I decided to break your questions up a bit over the next few days. Here is the biggie:
What are your thoughts on hell? my fiance’ and I have been examining the bible and now with this new “Rob Bell controversy”, I was just wondering your take on it.
My thoughts on hell are very traditional. I believe heaven and hell are real places. I believe that God’s plan is perfect. When we accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus, we are eternally made clean in God’s eyes. If we don’t accept God’s gift of salvation, we have to face the consequences of that in an eternal way, which means eternal separation from God–hell. What heaven and hell will look like, feel like, etc. have been the topics of widespread debates for thousands of years. I don’t know what they will look like. I read my Bible, and have a pretty good idea, but I think we will all know best when we meet Jesus face to face…or don’t. Rob (mine) did a message in the “Some Questions Can’t Be Answered on Google” series on hell. You can download it here: http://www.wiredchurches.com/weekend-series-audio/questions-week-3-why-would-god-send-people-hell
- I think he’s going to be a very rich man very soon. He has ridden this ‘publicity wave” to its fullest, and will probably for a long time to come. Controversy is a big dollar business.
- I think he’s got a good heart, loves Jesus, loves people, and is asking questions that need to be asked. Maybe people are freaking out so much because he is messing with their world views and that is uncomfortable.
- I have met him only once and haven’t read his new book. I read Velvet Elvis and did not like it–nothing personal.
- I was appaled at the back cover of his new book which describes him : “Fans flock to his Facebook page, his NOOMA videos have been viewed by millions, and his Sunday sermons are attended by 10,000 parishioners with a downloadable podcast reaching 50,000 more. An electrifying, unconventional pastor whom Time magazine calls “a singular rock star in the church world,” Rob Bell is the most vibrant, central religious leader of the millennial generation.” I know he probably can’t help what others write about him on his book, but I would be horrified if someone spoke of my husband that way. Letting others view him as “a rock star pastor” and “the most vibrant, central religious leader of the millennial generation” is just plain weird, and anti-everything (my) Rob and I have ever learned about being humble and serving in ministry.
I think Rob Bell is a good guy who enjoys stirring up trouble in the Evangelical community because he wants people to think for themselves. I don’t love him or hate him. I am hoping that regardless of what people think of him personally, they will dig deep into their own Bibles and decide what they believe based on what it says.
More thoughts on all of this from Tim Stevens. He’s way smarter than me.
That’s pretty much all I’ll ever say about the Rob Bell stuff ever again. 🙂 The only reason I am discussing it is because you asked, and you are important to me!
Thanks peeps. Tomorrow it’s all roses and fun again.