Monday, January 14, 2008


Rob Bell had probably the perfect answer to the question of how he faces critics.

"There's over a billion people in this world without clean drinking water, and 46 million americans don't have health care. That means if they get sick, they don't have anywhere to go. Half of the world, 3 billion people, live on less than 2 dollars a day, so the world is an emergency. When followers of jesus can think of nothing better to do with their time than pick apart and shred to peices the work of other followers of Jesus who are trying to do something about the world, that's tragic and I don't owe those people anything."
I love this answer. To me, the Church has become largely concerned with definition. We seem to want to define ourselves as one thing or another, Progressive or Fundamentalist, Liberal-Christian or Conservative, Evangelical-Free or Non-denominational. We're always looking to define ourselves by labels.

The problem with this preoccupation though, is that definition exists to separate one thing from another. We define a word, give it a meaning so that it means one thing and only one thing. We define things so that other things cannot assume their identity. This is necessary, for say, underwear at summer camp, but not for Christianity.

Even "Christianity," in all its ubiquity has lately become taboo. Apparently "follower of Christ" has replaced the antiquated "Christianity" as the label of choice for the progressively serious disciple. I will agree that the term has been diluted so much that it probably resembles G.W. more than it resembles a loving and amazing Jesus.

But this is not a call to walk away. Rather, it's a call to take back the name that once meant "Christ-like" and extinguish our rampant feelings of entitlement.

We are called to humility and peace. I agree with Rob Bell, I feel like too much time is spent pondering the great intricacies of eschatology, when our brothers and sisters are dying from preventable diseases, in preventable situations.

I want to live a life of redemption. Let's fix the world and then argue. I have a feeling the lines of our differences will begin to blur.

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