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Jesus said, "Deny Yourself Take Your Cross And Follow Me"

Why Blame Rob Bell?

the author of Heaven, Hell, Love Wins?

In the 1970s our generation revolted against the norms, we created a social revolution of the hippies, drug, and free love. We created a counter-culture movement against our parents and the governing system. We did all these in the name of democracy, as the college campuses across the nation became the staging grounds for protest after protest against some of the polities of the government. We claimed there was nothing wrong with using drugs; it was just an altered state of mind. Sexual perversion started to invade the campuses and parents started to wonder whether our generation then in college would ever survive. In the midst of that revolution were young college Christian students who refused to be seduced by the evil plaguing society as a result to the counter-culture revolution. However, after coming out of that revolution both the young Christians and the people deep into the revolution were changed forever. Although some of the hippies of that time have burned their torn blue jeans, cut their long hair and shaved their beard in exchange for pin stripped suits and briefcases in corporate offices today.

The 1970s movement however left an indelible print in the hearts of the young Christians who came out of that revolution. We started to question everything placed before us even the gospel message of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Prior to that time, we were never allowed to question the gospel for good reasons. It was a gospel by faith, not by cognitive analysis, or rational philosophy. The answers we received were the dogmas of Christian preachers by famous theologians in alignment with the history of Christianity depending on what faction they believed. Consequently, we went back and started creating our own gospel message to fit our modern society, but a mere reflection of the true gospel – a counterfeit gospel. These gospel messages are being preached in churches across the nations today. The purpose of the gospel is to apply Bible messages to today’s social problems in a way that unintentionally misrepresented Christ. Instead of questioning these assertions, we embraced them because they fit well to the solution quest of the counter-culture revolution we came out of in the 1970s. During that time, some accepted Jesus not as the Son of God, but as just a good philosopher, because the assertion denied the Immaculate Conception. So, the movie Jesus Christ Super Star was created making mockery of the life of Jesus by referring to him as an ordinary man. Some of the young Christians at that time also denied the second coming of Jesus including the possibility that perhaps his resurrection did not actually take place after he died on the cross. Some of these questions still linger today in the minds of non-believers and believers as well.

As we grow older and start to learn that Christianity is more than just a movement it is a true ministry of the Holy Spirit given to us by God through Christ. By the time we realized and started preaching the truth, the damage has been done already. Our truth is tainted! The damage was to rationalize anything we want to do as long as it feels good, and represent possible solutions to our questions, which were unanswered in the 1970s. What we fail to realize is that "the action justification model" we embrace destroys the integrity of Jesus gospel. Consequently, we started creating clubs both with Christianity and in politics to model our way of thinking. This movement led to the emergence of both radio and talking heads that only represent their own opinions many of which are against the teachings of Christ. But, they adhere to the political movement of the day as a reflection of popular political positions within the church. We even moralize these talking heads and erroneously claim that they are the moralists leading people in the right political way. In reality, they are the ones leading us away from the true teachings of Christ. Sadly, some of the preachers that came out of the 1970s social revolution did not get the true message either.

Today, preachers have graduated to the process of rationalizing Christianity through the political positions of their club members. This has created a gigantic clash and contradictions between the gospel of Jesus and the political positions of the conservative club members. The way conservative, liberal, or moderate agenda works is not because any of them is more moral than the other, but just a mere club membership. Many people do not understand this deception; they mistakenly believe one group is more moral than the other. Political scandals will later prove them wrong because scandal is an equal opportunity destroyer of politicians regardless to the political party. But one group always present themselves within the church as the moralist ready to save America. This is a false notion impregnated in the minds of Christians who supported their movements. Consequently, the political conservatives hijacked Christianity and presented themselves as the moralist ready to save America from ruins by the so-called liberals. Save me Jesus! Unfortunately, Christians blindly followed the political conservatives, and the Christians are paying very painful price for blindly following politics instead of the gospel. Some Christians are abandoning the faith while a large number left denominational churches to non-denominational ones.

The biggest pain for Christians is the de-Christianization of their children once they get to college. This happens because of the gospel of confusion being preached from the pulpits across the nation influenced by political conservatives and contradictory to the original gospel of Jesus Christ. In essence, the gospel message of Christ has been politicized, not for salvation, but for political gains. Preachers across the nation who want to align themselves within the so called political conservatives club are no longer preaching the gospel of Jesus, but the gospel of politicians from their pulpit. What a shame? However, our children after arriving on the college campus face these contradictions between the gospel being preached on the pulpit and that of Jesus in the Bible. Their answer today to such conflict is not only to abandon Christianity, but to claim that there is no absolute truth any longer due to the confusion we created within the Christian community and those in the political arena we support. Who do you blame? Let us blame ourselves for the confused messages we have been preaching for political gains, and not for salvation.

Preaching the gospel of conservative politicians is the primary recipe for the de-Christianization of America because of the great contradictions and deviation from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are the undercurrent messages of the gospel of politicians being preached from the pulpit. "Money is power, the winner takes all! Be the best and the biggest and you win all regardless to how you do it! Make all the money you can at the expense of people! If we help the poor, this country’s economy will go down. The solution is to give more money to rich people and businesses and let the poor people suffer!" Unfortunately, these messages open the door for business thieves with no fear of God. Contrary to this message, Jesus asked us to help the poor, those suffering and the widows. The political agenda of the conservatives is a blatant contradiction to the doctrine of Christ. Yet, Christians blindly support the political conservatives and cheers them to election victory. I know Jesus is shaking his head in Heaven. Jesus was never against capitalism, he demonstrated the wisdom of capitalism in his parable of the talents. But, Jesus was strongly against predatory capitalism and blasted the Pharisees of his time for hypocrisy in Matthew 23 for taking homes from widows through scams. The political conservatives are doing exactly the same thing Jesus condemned by taking homes away from the working class through fraud, opening up the Wall Street for looters, removing healthcare from the least of these my brethren, and inflicting economic pain and work hardship against the working class. Naomi Klein has written a book with a perfect title depicting how the forthcoming economic crisis may eventually bring this nation down. The book is titled, Shock Doctrine, the Rise of Disastrous Capitalism. What a title? But, it reflects on the danger of what is happening today in American politics and the disasters yet to come. I do not see any Nehemiah raising a flag of protest against predatory capitalists in the Christian community (Nehemiah chapter 5). Yet, we claim we are serving Jesus, and our positions are miles away from his teachings.

Inside the church we spend so much time preaching the gospel of "Give me your money, God will bless you. Just sow the seeds, you will find a lot of money under your pillow the next day." Many people who have donated money become disfranchised from the church because the money-distributing angel did not visit their homes. Instead of donating money to buy private jets for preachers, why don’t we help those families struggling inside the church? Why should church members be losing their homes while the pastor is flying in a private jet? Some of them have exchanged their Cadillac cars for a private jet. Something is wrong with this picture. Some churches have been the breeding ground for sexual predators, and sexual perversions. Yet, we want our children to believe in our Jesus. No wonder many of them abandon Christianity after a couple of years on the college campus. Do you blame them?

In view of the gospel of confusion we have created for the generation coming behind us like Rob Bell, a young preacher, we need to look into the mirror as to whom we should blame. If he does not believe in hell, so be it. I know I do, because Jesus talked about it. Jesus is also a very merciful God. In the midst of confusing messages, people have the right to rectify conflicts the way they understand it. Pastor Rob Bell is not an exception. Many of us preachers have not been preaching the gospel of Christ, but that of politicians. We the generation ahead of him need to be blamed for the confusion we helped to perpetuate regarding the gospel message of Christ. We are speaking on two corners of our mouths and we do not want the generation behind us to question our theological assertions. How can you say you believe in the right to life of the unborn while justifying dropping bombs maiming and killing innocent children in other countries for no reason whatsoever? How can we say life matters when we do not care if we kill innocent people in death chamber in the name of being tough on crimes? How can we rectify our positions as Christians when we support taking most of the financial help from the poor and giving to the rich, while the rich and business looters continue to celebrate the fleecing of America? It used to be the credit cards financial massacre of the people’s wallet, now it is at the gas pump. The looting at the gas pump has started again while using Ghadaffi as an excuse. God help us! Some times you wish this people will have the fear of God in them.

I wrote the book Closer Walk With Jesus published by Lara Publications Inc., 472 pages, as divinely directed and also in correction of the gospel of confusion and politics being preached across the nation. The book has warnings for America as a nation. I’m not convinced at the rate we are going that American as a nation will survive the next disaster coming down the pipe. I am not so sure the present church is a rapture-able church either. In this book, God is warning us, but are we listening? I received many visitations from the Lord Jesus. I chronicled my journey and the visitations with Jesus in the book. I spent a whole chapter on God’s warning the United States against predatory capitalism causing people to suffer. The handwriting is on the wall. We can fool so many people, but we can never deceive God.

Yinka Vidal, author Closer Walk With Jesus

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