Thursday, March 3, 2011

Boldness and Simplicity

During my last vacation, my family of 15 attended a small Nazarene church.  We probably increased attendance by 25%.  Those dear people were so hospitable.  One older lady came over to our pew and gave each of us a separate verse from a notepad.  The pastor and his wife spoke personally with each family before the service started.  It was just good to be in the house of the Lord. 

Music was simple, choruses and piano.  The pastor's wife led music, taught adult Sunday school, and gave an intimate talk about what God had done in her life that week.  She was young, and had the kind of prettiness that comes from a joyful face and I couldn't keep my eyes off her.

This week, I watched a promotional video by Rob Bell for his new book.  The video was edgy, understated, and artsy.  He was cool and conversational, musing aloud deep questions about God that his book will supposedly answer.

Rob Bell is not much older than me.  He lives in my hometown, went to Wheaton College like me, and leads a church of 10,000 souls.  He is bold and charismatic and undeniable cool.  But his message was heresy and he was even wiley enough to phrase his message in questions so that he couldn't be pinned down.

I'm bugged by the whole thing.  Why do false prophets get glorified and the lovely souls that flower quietly in small places get no recognition.  Is it the smallness that keeps them lovely?  Rob Bell may be wrong but he is bold.  Does boldness count?  Would God spit him out for being lukewarm?

This is what I will be contemplating while traveling today.  I would love to hear what you think.