A very popular blog has been surfacing and resurfacing drawing a very large amount of Christians to fierce debate. Rob Bell is releasing a new book "Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person who ever Lived" in late March. The video above is incriminating of a person who has strayed from the orthodox belief on God, salvation, and the message of Jesus. But before I go forward, it is important to note that most people have not read the book yet. We have this video and some excerpts that give you a hint of what to expect in the book, but we have not read the book. So please in all comments, remember that it is wrong to call a person something without the whole story and assuming the guy is a heretic or a "wolf" isn't going to do the Kingdom of God any good at all.
The story became really large when John Piper tweeted, "Farewell to Rob Bell" and linked the blog I have linked above. My understanding of the tweet is that Piper is waving goodbye to the Biblically sound pastor as he leaves for a scarier and distorted theology. Watch the video and judge for yourself. This is Rob Bell, and he is saying these things in this video. I think we can all agree with that at least. He has been a huge impacting force in the Christian world and especially here in Michigan where he pastors Mars Hill. In the past, he has sheepishly and vaguely said things that stirred up controversy and made people question his doctrine. Until now, he has not been forthcoming to anyone's questions regarding his stance on Hell, salvation, and what Jesus came here for. Whether or not he explains himself in the book, he does much in this video to further worry the Biblically sound teacher. I don't care to sit in judgement and bash him on this blog until I have read the book. My question to you is: What do you think? This video strikes some questions to me and I wonder if it does to you. We can learn from most everything, even things that upset us. I will post some of my questions here, feel free to do so in the comment box as well.
1. If everyone is saved and there is no hell...what happens to those that spent their lives wrecking others and denouncing the existence of God? What happens to justice, and the vengeance that is reserved for God alone? While it is true that many references to hell in the Bible are referring to the literal Gehenna (Like a garbage dump of fire), it still begs the question: What was God using Gehenna to describe?
2. If we do not need Christ alone for our salvation, why did Jesus come at all? Many believe he came to raise awareness of the "reality" that the world was saved. If this were true, why didn't Jesus just hold a rally, or a demonstration. Maybe He could have collected pledges and staged a team awareness walk. He actually died here. A horrible death. Why was the death necessary if He were not needed for us to be saved? If He wasn't The Savior, why the ordeal?
3. What happened to the Bible? If most of what Rob says in this video is true, the Bible cannot be true. If the Bible is not true, but a book distorted by man, what base is he basing his beliefs off of? (I am not saying he does not believe in the Bible, but he has stated it isn't the only book we need and questioned if our faith would be destroyed if it were proved not to be true.) What base would you base any beliefs of God on? Wouldn't this make you an agnostic?
4. He talks about Jesus coming to save us from God if the orthodox view of salvation is true. When do we have the right to judge our perfect Creator and his righteousness and concept of fairness? If the Bible is true regarding our all deserving hell because of our profound sin, how is God sending Christ saving us from Him, isn't it Jesus saving us from what we earned for reasons we could never earn?
5. Is Ghandi in Heaven? Who knows. Does the Bible ever tell us that love or any action we do enough to save us? If love is enough, why did we ever need a Savior anyway? Why Jesus at all? Ghandi is in Heaven if He believed on Christ, not because he was a good guy. The Bible tells us that no one is good...not even one.
6. He is right when He says that the good news is much better than anything we could imagine. He is right to say that we do not know for sure if a person has gone to Heaven or Hell. But doesn't the Bible say that you will know those that belong to Him by their fruits? If we all belong to Him at least in the saved from hell way, shouldn't all of our fruits be good? Wouldn't that produce a darn near perfect world? If we are all saved, why would Satan even send false prophets to lead us astray? What could they possibly lead us from if it doesn't matter what you believe?
I will say this. I have been to Mars Hill. I have read most of Rob Bell's books. I have seen all of the Noomas. I have listened to his podcasts. I like Rob Bell. I am not going to accuse or call him anything right now especially before I read the book. But I do think that there is a danger to gravitating only to what is cool. Mars Hill and Rob are very trendy. It is no surprise that Time magazine called him "A singular rock star in the church world." Was anyone in the church world meant to be singular? That says more about ego than anything else. The thought that thousands of years of church fathers and theologians are all wrong, distorted, or liars and Rob Bell is the only right one is an idea I find to be preposterous. People have been changed by Christ through Rob's work. So it is understandable for any naysayers to have a deep emotional attachment to him and get really upset that people are calling him out. But isn't that the duty of all Christians...to test everything? Aren't we supposed to be more loyal to the Word of God than a person?
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