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Sex God Chapter 1

February 3, 2007

In Sex God Rob Bell starts off the first chapter “God wears lipstick” this story.

I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen. It took a little time to get used to seeing men, women and children collapse as you walked by them . . . One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect.

It was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diphtheria when you knew a tracheotomy and nursing would save it. One saw women drowning in their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, men eating worms as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had to eat worms to live and now could scarcely tell the difference. Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand propping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves . . . [a] dysentery tank in which the remains of a child floated.

He then asks the questions that only Rob Bell thinks to ask.

This account is shocking, horrible, and tragic. But why? Because people shouldn’t eat worms?

He writes about how that each person carries a divine spark, an imprint of the image of God and that makes everyone everywhere bear a divine image. How that everyday we objectify people, She becomes a That.

He writes about Hell on earth. About how when we mistreat people and cause them to lose their humanity that it doesn’t just hurt them but us as well.

There is a lot more in there but he tells about a hero of his. A couple really who started adopting the least likely children. The ones who would have the slimmest chance of adoption. Over the years they have adopted and raised over 20 children along side their biological children.

When Lil got to this point in her story, she reached down and patted her daughter and said, “This is Crystal. She’s twenty-seven years old but will be about six months old developmentally for the rest of her life. She can’t talk or walk or move or feed herself or do anything on her own. She will be like this, totally dependent on us, until the day she dies. And I love her so much. My family and I, we can’t imagine life without her. She makes everything so much better.”

What is Lil doing?

She’s bringing heaven to earth.

She gives us a glimpse into another realm. Into a better way. The way of God.

He then weaves this back to the story we began with

It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the postmortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.

Because sometimes, the difference between heaven and hell may be a bit of lipstick.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2007 3:18 pm

    What a powerful post, Tommy. Sheesh. Poewerful. I don’t know if I could read such a book or not, but am looking forward to your review of it. I think!

    What’s with the title of the book, though? It makes no sense to me, but I guess it will as you go along talking about it at some point, huh?

  2. February 5, 2007 9:06 am

    I’m anxious to find out what angle Rob is approaching with the title of his book too, but I suppose that is why it has such a title…to create the anxiety.

    I’ve been listening to Rob’s sermons online and I have heard him talk on more than one occasion about “bringing hell on earth” by the way we live our lives. He did a great piece on the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 on that very topic. He told how the rich man isolated himself from Lazarus and others “of his kind” because he was wealthy and could build gates to hide behind. He went on to say that what he built on earth was what he received in death…hell. The rich man just continued in the eternity that he began while on this earth. It’s a definite wakeup call to consider whether we are at working bringing heaven or hell to earth today.

    Thanks for this post. I’ll be back to read more.

  3. February 5, 2007 12:23 pm

    T. Rob is a special guy, in his own way an “Esther” type of person I think. Thanks for sharing this…looking forward to each of your posts.

  4. February 5, 2007 12:52 pm


  5. February 5, 2007 5:32 pm

    well as for the title. there are two chapters that might give you a hint.

    chapter 2 is sexy on the inside

    and chapter 9 the last chapter is “whoopie forever”.

    I have an idea about chapter 9 and think I know where he is going with it, but I haven’t read it yet.


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