UPDATE #3 – (2/26/2011)
The internet is buzzing today about Rob Bell’s new book, called Love Wins. Some prominent folks in the Reformed/Calvinist camp watched the promo video he put out, and have decided that it clearly means that Rob Bell is a universalist. Well… why don’t we all just wait and read the book first. 🙂 But in the meantime, since this post is getting so many hits today, I figured I’d at least point people towards the video in question:
And now, back to my original post. Thanks for stopping by! And let’s remember that as followers of Jesus, if we don’t have LOVE, then we don’t have anything.
Again, let me preface this post by saying that I may be sounding like a broken record again, but I think it’s with good reason because Rob Bell is the only person saying the things that NEED TO BE SAID AND HEARD. At least, the only person that can be heard by a large audience anyways, since I have no way of hearing about this stuff from “Joe Schmoe” the Senior Pastor at “Grace Bible Fellowship Community Chapel” even though he may be TOTALLY spot on with this stuff… OK, that’s enough of a preface. I’ll get on with it now:
Has anyone seen this on a bumper sticker or t-shirt before? I haven’t, but I’ve heard about it. And this is the message that, as best I can tell, started it. Rob Bell spoke about the Cross and Jesus and what it means to the world as a whole, beyond the purely personal answer of “getting my butt out of hell” that we’ve been so fond of making the top priority.
You really should give this a listen if you’ve got a few free minutes… Maybe throw it on your mp3 player or burn it to CD and listen to it while you drive somewhere (that’s usually what I do). But the main point is this:
The cross is God’s way of saying, “Love Wins.”
I think his point is that the way that the entire universe works RADICALLY CHANGED through Jesus’s life and death on a Roman cross. He lived a life, filled with all the same opportunities for evil and injustice that we experienced, and yet NOT ONCE did he sin by responding in any way other than with love, forgiveness, etc. And then to top it off, he was defeated and killed by the “powers-that-be” of the day (Rome) and yet somehow turned that loss into a win for the Kingdom of God by not staying dead… 🙂
So how did all that RADICALLY CHANGE the universe? By making it so that the people that appear to be the winners, are actually losing… and the people that appear to be losing, are actually winning… And that in all situations, with all people, and in all ways, LOVE WINS. Revenge will no longer gain you any ground in this world (even though on the surface it may appear to) and instead, we should Love (even though on the surface it seems foolish).
I feel like all of this stuff, for the most part, isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) news to anyone who calls themself a Christian or a follower of Jesus, but if we stop for a second and ask ourselves “Do I respond with Love in every situation and circumstance that comes up during my day?”…
On most days, can we honestly say that we even TRIED to do this? I know that until recently, it didn’t cross my mind at all…
What would it look like if we even just made an ATTEMPT to do this everyday… How many people around you would be FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED if you started doing this… And thus, how many systems and institutions that we’re all a part of would start to change if the people in them started to change… How much of what Heaven is about would start to happen right here, right now…
I know that ultimately this life will always be filled with problems and evil because Sin exists in the world, but doesn’t this start to make you think that maybe… just maybe… this is what Jesus was talking about when he taught His disciples how to pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
UPDATE #1 ( 8/9/08 ): I get so many hits on this post from people searching for “love wins bumper sticker”, so I decided that I would point people to a site that I found that actually sells the stickers, in case anyone is interested in getting one. http://www.lovewins2.com (I’m not affiliated or connected with this site at all, FYI)