“If the gospel isn’t good news for everybody, then it isn’t good news for anybody. And this is because 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 nonbeliever. Besides the fact that these terms are offensive to those who are the “un” and “non”, they work against Jesus’ teachings about how we are to treat each other. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor, and our neighbor can be anybody. We are all created in the image of God, and we are all sacred, valuable creations of God. Everybody matters. To treat people differently based on who believes what is to fail to respect the image of God in everyone. As the book of James says, “God shows no favoritism.” So we don’t either.”
— Rob Bell (‘Christian’ makes a poor adjective)
Below is a testimony shared by Rob P in response to the above quote.
“I have not heard of Rob Bell but after reading this I believe I will pay more attention to him. This is wisdom and Truth, that he states.
My wife is a devout Christian and I accompany her on all church related events, duties and such. However it took her some time to truly absorb my position when I would state, “I adhere to and follow the very core teachings of Christ and in light of these teachings, I could never call myself a Christian.”
She doesn’t always enjoy that I read the Dhammapada, the Tipitaka, the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, ACIM, or anything but the Holy Bible. She used to take offense when I prayed with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. and in their places of worship. She was flummoxed when I would embrace an atheist and praise them for their beliefs and let them know that they are appreciated. However she has now had ample time to see what and how I proceed throughout Life in full Love for all of Life – human, animal, plant, seen and unseen, known and unknown. She sees from my actions that what the Bible teaches in its very core, exudes from my being. She is now opening her heart up to the grand Love that is ours inherently and so should everyone.
Love is not ours to ration out through exclusivity. It has been given us as a gift without conditions, restrictions or expectations. Why do we then feel that others are not deserving of what has been given us to GIVE to others? This is the Law. We are to GIVE Love as it has been given us. “For God so loved THE WORLD…” not just a chosen few.
When I hear preachers, pastors, reverends, priests, clergy, the convergents, etc. refer to humanity as either ‘believers’ or ‘unbelievers’ I simply ask God to forgive us for we know naught what we do. Our errs do not condemn us, nor should you and nor will I.
I must also mention that this is not an exclusive problem for Christianity. All religions suffer from the zeal that humanity often seeks in their pursuits for all things, including spirituality/religion.
What Mr. Bell states in this quote is most True and I have enjoyed you introducing him to me.
God = Light, Life and Love.”
– Rob P
(Source: Yahoo Answers)