We discuss many difficult issues on Stand Up For the Truth. One of them is the growing emergent church teachings that are infiltrating many denominations and churches. In my opinion Pastor Rob Bell, a leader in the emergent church movement has started what might be THE major issue we will face as we fight to hold on to the absolute truth of God’s Word.
In his new book, Bell is challenging the traditional Christian belief of hell. Does it really exist? And if so, is it eternal or just a temporary place of “cleansing”? I do not think it is possible to overestimate the ramifications of the debate that will follow.
If Christians begin to believe that hell is a fictional place, it will lead to a major shift in the interpretation of the gospel. Emergers will intensify their arguments that God is all about love and no judgment. That Jesus came to earth as a good teacher—not a living sacrifice for our sins. That all we have to do is love one another and usher in a world of peace—that once we accomplish that, Jesus returns to rule in a world that we as humans have perfected.
Emergent teachers have been chipping away at the bible for a long time. They twist the meaning of scripture and offer “alternative” interpretations of what the Word of God clearly states. It is a continuation of satan’s original temptation in the Garden of Eden: “Did God Really Say…?”
Yes, Jesus really did teach that hell exists. He also clearly stated that no one comes to the father except through HIM. He is the Son of God who paid the price for sins of all of those who believe upon Him. He freed us from the bondage of sin. If people start to believe that hell is a fictitious place, imagine the consequences.
Many are calling Rob Bell a heretic. His defenders are saying he is asking important questions that need to be discussed. As Christians who believe in the absolute truth of God’s Word, we must not simply discount Bell and the discussion he is bringing forward. Many youth pastors and youth look up to this man as an “enlightened teacher”. Many will be swayed into rejecting the existence of hell, believing that a loving God could never condemn anyone to eternal damnation.
We must be anchored in God’s truth and be able to refute Bell’s teachings with the Word of God. Imagine the slippery slope that appears when our youth and even youth pastors begin to reject the fact that God is a god who not only loves—but also judges. Doctrine and beliefs become unimportant. We do what we want when we want, because God would never hold us accountable for our actions.
Make no mistake, many will believe what Bell is teaching—and the consequences for the church will be very serious.
- The Emerging Church, Postmodernism, & Irrational Philosophy (apprising.org)
- Social Justice: Wolves in Sheeps Clothing (standupforthetruth.com)
- Hell-Questioning Pastor Rob Bell Says New Book Has Led Him to ‘Profound Brokenness’ (theblaze.com)
- ‘You’re Amending the Gospel’: MSNBC Host Grills Pastor About Hell Theory (theblaze.com)
- Pastor Fired After Backing New Rob Bell Book Questioning Hell (theblaze.com)