Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rob Bell's latest effort...

Just finished reading 'Sex God' by Rob Bell wich according to the subtitle 'explores the endless connections between sexuality and spirituality'. It's an excellent read with Rob Bell's unique and creative style of writing, and ability to draw so much context and depth from Scripture. The highlights of the book for me where around the following issues/quotes:
  • how we value ourselves and others.
  • how with every action 'we're continuing the ongoing creation of the world.'
  • 'freedom isn't being able to have whatever we crave. Freedom is going without whatever we crave and being fine with it.'
  • how stealing is the ultimate selfish act and giving stuff away is the ultimate act of generosity.
  • 'Love is handing your heart to someone and taking the risk that they will hand it back because they don't want it.'
  • 'Jesus always chooses the path of love, not power.'
He also writes about singleness which resonated a lot with a conversation i had recently with a friend. Have you ever been chatting with someone who you maybe haven't seen in a while and they say to you 'well any girlfriends?' (or boyfriends, if that's your preference!). I have no problem with that question, and more often than not over the last 5 years my answer is 'No'! It's what sometimes happens next that i find frustrating. Their facial expression will change and their head will tilt a little to the side and they will say something like 'Ach well, sure it'll happen sometime!' Words of pity, as if my life is in some way incomplete or unfulfilled - it kinda makes me mad!

Rob Bell talks about this:
'It's possible for destructive messages to be sent to people who are single. That they are second class, less than, that they don't fit, that they should find someone, get married, and join the rest of us who are "normal."

If you are single, and you've been sent messages or it's been hinted at or even said to your face that you are somehow missing something, that you aren't good enough, that you don't fit in - that is not true. It's not just that you're fine single. The premise of the Scriptures is that you are able to connect with God and serve God in ways that those who are married can't. The tilt is for being single, not away from it.'
I meet people and their life revolves around finding a man/woman. They feel incomplete and believe their life will only really begin when they meet someone and get married. The sad thing is that God has a plan for their life NOW and they are completely missing out on it. I'm not saying relationships are wrong, on the contrary i think relationships are good, but being single is good too. I can't accept the view that one status is better than the other, they are just different. What do you think???

By the way, Rob Bell is speaking at Spires Conference Centre in Belfast on 12th June as part of his 'Calling all Peacemakers' tour. Click here for further info. Note that tickets can be purchased from Wesley Owen bookstore without having to pay the online £2 booking fee.


Anonymous said...

Man?!!!there is a movie with two guys sittin on a beach talkin about their tells the other that he has to stop waitin for his life to happen and get on with the here and now because this is his life!!!....same sentiment as emman 'no pln B with God idea'...?? true :o). ???......Why r people like that??....think the worst bout other peoples problem with 'single' situation !? when they try to make excuses on ur r just too fussy....or maybe u r not tryn hard enough (that one cracks me up!!!) ... it sucks when the kids in school say MRS...then stop and roar...SHE's not married!!!!....this nonsense only bothers me when I LET IT!....why should we hav to justify / qualify our lives just to make other people accept 'us' ...AS IS!!i??.JUST SINGLE...thats !!!.....not contaminated...broken.....weird...
Love this poem by Emily Dickinson....

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you—Nobody—Too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise—you know!

How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!

.....let thm enjoy their flies i say!!hahaPlan A is fine with me....MOST OF THE TIME ;).... Jan:o)

dave wiggins said...

just got a ticket yesterday, should be interesting. any birds on the go?

Anonymous said...

Hi Neil. Good to see you again at the Romance Academy fingy at BBC. Sorry I didn't get an opportunity to talk wiv ya. Sounds like a good book you have read. I actually had a brief flick through it in the Faith Mission about a month ago.

I like the debate on singleness and can empathise with your frustration when you experience those looks from people when you tell them your not "seeing anyone". At times I feel that there is an exclusion order on the singles within the church (by this I mean the body of Christ, and am not being specific about a church or denomination). This could turn into a large debate...or maybe even a play/drama...To be single or not to be...that is the question!!!!

Anyhow better sign of now as I'm a little guilty. I should be working!!!

Hope all is well in W/town. Keep up the good work. God bless ya.

Yours in Youth,


Jen said...

Aye thought the book was good, know what you mean, i thought it was only single 20 something women who got those tilted head looks! Why did u have to tell everyone about Rob bell? Now there will be no tickets left for me and i have no credit card!

Ivonne said...

You preach it,bro! This married,Christian, two kids by the age of 30 is a mental and sectarian nonsense! Me agrees, hard to make the rest of the Church understand that, and I mean really understand that! (",)

Alan Reavie said...

Hi Neil

Good topic to raise. Paul mentioned this is Corinthians when he stressed the the 'single' cares for the things of the Lord. Doesn't mean they're more holy but they aren't distracted (in both senses) by the needs of a spouse and family. I find it so much harder to give as much time to God now that I've a family. I wouldn't have it any other way though!

It really gets to me when I hear people judge others who are single - as if they are deficient in some way just cos they are unattached! Didn't they ever think that maybe that's what God has planned?

Alan Reavie
PS. will never forget the day you came to me and said, 'Sir, I had the best weekend of my life...'