As you all have heard and seen, Rob Bell has been pushing the limits of non-orthodox Christianity in current times. I kind of want to come from a slightly different angle today, so bear with me as I cover rather "fragile ground" here today. And as un-biased as possible, I will review this current event as well as I know how. I, myself, Bill McCreary have followed Rob Bell for years. Started out with the Nooma series, and then I followed his teachings on his church's website, his books, his youtube videos. Everything you can think of pretty much! He has had such an impact on my theology, teaching me to "loosen up" so to speak and know how to be non-judgemental in my Christianity. Where I don't play the judge and rather let God have the final word on people and what they do in general.
I think whats happened is, over time, Rob Bell has really loosened up his muscles, and has really developed a compassionate ear for Apologetics. And had at one point almost become an Apologitics King so-to-speak. (other than Ravi Zacharias of course lol) And once you go down that road theres no turning back. I myself at one point had really gotton into apologetics, and you become so open, and so unbiased, that sometimes you can get so caught up in making sure people aren't offended, and side so much with people who have been hurt in orthdox christianity. And its true! So many people have been hurt in the Evangelical church, and Orthodox church when it comes to families and people messing up in general...because judgements are often passed with so much ease that it almost seems COLD. Unfortunetely, this isn't just the evangelical church, or the orthodox church but also culturally relevant churches (maybe the lowest percentage but still some..) and Spirit-Filled churches...the church as a whole in general. So it makes sense, in order to bring balance to this dilemma, is to bring in a theology that says "I don't have all the answers, yes i know the basis of the Bible and Christianity, but I don't always know how to address a person on a spiritual level, if they have been abused, and tossed around like a rag doll...by the church."
So how do we do this? We create a non-judgemental theology that emphasizes love and compassion. That we as individuals, can really create Heaven and Hell on earth. We have that choice! We can usher in heaven, or we can usher in hell. This is the angle that Rob Bell has taken on his recent interviews. Pretty much what he is trying to convey. Which I think is really AMAZING! And not many pastors like to talk about this stuff. I bet you if you have been through HELL in your life, meeting someone like Rob Bell might be very very refreshing. Just bear with me..keep reading....
Now Martin Bashir has raised some very good questions on MSNBC in the interview with Rob Bell. There is no doubt there. And by watching the video you definitely saw Rob Bell get a little uncomfortable. But remember who has been mentoring Rob Bell in recent times....Brian Mclaren. If you haven't heard of him, well maybe do a little research beofre you comment. However, even though Rob Bell was talking alot about Heaven and Hell on earth..i found it very interesting that he did not come out and directly state that he does NOT believe in a Literal Heaven and Hell. But he does however emphasize heaven and hell being created on earth by human beings.
So what do I have to say about this? Well, I have never met the man in person so I cannot make a judgement about exactly where he stands in his heart...except for what little ive heard in these interviews. So thats not enough to base off of! I think that he is a good man, with a good, caring and non-judgemental heart who has just gotton a little too caught up in apologetics. Aplogetics are "the exploration of gray areas in christian theology" And yes! There are gray areas! There is also alot of black and white but anyone that I have talked to who has been in ministry for 20+ years has never ever denied gray areas. In fact, they say that they pop up everywhere.
Do I think Rob Bell is a false prophet? Who am I to make that call?! If I call a Man of God that and find out in the end, when im before the judgement seat of God, that he was highly favored and was indeed doing the work Jesus called him to do, and I publicly insulted his spirit like that in this life...I would never forgive myself! Who am I to make a call like that?! If I, Billy McCreary were to post a video on youtube proclaiming that there is no heaven or hell...people could call me that too! Only to find out that it was a bet i made with some friends to see how people would react...haha. One thing thing is for sure. There is definitely a heaven and hell. I certainly hope there is cuz im not gonna put up with being reincarnated into a frog or a tree haha. Or a toliet! Oh God that would be AWFUL! Have to have people poop on my face haha. I WANT TO BE WHERE JESUS IS ONE DAY! I WANT TO GO TO A HEAVEN THAT IS SOMEWHERE ELSE. We are all aching, and groaning as in the pains of childbirth. We long for our heavenly home more than ever these days. Maybe Rob Bell doesn't believe in a literal heaven or hell. Maybe he believes in a literal heaven but not a literal hell.
Maybe he believes in both but isn't coming out and making a definitive statement about it so that he doesn't offend people from other religions.! He may have been avoiding the questions and dancing around but, truth be told, unless you read his book, we don't really know where he stands on that. Only Rob Bell and Jesus does. And maybe thats good enough for me! Maybe im not called to make a judgement on Rob Bell and move on with my life. And maybe thats what im trying to say here. Do you realize that there have been hate websites for Rob Bell being a false prophet, the anti-christ, and the devil incarnate for..over 8 years now?! Heck there are sites proclaming that Bethel Church, Life Center, Bill Johnson, Benny Hinn, Billy Graham, and Todd White are false prophets and anti christs! I have personally googled them myself! And yes I said Billy Graham! lol...and we all know that hes like the most awesome guy here on earth. And so are those other people I have mentioned above. They are doing the work of God regardless of what other people think. And I think Rob Bell is too, its just a much different style than we are used to. And if hes telling people that theres no heaven or hell...then thats something that he will have to deal with, and work out with God one day. And he might be in for a pretty great surprise when he enters heaven! Many, many people dislike Benny Hinn. But some of us like him! Alot! Many of us don't like Bill Johnson or think Bethel is weird. But some of us dream of attending that church!
If anyone of us thinks his or her theology is perfectly in line with the Lord. I guarentee you, that you do NOT have a fool-proof theology. Neither do I! There will ALWAYS be someone to tell us that we are wrong with something. You think Rob Bell is off with theology? Well, I've met some fellow pentacostals who have just as off theology, just in a different way. And I'm sure that I also have flaws in my tehology and belief system. But thats just what it is! A belief system...it doesn't define who we are as a person...who we are is separate from our belief system! Who we are, is who God says we are! So, In conclusion, I am not going to make a negative judgement on Rob Bell, because it is not my place. I don't know his heart like God does. However, where his heart is at, and who he is in Christ is what matters to me! And he knows himself, and Jesus knows him.
And thats good enough for me! And thank you so SO SO much for taking the time to read my thoughts on these matters. And whether or not we see eye-to-eye, I want to thank you so much for listening to what I have to say. I don't normally write notes, so I just really appreciate you taking the time today to read this :)
Peace out girl and boy scouts! :)