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Friday, February 10, 2012

Love Wins, Rob Bell, and Romans 12 - Romans - pages 171-177




I see "Love Wins" bumper stickers all over the place.  Rob Bell is known to be the brainchild of this initiative.  But he's not, Paul is.  The idea finds it's roots in Paul's letter to the Romans...

“Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21

There are many responses to evil. Some flirt with it. Some flee it. Some fight it. But one thing that the church mustn’t do is avoid it. Denial has never made anything go away. Pretending like it’s not there and isolating yourself behind walls of worship only fuels it in my opinion. You can’t stand on the other side of the glass enveloped in sterility and soaked in disinfectant until the rapture. I have a hunch that God’s going to look deep into your eyes and ask you what you were saved for in the first place. To live in hermitages of health or hospitals of hurt? Jesus himself stated, “I did not come for the healthy, but the sick.” You can’t influence people without brushing up against the bad or stirring up the stink. You have to come down from the ivory tower and get your hands dirty by encountering death and disease and destruction and depression. The sure way to eradicate evil is by spreading goodness. It’s no help to hide.

“Well, what you’re talking about is a social gospel!” Come to think of it, you’re right. But what is the gospel (REMEMBER…it mean good news) if it doesn’t affect society? A group of stuck up cover-ups hiding in holy huddles praying for God to bless them and bless them and bless them. For what? In my humble opinion, God blesses us so that we can be a blessing. And the blessing is needed most deeply in the trenches of evil. If we don’t push back the darkness, it will overcome us. Our only hope is to overcome it first with the gift of goodness. Think about what could be reversed…

Do not be overcome with poverty,
but overcome poverty with generosity.

Do not be overcome with prejudice,
but overcome prejudice with hospitality.

Do not be overcome with anger,
but overcome anger with peace.

Do not be overcome with addictions,
but overcome addictions with liberation.

Do not be overcome with hatred,
but overcome hatred with love.

Do not be overcome with bitterness,
but overcome bitterness with forgiveness.

Do not be overcome with inequality,
but overcome inequality with unity.

Do not be overcome with pessimism,
but overcome pessimism with hope.

Do not be overcome with disease,
but overcome disease with healing.

Do not be overcome with orphans,
but overcome orphans with adoption.

Do not be overcome with revenge,
but overcome revenge with mercy.

Do not be overcome with pain,
but overcome pain with comfort.

Do not be overcome with racism,
but overcome racism with friendship.

Do not be overcome with consumerism,
but overcome consumerism with giving.

Do not be overcome with perversion,
but overcome perversion with purity.

Do not be overcome with depression,
but overcome depression with refreshment.

Do not be overcome with debt,
but overcome debt with freedom.

Do not be overcome with Satan,
but overcome Satan with Jesus.


It does no good speaking eloquently about the badness of the world if you’re not willing to lift a finger to demonstrate the beauty of the good. I want to be known for my promotion of good, not my bellyaching about the bad. We don’t need any more troubleshooters, we need beauty shooters.


2 comments:

whatthehellbook said...

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whatthehellbook said...

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