Blogalogue

Blogalogue


Bridge Builders, Not Bible Beaters

posted by bnet

By Bill Hybels
I sincerely wish that I could have met Pastor Walter Rauschenbusch when he was alive. He sounds like someone who walked the talk, catalyzing whatever action was necessary to meet the holistic needs of those he served. That’s the kind of legacy a guy like me dreams of.
I read Paul’s response and was not at all surprised that he wonders if Willow Creek is an exception within evangelicalism. Many of the larger evangelical churches seen on television are eerily similar to the stereotype he laments. It’s a reality that bothers me, too.
Often, when I’m in a social setting and people learn that I am an evangelical pastor of a large church, the jokes begin: “So, who are you mad at?” Or, “Who are you guys bashing these days?”


It’s tough to laugh back.
I have worked hard to lead our church into the understanding that Christ did not come to condemn the world, but to redeem and restore it.
I have worked hard to teach and inspire every member of our church to be the first person in any social setting to reach across chasms of all kinds—socioeconomic status, race, gender, age, religion, and so forth.
And while I know not everyone in our church actually does this on every occasion, many of them do take the challenge to heart. As a result, instead of becoming divisive Bible-beaters, they have grown into compassionate, bridge-building Christ-followers.
They make me proud.
In more recent years, the other teaching pastors at Willow and I have done talk after talk on issues such as extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS. The response of our congregation has been nothing short of astonishing. Not only have millions of dollars been released into easing these great struggles, but thousands of volunteers have become personally involved as well, offering up their time, their talents, their sweat.
That, too, makes me proud.
To be perfectly candid, though, there is a lot more that Willow and other evangelical churches need to do to address injustice in this world. In my view, we need to be making a more substantial impact in convincing those in elected office to seek peace instead of wage war. Leaders of evangelical churches should be more vocal about environmental matters such as seeking alternative fuel sources and sorting out global warming. One of my favorite old hymns reminds us that, “This is my Father’s world.” I happen to believe it’s true.
The list of other critical causes is a long one.
The challenge, I think, is to keep forcing the balance between the values of “redeem” and “restore”—a harder task than many people realize, myself included. I am regularly criticized by those who think Willow is too evangelistic, but then the next letter I open is from someone who claims our church is nothing more than a social justice agency. Perhaps this just comes with the territory?



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mark faulkner

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:45 pm


Greetings!
I can’t understand why anyone would want to separate the two? Give people a sandwich when they are hungy and feed their body. But give them an invitation to Jesus and feed their hungry eternal soul.
It’s like that old saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day – but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
With the Gospel, teach a man how to meet Jesus and invite Him into his heart and he will live and eat forever, with Jesus!
But love the man and feed him when he’s hungry now, and teach him how to help himself.
Blessings in Christ,
mf – Boise, ID



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Anonymous

posted September 19, 2007 at 10:23 pm


you go man!!!
GOD bless



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snooky325

posted September 21, 2007 at 11:30 am


The Word of God will accomplish what God would have it accomplish, keep feeding the word with the sandwiches, by the example of grace. Gently, respectfully and truthfully. Letting the poor know they have a responsibility to give what they are able, not neccessarily money but compassion, and the grace they have recieved. That is why the best evangelicals speak, think and act as an application of Scripture. Being appropriate in these applications is the key in effective evangelism.
snooky325



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Bill

posted September 22, 2007 at 6:00 am


Walk the walk, just don’t water down the message. When people first come to God they need milk I agree. Isn’t it about time though that Christians grow up and start eating meat? We are a nation of mealy mouths, saying we’re about saving souls; but, we’re unable to swallow our need to be liked and preach truth to the saints about their actions and thoughts. Quit worrying about feelings of peole calling themselves Christians, they shouldn’t be offended at truth given with love.



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Dorothy G Murphy

posted September 22, 2007 at 10:41 am


To Pastor Bill Hybel:
This is THE MESSAGE of Jesus Christ !!! Praise God for a leader who knows the difference between church,religion, and Jesus !!!
The truth messes with our doctrines and some triditions. That’s OK ! Jesus messed with that also.
The church world needs to be messed with…God Bless you Pastor Bill Hybel,
for teaching the Truth that Will set people free !!! I would dearly love to sit in your services and hear the truth of God’s Love for us all, taught and practiced…Unfortunately I am in Texas and not in Chicago.
I am so tired of shallowness !!!
My son taught this message, while pastoring, and many left the church because he was to compassionate and inclusive in his walk with the Lord..He now has written books and is doing what the church did not want to hear. God is not a warmonger in ANY sense of the word. He does not delight in our hurts and disappointments.
The Best is Yet to Come with your message Pastor Hybel !!! I truly believe it!
Blessings !
Dorothy
Sherman Texas
dotm903@yahoo.com



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Matt Ferguson

posted September 22, 2007 at 1:37 pm


Do all in the Name of Jesus, and that includes helping the poor. It doesn’t mean they have to believe to receive help—it doesn’t even mean they have to be nice to us—but we should make it clear that we are helping others in Jesus’ name, because of what Jesus has done and is doing in us. If we do this, we can bring both things together and I think we will be blessed. Separate them and you have something far less in each way (evangelism and helping others in need).



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emarie

posted September 22, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Dawn

posted September 22, 2007 at 2:17 pm


This is what the Holy Spirit brought to my mind as I read….
The first great commandment is to love THe Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy strength, and the second like unto it, Love thy neighbor as thy self.
Also, You are salt and light…
you are in the world but not of the World.
How for each of us to so love God and others is a struggle each day as to how would our Lord carry out a mission and how can we walk in holiness and obedience and of course first off…THe Greatest Love…
I trust the Lord will make our way plain so that we may honor Him by showing God’s perfect love through the Lord Jesus Christ.



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Michael

posted September 22, 2007 at 2:37 pm


Walk the walk, just don’t water down the message. When people first come to God they need milk I agree. Isn’t it about time though that Christians grow up and start eating meat? We are a nation of mealy mouths, saying we’re about saving souls; but, we’re unable to swallow our need to be liked and preach truth to the saints about their actions and thoughts. Quit worrying about feelings of peole calling themselves Christians, they shouldn’t be offended at truth given with love.
Posted by: Bill | September 22, 2007 6:00 AM
Dear Bill,
The problem is that most Christians that do “not worry” about other people’s feelings are the one’s that are most offensive…….
You say preach the truth about christians actions and thoughts……is that your job…?? to point out other people’s actions and thoughts……If you testify how God works in YOUR life, what he has done for YOU, then other’s will see it…….I grew up in the south where ‘legalism’ and pointing a finger at other people’s sins are frequent…..all in the name of being “truthful”……
and most of that is done WITHOUT love…..!!!



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zak macogg

posted September 23, 2007 at 11:09 pm


in peace let us pray unto the lord
‘lord have mercy’
for the persecuted and for the oppressed
children of darfur
children of rwanda
for the hungry and the downtrodden
people of india
people of tibet
for the church of god
that it may overcome petty differences
and seek to create love and understanding
instead of war and devastation
and to do do everything in its power
to snuff out injustice and hatred.
for all of humanity
regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation
but for the love of
the sacred heart of JESUS CHRIST alone.
for a better future for our children
and our children’s children.
to thee oh lord we pray
AMEN.



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snooky325

posted September 24, 2007 at 4:45 pm


When we read of Christ and the strength he shown in compassion; he pulled no punches in application of the truth. No doubt, concerning his purpose of method to edify and exhort the Children of the kingdom I am curious to percieve who of all the 1,000’s of healings he performed [mirasculously] of them who picked up their cross? I would make interesting speculation to the poor and the infirm. Being poor does not make you holy! Being infirm does not righteousness make! Being humgry does not exempt you from the obligations of your humaity, so often it is seen that the perpetraitors of crime are as desititute as the victims, knowing a lesser penalty awaits when apprehended. These circumstances do not absolve our obligation to assit but it does give us license to prefer one over the other when down to the last doughnut or sandwich. God however does not think like us, and we must remember that, the litmus of His grace is applied to all according to the purpose of his intent? Too……



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MICHAEL TAILLON

posted September 25, 2007 at 10:39 am


I AGREE THAT WE SHOULD ALWAYS USE TACT IN THE WAY WE SPEAK TO PEOPLE, AND THAT WE AS LAYMEN HAVE NO RIGHT TO CONDEMN ANOTHER LAYMEN. HOWEVER WE ALSO NEED TO KEEP THE PULPIT HOT! IT IS THE JOB OF THE PASTOR TO SET THE TONE OF THE CHURCH. IF MY PASTOR IS TO SOFT ON SIN THEN IT IS MY JOB TO PRAY FOR HIM AND BACK HIM UP SO THAT WHEN HE IS UNDER ATTACK FROM THE LIBRALS HE DOESNT FEEL ALONE. IF THE PASTORS DONT PREACH STANDARDS THEN HOW ARE THE PEOPLE GOING TO KNOW WHAT THE STANDARD IS. LETS NOT FORGET THAT JESUS OFFENDED ALOT OF PEOPLE, BUT HE WAS ALWAYS A GENTLEMAN. WE CANT ALWAYS PREACH HELL FIRE AND BRIMSTONE BUT IT IS STILL IN THE BIBLE AND NEEDS TO BE PREACHED ON. JESUS SPOKE MORE OF HELL THEN HE DID ABOUT HEAVEN. I BELIEVE IF WE JUST GOT BACK TO BASICS……BIBLE READING, PRAYER, SOULWINNING, AND ATTENDING CHURCH, THEN WE WOULD SEE A GREAT REVIVAL THAT ACTUALLY BROUGHT ABOUT CHANGE IN THIS COUNTRY. ITS ALL WELL AND GOOD TO FEED THE POOR BUT WHY CANT YOU TELL THEM ABOUT JESUS AND SHOW THEM HOW TO BE SAVED WHILE YOU DO IT. LETS GET OUR DUCK IN A ROW AND FOLLOW THE GREAT COMISSION LIKE WE WERE COMMANDED TO.



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QF

posted September 25, 2007 at 11:42 am


Michael,
STOP YELLING!! It isn’t polite.



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Mike Bennion

posted September 28, 2007 at 12:45 pm


A thought Starter from Karl Barth:
I quote from Karl Barth, considered by many non-LDS Christians, to be one of the greatest of the twentienth century’s theologians, and author of the massive, 13 volume Church Dogmatics. (Following emphasis is mine)
“In the reality and power of the union of Christ with the Christian, however, their fellowship has also the meaning and character of a union of the CHRISTIAN WITH CHRIST. THEIR FELLOWSHIP WOULD NOT BE COMPLETE IF THEIR RELATIONSHIP WERE ACTUALIZED ONLY FROM ABOVE DOWNWARDS AND NOT ALSO FROM BELOW UPWARDS, IF IT WERE NOT RECIPROCAL.
A justfiable concern for the unconditional predominance of the freedom, grace and decision of Jesus Christ which establish the relationship SHOULD NOT MISLEAD US INTO SUPPRESSING OR MINIMISING THE FACT THAT HIS ACTION HAS ITS CORRESPONDENCE IN THE ACTION OF THE CHRISTIAN. According to the guidance of the New Testament the declaration concerning the communication of Christ with the Christian NECESSARILY INCLUDES A COMPLEMENTARY DECLARATION CONCERNING THE COMMUNICATION OF THE CHRISTIAN WITH CHRIST.”
Karl Barth, The Doctrine of Reconciliation, Vol. 4 in Church Dogmatics, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromily and T. F. Torrance (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1936-1962), 4.3:543-44



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jumbojava

posted October 1, 2007 at 2:27 am


I’m just curious as to what would both Mr Hybels and Mr Raushenbush response be to a couple of querries:
Is it the Christian way to leave folks of other religions alone, to respect and even encourage their non-Christian faith?
To respect and honor their faiths without trying to convince them in any form or fashion to abandon their faith for Christianity?
To protect their right to live and practice their non-Christian faith?
Thanks.



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Mauritz Bezuidenhoudt

posted October 5, 2007 at 7:41 am


Is Mr Hybels to respond to all these comments.
He uses generic terms like bible beaters – could you care to define the term and who are typical people he would include in this group – possibly Jesus, Paul, Jude, Augustine? Martin Luther? Calvin?
The tone of his comment seems very humble as he does not dare bash anybody with the bible, and also uses contemporary terms like bridge-buidling. Please also define the term bridge-buidling, what it means and what it doesn’t. “Bridge-building Christ-followers” could mean so many things…



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