Rob Bell, Thomas Jefferson & Me

Posted: March 24, 2011 by cletebontrager in Uncategorized

After reading a  blog and an article about Rob Bell and Thomas Jefferson I had some thoughts on how similar these two guys are and how sometimes I am not much different.

You might say “what does Rob Bell  & Thomas Jefferson have in common?”  “And you Clete?”

As I read the blogs about what Rob Bell believes about God, I see him accepting parts of scripture and also deleting parts of scripture that do not meet his belief system.  Thomas Jefferson did this also in a very tangible way, he actually cut and pasted to create his own “bible”.

Some say that Rob Bell denies hell and believes that God’s love has the opportunity to win everyone over even after they die. (I have not read Love Wins, so I’m only commenting on what I’m hearing)  Where would Rob get these thoughts?  Not from God’s words.  We though see in Luke 16 that the “rich man” was in a place of torment.  Love was not winning him over to heaven. I do have a side question for Rob Bell, if the Bible is not talking about a real hell, then maybe there is no real heaven either.

Of course Rob Bell does exactly what Thomas Jefferson did when he cut up his Bible to make “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.  If one can separate Jesus’ ethics from his dogma you can compartmentalize your entire life.  Jesus did not leave room for a compartmentalized life when you were his disciple.

So we see two men cutting and pasting the Bible according to preference, but we know many of us do the same thing everyday.

The Bible is a narrative of God’s redemptive plan for a people.  Do we actually believe and accept what this narrative commands?   If the Spirit enlightens our understanding to its truths, how come more of us don’t follow Jesus’ teachings?

Matthew 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

I choose every day what to believe and how to respond to what I believe .  What really marks my life?  Is it the prevailing wisdom of the day?  Jesus says to us to “Come follow me.”  He invites us to be followers of his, but do we do that as he has asked us to?

Jesus says in Luke 14:33

those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

Those are pretty stark words coming from Jesus.  To be his disciple I have to give up EVERYTHING?  Really?

We constantly think in terms of material possessions when it comes to giving up everything.  But, is that what Jesus is really after?

JESUS IS AFTER YOUR HEART

But, What does that mean?  Jesus says in Luke 12:31-34:

But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.  “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor.  Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Is Jesus your deepest treasure?

Or like Rob Bell, Thomas Jefferson and many “christians” do you want to create a Jesus of your own making? If we do that he is not our greatest treasure, but our own creation is our treasure.  Remember to be Jesus’ disciple you must give up everything, but in return you get everything and that is Jesus, your greatest treasure.

Are you cutting up your bible by not obeying what it says?

what we do everyday when we don't obey

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