Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I had the awesome privilege of going to hear Ben Stein speak last night. I have always thought he was a very funny man, especially in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. And the quiz show Win Ben Stein's Money won 7 Emmy Awards. His latest major project was a movie titled Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It is a movie about scientists and others who have dared to speak out against Darwinism and for Intelligent Design and therefore have been "expelled" from the scientific world (that's the Doug Pruitt synopsis and is by no means intended to be a complete review or commentary on the movie).
But last night I saw the real Ben Stein.
Ben Stein is a brilliant man. He was a speech writer for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He has written a ton of books, is a commentator on many news shows, and knows more about our country, government, and politics than most people on the planet. He spoke eloquently and intelligently about our country's current economic crisis and other current issues facing our country. He often quoted Jesus' teaching from the so-called Sermon on the Mount. He alluded to his personal belief in God and the Bible and spoke with passion about his dear friend Richard Nixon. He told the overflow crowd (I sat on the floor in the aisle) that the present crises that America is facing are the result of the moral breakdown of our society and that unless there is a restoration of God to public life, we will only see our great nation continue to decline.
Ben Stein loves life, this country, and the people with whom he has built relationships.
Why would I devote an entire post to Ben Stein? Because I think he has something that we all need. That something is passion. Not the erotic, worldly, Valentine's Day stuff. But the stuff that makes you stand up, speak up, and step up. The passion that ignites something deep within you that cannot be extinguished. Ben Stein not only knows what he believes, but he knows why he believes it and he knows how to communicate it.
So What? John 1:1-5 (NLT)
1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
If we truly believe that Jesus is who He says He is and who the Bible says He is, we cannot allow the things of this world to extinguish it in our lives. We must allow the Truth to flow out of us like a great light that expels the darkness. We must passionately, not abrasively, share that light with others.
Let love be your highest goal! 1 Corinthians 14:1 NLT
Ben Stein is not the boring Economics teacher from that famous movie scene. He is letting his passion for what he believes flow.