For Whom the Bell Tolls: Heretic or Hero? Part II

4 04 2011

What does hell mean to you these days? Can hell change with who writes about it? Is hell an endless nightmare for sinners and unsaved souls? Or do we create a hell on earth by our choices that lead to addictions, despair, depression and worry? Those ideas are receiving fresh scrutiny from some believers after a prominent evangelical pastor, Rob Bell, founder and senior pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church, questioned the traditional idea of hell in his new book Love Wins.

It seems that this book is quickly becoming a kind of 21st century “Last Temptation of Christ.” If you don’t remember that movie, that’s understandable—it was one of those B movies that very few would have attended, but the depictions of Christ were sacrilegious enough to create quite a stir among evangelicals, who protested with signs and bull horns at every theater, thus boosting sales and giving it a cult following among atheists and anti-God types.

The difference in this case is that the biblical and theological truth about hell matters.  And the newest “temptation” is coming from a reputable evangelical.

Today, after church, I came home and read the book in about 3 hours. Observations from my reading:

1.    Rob Bell is an engaging and creative writer

2.    Rob Bell is sincere in his beliefs

3.    Rob Bell has some very interesting, creative and innovative arguments

4.    Rob Bell makes the salvation teachings of Jesus complicated, contradictory and inconsistent

5.    Rob Bell creates a straw man argument against some of the salvation, heaven and hell convictions of creedal Christianity

6.    Rob Bell is a master at using metaphor, images and creative thoughts to portray a new, unorthodox way of viewing Jesus, love and salvation

7.    Rob Bell takes massive leaps in scriptural logic to support a claim that in the end all will be saved

8.    Rob Bell believes that we will have many chances to come to God’s love after death—a close runner-up version to purgatory

9.    Rob Bell can’t support his main theme—that of universal salvation, i.e. “Love wins”—with a shred of scriptural evidence or historical precedent

10.   Rob Bell claims that his thoughts are mainstream and consistent with Christian thinking throughout history (by the way, he is correct—he is consistent with several heresies of the first four centuries, but I don’t think that’s what he meant)

11.   Rob Bell takes prophetic passages of the coming millennium for God’s people, and uses these passages to support his contention that everyone will eventually be saved

12.   Rob Bell seems to be ignorant (or is cloaking his disbelief) of the fundamental teachings of church fathers, synods, systematic theology, creeds and convictions of the Church (which makes Eugene Peterson’s quote on the fly leaf even more perplexing)

13.   Rob Bell makes broad claims that significant church fathers and reformers believed in eventual universal salvation, but doesn’t (and can’t) support it with any quotes, references or writings (convenient)

14.   Rob Bell is confused in his understanding of God’s glory, especially as it is revealed through judgment

15.   Rob Bell feels that classic western Christianity lacks creativity, is too narrow and is not open to new ways of viewing God’s love

16.   Rob Bell doesn’t believe in a literal hell, but rather believes that we create our own hell on earth by our choices

17.   Rob Bell refutes hell partially from the argument that hell is not a compelling enough story (huh?)

18.   Rob Bell doesn’t believe in the plenary substitutionary atonement of Christ as the only way to a relationship with God and the obtaining of eternal life

The most shocking quote and the theme of the book:

“At the heart of this perspective is the belief that, given enough time, everybody will turn to God and find themselves in the joy and peace of God’s presence.  The love of God will melt every hard heart, and even the most ‘depraved sinners’ will eventually give up their resistance and turn to God” (page 107).

So, there it is folks. I’ve never been a fan of Rob Bell and even less so after reading this book. I can’t recommend the book to anyone who isn’t mature in church history, systematic theology and their Bible. Discernment and wisdom are needed. If one is lacking in any of these areas, this book can be confusing and misleading. Proceed with caution.

Steve

My friend Brian Carlson has written a provocative blog on the controversy, including video footage of Pastor Bell in his much talked about conversation with Martin Bahir on MSNBC last week. Brian has been a pastor for the past sixteen years and is currently the Assistant to President Bill Armstrong at Colorado Christian University. His last pastoral staff position was at Woodmen Valley Chapel. Brian and I met up last week at California Pizza Kitchen and I thought it might be fun to hear his perspective on the theological debate. Here is Brian’s opinion for your enjoyment.

 





Poetry of Love part 2

12 10 2010

What is the true journey between the crib and the crypt?  Why are there seasons of life in a tunnel of experiences?  Is not our life to be punctuated with shafts of insight that take us deeper into who we are and why we are here?  I think so.

In a culture that has trivialized the sacred, commercialized the occasion and sentimentalized the most lovely, there is within each of us a longing for the prophetic word that will give us the reason for our life.  Even the most hardened cynic, worn down by failure, confusion and unreached dreams, has times of deep yearning for answers to their very existence.

You are a spiritual, physical, emotional and mental creation of God.  Your body, your mind, your spirit, your emotions are the stanzas of a poem spoken into existence by God.  Every cell, chromosome, bone, every dimple, mole and cowlick is part of the poem of God.  You are His work, His dream, His thought, His heart. 

All of us were penned before the foundation of the world.  We were thought up in the heart of the Master Poet before our exit out of the birth canal.  The Bible is crystal clear: “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” (Ephesians 1:4)  He was dreaming of, thinking through and musing over you millennia before you were created.  The poet expresses it deeply, 

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works

Which You have done;

And Your thoughts toward us

Cannot be recounted to You in order;

If I would declare and speak of them,

They are more than can be numbered.

Psalms 40:5

God, The Master Poet, has thought about you innumerable times in creative ways that have yet to be discovered.  His greatest work is the beauty of his handiwork in each image bearing soul.  A sonnet penned by the hand of God, written with the ink of love.

We are poems “created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10), designed and written for the ultimate good work of love.  And as with any loving relationship, there is an unpredictability and ever-present possibility of pain and disappointment involved.  C.S. Lewis once said, “Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.”[i]  In speaking of God’s love, John Eldredge writes, “But God does give it, again and again, until He is literally bleeding from it all.  God’s willingness to risk is astounding—far beyond what any of us would do were we in His position.”[ii]

A love relationship with God and others is risky business.  God sent His Son to risk it all on you and me.  The ultimate poetry of love was God creating His Son in the womb of His creation in order that He might die under the hands of creation for the ultimate purpose of a rescue mission.  Francis Frangipane has said, “Rescue is the constant pattern of God’s activity.”  This is why Jesus came.  Jesus proclaims His mission to us when he said,

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,

Because He has anointed Me

To preach the gospel to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives

And recovery of sight to the blind,

To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

(Luke 4:18-19)

A poetry of love first dreamed in the heart of God, expressed by His Son, wordsmithed upon our heart.  We are the poetry of a warrior poet, a passionate God who has risked it all for us.  We are His collection of poems, each one of us, unique and complex, written for a purpose.  He has come to rescue and redeem His marred poems.  His rescue mission involves a deepening love and more extravagant relationship—a poem being written.


[i] Quoted from Wild at Heart by John Eldredge p. 32

[ii] Ibid.





Poetry of Love

29 09 2010

While praying and musing at a monastery chapel high and hidden in the mountains near Long’s Peak God spoke into my inner spirit, “poetry of love.”  I was startled and confused for it seemed so foreign and out of context.  It didn’t fit at all with what my mind was thinking about at the time.  It almost seemed as if He had bypassed my mind to touch my heart.  I asked for a bit more clarity and I was greeted with silence (I hate when He does that).

I just couldn’t get those three words off my mind.  I was doomed to ruminations, meditations, and inner questions for days.  The answer came from the Word of God, through a conversation and discussion with one of the Mountain Springs pastors I was reminded of a verse.

Paul, in writing one of his most intimate letters to a church that he deeply loved, wrote,

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

The word “workmanship” riveted my imagination and served to wipe away the cobwebs of my past study.  Workmanship is derived from the word, poieema, from which we get the English word “poem.”  In the Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary, this word is described as “a thing of His making,” His “handiwork,” a “spiritual creation.” John Calvin writes of this phrase:

When he says, that “we are the work of God,” this does not refer to ordinary creation, by which we are made men. We are declared to be new creatures, because, not by our own power, but by the Spirit of Christ, we have been formed to righteousness.[i]

God is saying that each of us are a unique and beautiful poem.  As a new creative poem, He is writing His sonnet upon the fabric of His book of poetry.  It’s His book but we are the verses.  He’s the poet and we are living His verse.  We are living, loving poems.  We are the poetry of God.

What is poetry? Throughout the centuries, there have been many attempts at a definition.  Poetry is “the art of uniting pleasure with truth” (Samuel Johnson)[ii], “the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself” (William Hazlitt)[iii], “the music of the soul” (Voltaire)[iv].  T.S. Eliot once said of poetry, “It is not the assertion of truth, but the making of that truth more fully real to us.”[v]

William Wordsworth may have captured our meaning best when he wrote, “the poet is the rock of defense for human nature.”[vi] Similarly, Coleridge wrote, “[the poet] brings the whole soul of man into activity.”[vii] God is the poet and it is through His Spirit that we come to discover our true nature, our whole soul moved to creative energy.  We are the poems of the Poet.

Dylan Thomas once commented that “a poem on the page is only half a poem.”[viii] You see, a poem is only half alive until the words on the page are spoken.  They must be spoken into the hearts of other people.  Our life in the Spirit is a wildly jumbled creative, unique blend of verses that have a rhythm that touches everyone around us.  But we must live, really live.

Albert Einstein said that truth is “that which stands the test of experience.”  We are a creative energy of God mirroring the Master Poet with all of our poetic experiences.  Sometimes we are a poem of pain, sometimes a poem of joy, sometimes a poem of endurance.  But with each experience, His poem is crafted, rewritten, and more deeply edited by the love of God.

Jesus said,

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  These things I command you, that you love one another. (John 15:15-17)

We are not just any run-of-the-mill poem.  We are poems being written by the love of Jesus.  We are the fruit of His love.  We are in a love relationship with the Poet.  He is writing His words, His purposes into the fabric of our heart.

You can tell much about a poet by his or her poems.  The poetry of Emily Dickinson is vastly different from Robert Frost.  The works of Coleridge stand in major contrast to John Keats.  We are the sheet poems, the unfinished poems of God.  We are being crafted and written by the hand of God, through the Spirit, in the blood of Jesus.  If we will let Him, if we will stop resisting, God will write us.  We are His poetry of love.

Receive the point of His pen.


[i] Calvin’s Commentaries

[ii] A Treasury of the World’s Best Loved Poems, Crown Publishers, New York, p. v.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] Ibid.

[viii] Gerard Kelly, Spoken Worship, Zondervan, p. 13.





Robust Living

20 09 2010

Robust Living

Mountain flowers cover the high altitude pastures and tundra this time of year.  Mountain meadows and the highlands of Colorado are covered with the light pink, flaming red, and sky blue of Columbine, Black Snakeroot, Boltonia, and Balloon Flower.  Last week Liz and I hiked the talus slopes and alpine meadows of the Crags[i].  With each turn in the trail, the mountain flowers, craggy cliffs, and golden hue of Aspen leaves in fall transition, filled our eyes with the light of God’s creative pulchritude and nobility.  Our eyes were filled to overflowing with the richness and uniqueness of God’s creative power.  Jesus said, “The lamp of the body is the eye.  Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light.” (Luke 11:34a)  We rediscovered these words as our eyes swelled with the stunning beauty of the highlands.

As Liz and I traversed this mountain trail we both were brimming over with a passionate ardor to pray and worship God.  It was intoxicating to take in the life of creation.  Allowing our eyes to drink in the artistry of God, our mind and spirit was enlivened with joy and thankfulness.  I was reminded of the lines from the Robert Frost poem,

He would declare and could himself believe
That the birds there in all the garden round
From having heard the daylong voice of Eve
Had added to their own an oversound,
Her tone of meaning but without the words.
Admittedly an eloquence so soft
Could only have had an influence on birds
When call or laughter carried it aloft.
Be that as may be, she was in their song.
Moreover her voice upon their voices crossed
Had now persisted in the woods so long
That probably it never would be lost.
Never again would birds’ song be the same.
And to do that to birds was why she came.[ii]

To hear the birds “oversound” and to be reminded of the voice of Eve in that unblemished celestial garden brought praise to our lips.  Nature speaks of the glory and voice of God.  The Bible echoed our feelings, “the heavens declare the glory of God.”

Almost simultaneous to our euphoric feeling was anguish.  A forlorness for so many we have known through the years having never seen such beauty nor deeply known the love of God.  It is interesting that the second half of the words of Jesus are, “…But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.” It has been our unfortunate experience to see many of our Christian friends drifting away from relationships with other believers and their faith in God.  The aftermath has been bitterness, depression, and in most cases, devastation. Their change of eyesight has flooded their lives with darkness.  It’s really sad to watch.

T.S. Eliot once wrote, “We had the experience, but missed the meaning.”  I am coming to believe that many so called “Christians” have never really deeply and profoundly touched the inner workings of a robust faith in God.  They had the experience but missed the true meaning.  They experienced the rules, religion, and outward workings of American Churchianity, but never really caught the real virus of a love relationship with Jesus.  Their eyes were never filled with the incisive ultraviolet light of God’s acceptance, but rather a 40 watt bulb kind of faith—the kind of light that never penetrates the body or saves the soul!

I want a robust faith and vigorous life!  I want to let the light in.  I want to let the landscapes of life reflect an inner landscape of energetic living.  What poet Gerard Manley Hopkins called the inscape.  Ron Dart explains,

Just as there are solid mountains, transient clouds, seasonal flowers, rushing and dry streams, bright and turbulent weather, and shady forests in the outer life and landscape, the same things exist in the inner life or inscape.  The hidden languages of landscape and inscape are there for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.[iii]

So often the life we live today robs us of inscape as we escape into a frantic pace of living.  Our tendency is to rush through life with one more appointment, one more project, and one less relationship.  Yet God is inviting us into life—robust living, that encounters God everywhere.  It is the inscape of beauty, deeply drinking of Jesus and His love for us.  It is the inscape of the Holy Spirit, whose voice calls us to a sixth sense of faith and perceptivity.

I have spent many hours traversing mountain tops and valley lowlands hiking, hunting and fishing.  The times on the river and in the deep pine forest have given me times to think deeply and pray earnestly.  As the years go by, as the fourth quarter of my life has begun, I make it my profound prayer to live with rapture, potency, and vitality.  To give out the light even as it pours in.  Robust living!

Carpe Diem Gloriae Dei,

Steve


[i] A popular hiking trail outside of Divide, Colorado.

[ii] Never Again Would bird Songs be the Same by Robert Frost

[iii] Ron Dart, When Mountain Meets Valley, Fresh Wind Press, p.10, 2005.





War, Witches and Panic

17 08 2010

Wars, witches, and panic attacks are the substance of 1 Samuel 28.  King Saul is a study in fear.  Faced with withering support and a ferocious enemy, Saul is wholly unprepared for the challenges of life that God has put before him. And in this chapter, Saul is overwhelmed by the impending battle with the Philistines.  Saul succumbs to fear, and fear has power.

“When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.” (vs. 5) Saul is a beaten man before he’s entered the battlefield. Let’s look at the process of paralyzing fear in Saul’s life, and the confusing questions that are created:

vs. 6  Because of his fear, Saul can’t hear from God even when he prays.  (Where is God in my life?)

Vs. 7  Because of his fear, Saul compromises his convictions and morals and seeks out a witch.  (What do I believe anymore?)

Vs. 8  Because of fear, Saul loses his sense of identity and “disguises himself.”  (Who am I anyway?)

Vs. 16-18 Because of fear, Saul can no longer listen to sound advice and wisdom.  (No one understand me?)

Vs. 20 Because of fear, Saul is overtaken by a panic attack and collapses.  (Am I losing my mind?)

Vs. 21-22  Because of fear, Saul is broken down physically and unable to sleep or eat.   (What is happening to my body?)

Vs. 23-25 Because of fear, Saul can no longer lead with strategy and clear thinking.  (What do I do next?)

If you have asked such questions, then you just might understand the power of fear.  Fear has power. Fear combined with worry can have a paralytic power.  Satan uses fear to create panic and confusion in our mind.  Fear not only affects our mind, but also our body and spirit in ways that can shut down the flow of our physical and spiritual antibodies.

Sick of Fear

Have you ever been sick of fear?  You probably have.  In a landmark study entitled “Who Gets Sick: How Beliefs, Moods and Thoughts Affect Health,” Dr. Blair Justice found that a life based in fear and worry was one of the most common denominators of those people who contracted cancer.  Fear could be traced closely to all forms of cardio vascular disease as well as many other physio psychological ailments.  The study found that fear has a paralyzing impact on our natural abilities to cope with life.

Undealt with fear has the potential to immobilize our physical immune system, thus creating a domino effect that can bring with it panic attacks, disease, and despair.  This is exactly what happens to Saul.  We read in our passage, “Then Saul fell at once full length on the ground, filled with fear…” (vs. 20)  The panic attack that Saul is experiencing continues and eventually leads to a loss of all appetite and an inability to sleep (vss 21-23).  Fear has power.

Attacked in L.A.

Ten years ago I fell under the power of fear and was shrouded with an anxiety attack.  I was enveloped with a blanket of claustrophobia that left me in a fetal position in a California hotel.  I was emotionally paralyzed, wept uncontrollably, and experienced insomnia.  The sense of foreboding, depression, and distress that followed took all my efforts, prayer, and seeking of God’s power to overcome.

As I sought wise counsel, at times fasted and prayed, and talked to several doctor friends, I realized that if I was going to live a healthy rest of my life, I needed to seriously reevaluate my lifestyle.  In due course this led to a new set of daily habits that included exercise, more laughter, and a deeper relationship with Jesus and people.

Created for Intimacy

You can break the cycle of fear.  But you will have to get off the anxiety merry-go-round and seriously reassess your lifestyle.  I did almost ten years ago and it’s made all the difference in my world.

I believe the heart of every human being was formed for intimacy.  Intimacy with God, made known through Jesus, and intimacy with people is the key to peace.  This is why when Jesus was challenged by religious leaders as to which Law was the greatest, responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the prophets.” (Matt 22:37-40)  Love is the strongest form of intimacy.  Jesus is commanding us to love Him with every ounce of our spiritual, emotional, and physical energy, and then, as a result to love people with equal passion and zeal.

I believe that a deep growing maturing friendship with Jesus releases spiritual antibodies that strengthen our immune system.  Intimacy with Jesus brings a new power, the power to break the insidious satanic pressure of fear.   Intimacy with Jesus and people fills up our spiritual and emotional tank.  This then enables us to have the spiritual immune system needed to withstand the many anxious thoughts that we are bombarded with each day.

So, enjoy Jesus today through prayer and Bible study.  Build deep friendships and laugh often.  Exercise is vital.  Surrender your need to be in control and give God your worries.  Don’t hesitate, boldly jump into a new life of faith and peace.  Then, fear will have no power!





One Thing Losers

3 08 2010

I’m a loser!  If I were to evaluate my life based on the standards of the sports page, the entertainment section, and my son’s high school friends, I’m a loser.  I’m not all that intelligent, all that funny, or all that cool.  I’m showing signs of a growing spare tire around the belt line, grey hairs are popping up everywhere, I drive a truck with camo seat covers, I turn in the bill of my baseball cap, and love flannel shirts.  None of which constitutes culturally current winning qualities.

But I’m a loser with passion.  I tell my sons and daughters all the time to “give it all.”  Whether it’s a recital for piano or a baseball tournament, I say things like “leave it all on the field,” or “don’t hold back,” etc.  You know, the kind of stuff that parents are supposed to say to their kids.  The only difference is that I mean it.  I’m not saying that other parents don’t mean it, they do.  I’m sure they do because I sit in the stands with a lot of them at games and they shout, scream, pout, and almost cry like 3rd graders.  It’s an amazing thing to watch—otherwise normal middle aged worldly successful adults suddenly morphed into adolescent elementary aged behavior that often leaves me wondering what happened to the adult I was just talking to.

But I really mean it when I say to my children to be all there—focused, determined, and relaxed.  I don’t mean win, win, win, rah, rah, rah.  I mean be hot.  Be hotful (is that a word?); radically give it all—for something greater than yourself.  I sometimes say:  My time is valuable.  Don’t waste my time, the coach’s time, or your time.  Be hot out there.  I don’t care if it’s a piano, violin, or sports contest—be hot and be focused…for God’s glory.

I’m a loser for one thing.  The apostle Paul once said, “This one thing I do…”  Most of us can only do a few things half decent.  We’re just losers who aren’t very smart nor very talented.  But we can do one thing.  Yes, all of us can do one thing.  Instead of dabbling around with drink, entertainment, or whatever we dabble in, I want to be a one thing guy.  One thing.

Years ago I came across these words of Bishop Ryle.  They speak of our calling as Jesus followers,

“A zealous person in the Faith is pre-eminently a person of one thing.  It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit.  He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God.  Whether he lives, or whether he dies—whether he has health, or whether he has sickness—whether rich or poor—whether he pleases men or whether he gives offense—whether he is thought wise or foolish—whether he gets blamed or praised—whether honored or put to shame—for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all.  He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God’s glory.  If he is consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it—he is content.  He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work of God for which God appointed him.”

Be a passionate one thing loser…for Jesus!





Give Me Scotland

22 07 2010

The Reformer John Knox prayed: “Give me Scotland or I die!” No wonder Mary, Queen of Scots, declared that she was more afraid of the prayers of John Knox than of an army of ten thousand.  She knew that a spiritual revolution is more dangerous than any military or political power.

Our country needs a Jesus revolution.  Our city needs a spiritual revolution.  God loves America.  God loves Colorado Springs.  He is always ready to bring a mighty revolution of love.  He is looking for men and women who have His passion for the poor, the lost, the hurting, and unloved.  For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. (2 Chron. 16:9)  The Lord is ready to support and strengthen men and women of prayer and action who long for the kingdom, who pray “Thy kingdom come,” rather than “my will be done.”  The eyes of the Lord are searching our city for such a people.  The eyes of the Lord are searching across our nation for churches made up of people who long for the glory of God.

George Whitefield, the great evangelist of the 18th century, once prayed, “O Lord, give me souls or take my soul.”  This passion led to a great revolution in England that then spilled over into America.  It was said that the Spirit of God so moved during the preaching of Whitefield that hundreds would fall down and weep under conviction of sin.  His was a heart aflame with passion and holy zeal for the glory of God and the name of Jesus.  God used such a man to bring a great spiritual revolution to America.

The Lord is always ready to use like-hearted men and women to transform our cities with the glory and honor of Christ.  It will take regular folks who have an irregular love for Jesus.  It will take normal people who don’t believe in a normal God.  It will take natural men and women who truly have faith in a supernatural Lord.  It will require us to be a people of prayer and action.

I came across an old prayer of a Danish pastor named Kaj Munk.  Rev. Munk was killed by the Nazi Gestapo in January 1944 and these words beside his Bible were found after his death,

What is, therefore our task today?  Shall I answer: ‘faith, hope, and love?’ that sounds beautiful.  But I would say—courage.  No, even that is not challenging enough to be the whole truth.  Our task today is recklessness.  For what we Christians lack is not psychology or literature…we lack…the recklessness which comes from the knowledge of God and humanity.  To rage against complacency.  To restlessly seek to change human history until it conforms to the norms of the kingdom of God.  And remember the signs of the Christian church have been the Lion, the Lamb, the Dove, and the Fish…but never the chameleon.”1

We need a courageous faith and a reckless love.  In an age of such compromise and complacency, the eyes of the Lord are indeed searching El Paso County for normal people who are being filled with His courage and love and are willing to be His revolutionaries.  Start today.  Give to someone who is in need.  Love someone with an act of kindness.  Pray for someone who is hurting.  Start a revolution.


1 Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution, Zondervan 2006, p. 294-5.