Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Should Come As No Surprise...

In case you missed it, or didn't believe it the first dozen times you read about it, Rob Bell has officially come out in favor of "marriage equality," or the legitimization of homosexual marriage.  Bell has been a lightning-rod figure in Christian circles for several years now, drawing loving adoration from some circles of (typically young) Christians and ministers who see his point of view as a new way of talking about the faith, and stinging criticism from others who see in him the seeds and saplings of heresy.

Part of Bell's allure has been his ability to not answer every question.  He is able to take direct questions about doctrinal and moral matters and answer them in slippery ways which have kept him from being quoted as directly contradicting Christian orthodoxy - at least the majority of the time, and at least until now.

The Huffington Post reports, "This Sunday Rob Bell spoke at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral and openly endorsed marriage equality... In response to a question regarding same-sex marriage, Bell said, "I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it's a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs -- I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are."  So he is on record with both his conviction and his argument.

It should not surprise anyone who has read Bell and who has a grasp of Christian theology in the last 200 years that he has now openly contradicted clear teaching of Scripture and consistent teaching within the church for the last 2000 years.  When an individual drifts left-of-center with their theology, they necessarily begin to unmoor themselves from such things as Scripture and tradition and begin to wed themselves to the spirit of the age.  Bell is not nearly as concerned with doctrinal orthodoxy or truth (a topic he slides out from under later in the piece) as he is with acceptance from the latest fads among leftist elites.  And he will receive plenty of invitations to exclusive cocktail parties where grateful people will pat him on the back.

But the spirit of the age is a fickle and demanding deity.  What is in vogue today will become tomorrow's stepchild.  And this deity will not stop in its pressure for a self-proclaimed christian to accept one item in its buffet of political correctness.  It will demand all.  And it will eventually take all from Bell.

Though you will not be able to find the direct quote yet, it may not be long before Bell openly denies the uniqueness and divinity of Christ.  The spirit of our age can't swallow the Jesus of Christian orthodoxy, so, in time, neither will he.

And notice as well how weak his reason is for his decision, "I think the ship has sailed."  This isn't an out-of-context pull quote, it is the very spirit of the promotional video for his new book.  Traditional Christian beliefs are now like Oldsmobile cars - once useful but unable to keep up with social changes.

Don't let his gift of communication fool you - the power of the Christian faith is not in the multiplication of questions with no real answers, it is in faithfulness to Christ and the teaching once and for all delivered to the saints.


Charlie Self said...

Thank you for posting and thoughtfully evaluating Bell's beliefs and words. Jesus was clear about marriage. We must love all our neighbors of any faith or none, but we must not abandon the faith once entrusted to God's people.

Phil Steiger said...

Our Christian ethic of love puts some interesting demands on us - we cannot let go of the truths about human existence, and we can't let go of humans. Thanks for your input, Charlie!