Tuesday, March 01, 2011

What to do with Rob Bell...

Rob Bell (author of Velvet Elvis and alleged Emergent Church pastor) is coming out with another book at the end of the month, titled Love Wins.

Rob Bell makes a short, promotional video discussing the book, which can be viewed here.

Rob Bell's promotional video seems to suggest a kind of universalism to that seems to suggest many will go to heaven that aren't necessarily "Christian."

And then after the video is released, and a blog criticizing video is released, Twitter goes crazy about Rob Bells alluded to "universalist theology." "Rob Bell" was in the top 10 of most popular topics all weekend.

And pastors from other megachurches who are almost as famous as Rob Bell, took to their Smartphones to type with their fingers, that Rob Bell is a heretic.

John Piper, leading reformed pastor who has an opinion about everyone, led the calvary stating "So Long Rob Bell." (Ouch!). And then, Joshua Harris of I've Kissed Dating Goodbye fame chimed in along the same lines....

And then gradually, pastors from everywhere came out of the word works to declare in so many words, via Twitter, that Rob Bell was a heretic! (And so many did so that CNN did an article about it.)

CNN mentioned how Rob Bell isn't ordained by an organization, but if he was....WHOA NELLY! They would kick him by now.

All of this, without one person actually having read Rob Bell's book.

And I don't know which side is Rambo, but I think this clip should be a motivating force in this battle which really amounts to nothing...


And a giant Storm is stirring to overthrow the demon of our age: Rob "Don't call me emergent" Bell!

How is this war being waged again? TWITTER!

I Seriously hate what this world is coming too....

A world without any conviction other than tweeting that you think a certain pastor who has nothing to do with your church or organization is a heretic...

It's like Christians from all over should join together and create a "Heretic Police Department" that tweets exactly who is saying the wrong thing about Christianity.

Oh wait...they already had that...It was called the Catholic Church of the 16th century, and it stopped nothing.

What I am getting at...is we are entering into an age where we have religion without belief. Similar to Decaffeinated Coffee, fat free desserts. In otherwords a world where religion is void of it's substance.

In theory, it is only when the Catholic started understanding that they were making a circus of their religion that they started marching around condemning heretics.... In other words, when the 16th Century Catholics had failed in their own Church that they had to look elsewhere to point fingers at the problem.

You can bet that when a pastor preaches more about what is wrong with the world or other faith groups than what is right about their own, that they have entered a world where their Christianity is faithless and substanceless, since their "True Christianity" can only be defined by the "false Christianity" outside itself.

To the sad thing...

The Nazi's had a thing against the Jews. In order for the Nazi's to progress they had to, according to their rhetoric, exterminate the thing that was holding them back: The Jew.

Many Psychologists have come out with various opinions of what was actually going on with the logic of the Jew in relation to the Nazi's. One of them that fascinated me (whom i don't remember as the source), is that the Nazi in order to not see himself as evil, or as human and fallible...had to project it's sins, and shortcomings onto someone else: Enter the Otherness of the Jew. The Jew who would participate in the German society but refuse to assimilate. In other words, the Jew would be like a German, but never say at the end of the day they were German.

The Jew then was the reminder of the limitations of German Nationalism and the lack of sameness of those even within their same country..

The Nazi's then, instead of realizing it's own limitations....made the Jew the problem.

Thus, theoretically, when the Nazi's were trying to liquidate the Jew, they were trying to liquidate and redeem themselves from their own failures, sins, and shortcomings.

As long as the problem is "out there" then we can tell ourselves we are fine being "in here."

Is it not a telling sign that the most united the Christian pastors across denominations have been on twitter, has been to speak up against the heresy of universalism and the face professing the heresy (Rob Bell)?

The worse part is..the vehicle used to go against heresy...

Armchair Christians is what we are becoming...one's who tweet about heresy all from the comfort of your own couch!

I think i would like to add the cliche her about the Beam in the eye of a neighbor and first plucking your own beam out.....

But i think you get the picture....

In Conclusion...

While I am in no way a universalist. And , I don't agree with most of Rob Bell's theology (though i am a fan from a far), I am all for Rob Bell actually confronting the issue of heaven and hell.

If we are honest...it is the issue of heaven and hell that should be the hardest for us to swallow. If the idea of eternal damnation makes sense to you, then my hat is tipped to you.

As for me, I don't really know. I believe in heaven and hell, and that people will end up in hell. I just don't like it. I told my one friend last week that if I could, I would opt for there to be no heaven/hell, nor judgment after death, just for the sake of not wanting other people to suffer in the lake of fire, while sinful, selfish me is in heaven happy as can be because i did things the right way....

What i am complementing Rob Bell for then, is not his rumored "universalist" beliefs, but rather that he is making us look at the after-life from a Christian position all over again. Which is a good thing.

My ultimate question, is why aren't more of us looking at the most controversial issue of our religion (heaven/hell), and trying to actually engage the issue instead of settling with "Jesus said hell exists for people, and Rob Bell denies it and therefore Rob Bell is heretic"?

Let's talk about the issue and not the person. Let's talk about heaven. Let's talk about hell. Let's talk about how it looks to the world. Let's talk about whether some of us are using heaven & hell as a bribe to convert people.

I do not agree with universalism and find the issue rather naive. But i'm happy we're at least talking about these issues again. Let's just not cop out and say Rob Bell is a heretic so we don't have to engage the issues further.


Justin Chipman said...

Well done sir. Well done.

Justin Chipman said...

Might I add that it brings up another issue in the world of Christianity. Most of Mainstream or Contemporary Christianity does not want to come out and say people are actually going to Hell. We hold this hope that God will just waive all commandments and allow the "sinner" into heaven. Maybe we can stand in our churches and say it, but when confronted with the question, I have heard many back down to "I am not the judge" or "Only God knows." If one is to truly believe there is a distinct line between Heaven and Hell then ones neighbors, co-workers, and family members are going to Hell for eternity. I personally don't believe we can sincerely accept that.

Anonymous said...

There are almost as many view-points on the Bible and its teachings, as people who've read it (not to mention the far-flung 'musings' of those who have not).

For any Christian - the Bible SHOULD BE their 'Book of Life'; a guide book if you will, of how one should live life according to "Godly" standards, right? Well Christian brothers and sisters: let the book speak for itself. Whatever it says, you either choose to (or not to) believe. Period.

As for projecting our insecurities, shortcomings, etc. onto others; or making judgmental statements... God is our only Spiritual Judge. Only He (who created ALL OF US) determines where/how/why we end up where we do, when its "lights out" here on Earth! If we want to make people aware of what the Bible states, then lead them to scripture!

For those who do/do not believe -not just in Heaven or Hell- but ANY portion of what we "Belivers" hold as the 'Word of God'... Then that IS between them and their Creator.

Example: I do not agree with homosexuality. But I love 'them' with the love God gave me to love others. Would I personally die to 'save' them (as a group)? Probably not. But someone did! Should I, then, walk around condemning 'them' to the Hell the Bible speaks of? No... Judgment is the Lord's, and He will repay. My lesson learned from the life of Christ is to love as close to unconditionally as I possibly can. And lest I stand in judgment of God, I shall not try to JUDGE anyone else. But I do know the Bible says homosexuality goes against nature - and God. I have no problem leading anyone to the scriptures that say as much. It is, therefore, now between that man...and God. (And I never had to throw a single stone!) Hope this helps...

Anonymous said...

The CNN link you connected to never says that Rob Bell is not ordained by any organization.

It says that Mars Hill Bible Church is not affiliated with a denomination.

That's a huge and glaring difference.