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Archive for July, 2011

I get the opportunity to work with and talk to many in the Marion, Ohio area that are struggling with getting food. It’s one of the reasons we support a local food pantry by volunteering and keeping a small food pantry for individual needs at our church. However, in talking with folks, I am finding a challenge for folks that is understandable but is one to find an answer for.

You see, our area is blessed with several food pantries so whenever I talk to someone in need, that resource comes up. However, I am finding many have a kitchen full of non-perishables from the food pantries but can’t get help in one crucial area…. meat. In other words, “Hamburger Helper” without the hamburger.

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A thought jumped into my head in the middle of yesterday’s message at church and I thought I would explore it a little more here in blog form. However, before I do, I want to let you, the reader, know that I am making some assumptions. If you do not fall into these assumptions, this blog may not be for you. I am assuming you are a Christian involved in a Christian community through a church. I am assuming you enjoy this church and have a pastor that is faithful and caring that you wish to encourage. If you fall outside of these assumptions, some of my other posts might be for you but this one might not fully apply. With this in mind, let’s move forward…..

Many pastor’s feel encouraged with nice words people give to them after a message that they enjoyed,  a sincere inquiry of how they are doing from someone, or, in the rare occasion, a card of appreciation from someone they care about saying a simple “Thanks”. These things are priceless even if they are just sparked in October by Hallmark (October is Pastor Appreciation month…. don’t forget!) However, these are not the bullet points I wish to cover in this posting (though they are vital to the pastor).

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There has been a lot of buzz on the topic of Hell ever since Rob Bell came out the book “Love Wins”. Many (including myself) were concerned with some of his writings on the topic. While he brought up several good points about life, it ended up being what I call a “rubber band” book. A “rubber band” book tries to make a needed point but goes so far that it ends up snapping back on them. Bell finds it important to remind the church to worry more about hell on earth. However, it is lost in his careless yet poetic way of talking about the true hell to come.

As Chan puts it “But just because some have swung the pendulum so far in the direction of wrath and judgment, let’s not swing it back too far the other direction and do away with what the Scripture emphasizes. God is compassionate and just, loving and holy, wrathful and forgiving. We can’t sideline His more difficult attributes to make room for the palatable ones.” page 101

(Hence the balance of Truth and Love. You can’t have one and not the other…..)

Then enter several response sermons, talks, and books. This could fall under that heading but at the same time, it addresses more than Rob Bell’s teachings. Hell has been around a lot longer than this debate and there is much to be learned on the topic that impacts real souls.

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