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O'Hara Factor
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Analyzing "Babble Jim"

Much mall uproar has come about on the mall as a result of the presence of "Bible Jim", yet another wacko in a long line of mouthy, tasteless, and biblically-incorrect mall preachers, most notably "Brother Jed" Smock.

Rather than try to get a civil word across to the guy, the best way to analyze what's going on is to simply read what they believe. Brother Jed believes that he doesn't sin. What does Bible Jim believe?

Bible Jim believes that the love of God expressed in John 3:16 doesn't apply to non-believers. Take this quote:

On that Sunday With some of the most evil people that have ever lived on the planet earth promoting the greatest single sin that has ever occurred short of the crucifixion of Christ, what was your message? GOD LOVES YOU! ???

If you tell an unsaved, unrepentant person that God personally loves him WHEN HE REALLY DOES NOT, it becomes a serious crime against the very character of God Himself. I believe this offense is committed by Christian people on a regular basis to the non-Christian world. Our language has one word for "love", whereas the Greek language has many words for "love". There are different types of love in the Greek language, but in our language we adapted the meaning for only one of these words, meaning personal affection (PHILEO), and have applied it across the board.

The love in John 3:16 is AGAPE, it is not affectionate at all. So the words should be explained, when telling someone God loves them, when they're thinking personally and affectionately, and God is not.

If a man responds to John 3:16 (love which is void of any experiential relationship), he will experience God's PHILE0 love. But if he does not respond to it (the Cross) he will continue to be under condemnation and wrath.

Technically speaking a person could force John 3:16 to make it look like God personally loves the sinner. But even in this attempt the quality of this love is of absolutely no practical or personal value to the unredeemed sinner. Other than providing air for him to breathe and the option for him to repent of his sins and trust in Jesus,

Bible Jim goes off a Greek technicality and completely skips over the word "world." I'm no Greek scholar, but "world" in the Bible typically refers to the entire blue and green ball. Not just Israel. Not just the apostles. Not just the few disciples Jesus had at the time. And don't forget the verse immediately following John 3:16 either.

(16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Luckily, the world is not void of good and decent mall preachers. We need more Cliffe Knechtles, not more Jeds and Jims. Take the time to view Knechtle's arguments, including those filmed right on the UA mall and you'll see what I mean.

4 Comments:

isn't agape love supposed to be completely selfless? So yes, we fail to communicate what we mean when we say "for god so loved the world" - except the sacrifice part makes it clear that this love is selfless even in the English. Thus it hardly matters the language - the translation makes it clear the *depth* of the love of God in the passage.
and wouldn't agape love contain phileo? I mean if you love someone selflessly, you definitely love them as a brother as well.
I could see the argument based on the fact that it says the world, not the specific person. but there are many verses that points out that God wants to save *all* people, and 3:17 demonstrates this. Clearly God would not want to save all the people if he didn't love them. Just point.s

Switch

They do it for the shock effect. Nothing more, nothing less. They think that in our society, students are so jaded, so apathetic that it takes a load of something to get them to listen up.

Just remember that the bible does detail that those who are teachers will be judged more harshly than the rest.

I can't speak for Brother Jed, but Bible Jim is actually a very nice guy. A couple of Evergreen students in Olympia, WA, where Bible Jim can often be found on campus, did a documentary on him. Him and his pals use a sort of "good cop/bad cop" method to draw people out. Bible Jim enrages thim with his outlandish remarks and signs, and then his cronies pick the people most engaged to have serious conversations about faith with them on the sidelines. He also has a large piece of land in Washington that he uses to help troubled teens...

So yes, it is just a show, and there is a method to his madness!

"Bible Jim" practices the end justifies the means. That doesn't cut it, biblically. We can look at the evangelistic preaching of Jesus, Stephen, and Paul and never once does the end justify the means.

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