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“When I started doing this I thought it would be a fun, exciting exercise. What I saw is that this can turn soft-spoken Christian leaders into junkyard dogs. What are our five words at Willow? We are still in the process of agreeing. But what I’m working through as I try to distill this, my five words are:

“First, love. “God so loved the world. . . .

“The second is evil. The world is fallen. The guy who just recently killed about 20 people, there is no other word for that than evil. And even in our own hearts, why is it that when I promise a thousand times I won’t say certain words, I say them anyway? When I do something that brings bad results 100 times, why do I do it again? There is evil out there, and it has a little bit of a grip on me [that is, even as a Christian — we aren’t perfect yet]. That’s just true, and part of the message of the Christian faith.

“Third, rescue. Through the substitutionary atonement of Christ. Redemption is available as a gift.

“Fourth, choice. There has to be something about making a choice. You don’t have to choose this stuff. Some people try to clean up their own act, or thumb their nose at God. We have to come to Christ and make a choice to accept his rescue.

“Fifth, restore. When you come to Christ, you are restored and you join a team of people who are helping make things better in the world.”

Bill Hybels

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