In 2000, Eminem released a song off of his highly famous CD the Marshall Mathers LP called “I Am”. I Am is a song written from Eminem, to his critics telling them that he has become what they have made him out to be, their enemy. After being protested for his lyrics, which were his own reflections of his dark past with his abandoned father, drug addict mother and abusive wife, Eminem became the target of many communities, including Christians. After being treated like the enemy, he embraced the role and lashed out against others with it. This long time #1 single is the evidence of it.
This past summer, Lebron James decided that he could no longer play with Cleveland Cavaliers because they didn’t have the potential and market to win NBA Championships. After a very narcissistic, self-promoting free agent campaign, he capitalized on the free agency frenzy and his media campaign by creating the infamous TV hour-long segment “The Decision”. Lebron’s narcissism and abandonment of his own home town team created him to be the biggest villain in the NBA. Not to long after this, he embraced the role of the enemy, by sarcastically lashing out against the league and the fans by creating this Nike commercial:
This week, the wonderfully insightful and caring theologian, Scot McKnight released his response to the lessons we can pull from Rob Bell’s highly controversial new book, Love Wins (http://bit.ly/ioL5XR). After reading these thoughts by Scot, I found myself in agreement with most of what he had to say. For me, the most life changing part about Love Wins has not been the actual book itself, but, the way Rob has responded to it.
Interview after interview, Rob has been torn apart by the media, calling him out on things he hasn’t said, telling him he is, who he really isn’t. People have trashed his reputation and his identity. People from his church receive the heat from his book. Bloggers and theologians have trashed him and created him as the enemy of the “truth”. They have accused him of pushing people away from God. Many of us, have made Rob the enemy. But, Rob has never once responded back with anything but kindness. He has not resorted to violent retaliation. In fact, he has loved those who have made him out to be the enemy. Something, I think Christ has been known to do.
I have my disagreements with Love Wins but I have walked away in more awe of Rob because of his class, demeanor and proven Christ-like behavior. I believe that if there is anything we can learn from Love Wins, it does not come from the book itself, but, it comes from the generous and gracious response of the man who wrote it. Rob could have easily fallen into the traps of those wanting to make him the villain, but, he has lovingly stood his ground and shown us something far greater.