Had I known that this was going to be such a dissenting issue I might have stayed away, I say might because I do not know that in the end I could have stayed silent on such an important issue as Gods grace and love. Our corps (which is still in it’s infancy as a church plant) is built on this understanding of Gods grace and love.
What really gets me is that with his book, Rob Bell makes a contribution to an ongoing conversation. He really isn’t saying anything that has already been said by the likes of Brennan Manning, Wayne Jacobsen, Marcus Borg, N.T. Wright, Brian Mclaren, Eugene Peterson, Jay Bakker and notably C.S. Lewis. But suddenly the evangelical beast has awakened and instead of entering into the conversation demands to know where you stand on the Rob Bell issue.
I agree with the image of God that Bell is portraying, I am not sure I agree on the specifics of Bell’s Hell. However, in the polemic debate that does not matter; You are either for Bell or against heresy. The conversation is thus silenced within the ranks of the “orthodox” evangelical church. If you want to stay in the conversation you must move out into the wild, outside of the box, outside of organised religion.
What if I want to discuss this? What if I want to be able to think outside the box even though I live inside it?
Today is my last day in Latvia, I’ve had my last lunch in the small hall, my last sit down with Edvins and Edgars, my last salary and made the last call on my cell phone before handing it in. The last boxes has been loaded on the truck and we will have our last meeting with all the youth tonight before having our last night at Bruniņieku iela 10a-6.
I also had my last physio therapy at Sporta medicina 1, wher I was instructed in how to train to make my knee stronger. I was also told that If I wanted to start any kind of training I had to by a very “Robo-Cop” type of brace with metal hinges doing the job of my ligaments. But as all space technology it was ridiculously expensive.
Tonight at the “Party” I will be ordering my last Latvian Sushi and for the last time pretend that I do not understand what they are saying around me, ka ludzu?
Tomorrow morning 5:20 we fly (homeless again) to Croatia to spend ten days with Hannas family before moving in to WBC on Denmark hill the 30th of August! It will be our last vacation for a long time and in the back of my head I hear the song playing….
ooooo Oh ooo Oh you’re in the Army now …..
During my time here I have come to love the Latvian people and hate the Latvian comforts (comforts like electricity coming out of your showers, power spikes breaking your hard drives, Staircases that WILL NOT admit baby carriages at the stores, garbage trucks, people staring at each other refusing to budge and move their car at the tunnel entrance to the Salvation army etc.)
But my friends, and I leave many friends behind, are friends that I would trust my life to! Friends I have prayed, cried, shared and grown together with. Our cadre! You know who you are, it has been an honour serving with you! Thank you for being friends, Thank you for being true! Thank you for being you!
On our way to the Bible adventures camp the leaders team was supposed to replan the camp, with my injury and the Kozlovskas leaving in mid camp for a funeral we thought we might have to redo the planning at least for the second day where they would be gone.
We did however get side tracked by the girls wanting to know more about baptism so Archie held an in depth Bible study on the subject while I did a historical review on the Salvation Army stance on baptism. At the end of the trip the remained convinced that they wanted to go through with a water baptism and asked me if I would do it.
This has gotten me into trouble before but I felt led by the spirit to say yes, and I felt God say that it would be a great witness of him to our [[cadre]].
So on wednesday night (A whole day dedicated to the adventures of Jonah) we stole away with some friends in the late evening right after the leaders meeting to have our baptism.
The sun had just gone down and the wind was picking up, as we got ready to leave the rain started falling, I asked the girls if they wanted to postpone but they where adamant to go through with it no matter the weather.
We arrived at the beach and waded out into the water, the cold waves splashing about us, the wind wipping cold rain into our faces. We started with prayin, my prayer was that Jesus would warm us by His spirit and that he would calm the storm.
After that the sea turned warm, I could feel no rain nor wind and we had a wonderful baptism where the spirit spoke gently in the stillness of the newly circumcised hearts of believers. It was beautiful.
Back up on the beach we realized that it was still raining and blowing cold winds. Had Jesus really calmed the storm or did the spirit just shield us and warm our hearts? We will never know. But the Lord was there and he blessed us mightily with a night we shall never forget.