Following some of the video’s responses to Rob Bell’s videos (see post below) I came upon a couple that respond to his Bullhorn video. In this video, Bell talks about the street preacher who is preaching fire and brimstone. He tells the bullhorn guy that this is not the way to win converts and that he may be doing more damage than good to the Gospel.
In the video responses, here and here, these speakers state that sin, judgment, and hell are words and issues that Jesus talked about and therefore Christians should also. They proclaim that to leave these things out are not preaching the whole gospel. Jesus demanded that we should repent and we should demand others should too. We should love our neighbors so much that we are willing to point they are heading down the wrong path and lead them to the correct one.
Watching these responses has brought to my attention the love of judgment. I guess that is why the court room shows and Court TV are so popular because we love to watch judgment passed out and if we could do it we would. The point that Bell makes is that people in this society are tired of that type of judgmental evangelism because it reeks of hypocrisy and lacks compassion. I could go on about this but I won’t. The main thing that surprised me while watching these videos is that it seems that people evangelize like they envision God.
There are those people who view God has Judge. They like that image because it helps them keep their lives in line. They are comfortable with that image maybe because that is what they are use too in their lives. God is one who breaths judgment and damnation and thus as a follower of this God, they can and should do the same. They reach out to others around them by naming their faults, sins, and ways they fall far from the God’s grace. This is how God works in their lives and thus is how they proclaim God to others.
Others see God, and God’s incarnation in Christ specifically, as love. God is one who took compassion and care upon his creation. God is one who saves and who has opened the door to everyone and anyone out of love. Judgment exists but it is not the most powerful aspect of God’s personality. The fact that we are loved in spite of our sins is. These people reach out to their fellow brother and sisters with love and compassion. Loving them where they are and demonstrating and telling them of God’s love.
There are probably a couple more ways to look at it too. Does our evangelism style proclaim the personality we associate most with God? Is the way we share our faith the way we view the God we worship? Is that the best picture of God?