Bear Grylls, the host of several popular survival shows on television, is concerned about the direction of the church in the global west.
“We neglect our spirituality at our own peril,” he says. “I think Jesus would really struggle with 99 percent of churches nowadays. Our job in life is to stay close to Christ and drop the religious, drop the fluff, drop the church if you need to, because that means so many different things to different people anyway.
“Keep the bit of church which is about community and friends and honesty and faith and love. All the masks, performances, music and worship bands and all of that sort of stuff — I don’t think Christ would recognize a lot of that.”
The church, he said, should be a “place to have doubts and questions” but too often is a place where people “can’t be honest, can’t express doubt and can’t fail. Look at the early church. It was a roomful of people eating and drinking and doubting and struggling and arguing.”
“Probably most of the people in the congregation have substance abuse, and probably most of their congregations struggle with porn and all that sort of stuff,” he said. “What a relief it is when a pastor can stand up and go, ‘Welcome to the hospital, folks. Here we go. I’m just standing alongside you on the road, failing our way through, but reaching out of desperation for life and love and redemption. Let’s look outwards and love other people, and we’re in it together.'”
This kind of honest approach to life has made Grylls a worldwide sensation and one of the most recognized faces of survival and outdoor adventure. A former British Special Forces soldier and Everest mountaineer, he starred in Discovery’s “Man vs. Wild” and hosted “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” on the National Geographic Channel Series.
He’s embarked on countless dangerous expeditions, eaten snakes and spiders and even survived a free-fall parachuting accident in Africa. His books, which range from survival skills handbooks to fiction, have also sold over 15 million copies worldwide.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice