i can feel my heart shifting from a constant lull of frustration into a swell of hope and wonder and an ‘i forgive you’ is finally on the tip of my tongue after so long of wishing my fist would just connect with your jaw already.
you are only human and while what you did is inhumane you are still human and i still have to find the piece of you that God loves. and i have to allow myself to pick up my broken pieces, after which i have to allow Him to mend them, after which i can say with absolute certainty that on some level, the biggest level, all i will be is thankful for what you’ve done to me. these chains are broken and i would rather know (and be known by) the freedom of breaking out of them than never to have been in them to begin with.
“But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take a girls genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she has with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed.”—Miles “Pudge” Halter, Looking for Alaska by John Green
Love is not a feeling (and neither is joy or peace or faith) Faith must be walked out in order for it to mean anything or affect you (as must joy, peace, trust, and love) Change is good. It’s also very hard. I can decide who I will become. I can decide what I feel. I can decide the way I react to things. I do not determine my circumstances. But I determine whether or not I (and how long it takes me to) grow from them. I believe in both human responsibility and God’s sovereignity. God is good. And He is all I have. All is grace. All is glory. All is joy, one way or another.
i’m seeing a counselor for the first time tonight. about time. it’s gonna be good to get everything out, in order, to someone to doesn’t know me, someone who can listen & ask me objective questions. then maybe i can figure out how to get past this thing, figure out how to really forgive him, figure out how to not let this be a part of me. because i thought i had forgiven him but i’m still so angry. i don’t want to be angry anymore.
Hi, so I am really glad that you posted that interview about Rob Bell. I read Drops Like Stars about a year ago and absolutely fell in love with it. And I just bought Velvet Elvis a couple months ago and it helped me out a really deep, dark hole that I was stuck in for a long time. Now that all this controversy has come out about Love Wins, I don't know what to think. Do you think that what he is teaching isn't biblical? Do you think it's possible that his older books are based on scripture and are words of truth and somehow along the way he got caught up in the hype and got off track? I am just confused and rather disappointed so I was just wondering what you thought.
hey! this gets me stoked, thanks for asking :)
just to put it out in the open, i haven’t actually read the book Love Wins yet - i have only read about it and listened to rob bell’s interviews about it.
initially i was just as sketched out as you are. he has a promo video for it in which he says that a loving God couldn’t possibly send everyone to hell, which is an argument i thought we’d all dissected pretty thoroughly (He doesn’t ‘send’ us to hell - He loves us enough to give us a free will, which i believe rob bell talks about in this book). to be honest as soon as i read the headline “rob bell says hell doesn’t exist” i just got mad. i was ashamed that this was the new face of christianity, that this was what the outside world was going to see.
but then i saw his Good Morning America interview read his Relevant interview…
and i was floored. i could not believe i actually supported what he had to say. and i equally could not believe how much the media had twisted his words. i was so proud of how well he explained himself, how he portrayed Heaven as well as hell. and i saw that no, he does not say that hell doesn’t exist – he says that hell is here now, among us, every moment. and so is Heaven.
the present reality of Heaven is what Jesus calls the Kingdom. it is something i have been learning about a lot in the past year and something i have become very passionate about. so naturally when he mentioned the fact that Heaven is here, now, if only we choose to live in it moment by moment – oh gosh i nearly fell of my chair i was so stoked. so contrary to saying that hell does not exist, rob bell is saying that it exists now – that depending on each choice we make, we choose either to live in Heaven, the Kingdom, or to live in hell. now. and he is saying that these choices echo on into eternity.
as for the rest of his book, all the other things besides the topic of the reality of Heaven & hell here now, i honestly cannot say too much. clearly without having read it my knowledge is limited so i won’t pretend i know a lot about it, because i don’t. all i know is that his description of Heaven and hell being present realities is indeed biblical.
bell is correct in saying that the modern world thinks very differently of Heaven than Jesus intended it: when the Bible speaks of the day Jesus ‘returns’, the original word perusia is translated as “appears.” perusia is used way more than once in the New Testament. if Jesus is to appear, to make Himself seen, to make Himself known to us – He is already here. all of creation is groaning for liberation, it’s groaning for the day Heaven is more than a way we live – the day that creation is made perfect. Heaven isn’t far away, which rob bell is trying to explain – we aren’t taken up into Heaven. Jesus appears and finally creation is restored to Heaven.
i don’t know where bell’s entire theology comes from, and i do remember reading certain books of his and getting frustrated because he took verses out of context and made generalizations he had no right to make. but he also says in his Relevant interview that a lot of his ways of thinking have changed. maybe the reason he wrote Love Wins is to share these changes, to try to get the world to understand that Heaven and hell are way more important than we think them to be. i suppose you and i will just have to wait to read the book :)
all in all though i have learned never to believe something just because a famous Christian believes it. we all must wrestle with Scripture and we all must be convicted individually if we are going to be serious about following Christ. i have some issues with things rob bell has said, and i may have more issues about this book – but for now i’m just so stoked that finally, someone of worldwide influence is talking about the reality of Heaven here now.
… I’ve found that love triumphs in adversity. And I’ve found that love looks like meekness. Love looks like humbling yourself before another person. Love looks like “I’m sorry”. Love doesn’t always feel good either. It doesn’t always have butterflies and it doesn’t feel easy sometimes. Sometimes, it hurts so much that all I can do is cry. But it is good. … Pain is a cruel teacher. Love is an honest one. God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If God is love and God is light, then love is light, and sometimes it shows us those things we would rather just keep to ourselves. Sometimes, the hardest thing about love is the part where it causes us to love ourselves, and we see the things inside of our own selves that we need to make decisions about.