Heaven, Hell and the fate of everyones earthly life if you miss the point.

Hi.

So Rob Bell writes a book, loads of people attack him, another load of people attack the people attacking him, then another load of people choose to join in on the side of which they are most comfortable; and then a smaller group of people sit in the middle of the two camps and try to draw on the different points being made by the different camps of thought, whilst trying to remind the people in the camps that whether you agree or not with the different thoughts, disagree in love (I love these people so much, because of them we are avoiding some pointless divisions based of theological preference).

On ‘Love Wins’ and the ‘responses’
I’ve read the book, I don’t agree with everything written. I’ve read the arguments for and against, I don’t agree with everything written. However I must admit I am drawn to support team ‘Bell’ more then team ‘Hell’ (see what I did there?). Not on the basis of what is being said by that camp, but on the way in which it is being said. It would seem that the biggest issue of the people against Bell, is based around the fact that without Medieval interpretation on Hell there is nothing to fear. I may be wrong here, but the responses to Bell seem to be so focused around the need to keep an image of Hell that is fire filled and full of suffering in a human understanding of the word, for the ‘naughty people’ who don’t say ‘I accept Jesus into my heart’, come to church and tithe etc. What would we do if we couldn’t scare people to love God?!

I joke. sort of. The problem is both camps use the bible, both think the bible has all the answers (to varying degrees) yet they don’t agree. I wonder if this is what happens when we forget the Bible is a book of God’s interaction with HUMAN people, whom are trying to interpret the ‘unfathomable creator’ to the creation. Here I would like to point to revelation where John is basically struggling to describe what he sees… Maybe the answers we are looking for on Hell, are not as important as the mission that God, in my opinion, is calling us into.

Whats really important?
So Hell, eternal (literal medieval, dante stuff) or not (literal Gehenna), there is a choice. To step into the story of God in which we were created for, which is about the way we live and the way we speak and most importantly the way we love, or to reject it which is to live in Hell, now and until who knows (because we don’t fully know, sort of like a cloudy picture in a mirror…hmm I’ve heard that before). And as Bell says:

‘We are free to resist, reject, and rebel against God’s ways for us. We can have all the hell we want’

So what should we really focus on?
Good question. How about following Jesus. Living a life in which all our ways reflect Jesus to the best of our abilities. Speaking truth over people. That God is Love, that God wants to spend this life and forever with us, bringing out of us the potential He put in us, and that we can reject it, but we will regret it, because this God made us and our very being is from him, to reject it is to reject life.

Does that sound ok? I think that if we (regardless of what camp we sit in) would just focus on the above, maybe the world wouldn’t see such an ‘ugly bride’, but the Church of Jesus. I often think we like to talk about this stuff more then do it and it often feels like people talk about it instead of doing it. The Church is Gods best plan for the world. 2 Billion people claim to follow Jesus in this world. Thats 1/3 of the world. 1/3 of the world believes Jesus is the answer to all that is wrong in the world; like poverty, like injustice, like rape, like cheating, like unethical banking, like debt, like abuse, like living for money, like consumerism, like dodgy politics, like selfish gain….thats just a rant list, you know all the rest. There is 1/3 of the world’s population, who if they really practiced what they preached, we would see more then a few charities doing good, we would see every person get the chance to have the best life God wants to give us all, BECAUSE the CHURCH would not spend so much time huddled in the changing rooms chatting about it.

I know this isn’t easy and I fail at this because I am selfish, I am lazy, I like the easy way, but thats not what we are called to, we are called to carry our cross, which I would argue isn’t just our failures, its the failures we see and can change. I want to take this challenge seriously and although it is hard, it is our role on earth. Not to scare people away from Hell but invite them into the life of Heaven, through our actions and then words, through seeking where the spirit is at work and stepping into it.

THE NOW REALLY IS ABOUT THE NOW AND THE NOT YET, THE NOT YET IS NOT YET, THE NOW IS NOW, SO LETS FOCUS ON THE NOW….AND THE NOT YET.

So if you disagree, bless you and I want to say I love you anyway and I will encourage you to use whatever understanding you have of Heaven and Hell etc, to love this world into the new one, the revelation 21 stuff!

Shalom.

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Lunch time snack – Pete Rollins

Hi Friends,

A good mate of mine posted this video on his facebook account and I wanted to share it all with you as I have a lot of time for this philosopher and enjoy his books. So if you have a break, have a watch and have a think.

Pete Rollins at Calvin College

I welcome your comments but please be integral 🙂

‘Absolutism (the idea that something has all the answers) and Relativism (all answers are valid) have one thing in common. They stop us thinking for ourselves’ Rollins

The ‘reason for the season’ should probably be the reason for the season…


It’s December 7th and with 17 days to go till Christmas, the tacky adverts are out, the santa propaganda is up, and we can no longer hold in our excitement about all the Christmas presents…wait…somethings missing…

When did this country really forget that Christmas time is only here because a baby was born 2000 years ago? …I hear the pagans shouting ‘It was our festival first!’…yeh it was (past tense), anyway Christmas was put on your festival BECAUSE pagans were turning to Jesus…not our fault you didn’t get the memo…MOVING ON!

I went to buy a birthday card the other week and I heard this old lady (making the shock worse) complaining about how a card saying ‘Seasons Greetings’ was to religious and then continued to explain the specifics of the card she was looking for: ‘I’m looking for CHRISTMAS cards without the religious bits’…I couldn’t believe how silly the whole conversation was! I felt like saying: ‘If you don’t want the religion then don’t celebrate a religious festival…’ of course I didn’t, she was very old and I thought she wasn’t far off meeting Jesus face to face anyhow…

What is Christmas without Christ?
But seriously…’Christmas with out the Religious bits’…A good speaker said recently that without Christ in Christmas, all your left with is MAS(S). He was Right. What is Christmas without Jesus other then an excuse to keep the economy running, get fat and justify getting rat arse’d. Why does society need an excuse to do that anyway. If they do maybe we could just make another date? we could call it: ‘Do-what-ever-the-hell-I-want-mas’…I could actually see that happening…bad idea J…

So what does it mean for you?
Anyhow, this is my way of ranting at you to think about what Christmas actually means for you. If your someone who believes in Jesus, then make sure you don’t get lost in the secular hype! (no i dont mean burn your santa suit)
Remember that Christmas is when the God that said ‘Bang’ and made everything, stepped onto the scene and brought us hope!
If your not a Christian…how on earth did you get to this blog?! (welcome though!) If you don’t believe then at least watch out that you don’t believe the hype that societies idea of Christmas brings…and know that this Christmas your not on Santa’s naughty or nice list, that guys long dead and the only santa bringing you presents is your family…BUT your on Gods love list! You are really loved by this God and this God is so interested in you and your life!

SO POW.
Enjoy the holiday’s, get a nice egg nog latte and read something that will enlighten this season for you (may I suggest Luke’s Gospel)

Much love!