Monday, 10 June 2013

Rob Bell, 'Bullshit' and what really matters

'So we have a wide ranging discussion about resurrection all the way across. We come down to one issue and it's not nuclear weapons, it's not immigration, it's not the addiction to technology and email and all the ways in which people are fed and overwhelmed with stress and worry, where Jesus did say don't worry.  You know what I mean?'

Rob Bell was interviewed on Premier Christian Radio a few weeks ago in discussion with Andrew Wilson from New Frontiers. During the interview the issue of homosexuality was discussed, and in particular Rob's stance on the issue.  Rob is pressed a lot to say what he really thinks on the whole issue.

Andrew Wilson asks a few times if Rob thinks that two men having sex is sinful or not as way of trying to make the issue black or white, yes or no, and that is not helpful theologically, and I think shows a naivety to the whole issue of monogamous committed relationships, which in part is what this issue is about.  What we do with our genitals of course matters to God, Scripture is clear on that, but the theological depth and debate on homosexuality is far more than simply what we do with our genitals.

Around 16 minutes in on the video Rob says, 'This is part of, like, the bullshit that really, really, really pushes people away...'

Rob's quote about what we're talking about hits it on the head for me.

So children and adults are being killed by US drone attacks on a regular basis.

Nuclear weapons are being developed.

We spend billions on war and violence every year, killing and being killed for the lie and myth that war brings peace.

There are refugees and immigrants scattered across our planet, forced out of their homes by war and violence.

We gorge ourselves on greed everyday.

And we come to the Scriptures, we hear what the Old Testament and Prophets, Jesus and the apostles have to say about violence, war, greed and how we treat children and each other and the thing that people like me and the evangelical church wants to talk about is...a famous Christian guy saying something about homosexuality and saying the word 'bullshit'...

More than that, we are obsessed with the issue of homosexuality - and I know that what we think about this issue matters - yet we are theologically, philosophically and ethically brain dead when it comes to these other issues above.

And God has a lot to say about these issues above which means that the Church should have a lot to say and be doing a lot about these things in response to being faithful to God and His heart over these things.

We need to sort our priorities out.


Karl Relton considering 21st Century Mission said...

Indeed - lets sort our priorities ...

Thats why the teaching/preaching programme at my church has pretty much this whole year geared towards poverty & justice issues, and few bits now and again on sexual ethics: reflecting in some way the relative proportions of amount of biblical material on the respective (each important in their own right) subjects.

Joe Haward said...

Good stuff Karl. Thanks for this.