halloween...

Rob Bell is one of the most unconventional, rock star like pastors in the Christian world today. Rob Bell has been a trend setter. Bell's church has over 10,000 parishioners coming to his church each service. People know Bell for his books, his views on Christ and probably his glasses. However, Rob Bell is now the center of controversy and is getting reamed for his "recent" views about heaven, hell, and the rest of everybody that ever lived.

Let me first be clear before I start writing on this topic. I am not claiming to know Rob Bell personally, nor do I know everything there is to know about this topic. I am no expert. I am simply one youth pastor who is trying to challenge the thinking of those who read this blog and to anyone who stumbles upon it.

Rob Bell is now the center of controversy in the Christian world by a recent video and a new book that he is releasing on March 29, 2011. Rob Bell has claimed that "a loving God does not condemn a soul". This statement alone is called "universalism". Bell is claiming that God would not send billions to hell while only a select few go to Heaven to enjoy the glory of God.

Universalism is one of the most controversial subjects that is never talked about in the Christian church. In youth groups across America, I can guarantee most students wouldn't even know what universalism is or what it means. I can say that I have never talked about it before, because of the foundational Biblical beliefs I was raised on and have come to know and follow with my whole heart.

I am heeding a warning to all youth pastors out there....Rob Bell, who can influence A LOT of students with his easy going theology is now a danger and threat to student ministry and the church as a whole. Rob Bell has stated that the reason people turn away from God or want nothing to do with God is because of the whole concept of Hell. Because of this belief, Bell has placed himself on the line of Christianity and falling on the side of the world, where he says being a good person will get you into Heaven. We can't answer the question,"Why would a loving God condemn BILLIONS to hell because they never knew Christ personally like we do?"

Here are my views on this subject and how to point out that Rob Bell is now a threat to us as student ministers. Let me be clear again, this is MY view on this subject and how I feel that he can influence THOUSANDS of students to start having the same belief.

2 Corinthians 11:14–15

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Bell says that God would not condemn people to hell who do not know Him.

John 14:6 says, "Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me (Jesus)"

At the end of our lives, we are taught that we have to give an account for our lives. We must tell God all of our sins in our lives. Rob Bell is now playing Halloween with the rest of the Christian world. He is playing a disguise. Simply put, this is a belief that Satan himself would want us to believe.

If Bell is claiming to challenge the fact that there is no hell, or that our hell is here on earth, then what would be the point of Jesus' death on the cross?

I seem to remember Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Is it just me, or did I read that the veil in the temple was torn and the earth shattered when Jesus died so that we may DIRECTLY come towards Him and talk DIRECTLY with Him?

Bell is simply saying that in the end of everything Love Wins. This is where I do not disagree with him. Love will win. However, that love that wins is a just a righteous love. The love that bell is describing is a love that will not judge ANYONE at the end time, will not persecute ANYONE who sinned against God all their life, and will not send ANYONE to hell because they believe in their hearts that they were good people.

Being a universalist is such touchy subject, but goes against EVERYTHING that the Bible is written and foundationally built on. JESUS DIED, NOT TO SAVE US FROM GOD, BUT TO SAVE US FROM SIN!

I have not read Bell's new book and I can say I will read it when it is released to see what Bell is really talking about. However, from his little video that is going viral on the internet, he is claiming "To hell with hell" and that a love that surpasses all will get you into heaven, regardless of our beliefs or our life style that WE CHOOSE TO LIVE.

The experiences I have with Jesus is real. Jesus raised me from the land of dead, the worldly ways I was living, and into the light of God. I am NOT going to sit here and let the Gospel, the Good news, be bashed by someone who is revered as "A Rock Star in the Christian world".

Bell has a lot of influence. Bell could be doing this because he really is a universalist and is saying it is OK to live the way we want and sin against Christ all our life, and then go to heaven because we believe we are good people. Bell could be trying to earn a lot of money and garner a lot of attention for his book.

Only Bell knows what Bell's real motives are. The one thing I continue to say and to agree with Bell, is this "Love Wins". A love that surpasses all understanding and knowledge will win. A love that challenges and defeated sin and death wins. A love that loves those who LOVE HIM wins.

Jesus is the love that ultimately wins.

I encourage all of you to buy Rob Bell's book and decide for yourself what you really believe. Do not just take on the beliefs of bloggers like me. I am writing about this subject because a few reasons, I want people to read my blog, I want people to know the Jesus I know through my words, and I want a place to have my writings stored.

Seek out what you really believe about Heaven and Hell. Seek out what you really believe about what type of God God really is. Would God condemn billions to hell? Is there REALLY only one way to heaven? Seek out what God says in the Bible before we take what a wolf in sheeps clothing says in a book that many consider the "New Gospel".

Luke 11:9 "And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you."

6 comments:

John said...

I can agree with some of your arguments against Bell although it is best to wait for the full book to make any definitive claims as to if Bell has heretical teaching. What I can't agree with is your random and unabashed attack on Furtick. The man felt that God asked him to preach for 24 hours. Is that against scripture? Heretical? Leading to peoples demise? No, it is not. Stick to the issue at hand, as this new book could have serious consequences for millions.

Mark Ashby said...

John,
Thanks for reading. It wasn't a direct shot at Furtick. I do not believe he is being a heretic in ANY sense of the word. All I was saying is that I believe he did that partly to sell his book. However, I sat in front of my computer for 5 straight hours listening to him and actually got a lot of great notes. I will edit that part.
I agree with you though, we need to wait for the book to come out.

John said...

Thanks for responding. The "whoring" part kinda shocked me honestly. But I do appreciate you editing it. I also work with young people and can appreciate the necessity of watching over them closely. I know that whatever happens, the Truth will come out soon. Hoping for the best.

AndrewSAshby said...

Preach it Mark! Bell is teaching heresy. As a leader who is called to a higher standard, he will have much to answer for. Ministers much preach "the whole counsel of God" and not just what they think is relevant. God is as interested in justice as he is grace. Anyone who thinks that sin has little or no consequence can loos at the price that Jesus was required to pay.

Bob Royce said...

Your argument would be a lot stronger if you actually engaged with the texts Bell uses to make his case, which you'll find galls short of universalism and is more in line with that great author (or was he too a heretic) CS Lewis.

Mark Ashby said...

Bob,
I understand I may have touched a chord with you about this subject. However, the God that loves love and grace is the SAME God that loves justice just as much.
Can you honestly tell me that what Bell is teaching and writing is GOSPEL? The answer would be no. The only Gospel that can be taught is the Gospel of Jesus.
Any ONE person who claims that Jesus will accept all into heaven and that "What kind of God would condemn billions to hell? Why would we need to be saved from that God"- Rob Bell.
I appreciate you reading the blog and I wrote it for this purpose. I know what CS Lewis, Alcorn, Bonhoffer and many other theologians say and interpret about Jesus and heaven and hell.
Does this mean that Jesus' death on the Cross was for nothing because ANYBODY AND EVERYBODY will go to heaven? Anybody can go to heaven....EVERYBODY will not.

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