Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Good News is Good News for Everyone

Rob Bell in his book, "Velvet Elvis", writes:
Imagine an average street.... Person X lives in a house on this street. Next door is a Hindu, and on the other side is a Muslim. Across the street is an atheist, next door to them an agnostic, and next door on the other side, someone from Ohio.

Imagine Person X becomes a Christian. ... Let's say she starts living out Jesus' teachings.... She is becoming more generous, more compassionate, more forgiving, more loving. Is she becoming a better or worse neighbor?
The good news of Jesus is good news for Person X. It's good news for Person X's neighbors. It's good news for the whole street. It's good news for people who don't believe in Jesus.
...the most powerful things happen when the church surrenders its desire to convert people and convince them to join. It is when the church gives itself away in radical acts of service and compassion, expecting nothing in return, that the way of Jesus is most vividly put on display. To do this, the church must stop thinking about everybody primarily in categories of in or out, saved or not, believer or unbeliever.
[But,] Oftentimes the Christian community has sent the message that we love people and build relationships in order to convert them to the Christian faith. So there is an agenda. And when there is an agenda, it isn't really love, is it? It's something else. We have to rediscover love, period.

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