Globe. you can read part of the article HERE. the 2nd page of the article from the BG website is from another BG article and so, sadly, the completed article is missing.

some people, like this guy have gone bananas over quotes from Bell from the BG article. based on the comments left on that guys page you'll see some very loving christian responses, too. sweet! Jesus must be so proud! i find it interesting that none who commented on their disdain for Bell seemed to have bothered to check the facts. "He doesn't mention the name of Jesus enough" they say. (kinda sounds like how Contemporary Christian Music used to keep track of JPM's in its music... JPM's = Jesus' Per Minute. The more JPM's the more likely your song would get made.) But alas, apparently Bell was largely misquoted or taken out of context in the BG article. this guys big stink is about Bell's quote on the word 'evangelism. others here are a little perturbed, too.

Bell's quote: "I embrace the term evangelical, if by that we mean a belief that we together can actually work for change in the world, caring for the environment, extending to the poor generosity and kindness, a hopeful outlook. That’s a beautiful sort of thing."
He didn't mention Jesus which got people upset.
from Christianity Today: Rob Bell has responded to the Globe interview on his Twitter account. He says that most of what he said was left out of the interview, and calls it "maddening." He also goes on to clarify the historical roots of the word "evangelical."

from Bell's twitter page: A bit of history: the word evangelical comes from the Roman Empire propaganda machine- it was an announcement proclaiming Caesar is Lord...The first Christians took the phrase and tweaked it, saying "Jesus is Lord." That, of course, could get you killed. No one challenges Caesar...To confess Jesus is Lord was to insist that peace does not come to earth through coercive violence but through sacrificial love...That is still the question, is it not? Whose way? Jesus or Caesar? Power and might and domination - or bloody, thirsty, hanging on a cross?
And so things were left out of the Boston Globe article.

it bothers me that some christians seem reluctant to give the benefit of the doubt. it is too easy to point the finger, i guess.

Jesus seemed to say something about that, though...
How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. ~Luke 6:42

maybe there are more important things for us to be focusing on right now. like giving up our inner pride, perhaps? or maybe taking care of our own business? Loving God and loving people? practicing empathy and humility?

1 comment:

troy. said...


I must confess that I haven't read the BG article or any of the responses you highlighted.

But here's the part that is kind of speaking to me: "And so things were left out of the Boston Globe article."

I've been having this re-occuring thought about the many different "sermons" we hear at church, small groups, house gatherings, sunday school, meals with friends, water cooler chats....they always leave out something! Always.

Like how could you ever tell the story of God bringing his people back to him in 40 min. on a Sunday morning? Or over a 3 min. chat with a co-worker? Or an hour with a friend? And I'm not solely talking about "sharing the gospel" (as evangelicals would put it).

We don't expect it during those times, so why should we expect it in a single article in a newspaper?

People need to relax (i.e. give their worries over to Christ), take a look at their own lives and start the change there. It's so easy to pot-shot a guy like Rob Bell. So hard to put the time into building relationships and listening to others tell their stories so that you can obtain the credibility and trust needed to speak into their lives.

A recent prayer of mine is to be released from the oppression of having to "save" the world, so that I can focus on loving (and blessing) the person right next to me who I typically overlook.

And so we press on...