Dear Owen Strachan

excommunicationI hereby excommunicate you, Owen Strachan, from the universal church of Jesus Christ.  There will be no surrender on progress and spreading the extravagant love of Jesus.  We will not give an inch to those who would look their fellow human beings in the eye and be haughty enough to assume that they can tell them that they are not good enough or somehow more of a sinner than themselves.  You have misrepresented what the gospel stands for and impeded the liberation that Jesus spoke of.  Instead of freeing the oppressed, you have proven only to add to the weight of their shackles.  Instead of giving sight, you have managed to continue blinding the masses from your pulpit of judgment.  Therefore, by the power vested in me by the church, your license to preach the gospel and membership in the church universal is hereby revoked.

What!?  What do you mean I don’t have the authority to tell you that you can no longer share your opinionated message within the church?  Is this not what you did to Rob Bell?  You speak for yourself Rev. Dr. Strachan.  You may very well represent the majority of your denomination within the Southern Baptist Conference, but you do not represent the entire church, so please do not speak as if you do.  There are many issues that you and I will never agree on.  Yet, we are both (as is Rob Bell) ordained to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is indeed troubling when we are claiming to preach the gospel, but are preaching different messages.  Is it an unsettling truth, but true nonetheless.

Neither you nor I can claim to represent the hundreds of thousands of congregations and millions of Christians here in the U.S. alone.  As much as we both have strong convictions that we wish everyone else would open their eyes and see, in the end we can only speak for ourselves.  The church is big, diverse, beautiful, and very broken just like the people that it is comprised of.  We serve the same God from different perspectives.  As much as I disagree with your position, I respect you as a human being who is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of a very big and very loving God.  May we all serve that God well from our different positions and despite those differences, may God redeem the simple words that come from our human mouths and use them as God wishes.  When all is said and done, may our words edify and encourage those whom God has called us to serve and not make them any more broken than they already are.  After all, it is God’s church and may God’s will be done – not ours.

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One Response to “Dear Owen Strachan”

  1. John Lovestrand Says:

    Attaboy B! Go get ’em Big Guy!!

    I don’t know who Owen Strachan is (though just read the link above) and until you recommended his book (Love Wins) recently, did not know who Rob Bell was either.

    But man, having recently finished Bell’s Love Wins, and just now Strachan’s open letter to “Dear Rob Bell”, in the immortal words of fictional Coach Eric Taylor: let me tell ‘ya somethin’ …

    If the tone and content used is any indication, the contrast could not be perceptible between Inclusion and Exclusion, Compassion and Conversion, Love and Hate.

    Spoiler alert: LOVE WINS 🙂

    Mr. Strachan’s article is laced with violent words, more befitting a military leader than a man of God. Surrender. Death. Suffering.

    He concludes by proclaiming:

    “At the end of the day, when it comes to marriage and biblical ethics, the church is not giving an inch. We laugh at Satan and his attempts to intimidate us. He does not realize that we do not even love our own lives. Should all the world turn against us, we gladly give up all that we have for Christ.”

    We do not even love our own lives? Really??

    And who exactly is Satan in this context?
    Gay people?? or
    The Rob Bells of the church who have rightly welcomed them home as God’s children??

    And where precisely does the intimidation come into play?
    By and through the Rob Bells of the church embracing their fellow brothers and sisters??

    Man o’ man — psychologists would have a field day with what appears to be yet another classic case of projection.

    Now, by contrast, check out the theo-poetic & gracious manner in which Rob Bell ends his book:

    “Love is what God is,
    love is why Jesus came,
    and love is why he continues to come,
    year after year to person after person.

    Love is why I’ve written this book, and
    love is what I want to leave you with.

    May you experience this vast,
    expansive, infinite, indestructible love
    that has been yours all along.

    May you discover that this love is as wide
    as the sky and and as small as the cracks in
    your heart no one else knows about.

    And may you know,
    deep in your bones.
    that love wins.”

    LOVE WINS!

    Amen, and AMEN!!

    JL

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