Ok...I have been steering pretty clear of this topic lately especially on Social media sites...but several red flags went up as I read this article tonight about Christianity & Rob Bell from Relevant Magazine. And I just couldn't remain silent.
First & foremost, I am thankful for my friend who posted this article. I am also thankful that awhile back when Rob Bell was running the circuit talking about the book in question, I watched the interview myself & heard some very disturbing thoughts...NOT QUESTIONS...thoughts come out of his mouth.
So here are my 'red flag moments' from this particular article:
First of them being his close ties to Oprah. you see I grew up as a young adult watching her...watching her share her Christian faith, then ever so slowly she began to move in a different direction-accepting of any/all "religions" (and I do include Christianity in that word, eventho to me Christianity is not about rules & religion it is about a holy God desiring a relationship with us. but there really is no other word you can use to lump them all together.) As I continued to watch her (O) become more popular, her beliefs became less concrete. Sure, she does a lot of good & she speaks beautifully, but...and here comes flag #2.
I just couldn't get past the verses that again & again warn of false teachers & watching out for them & their teaching. They will pervert the Word, twist the Word (just like Satan did to Eve in the Garden) & they will make it sound so good.
Then there's this teaching Jesus did...you know wide vs narrow path. I just couldn't get past them. You see to me, when I look at scripture as a whole as I hear 'negative' phrases uttered (like "narrow-narrow-mind" or this one "narrowest of doctrines" in the article) I find myself wondering just how open is my mind supposed to be in light of Jesus teaching that the way is narrow & difficult, not wide & easy. Let's not forget when He says He didn't come to bring us lives of ease...in fact He flat out says: we will have troubles! But He has overcome the WORLD. And He talks about how we must be willing to leave behind those we may love the most to stand with Him. (I know...I am not quoting exactly...paraphrasing some, which I probably shouldn't do). Those words of Jesus, they just make it hard for me to 'justify' this "love everyone" mentality, especially when the world's definition of that is to agree with all they are shouting is right, or science has proven/disproven...etc. Science proved a long time ago how the rainbow happens doesn't change the miracle of it OR the promise! (And believe you me rarely a day goes by when I don't thank God for the covenant promise the rainbow represents! But thats a different discussion!)
Back to this article & this topic....Than I read this phrase "He had a rabid army of fellow believers who hung on every word he uttered, who lapped-up every morsel he tossed them, who cheered him on like a local kid making the Bigs." about Rob Bell. I find myself questioning who those people were following all along. Were they following Jesus Christ or were they following in this case Rob Bell? Sure I liked Nooma videos (still do like how they got ya to think IN LINE with the Scriptures) & I have questioned my faith ALOT & walked through hard stuff that has tested my faith.
I am a HUGE fan of asking questions...but I am a much bigger fan of the answers being found in God's Word-all of it, even those parts that are messy & icky & don't feel so nice by the world's definition NOT from Rob Bell or Joel Osteen or even Shelly King. So my challenge to those of you who have questions.....ask away! Just be sure the person you are asking is getting their answers from God himself in His Word and not just another man's interpretation-and yes, I do take God's Word as it's written (that's a discussion for another time too).
When the path is narrow , is there really a whole lot of room for grey? Grace-yes...absolutely! But I'm just not quite sure as I wrestle with questions about my faith if there really is as much room for grey as the world wants us to believe. (And this is why, I have been steering clear of these conversations of late ;))