Resurrection: "You Don't Confront Corrupt Systems of Power Without Paying For It"

(Spectrumbot) #1

A short Easter reflection from Rob Bell, the founder of the Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Steve Mga) #2

When one says, No.
When one says, Wait, let’s think about this, let’s talk about this.
When one says, Why can’t we have Both?
When one says, Yes.

One has begun to challenge the Power base, the Power Full.
One has to be ready for the Consequences that are available to the Power Full.
One has to be ready to set their face like a flint toward Jerusalem.
Flint. Makes sparks.
Flint. Causes fires.
Flint. Striking Flint. Produces Consequences.

Are the Power Full ready for Consequences?

(Elaine Nelson) #3

It all depends on what the challenge can mean.

For those who challenge the church’s position on positions such as WO; segregated conferences; dictatorial authoritarian statements on members’ selection of reading choices; and the G.C. President’s personal snub of a newly appointed female conference President, what consequences have been meted out?

This is not a call to martyrdom, but a call for people with integrity who have no employment and pensions at risk. Martyrdom is wished by the ISIS fighters, and early church believers, but the fear of coming persecution is central to Adventism’s future as has been taught.

(Bille) #4

Thank you Jared, for choosing such a succinct presentation that captures the essence of the Resurrection so dramatically and powerfully. I think, however, that you could have picked a much better phrase from Bell for your title. This one nearly kept me from watching it. But I’m very glad I listened anyway rather than merely responding to what sounded like just another chance to challenge some existing “Systems of Power”.

Instead it was entirely focused on what Jesus Christ did in order to rescue us from the evil power systems that abound here on this earth.

Thank you again for choosing Rob Bell to remind us of the importance of Resurrection day!

(Elaine Nelson) #5

It is THE MOST important day; without the Resurrection there would be no Christians.

(Allen Shepherd) #6

Very well done.

  1. The resurrection was not the event that Jesus asked us to remember, but the crucifixion. There is a certain sense that Christmas and Easter detract from the event where the real heavy lifting was done. We like the R. because it is a victorious event, and means much to us. But Jesus wanted us to remember his sacrifice, the greatest act in history, greater than the creation or the resurrection. Creation was easy for God, as was giving life, and rising. But embracing death and becoming sin? Now that was completely out of character. God becoming un-God. Paul said, he wanted to know Christ and him Crucified.

  2. Hope is good, and focusing on victory is also good, but these can even be used by Satan to deceive us. It is important to endure to the end, thus we can gain the prize.

(Allen Shepherd) #7


I don’t know any ministers, even those who support WO whose pension is at risk. Segregated conferences are desired by those folk that inhabit them. The church has a set of beliefs that it holds, and if one cannot agree to them, to keep them from membership is not dictatorial, but being honest with people. And the Conference that voted in the female president, against policy, should suffer some consequence, don’t you think?

So are you one of those called to stand up for truth and integrity? That is a hard trick when you are not a member.

(Elaine Nelson) #8

Jesus’ crucifixion would not be remembered were it not for the Resurrection. Crucifixion was a very common form of capital punishment; some of the roads out of Rome were lined with corpses on crosses (they were not buried), and he would have been one of many EXCEPT for the Resurrection.

The Gospel writers wrote at least a generation after the Resurrection and with their impression as well as beliefs that developed during many years following the events. John’s Gospel, written most likely after the destruction of the temple, toward the end of the first century,and is a theological interpretation. He was the major advocate of blaming the Jews for the crucifixion and fostered anti-semitism with his pointing to the Jews as the perpetratrors.

(Elaine Nelson) #9

Allen, I will ignore the insinuation that it is a hard trick for a non-member to have integrity and stand for truth. Surely, you cannot infer that all former members have no integrity and love truth. For some of us, it would be a much “harder trick” to pretend to believe Adventism when our integrity would be violated by that belief.

(Frankmer7) #10


I hear your concerns about the desire of many to skip over the scandal of the cross, where, as you said, the heavy lifting was done. I hear you when you point to the fact that Jesus asked us to remember his death through the celebration of the Lord’s supper. However, I think you need to hear Paul again, when he says that if Christ did not resurrect, and if there is no resurrection from the dead, then we, as Christians, are of all people to be the most pitied. That our faith is futile.

Without the resurrection, Jesus’ death would have been one of another failed messiah. But, by his resurrection, Paul says that the Holy Spirit appointed Jesus, and attests that he is the powerful, reigning, Son of God.

As Paul also said in Romans, having been justified by his death, we will be saved by his life…IOW, because he lives. You can’t get better news than that! Nor can you get more central to our faith.

The preaching and knowing of Christ and him crucified always included the resurrection, in Paul’s gospel, and of the apostles and early church in general.



(Allen Shepherd) #11

Without the cross, there would have been no resurrection, of course.

When Paul says we are saved by his life, he means the life he lead before he died. His righteousness is given to us.

You have to explain why Jesus never said for us to celebrate the resurrection. I agree that it is important, but the world has made it the focus when I think the cross should be. Paul did not preach Christ and him Resurrected. A strange thing that he didn’t.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #12

Allen that was a low blow on Elaine, with implications on all others… The present Truth is that Christ entered within the veil upon His Ascension. To preach other is to be ignorance or without integrity. Tom Z.

(Allen Shepherd) #13

I apologize for offending you. You seemed to be calling for a stand by those of integrity that did not have pensions to worry about etc. Does that mean that if you are getting a pension that you are not a person of integrity? Do you think the church wants to hire pastors and teachers that do NOT have integrity so they can be manipulated?

I have always appreciated your willingness to be honest about what you see as truth. We all do not see it that way, but that does not mean we lack integrity as well.

Some do not support WO. Are they folk of integrity? I respect them, though I may disagree. And I think they are honest.

I guess I got the idea that unless one supports WO and other more liberal causes, that such ones were not folk of integrity. And I think they might be.

(Allen Shepherd) #14

See post above, and though I think that Jesus entered behind the veil, there is something that happened in 1844.

(Frankmer7) #15


The idea of saved by his life is not about the earthly life of Christ imputed to us.This sounds like the preoccupation of the reformation. Paul hardly ever made that his focus. His focus was on the risen Christ. We are saved because of his endless life… because he lives, as the hymn says. IOW, his resurrection is proof that he had power over sin and death, and the power and authority to save us from it.

You are also reducing the preaching of Christ and him crucified. While you are surely right that there would have been no resurrection without the cross, the fact is that Paul always preached both together. They make no sense apart. Christ and him crucified was a shorthand for the whole event, and the attendant power it had to transform people into God’s community of faith.



(Allen Shepherd) #16

Actually, I do not wish to downplay the resurrection so much as to exalt the cross. Without the resurrection, there would be no life for us, for the reasons you have stated. But I want the Cross to get top billing. it was the act that Jesus wanted us to remember.

And from Philippians 2, God exalts Christ to the highest level, not for the resurrection, but for the death on the cross. So it seems to Him that that act was the one of most value to Him. In fact the resurrection is not even mentioned there specifically, but is understood.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #17

What happened in 1844 was a great disappointment. Allen, at my academy graduation, I used an Ellen White quotation -“True to duty as the needle is to the pole”. I have lived my life according to those words, even if it meant exposing the theological errors that that author advocated. I have no cause to judge Ellen White, but certainly her views are open to critical analysis. In short her entire corpus is an extension of the Holy Club of the Wesley brothers. With an interim judgment thrown in. Tom Z

(Kim Green) #18

Love it! The whole thing was thoughtfully presented and well done. Thank-you for the inspiration and for the message.

(k_Lutz) #19

I’m sorry, Allen, that the prehistoric view of a retributive God was resurrected a thousand years ago.
I am sorry for those millions of Christians whose life was crushed by the supposed need to acquire fire insurance.
I am sorry that our born ignorance has been extrapolated into some ‘original sin’ which has divided the Body of Christ for millennia, especially as to whether His humanity was as ours.
I am sorry that God has been torn asunder to accommodate His being born to experience the consequences human ignorance.

Yet all that pales as Jesus is the constant reminder that He loves us, that this love stops at nothing to heal the disease of our ignorance, our unknowing of Him, which healing is evidenced in the Resurrection, that neither life nor death can separate us from the love of God. None of this denigrates the suffering of abandonment that Jesus experienced as He approached the consummating act of His fealty to God’s will. We, too, must recognise our abandonment before we can have any inkling of the height, length, and breadth to which God goes to restore us to Him, this same “God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Without the Resurrection, without hope, our faith is in vain, no matter how clearly we see the Cross.

Trust God.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #20

what part of Christ’s ministry is of less importance than another? Did He not say–“I. Am the resurrection and the life?” The Triumphal Entry, The Supper, The Garden, The Trial, The Cross, The Resurrection, The Ascension, yes even Pentecost, The Christ event in its totality is the theme of the Christian. And the pulpit. Yet Adventism places the Law rather than the Law Giver above all else. Yes we celebrate the Supper at least four times a year and the resurrection once a year…

I rejoice in a Savior Who was in all points temped such as I, yet without sin, Who died for me, Rose again the third day and now stands as my High Priest as my Advocate before the Father, I believe He will come again at the Father’s bidding as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I glory in the manger, the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and His return in Glory. I am not a member of the SDA Church, but I fellowship and rejoice with them in their faith in the totality of the Christ event. I serve a risen Savior. Tom Z