Here is what I had originally started writing several weeks ago to support my opinion on Rob Bell (a lot has already been said in yesterday’s post):
First off. I have a lot of respect for Rob Bell and his ministry through books, videos, tours, and mostly his church. He has a strong desire to find a way to reach my generation in a way that few and far between have. And beyond his passion in reaching us, he has a message that resonates with many my age. So let me clear up the fact that many of you probably think I have some sort of disdain for him. I do not.
Where I am troubled is that he has become a voice for Christians around the world, especially Christians my age. Bell has been in TIME magazine, has been called the next Billy Graham by the Chicago Sun-Times, and the easily one of the most well known Christian leaders in the world.
Here is what I think I really need to say instead:
After talking with Ashley I realized that I did sound ignorant to criticize him without have read his books or listened to his messages. So on the way to Chicago last week I listened to a message he spoke on April 19th, 2008 titled “One Mind.” I have no doubt it was a “God thing” that I listened to this message as I prepared to get ammo for the support of my anti-Bell stance that I put out there in yesterday’s post.
His message was on Philippians 2:1-3. I knew from the very beginning I was in trouble. Trouble meaning God was ready to teach me a lesson. He (Bell) paraphrased these verses by saying this: “If Christ means anything to you, be like-minded and love one another.” Obviously this comes off as naive, yet humans are inherently the same today and I doubt that Paul was trying to sound naive.
Bell concludes that Paul is comfortable with a variety of convictions and beliefs within Christians and that we probably hold to our beliefs much to tightly. He ends with Ephesians 2:14 and says that what we have in common must trump what we don’t have in common.
So let me start with this: I’m sorry. I’m sorry to you, the reader, because I have been more about what we don’t have in common than what we do have in common on this blog and in my conversations with many. And I am sorry to you Rob Bell (and I’m quite certain you will never read this), for pointing out the little things that bug me about you, rather that cheering on the impact you are making on my friends, Christian and non-Christian. Ironic it is, that I decided to listen to Bell’s message in order to use it against him, but in turn God used Bell to speak to me and my faults. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, He tends to show up in the weirdest of ways.