Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Deep Thought of the Day: Who Would Jesus Bomb?

Well, I started off my day reading Ward's critique of James Dobson, so why not fan the flames of theology a little more? While driving home from work the other day, I came across an interesting bumper sticker. (Photo is not mine, but looks similar.)



Clever, right? Turns the "What Would Jesus Do?" thing on its head, and makes you consider the apparent irony of a "Christian" nation attacking another country. I respect a good slogan.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it really misses something else about Jesus. Yes, He is the "Prince of Peace" and he raised a hand against no one at his trial. But this is the same Jesus who overturned the moneychangers tables and whipped them out of the Temple. It is the same Jesus who said...

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Matthew 10:34
This Jesus is no pacifist. And in the imagery we see of Him in Revelation, it is even more stark.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
Revelation 19:11-15
Now, I am not saying diplomacy is not generally preferable to combat, or that war is not something to be avoided, when it can. But I am saying that we need to always be careful of our stereotyped, narrow views of Jesus as either the perfect pacifist, the glowering judge, the liberal activist, the conservative avenger, or anything else. He is bigger than our prejudices, and bigger than our assumptions.

So, let the warmongers fear calling for blood in His name, and let the peaceniks fear calling for retreat in His name.

11 comments:

shadwomom1 said...

Wow. Thanks for this. Much to ruminate on.

Sam said...

"So, let the warmongers fear calling for blood in His name, and let the peaceniks fear calling for retreat in His name."

Now that would make a nice bumper sticker.

BowHunter said...

I think that he would bomb Willow Creek and "cleanse the temple"... I am not being sarcastic... I am ashamed that our church if part of the Willow Creek Association of Churches.

BowHunter said...

Read this... and weep

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2007/10/willow_creek_re.html

Nomad said...

BH, Sorry, but I don't get the weeping part. They tried something, they failed, and they admitted the failure (according to the article). What exactly is there to weep about?

I am not a big fan of Willow Creek myself, but the article you leaked does not explain your comments. Can you elaborate?

BowHunter said...

they are separate ideas.
Jesus would bomb them just like he overturned the tables of the money changers (mark 11:17). They have a coffee shop in the lobby as well as a bookstore. "Most people say, 'It feels like a mall.'"
(http://www.andyrowell.net/andy_rowell/2007/10/willow-creek-ad.html) The mall is the modern day marketplace and the fact that the mall idea is so often referenced by visitors does not bode well for Willow Creek.

The weeping should come from the flawed format that focused on programs rather than teaching people to read and use their Bibles. The weeping should also come from not figuring that out for 30 YEARS!!! If they do see themselves as running like a business (they have a CEO) than they should have figured out he effectiveness of their product long before now. Instead they looked for validation in the three B's (success = bodies, buildings, bucks)

Nomad said...

Thanks, BH. Now I understand. The original article's tone didn't focus on that particularly.

I have always been uncomfortable with coffee shops, etc. in churches for just this same reason. Although, I try not to judge as some churches - run by men I respect - use them as a ministry opportunity to reach out to unbelievers. They wouldn't walk into a church, but they will walk in to get a cup of joe.

And, as a friend of mine says, "It's not about the numbers... but it is ALWAYS about the numbers." Sigh.

shadwomom1 said...

A good explanation, BH. Thanks.

"Nick" said...

Methinks BowHunter should come to my church sometime:) We are the opposite end of that spectrum in many ways.

To Willow Creeks credit, they have not only found the problem, but they fundamentally changed the focus of the church. There is another article on them more recently regarding that.

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2008/04/live_from_shift_1.html

"Nick" said...

Methinks BowHunter should come to my church sometime:) We are the opposite end of that spectrum in many ways.

To Willow Creeks credit, they have not only found the problem, but they fundamentally changed the focus of the church. There is another article on them more recently regarding that.

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2008/04/live_from_shift_1.html

BowHunter said...

That is a nice turn Nick, thanks for the link. It is such a difficult issue to decide what "seeker oriented" is and how it should be implemented or how to be "seeker friendly". I have struggled with that question and have no real conclusion yet. I still think that there should be no commerce in a church.

I do like the quote at the end that said:
Willow gets accused of managing the church based on market research; of simply giving people what they want. “Look at what they want!” he said while pointing to the screen. “They want the Bible

I grew up going to a brethren style church that looks nothing like Willow Creek. It had 20 or so families and each member or elder would take turns speaking and or leading singing and or praying. They believe that their style of worship is the closest to the early church... It may or may not be... but I don't think a mega church can facilitate growth like a small group can.

Wow, sorry I turned this into a referendum on Willow Creek.