This morning, I decided to listen to Rob Bell’s podcast. He wraps up everything that I have been trying to communicate over the last several years in a nice, neat bow. He is someone who has been called a heretic by the religious right. And you might consider me a heretic.
But hear me out. I am grateful that I learned about the Bible. I wouldn’t be who I am if I hadn’t been given this name.
Stephen Samuel Bau
“A crowned one heard from God, ‘Build.’”
That is the identity that I have assumed since I began my career as a designer. But I didn’t really know what it meant. Over thirty years later, I think I am beginning to grasp what it means as I continue to live into that identity.
I look for meaning and design patterns in everything, because I love design. In biblical times, people called designers priests and prophets. We preserve histories and traditions and wisdom to pass them on to the next generation. We also study and interpret the ancient texts to better understand our world and our place in it. But our world has been taken over by salesmen. The only thing we are allowed to talk about is sales, public relations, advertising, marketing, political campaigning, demographics, polls, and propaganda.
We have forgotten how to have human conversations. I would like to have a conversation with you that doesn’t involve trying to persuade me that I am wrong and I am going to be cast into outer darkness to live in eternal conscious torment, excluded from participating in the good things of life, because my head is filled with dangerous ideas. People exclude me and discard my ideas because I threaten their comfortable world. I am a designer, a change agent. People don’t like change. It is uncomfortable.
I would like you to do me a favour. Listen to Rob Bell’s most recent podcast episode. Share it with the people you love. If you don’t know how to listen to it, I can transcribe it for you so you can read it.
Rob Bell talks about exile. Is that a coincidence? I wrote about exile yesterday. I had no idea that Rob Bell would be talking about exile in this week’s episode. Is God trying to tell us something? Is Jesus trying to tell us, “Whoever has ears to hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the church of Laodicea”?
“I am still outside the door, and you won’t let me in. I am still outside the borders of your country, and you won’t let me in. I am still outside of your church walls and you won’t let me in because I am the least of these, I am an unbeliever, I am a heretic. I threaten your institutions. I threaten your orthodoxy. I threaten your way of life.”
You can find Rob Bell’s podcast here:
The title of the episode is Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer.
“If you do not listen, we need not speak again. I will know that you don’t love me and you don’t care. I will not throw my pearls before swine. But, if you do, we can share our table and break bread together. I pray only that we be one, I in you and you in me.”