Drifting Away

The other day whilst parousing the depths of the Internet, I glanced at an article that I thought was click bait. You know, one of those sites that has the super attractive headline, only to have you wade through an endless stream of ads for testosterone booster and that one fruit that is a miracle cure. 

Anyways, I moved on without clicking. But yesterday, my wife sends it to me. This time, it was from the Independent Journal Review. The headline read, “Christian Pastor Rob Bell Suggests Ignoring the Bible to Help the Church Stay Relevant.”

Excuse me? As I read further, Mr. Bell and his wife were on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday special talking about homosexuality and the church. When asked if the church closer to accepting homosexuality, he replied:

“I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense…”

Let’s stop right there. To even think that a pastor…of a church…who pours into thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people…suggested to ignore the Word in order to “accept” people in their sin. 
But this isn’t the first time Mr. Bell has raised eyebrows. In his book, Love Wins, he dismisses the idea of Hell to make Christianity a little more attractive to new believers. But let’s get back to where our journey started. 

Bell implies that the Word is becoming too old to be relevant in our changing world. I guess that since it doesn’t mention smartphones and the Internet, people nowadays won’t be able to relate. 

Homosexuality seems to be a touchy subject within the church. Bell suggests changing or moving beyond the Word to meet people where they are, even if it means accepting their sin. My issue isn’t with his stance on homosexuality, it’s with his dismissal of the Word with such ease. 

The Word warns us about adding or taking away from the text. In Proverbs 30:6, it says, “Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.” In 2 Peter 1:20-21, it says “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” And numerous others from Revelation and Deuteronomy talk about not adding or subtracting. 

You can even argue that Mr. Bell is merely saying to ignore the scripture’s stance on homosexuality, not the entire Bible. Well, that’s like taking an Exacto knife and cutting out the pieces that you don’t like, effectively making it your own personal version of the Bible. But there’s a scripture for that as well. 

Take 2 Timothy 3:16-17. It says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” That being said, EVERYTHING in the Word is useful. EVERYTHING is meant to teach and instruct us how to live. That doesn’t say “take this out when society changes.” 

Society is gonna change. Cultural norms are gonna change. But as Christians, we are given a book that defines our right and wrong. It literally lays out the framework for a great life. There most beautiful thing about it? It doesn’t change. 

“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.””

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Mr. Bell, I can see where you are going with your view, but I can confidently say that you’re off base. The thing that stinks about this is that you were given a platform and you told everyone to just ignore what you have been teaching out of for decades. 

What I would like to encourage you to do is get in your Word. Start off in John and explore the story of Jesus. Find out what He’s done for you through His sacrifice on the cross. It’s through that sacrifice that you can receive salvation and begin to walk with God as it was intended from the very beginning. 

Thanks for the read. Please feel free to comment below and do me a favor, like and share this with your friends. Y’all be safe out there. 

The Ballad of the Crybaby

I hate complainers. Well, hate is an extremely strong word. I guess strongly dislike would be more of the case. 

Everybody knows that one person who is the belly-acher. The one who always has something to say about something. There’s always a problem and they can always either do it better or they just want to make snide comments about what’s going on. 

I generally consider myself a pretty easy going person. There aren’t too many things that bother me and if they do, I generally say something about it. But lately, I have noticed that I have been one of “those people.”

It crept in throughout various aspects of my life. I first noticed it when Jeg asked me to do something at the house. I would scoff and grumble at even the most menial of tasks. (I mean, how hard is it to get a glass of water?) Then I began to notice it in my work, my friendships, and it began to creep into my worship. That was the breaking point. 

When I started writing this, it was kind of hard because it was something that really preached to me. Isn’t that how it usually is? Something that we have a problem with is exactly what we don’t want to talk about, but it is exactly what we need. 

You see, when you begin to complain within your worship or even at your church, you put a rift in your relationship with God. You cease being Christ-like and become what He warned against. In Philippians 2:14-16, Paul tells the church at Phillipi “do all things without grumbling or complaining so that you may be innocent and blameless…within this crooked generation.” This statement has rung true throughout the ages and is just as relevant now as it was then. 

The Greek word translated “complainer” means literally “one who is discontented with his lot in life.” Was that me? I don’t think I’m “discontented” with my life. What I needed to do was to get back in check and it wasn’t something that I could do myself. 

The Word tells us in Ephesians 4:29 that we should “let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” So, is complaining corrupt talk? Yeah. Does it interfere with our worship? Oh yeah. Does it build up? Not one bit. Does it fit the occasion? Sometimes, but complaining never builds up the situation. 

I know there are times where people believe that their comments are warranted and they attempt to justify it by saying “well, it’s the truth.” Even if your complaint is the “truth,” does it build up? Nah, probably not. 

Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” We need to allow God to come in and actually transform our minds and entire being. 

So today, allow God to work on your grumbling, your belly-aching, and your overall attitude. Renew your mind and spirit in Him  to rid yourself of complaining thinking. 

Thanks again for reading both internationally and here at home. As always comments and shares are appreciated. Y’all be safe out there.