Friday, July 06, 2007

Rob Bell

With a well-deserved hat tip to TCS, I've been reading an interview by Rob Bell from The Ooze over the last few days and while I really don't have a lot of time to comment on it, this section was especially interesting to me:

As a pastor what would you say to someone who has become disillusioned with organized church or what they have seen of Christianity?

I would wager that the things that most turn them off are the things that most turn Jesus off. There is not one instance in Jesus’ teachings where he gets angry with somebody who isn’t a follower of his or someone who doesn’t love God. His anger is always for religious people who claim to speak for God but live in another way. So if you find hypocrisy absolutely revolting so did Jesus. If you find people who think they are the moral police of culture repulsive, so did Jesus. If you find people who are ready to throw stones at the next sinner very hard to take, so did Jesus. And if you think that people who use Jesus to accumulate political power, to coerce people to live according to their laws, well Jesus had a problem with such things as well. I would say that your anger is shared by Jesus. He’s angered by all the same things.

How does that strike you? Is that quote just another sign of the watering-down of Christianity? Or does it give you hope for the future of Christianity?

10 comments:

Justin said...

Amen Rob Bell. We need more people talking this way and less people that sound like they belong in the movie Jesus Camp.

Rob Cox said...

I agree with him. Jesus' harshest words were always reserved for the "religous". As someone who tries to follow God, and is therefore "religous", it's a sobering thought though. It makes me stop to see if Jesus would be angry with me.

Phil, btw I have only 2 chapters left to finish Velvet Elvis.

Elizabeth S said...

Wow. I have been feeling a lot of what he said, but in a different way. I have been thinking about this from my kids' perspective. How do they see me? Do they see me as a hypocrite? Do they see me living out what I tell them to do? Or do they see my Christianity as I saw my parents'? Just "going to church" but it not being real. Thanks for sharing this, Phil.

greg said...

I think instead of watering down, it may be just the opposite - i.e. closer to the real thing than what you normally see (at least in this country).

Thomas+ said...

Rob Bell is spot on accurate in this section. He says a lot of things that I disagree with, and in many ways he seems to be a poser. But, this is really good.

Ever critical, I am.

Phil said...

I would expect nothing less, T+.

Simon said...

I am amazed at the criticism that Rob Bell is facing at this time. As always, we need to make sure that we understand the heart of the person as well as hearing first hand what the person actually says not what others are reporting him to say. With Rob Bell that is very easy to do and for free. All the Mars Hill Bible Church talks in public worship are freely available here. I would also say that the acid test of a person's ministry is the fruit of that person's ministry. You can often hear this first hand as "ordinary" church members at Mars have the opportunity to speak in those talks. Mars Hill and Rob Bell are both talking the talk and walking the walk for the Kingdom of God.

TCS said...

Well, Phil you know I am Bell fan. As a communicator and as a teacher. I don't know anybody that I always agree with and at time people that I do agree with say things in ways and at times that I wouldn't. But this section of the interview is so on that it really is hard for me to see how someone would truly see it as wrong. Thanks for HT.

bpb said...

I doubt Jesus would be comfortable in very many of our church buildings . . .

Phil said...

I don't know, bpb. Jesus was in synagogues some and was at the Temple quite a bit.

I think it's us who would be much less comfortable having Jesus in our churches.

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