For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Tickle Our Ears With Some Bedtime Stories Rob
Unfortunately the Americian Christian Church has continued turning its back on the all sufficiency of Christ and His Word in the Bible to instead seek her solice in more man-pleasing messages. This ignominious idea is itself the very hallmark of the Church Growth Movement, whether it’s the Purpose Driven pragmatism of PDL pope Rick Warren, or the repainted version of liberalism’s gospel of social reform ala Rob Bell. Or do you think it’s simply an odd coinicidence that both men happen to be graduates of Fuller Theological Cesspool Seminary—the very den from which this Church Growth Movement would slither.
And I say it’s well past time for evangelical leaders and pastors to cease their dead on impression of Rip Van Winkle and wake up to the fact that Bell has far more affinity e.g. with the “Progressive Christianity” of Marcus Borg than he does with the Biblical Christianity of John MacArthur. For more information Apprising Ministries refers the interested reader to “Progressive Christianity” Is Neither Progressive Or Christian. However, with this accelerating apostasy within evangelicalism comes the elevation of false teachers who are submerging proper doctrine on their way into positions of prominence within the visible Church of our Lord.
One of these teaching a counterfeit Christianity, which more and more within the evangelical camp are now openly embracing, is Emergence Christianity pastor Rob Bell. You need to understand that Bell is absolutely HUGE within youth groups right now and is well on his way to becoming an idol among ”Christian Untouchables” such as Ravi Zacharias and Ray Comfort. Right now Bell’s every bit as much an icon with youth pastors and youth ministers as Elvis was to so many adults in this nation. Now lest you think this is simply an old issue I literally received a letter this morning from somone whose evangelical church has started using Bell’s materials; and at this point, let’s keep in mind his book Jesus Wants to Save Christians. And just what do you suppose Bell’s Jesus wants to save Christians from; well, as you can see in Rob Bell In A Nutshell: The Bible, stodgy old Sola Scriptura for one.
I also point to ”Conversation With Rob Bell, a Different Kind of Evangelist,” which is an interview recently conducted by David Crumm at Read the Spirit. First, to give you an idea of just how far that particular website is from evangelical Christianity (as is Bell) Crumm promotes a book Interfaith Heroes, which he says “is perfect for study groups or personal reading anytime throughout the year”:
Produced for the 1st Annual Interfaith Heroes Month in January 2008, these 31 stories highlight men and women who took the risk of making new spiritual connections in their lives to promote peace…showcasing short biographies of men and women throughout history who have crossed traditional boundaries of religious groups to build stronger communities… Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is included as well as biographical sketches of Mahatma Gandhi and St. Francis, among the more famous names in the book…
Of his recent sit down with Bell, and my theological differences aside, I will say that Crumm is correct when he says, “Rob Bell is one of the hottest voices in American religion today.” Crumm goes on:
He’s a best-selling author. He’s a best-selling direct-to-DVD filmmaker. He has been profiled by Time Magazine. When he announced a worldwide pastors’ conference at his church near Grand Rapids — essentially by word of mouth — thousands showed up to spend several days learning from him…
He’s such a major influence in American religion that he doesn’t need to preach old-fashioned revivalist rallies… His passionate mission in life is to wake up the hundreds of millions of Christians in the United States to the reality that God is far larger than their limited view of religion.
The point being that in this “Conversation” with Rob Bell we notice Crumm is quite excited because with Bell’s quasi-universal message of pseudo-Christianity Crumm is now envisioning him as being another one of these “faith heroes” in the making. And in a sense he is correct; Bell is a hero to the mystical interspiritual set who in their deluded spiritual pride think their neo-Gnostic meditation powwows of Contemplative/Centering Prayer will eventually unite all religions. But this now begs the question: If the so-called crossing of ”traditional boundaries of religious groups to build stronger communities” really was the message of Jesus Christ and His Apostles then why were all of them, save John, murdered? They should have been as revered as Bell is. But you should now be able to understand why we’re experiencing such a diluting of doctrine; you see, if they were to teach in straight Biblical purity it wouldn’t make them very good role models at all for these fickle “faith heroes.”
Enthralling Myths From The Murky Mystery Of Mystical Revelation
And finally, I draw your attention to the post What do You Know About Rob Bell? from year ago by Matt Dabb, “an associate minister at the Northwest Church of Christ in St. Petersburg,” that gives us further illustration concerning the way Bell is still being “discovered” by those outside of the postliberal cult of the Emerging Church. Dabb informs readers that he had just learned about Bell’s first book Velvet Elvis. The comments section there will give you a vivid portrait of just how dangerous Rob Bell will be to the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ in this coming year. This is because Bell is a bridge into conservative evangelical circles—and with it access to your young—for the more heretical teachers of the anti-Reformation Emergence Christianity such as Bell’s friend Emerging Church Pastor Doug Pagitt, who is the pastor of Tony Jones—another notable in this Emerging neo-liberal rebellion against the final authority of God’s Word in the Bible.
So with this in mind I’m providing the links to a couple of excellent articles by Rev. Casey Freswick, pastor of Bethany United Reformed Church in Wyoming, Michigan, where he does a fine job of completely deconstructing and totally dismantling Rob Bell’s first book Velvet Elvis. Men and women, as one who is well-versed in the antichristian Cult of Liberal Theology, and who’s also studied Bell’s teachings for years now, I can tell you that Freswick is dead-on-target when he says in Postmodern Liberalism: Repainting A Non-Christian Faith—Part One:
His repainting is not an interpretation of the text of Scripture but an alteration of the text of Scripture. Ultimately, Rob Bell does not repaint the Christian faith. He paints a picture that is not a picture of the Christian faith or the truth of Christianity. But his new picture of error is not really new at all. It is old error. It is old false teaching. It is the same old errors of the past repainted. Rob Bell forsakes truth. He rejects it. He deceives. He is a false teacher. He repaints the errors of the past….
Rob Bell’s repainting of false teaching looks like a merger of the dialectic philosophy of Hegel, the liberalism of Rudolph Bultmann and the neo-orthodoxy of Karl Barth. Rob Bell has embraced these and other errors and merged them into postmodernism, an anti-Christian philosophy teaching the impossibility of absolute truth. Both postmodern 21st century philosophy and 20th century “modern liberalism” have influenced Rob Bell. A more appropriate title for Rob Bell’s painting, his “Velvet Elvis”, is “Postmodern Liberalism”.
Ken Silva is pastor of Connecticut River Baptist Church in Claremont, NH. In addition he is president of an Internet discernment work called Apprising Ministries at www.apprising.org He is also a contributor of Ingrid Schulter's blog located at www.sliceorlaodicea.blogspot.com and has made numerous appearances of the Crosstalk Radio Talk Show on the VCY America Radio Network.
The author of many articles pertaining to the seeker sensitive movement, Ken and his wife Donna feel especially led of the Lord to bring attention to the growing danger of contemplative spirituality and mysticism in the Body of Christ. Largely trained through the work of the late Dr. Walter Martin, for the past year Ken has been intensely studying the Emerging Church movement and its increasing threat to the historic orthodox Christian faith.