Friday, March 18, 2011

Darn you Rob Bell!

Darn you Rob Bell for stirring up passion in me once again. I am sitting here trying to stop myself from getting involved but passion has taken over and even if it is just on this small platform I call my blog:"All you need is Love", I must speak what is on my heart.
I understand that I am not a theologian, I don't write with big words, correct grammar and perfect spelling but I write with my heart, and I write what I know for sure, and what I know for sure is Christianity in America is in trouble! The statistics are baffling. While at Catalyst a few weeks ago I attended a lab done by Samuel Rodriguez, the leader of the Hispanic evangelical movement, who shared some of these staggering statistics:
- 85% of churches in the US are in a numeric decline
- Americans who identify themselves as Christians has declined 10% in the last decade
- Christianity has less influence on American Politics and Culture than it did 5 years ago.
- Newsweek published an article recently entitled "The end of Christian America"
-In Communist China there are said to be 28,000 new converts a day
-In Africa Christianity has grown from 5% to 45% in the last decade
-The only Church that is growing in America is the Hispanic church
Something is very very wrong with Christianity in America. I have heard it said that "the church is producing atheists", and who can argue against that statement? We have to know that something is terribly broken. At this point change is crucial.
Rob Bell's new book "Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived" is creating a stir in the christian community. I have not read it yet but I have been keeping up-to-date with the heated debate by reading reviews and blogs on the book and the whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth. In a time when change is crucial in the christian community why are we arguing and bickering over the same OLD stuff. I find it ironic that Rob Bell is preaching on LOVE and all we can seem to do is belittle each other over our opinions on theology and doctrine. I am not going to share my thoughts on whither or not I think there is a heaven or a hell or if Rob Bell is a universalist, clearly there is enough being written on that subject and my two cents is not needed, but one thing I know for sure is that Rob Bell believes that Christianity in America can be saved. I think we can all learn a lot about love from Rob Bell and the church that he pastors. Does he have all the answers? I am sure he does not but at least he is asking the right questions: "In a gospel whose overwhelming theme is love, why are we not living that out?" I plan to read the book and try to answer that question for myself and I hope you will do the same...stop being afraid and start answering the questions! In the words of Rob Bell, "God can handle the conversation."
The good news is that many giants in the American christian community believe that a time of young pastors doing bold and visionary ministry is emerging. Samuel Rodriguez said "This generation is eager to infuse the world with beauty and grace and the best of Christianity in America is yet to come" I don't know about you but I want to be a part of that movement!!!! I want to hold to the greatest commandment of all LOVE, and offer ALL who are hungry a radically different but far more beautiful, way of doing life. I don't have the answer to the change that needs to be made but I would bet that it has something to do with Love. We are called to manifest God's UNIQUELY beautiful love and bear witness to the reality of Jesus Christ by how we share our lives and serve others. The judgment needs to stop. The arguing needs to stop. The belittling needs to stop and Love needs to start winning! Lets be the change people!
I really like this guys blog about the book and it gives insight into what Rob Bells church is all about.


jes said...

Seriously! Love God. Love people. That is what we are called to do!

Brandon said...
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