Here is another example of why I love Jesus, believe that Christianity is the truth...but seem to develop a rash every time I am around most people who call themselves "Christians" and tend not to like to call myself by that word.
Sometimes I think that I must be a masochist. I will glance at something and then pursue it out of curiosity, knowing full well that I will hate what I find. Well I did it again, just about 45 minutes ago.
I was trying to find an article online as to why Rev. John Piper was taking a leave from his ministry at Bethlehem Baptist Church. So I start typing in Google, and up pops a choice for "John Piper on Rob Bell." I knew I shouldn't have chosen that because it would only frustrate me, but I did it anyway.
Sure enough, there are all of these web sites that attack Bell for being a heretic because he doesn't subscribe to every jot & titel of their particular theology. Apparently, loving Jesus as the Way, the Truth & the Life, and turning your life over to him as your Savior is not enough. You also have to follow Reformed Theology. Oops, that's not good enough. You really need to be a Hyper-Calvinist. No, wait...you have to be a Dispensationalist. No, no, no...you need to follow John Wesley's ideas. CRAP! What I meant to say is that you need to be Baptized in the Spirit with the evidence being that you speak in tongues. (It just gets so darn confusing, you know? Trying to make sure that I have the Infinite God of the Bible crammed neatly into my little box, so I can tote him around with me as I bash other Believers.)
"We'lllllllllllllllllll, Preach it now!"
I'm going to post a video that seemed to be focus of all the rage towards the end here. I'll spoil it a bit by saying that all of the rage was focused on one sentence spoken by Rob Bell at very end of an 11 minute presentation. Apparently, one sentence...yanked out of context from the other 10 & 1/2 minutes, negates the entire thing.
The odd thing was that the websites that I jumped around on never had any decent info on what Piper might have been saying about Bell. However, I also found plenty of web sites that have judged John Piper to be a heretic bound for eternal damnation. (That was interesting.) Wether it's Bell or Piper who are being called a heretic, what these sites all seem to have in common is an almost willful desire to yank people's words out of context, to seek out any minute wording that they disagree with, and an undercurrent of self-righteousness that wants to show the whole world "Look at MEeeeeeeeee! I'm protecting God."
As I stated at the beginning, I don't like most people who call themselves "Christians." (At least in the U.S. My experience with Believers in other countries has been very positive...which is also interesting.) I've been burned, judged, scorned, lectured and bored to death by most of them at one point or another. Now mind you, this is only my opinion. Feel free to disagree. But IN my opinion, Americans who call themselves "Christians" tend to be #1. A people saved by grace, who then refuse to extend it to others. #2. The most judgmental people in any given room. #3. The most picky, opinionated & anal-retentive whiners you will meet. Essentially, too many of us are a bunch of jerks...and I'm probably as guilty as any.
I have a serious weakness, though. I really, really, really like Jesus and I am constantly amazed at everything he has done and is still doing for me of all people. So I trip, and I stumble, and I follow...and as a result, he makes me hang out with a lot people who call themselves "Christians."
So anyway, why all the venting tonight? Well, I am really sick of "Christians" who truly seem to love Jesus, bash other "Christians" who truly seem to love Jesus. I am truly so damn sick and tired of it. It always seems to be over issues that one side or the other has elevated from third & forth level importance, too. Jesus death & resurrection, and you placing your faith in that/him are what is central to the faith. NOT, how well you think you understand how God gets the job done.
I will state for the record my opinion of the following famous & semi-famous pastors & teachers: Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, Rob Bell, John Piper, Mark Driscol, Johh Stott, Erasmus.
I have never fully agreed 100% with any one of them, yet I desperately need every single one of them...and so does the church! We are finite beings trying to wrap our brains around the Infinite God of the universe. Each one of us brings our own baggage, perspectives, opinions, etc. to the table of ideas. Each one brings another piece of the puzzle to help the rest see different aspects of Jesus. With out that, we would be poorer for sure.
You would think that the same Holy Spirit that indwells each Believer would be enough. You would think that having the resurrected Christ in common would be enough. You would think that loving Jesus with all your heart, soul mind & strength...and your neighbor as yourself would be enough. But I guess it's not for some folks who call themselves "Christians." It's to the point now...and I can't prove it scripturally, that I believe once Christ returns, he will force all of these people to apologize to their fellow Believers for saying all of this nonsense about them. Folks, I am just so tired of the infighting.
ANYWAY, here is the big, huge, controversial video that shows that Rob Bell is preaching a false Gospel, and that he will spend eternity as a human marsh mellow being roasted to perfection for a cosmic S'more. (Do yourself & ME a favor, and at least try to look at the whole thing in the larger context.)
Seriously, take a GOOD look at it. Listen to what he is trying to get across in it's CONTEXT. See the BIG picture. You tell me. Is this guy preaching some foul, evil, false Gospel? Or is he merely using different phrases and words to get the point across that Jesus is the only hope that this fallen world has? You tell me.