I preached at our church a couple of weeks ago. I was fun and I got both good and bad reviews, however the crowning achievement I noticed when I watched the video online the next day. As I was watching I noticed that when I took small sips of water on occasion, from my water bottle I was using the Babcock side swig. I felt pleased as pie that I have made the side swig a part of my ethos. If you have not seen the side swig, it is the coolest thing in the history of mankind. If you know Babs, you will know what I mean, if not take Frank Sinatra and mix him with some Ray Charles and throw in some John McClain and a pinch of of the Cheetos Cheetah, and then have him drink some delicious Coca Cola out of an old school bottle: and you have the Babcock side swig.
I am a fan of Rob Bell. Mind you, I do not live and die by everything he teaches, but I believe he is teaching people to get into God's word in a way that is reaching people. I have been challenged quite a bit by his books and videos. Anyways, I was online trying to get some info on his Nooma video series and I stumbled on some youtube junk that had to do with him. The first was this kid doing an impression of the Nooma videos as a commercial for the 'see you at the flagpole' prayer gathering. Below is the link, sorry I still don't know how to get it directly on the blog.
Anyways, after the 1st 30 seconds, the kid does a stinking great impersonation of the Nooma videos. If you have seen them you may enjoy it. If you haven't, you might not waste your time. Anyways, after enjoying that video so immensely, I clicked on the next one and found a video of two street preachers outside a Rob Bell speaking engagement screaming heretic, and hell fire and brimstone. These guys are literally yelling about 'truth' to people who know 'truth' I was at a missions conference about 7 years ago, and there were street preachers, screaming about the importance of being Pro-life. They were equipped with graphic posters with photos and stats about abortion. We're talking about an evangelical missions conference, truth to truth. I am not going to comment on whether or not I feel either one of these preacher groups are correct in what they are saying. But I always wonder what these guys are thinking. Hey. I am a conservative evangelical dude at a conservative evangelical missions conference and I see these guys. . . 'Wait, you mean I should kill babies? Why did anyone tell me before! I better go change some major things in my life right now! It is even more remarkable for the Rob Bell instance. Hey, I am on my way to see this guy speak who I really agree with and trust to teach me things or that my good trusted friend says I should check out and I see these complete strangers yelling through a bullhorn, heretic! Rob Bell teaches that the Bible says we should celebrate a new life in Christ! instead of living in fear of the flames of Hell! . . .oh. . .well in that case stranger guy screaming, I guess I better just go home. I didn't realize he said those things.
I guess my issue is, 1st of all why do that in the face of believers? What does it say about truth? It isn't enough to know Christ, you have to know him how I know him, otherwise you are wrong and are heading for judgement. I struggle with this, because I am not a universalist by any stretch. You have to know Christ, you have to work towards understanding of and obedience to scripture (which is knowing Christ) and he says, "Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." (Jn 8:31-32) That being said, there has to be grace.
When it comes to the street preacher guys, I really struggle with this because I just don't see it in scripture. Sure there were street preachers and teachers, but it was a different deal. Everyone taught on the street, . . . and wrote on blogs. When it comes to the truth of the gospel, we model Christ. He told his disciples to go make more disciples ( which trickles all the way to believers today). Disciples were (and are) people who acted, did ministry and taught the way Jesus did. There is the verse that says he came not to condemn the world, but to save it. So truth and condemnation do not have any place with one another. Truth and love do.
I was thinking about this idea the other day and the thing I began to realize, and struggle with is that people on the street do not need to hear about death. Death is all around, the earth cries out about death. People know that life is tough, that it stinks when marriages fail, and wars devastate, and how much wrong child abuse does, and friends die, and terrorists attack, and lies break destroy our connection to people, and so on and so on. People do not need me to tell them that death is all around, they need me to show them life. They need me to be real and honest and an example of life in a dying world. Yes, we teach on how to grow in faith, which necessitates some 'do not touches', but the goal is life. We are not who we were, death does not reign here. I think we get really concerned with death within current issues ( abortion, issues with homosexuality, other religions, etc) I think it is important to take a stand on issues, but do we do it correctly, are we spreading life or death? So, I struggle with the street preachers, but I struggle with me as well. Am I being a source of life for people around me. Am I actively showing them life, or am I getting too concerned with death? There are a lot more questions, and answers for this discussion so I leave it there, for now.
The Secret We Can't Talk About
4 years ago