Keywords: terry hollifield
Description: Recently, I was given a subscription to Relevant magazine for Christmas by my cousin who is also in the ministry. Seeing that the tagline for Relevant is "God.Life.Progressive Culture.", I am fully prepared to read theological and social banter that do not follow my views. I mean, in this tagline these guys are pretty…
Recently, I was given a subscription to Relevant magazine for Christmas by my cousin who is also in the ministry. Seeing that the tagline for Relevant is “God.Life.Progressive Culture. “, I am fully prepared to read theological and social banter that do not follow my views. I mean, in this tagline these guys are pretty much saying that they are not geared toward a conservative like me. However, the front cover features a close-up of Rob Bell and a feature article on the emergent pastor on pp. 64-69. The things Bell says in that interview are what I want to specifically talk about. They go way beyond the “progressive” views of the magazine. Bell is preaching a different religion. That is correct, I am saying that what Rob Bell is teaching his congregation of 10,000 at Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids Michigan, as well as millions who hear him across the country via podcasts, and through his extremely popular video productions (like the NOOMA series) is a totally different religion – not Christianity. First let me point out that Bell has been embraced by evangelicalism and wears the moniker proudly (albeit with a bit of a smirk). The article reports that the Chicago-Sun Times has called Bell “The Next Billy Graham”; and Relevant claims, he has become one of the most influential figures in evangelical Christianity.
The splash page quote from Bell is, “I have never set out to be shocking or controversial. That’s a horrid goal- and, I believe, a very unredemptive goal. My interest has always been the Truth .” (emphasis added). Sounds great right? Let’s just take a few quotes from the article and see what “the Truth” is according Rob Bell.
- That is that all people will eventually be conformed to perfect relationship with God. When asked about his involvement in environmentalism Rob says the following, “It was great. There were all sorts of really interesting things that came out of that. We understand that every person is a priest, and so a church is where all of these people are essentially having their inner priest evoked out of them.” So, the job of the church is not to help people recognize their default condition of being separated from God, rather all people are priests by default and the church is the place to discover that.
- In other words, God is all and all is God. “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.” is how the Beatles put it. In the follow-up question of how his faith leads to his being environmentally conscious, Bell emasculates Scripture to make his point that, as the eighties song says, “we are the world”. Bell’s answer: “It’s always been rooted in the very nature of God. The central Hebrew prayer, Deuteronomy 6, says, ‘Hear O Israel the Lord your God, the Lord is One,’ so we live with awareness that all of reality is one. We are connected with all things everywhere…” This is clearly far from the Christian (and biblical) view of God, the universe, and man.
- When asked about his The Gods Aren’t Angry tour Bell discussed the focal points of the tour being, “…how humans invented religion to make themselves feel better, …and how those gods evolved over time, …I’m thrilled with how the content came together. For me everything is about content.” I agree with Bell that everything is about content, but listen to his content! If man created “the gods” rather than the real God who is there creating man, what makes Bell’s rhetoric any different than that of Hitchens, Dawkins, and the myriad of other popular atheists of our time?
- Bell says, “The world is desperately in need of people who will break themselves open and pour themselves out for the reconciliation of all things- that’s what the world needs.” This is more popularly known as the “social gospel”. He takes Christ’s work of “making all things new” to an entirely twisted level. True to the aforementioned atheistic views, Bell has placed the onus on man to “reconcile all things”. And obviously this isn’t even reconciling man to God since Bell does not believe that man is separated from God in the first place. So in essence, what he is saying is that the world does not need to be restored from the Fall by accepting Christ as God, Lord, and Redeemer…not according to Bell, all the world needs now is love sweet love.
Needless to say, more could be said about Rob Bell and his views. And much has. You can hear an interview with Doug Pagitt (another emergent pastor) and Todd Friel of Way of the Master Radio. In this interview. you will hear the same views from Bell expressed for all the world to hear from Pagitt. You can also check out the works of Brian McLaren and Donald Miller to name a few, at your local Lifeway or Family Christian Store to see how these very unchristian views have infiltrated Christianity.
The emergent movement is more than a church style. It is a new religion being taught by people who are too cool for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints. For more information into this topic check out these folks:
Apprising Ministries (quoting Walter Martin’s discussion of the Emergent Movement in the Southern Baptist Church) blog .