Skip to comments.Pastor Rob Bell Grows Frustrated Amid Questions on 'Sinfulness' of Homosexuality
Posted on 05/07/2013 8:34:23 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Former megachurch pastor Rob Bell appeared in a recent radio discussion with Christian British minister Andrew Wilson to discuss his new book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, and grew frustrated when pressed by Wilson to explain his theological reasons for affirming homosexuality and same-sex relationships.
Bell and Wilson appeared on the U.K. faith debate program "Unbelievable?" hosted by Justin Brierley on Premier Christian Radio. Wilson is a published theologian and elder at Kings Church in Eastbourne, East Sussex. The men, moderated by Brierley, started the discussion by debating various issues during the hour-plus program, but it was during their discussion on homosexuality that Bell appeared to grow visibly upset.
"Do you believe that this is an area where actually God is ahead of the church, that affirming same-sex partnerships is actually a God thing and that we will eventually all get to see that in the course of time?" Brierley asked Bell of comments he made in March.
The former Mars Hill Bible Church pastor revealed in March his acceptance of gay marriage, having said, "I believe God [is] pulling us ahead into greater and greater affirmation and acceptance of our gay brothers and sisters and pastors and friends and neighbors and coworkers." Previously, Bell had also stated that he was "for marriage ... for fidelity ... for love" whether it was with homosexual or heterosexual relationships.
"I think the ship has sailed and I think that the church needs to just this is the world that we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are," Bell said in March.
He reiterated his position on homosexuality during his interview on Premier Christian Radio last week.
"I think it's time for the church to acknowledge that we have brothers and sisters who are gay and want to share their life with someone. This is a part of life in the modern world and that's how it is. And that cultural consciousness has shifted, and this is how the world is and that what's happening for a lot of people, is that they want nothing to do with God and Jesus because they can't see beyond that particular issue," he said in response to Brierley's question.
"What I don't know is the grounding for that statement ...," said Wilson. He asked Bell if he would say that two men having sex is not sinful.
"I would begin with, I am for monogamy, I am for fidelity, I am for commitment. I think the world needs more of that. I think that promiscuity is dangerous and promiscuity is destructive," said Bell. "Some people are gay and want to share their life with someone and they should be able to. That's how the world is and we should affirm that. We should affirm monogamy, fidelity and commitment both gay and straight." He went on to add that he does not see same-sex relationships as "destructive or evil."
Wilson asked Bell if his remark was a positive or negative response to his initial question on homosexual acts being sinful.
"What I'm trying to get my head around is, do you think it's sinful but we need to lump it because the world's changed? Or do you think it's not sinful and if so, do you think the Bible doesn't think it's sinful and that Jesus didn't think it was sinful?" said Wilson.
"I'm not aware that Jesus mentions it. I think you have about five verses that can be read a number of different ways. And there is a large Christian tradition that sees this as there are Scriptures that speak to this but I don't think you make it an overwhelmingly (sic) case against it," responded Bell.
Wilson then asked Bell if his position is that homosexual acts are "not a problem for God" and that if he would say that if Paul and Jesus are understood properly, people would find that "they genuinely didn't have a problem with guys having sex with guys."
"I think Paul had his answer to that question tied up in worship of all sorts of other deities. I think it was all one giant hairball in Paul's day. And that, for him, that was the temple and there was the temple of other gods who were opposed to the God of Israel and that went on in there. So I think when Paul was talking about this issue, for him it's tied up in all sorts of idolatry, it's all sorts of rejection of God. So I don't want to pull the various issues apart. I don't think they had a cultural conception ...," said Bell before being cut off by Wilson, who then gave a scenario of the apostle Paul having to deal with homosexuality at the church in Corinth.
"There's two gay men at the church in Corinth, they're having sex together, they're not worshipping idols. Paul's gonna say, 'That's great guys, go for it, we need more of that ...' Is that what you believe is true of Paul?" Wilson asked.
"I think Paul didn't have that cultural framework or conception operating around him. I think he had men and boys. I think he had temples. I did not think he was talking about what we're talking about in 2013 which is two committed people in a same-sex relationship. So I would start there," said Bell.
While the discussion eventually ended amicably, the repeated questions from Wilson about Bell's theological support for embracing homosexuality eventually led the former megachurch pastor to express frustration with what he felt was a challenge to his commitment to Christ.
Bell, who toured the U.K. last month to promote What We Talk About When We Talk About God, surprised the evangelical Christian community in March when he expressed support for same-sex marriage, although he had previously affirmed gay Christians. The married father of three's controversial position is considered unorthodox by many in the Christian community who believe the Bible rejects sexual relationships outside the confines of traditional marriage.
The Mars Hill Bible Church founder and his family left the Michigan congregation he founded in 1999 to move to California last year, where he has been developing a faith-inspired television program with "Lost" series creator Carlton Cuse. Bell's best-selling book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, was also considered controversial by some who believe it challenges traditional teachings on a literal, eternal hell and belief in Jesus Christ being necessary for heaven.
Hmmm, so this is how you grow a mega-church.
So he must be right.
Rob Bell is a stench in the nostrils of God Himself!!!!
This is absolute nonsense and essentially idolatry. All we can know of God is what he chooses to reveal of himself. This revelation take place in his creation (general revelation) and scripture (special revelation). Scripture makes clear that homosexual behavior is a sin and that no unrepentant homosexual will "enter the Kingdom of God". That's not going to change regardless of where society goes. Bell is just inventing an imaginary God that agrees with him on everything and choosing to worship this figment of his imagination. That's pretty much the definition of idolatry.
Looks like someone rang his, "bell".
I know plenty of mega-church pastors who teach orthodox Christianity and beleive this guy is a heretic.
And the list is getting longer of mainline protestant pastors and Catholics Clergy who are straying into this error. ALL aspects of Christianity are seeing this error creep in.
So this minister has a Bible church. Somebody tell me why a megachurch is better than a smaller church?
He doesn’t believe in sin, or its consequences.
ANY so called pastor who affirms homosexual marriage is digging himself a hole in hell that he will never be able to climb out of. If any pastor, whatever, tells you anything that differs from the Bible, RUN!!! Run from him and his apostate teachings as fast as you can. The Bible said what it said and meant what it said. It was meant for mankind forever. It was not meant for back then and is now changeable by man. The Bible CLEARLY tells you not to add or subtract from it. If you do, then hell is opening up to you. Run from these nuts. Believe ONLY what the Bible tells you. Not a bunch of these liars who “interpret” it in their meager minds.
God isn’t pulling us ahead on this matter, it is the world in its more anti-God form of radical liberalism. These are the same people who support abortion so why is this minister having anything to do with these anti-God people?
Makes sense the enemy would affect the thoughts and heart of a man whose church membership is so large....if the enemy of men's souls can change Bell and the congregation by calling evil good....they in turn will move others to reconsider.
The enemy is very busy “changing” the minds and hearts of men these days....church leaders are not exempt.
2 Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Beats me. I’m just observing.
More like he's "giving us over". See Romans 1:24, 26, 28
Here is Dr. James White’s (Alpha and Omega Ministries) recent response to Bell’s position on homosexuality as stated on Justin Brierly’s Unbelievable Radio program.
Rob Bell on Homosexuality on the Unbelievable Broadcast
And here is Dr. White’s free download on the topic of the mistaken notion of “Gay Christianity.” It’s long and quite thorough.
“Gay Christianity” Refuted!
this guy is a sham.
People like him want popularity with the world. They like the places of honor at societies banquet tables, just as Jesus said. There were phoney religious leaders back in Jesus’ day as well.
“The enemy is very busy changing the minds and hearts of men these days....church leaders are not exempt.”
Amen! An on old Baptist preacher who heavily influenced me (Henry Mahan) used to say that Satan has always done his best work in the arena of religion.
>> I know plenty of mega-church pastors who teach orthodox Christianity and beleive this guy is a heretic.
I see you hail from the Great State of Texas. You must be either a Second Baptist or a Fellowship Church member — two very solid, very large, very conservative congregations.
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the worldthe desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessionsis not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
The church was designed for “believers” in Christ...but for years and years now anyone is not only accepted but invited to attend.
Christians are called to “go out” we've erred greatly by bringing those in who are not saved.
I have problems with mega-churches...but it is the same problem I have with protestant churches and other evangelical churches: Their great commission; discipleship model. Mega-churches are just a bigger model of the smaller church of 50 or 100.
Having worked as a church consultant and been the director of the church revitalization ministry...I can honestly say it doesn't matter what size the church is. Small churches have their issues just like large ones do....they are just different. You can get lost and feel lonely in a mega-church (or you can get placed and fit into a small group)....and you can get on the wrong side of the power in a small church and get hammered.
People love to pick on mega-churches cause they are easy targets but given the chance...the discerning eye would be able to spot the cockroaches lurking in the darkness behind the fridge of those doing the criticizing. The power struggles that can go on are epic...and nasty...
Now I understand. We DO need to be conformed to the world around us!
Crazy me. I thought it was the other way around.
Exactly. Christ says in Matthew 19 “God made them MAN AND WOMAN” and that marriage is solely between the two.
Bell doesn’t get this, just like he doesn’t get damnation.
He will be punished the most severely if he dies living this falsehood AND preaching it.
Small churches actually have no less a problem with cults of personality than big churches do. The cults are just smaller. There are a lot of small-church-pastors — particularly in black churches — that are in it more for the power and the glory than for Christ.
Not familiar with Sagemont. Most of the time, when a Texan conservative objects to a slam on megachurches, its somebody from Second or Fellowship ... two gigantic and notable exceptions to complaints about megachurches.
Discernment is the key ... no matter the size of the congregation.
Looking around, I’d say we’re in the final quarter heading for the last chapter, so maybe it’s appropriate to ask which of the seven letters in Revelation would this pastor receive?
So, basically, his premise breaks down to either:
The world is getting closer to God's vision, and the Church (the Body of Christ) has been holding it back. The Church should stop fighting against God (??), and align itself with the world, which has somehow discovered a closer path to God's Will....or:
Because the majority of the world has decided that homosexuality is not a sin, that the Church should not only love the sinner, but also affirm the sin.I'm sorry. Neither scenario passes even rudimentary logic, let alone theology.
Exactly!! Line it up with God's Word and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. His promise, He WILL~
RE: so maybe its appropriate to ask which of the seven letters in Revelation would this pastor receive?
I’d say he is the prophet of the church of Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29)
Mark it down.
Rob Bell eventually comes out as a homo.
I couldn’t agree with you more.
I wish I could get every single person who claims Christ to listen or read this plain no-holds-barred sermon based on Matthew 7:21-23, a passage I read with great fear and trembling. The idea of false profession ought to scare everyone who calls himself a believer.
I don’t want to cause anyone who has been converted by God to doubt his salvation. Rather I want people to take seriously 2 Corinthians 13:5 — “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
“I Never Knew You”
Here are a couple of representative comments from Sermonaudio.com:
AMEN Pastor Mahan! Every congregation should hear this sermon which will cut to the heart. Sure to empty a mega-church in a matter of minutes.
VINCENT BANNISTER (7/16/2007)
BORN IN A CHRISTIAN HOME,NEVER BEEN MOVED LIKE THIS BEFORE BY ANY MESSAGE.I THANK AND PRAISE GOD FOR USING YOU TO BRING THIS WORD TO ME.WILL SHARE THIS WITH ALL CHRISTIANS I KNOW.GOD BLESS YOU HENRY MAHAN
Jay A. (1/9/2008)
from Rochester, NY
This message hit me very in the chest!Hands down probably the most sobering message I’ve EVER heard in my life! This message should without a shadow of a doubt be heard by everyone who claims to be a Christian! It brought fear to my heart at first but then great hope, and confidence afterwards. Please hear this if you claim to be a professing Christian. Please! Praise God for this sobering message.
Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
I would follow “I Never Knew You” with “They Cry Peace When There is No Peace”
And discernment is the key. Most churches, regardless of size, are not truly a New Testament church in one way or the other. I come across mega-churches which do a great job in missions (Sagemont for example) and evangelism....but STINK at discipleship and real fellowship. And then on the flip size I have small churches that will criticize those mega churches for that...and I simply ask: How many people...outside of your own children...did you lead to faith in Christ last year ('cause after all...if you can't win your own kids then you are pretty awful)? None? So not even the PASTOR won a soul to Christ? So you bash the mega-church because it's impersonal and they don't disciple...but you don't fulfill the Great Commission.
Over 50% of all congregations (evangelical) will not see one person baptized this year...and yet every one of those 50% will say they are the best church around. LOL.
The world may have changed. God hasn’t. Case closed.
Exactly!! Line it up with God's Word and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. His promise, He WILL~
Translation: My position is not supported by scripture, I just made it up to stay popular and in the good graces of the current “culture elites”. This is what “ear ticklers” do.
I was first going to post that while I thoroughly disagree with his point of view, being wrong about it wouldn’t make you lose your salvation. Then I read “Bell’s best-selling book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, was also considered controversial by some who believe it challenges traditional teachings on a literal, eternal hell and belief in Jesus Christ being necessary for heaven.”
That’ll get you there.
In reality, to hold those positions seems to me to imply that you aren’t really a Christian. You are not a Christ follower if you don’t believe what he said.
You put yourself in an even more tenuous situation by being a teacher - something about millstones around the neck and whatnot.
As for all the rest of us poor sinners:
“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Romans 6:16
Participating in the homosexual lifestyle - or in the “hook-up” culture for that matter certainly seem to be evidence of offering yourself as a slave to sin.
As soon as he starts refuting scripture, which is very clear on the matter, with high faluten terms like “cultural consciousness,” and then uses those as the foundation for his own teachings, you can know that he is experiencing and aceepting a strong delusion.
The consciousness we should be concerned about is God’s, and what He has said on these matter. In both the Old and New Testaments He has made His thoughts about these perversions amply clear.
This guy wants to be popular with the world, and clearly believes in relative moralism based on what the “world” believes. He will earn his reward.
People should avoid him and his teachings like the plague.
"He's the Pastor of a Bible Church ... And teaches from Scripture."
Oh, you're so right!! It's all about “cultural framework” /sarc
Replacing Apostolic authority with individual final authority is the same as accepting the path of least resistance as final authority.
When non-Catholics accepted contraception, "by popular demand" became the real authority for the overwhelming majority of non-Catholics and for a significant percentage of Catholics as well. Now, after fifty years or so of the anti-Christ media creating popular demand in this country, most people refuse to even acknowledge the difference between abortaficiant contraceptives and other types of contraceptives.
Once people can pretend abortion with contraceptive drugs isn't abortion, accepting homosexual behavior is no big deal.
From the looks of his metrosexual picture at the article, I have to agree.
Yes, you often CAN judge by appearance. We are just commanded not to judge merely by appearance.
Pure evil, motivated by the root of all evil.
I guess he’s just fagged out on the issue.
Doesn't sound like he "teaches from Scripture" to me. Sound more like he IGNORES Scripture when it conflicts with his own views of the world around him. So, no, he can't be "right". No one can be who has to ignore God's word in order to sell books and get speaking engagements in Europe. He also denies a literal hell and thinks all mankind will eventually be saved just because God's a nice guy and he loves everyone.
Amen! God is the same yesterday, today and forever. His truth doesn’t change with the “world”. In fact, the world is at enmity with God. Anyone who loves the world and the things of this world cannot truly love God.
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
This is Sodom and Gamora revisited or rejuvenated-take your choice. The human Creator will have a last take on the issue.
Bookmarking for later.