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Sep 20, 2005  |  Current Events

Thoughts On Rob Bell

I have been watching with an amazing interest the articles, the blogs, and the reviews about Rob Bell’s new book, Velvet Elvis. And this has caused me to want to share a few thoughts about what has been going on.

#1 - People who understand the least usually speak the loudest!

I am NOT trying to drop names here…or say, “Hey, look at me—I’m special.” But my wife and I had the privilege to fly to Grand Rapids back in April and spend the weekend with Rob and his family. We stayed in their home, shared meals together (in really cool restaurants), and talked about life.

I can say without hesitation that Rob Bell is in love with Jesus. He’s the real deal! I watched him interact with his boys…and I hope that one day my children can admire me the way his kids admire him. I saw how he adores his wife…and I was challenged and inspired to be a more godly husband. I watched him wrestle with sermon preparation…and witnessed how passionate he was about communicating the truth.

And then I see people ripping the man apart on the internet—and I would be willing to bet you money that they have never even had a five minute conversation with him—they don’t know his heart—and yet they feel that God has chosen them to judge the man!

#2 - You can’t judge a person based on ONE comment that was probably taken out of context!

If you are a speaker or a leader then you understand this—people WILL misquote you and misrepresent you—that’s a fact. It is amazing to me how often I hear, “That preacher over at NewSpring said so and so.” And reality is that I did make that statement…but not in the context to which the person repeating it placed it.

Once again—it amazes me the things that people are saying that Rob said. My advice to those people is that you need to stop and look at the fruit of his life…and if it is slightly possible that God may be at work in him and at the ministry at Mars Hill then the best thing for you to do would be to shut up. If Rob is wrong…then God will discipline him…and will probably NOT need the internet to do so!

#3 - Pharisees are alive and well today!

The majority of persecution that Rob is receiving is from…get this…people who CLAIM that they love Jesus! Amazing!

I say amazing—it shouldn’t be. If you read the Scriptures then it is obvious—Jesus received fierce opposition from one major group—the Pharisees, the religious people. (Tax collectors and sinners loved Him!)

Rob is different—he marches to the tune of a different drummer…and that is GREAT! Praise God, can you imagine how boring the world would be if we were all the same?

The fact is that many pastors have came out and sharply criticized Rob…and that is sad because Rob will have more people get lost in the restrooms of his church this coming Sunday that some of those pastors will even have in their audience.

My advice—stop trying to reform Rob’s theology and begin to look inward—more might be accomplished that way.

#4 - The internet is a place where cowards hang out and try to make life miserable for other people.

This isn’t the case with everyone on the internet—but is true for the most part.

I have some rules about my blog. I never blog about anything that I would not publicly say from the stage. And I never say anything publicly from the stage that I would not say to someone’s face—that’s a fact.

But what amazes me is the number of Christian websites that have had to begin to moderate their comments because mean spirited people who claim to be in love with Jesus show up there and begin to attack things. AND they will spend the majority of their time wrapped up in going from site to site to try and defend their position.

This is the reason I do not allow comments on my blog…I feel that in many cases it gives an audience to cowards who would never even speak to me face to face—but feel they can sit in the bleachers and take shots at my efforts to do what God has led me to do. My advice to those people—either shut up…or put down your hot dog and get in the game!!!

OK—well—that’s about it for today—well, maybe not—I don’t know—might want to check back later.

By the way…if you want to check out Rob & his church you can do so here

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