A Group of People

Heaven and Hell: Rob Bell is trending

In Christianity, controversy, critical, critique, debate, heaven, hell, Rob Bell, theology, Twitter, universalism on March 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm

By Raeleen Sewell

(I’ve been heard saying many times that I think we’ll be very surprised when we get to heaven to see who’s there – and who isn’t. Shhh… don’t repeat that.)

“You must not pass along false rumors…You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice.” Exodus 23:1-2

Since yesterday, I have been caught up in two separate Facebook conversations, both revolving around Rob Bell’s new book LOVE WINS: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.

What did I have to say? Well, as the book won’t be released until the end of the month, not much:

Just watched the YouTube video, and all I can say is maybe we should just wait to read the book and see where he’s coming from. It isn’t clear – he has a habit of asking a lot of open-ended questions, and quite possibly it’s a way to strike enough controversy, enough anger, enough… motivation, to pick it up and read it and see what he is saying.

Or better yet, pick up the Bible, dig in, and be confident in God’s truth.

Reading through the OT now, and I am convinced again and again, that our God is a Holy God. He is pure. He is righteous. He is amazing. That He cannot remain in or tolerate the presence of sin (see Leviticus). He is not easily understood. However, as my mom used to tell me, “you don’t need to understand, you just need to do what I say.” With God, I am learning (still) that I am not called to understand or even agree. I am called to obey. To honor. To trust. To be trustworthy. To be faithful.

Back to Rob Bell. I won’t be making any sort of judgement based on a book sleeve, or even a promo video. I’ll wait to read the book and see what he has to say. And from there, the scales will be weighed.

I will agree with Jason Boyett who is quoted on his blog as saying:

“This is why people hate us. There is no meaner, more hateful person on Earth than a Christian who suspects you have gotten your theology wrong.”

Much like when The Shack was released, I refuse to get caught up in this argument until I have read the facts. I will say that I am disappointed in the online Christian community for being so quick to judge something they have not read and know nothing about, basing all opinion on here say.

I have to wonder if sometimes we just jump on board so that it looks like we have something to stand for. That we look like we know what we’re talking about. That we can feel good about ourselves because we know it all. And can then point the finger at someone else when we feel like they are wrong.

Do we do this with the Bible as well? Do we know and understand what we believe? Or do we not know how to stand up and speak for ourselves? To decide for ourselves? Do we just follow the crowd, getting swept up in its current?

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:14-15


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