People are hating on Rob Bell right now. This weekend my twitter feed went nuts with articles linking to blog posts berating Rob Bell for thinking about Christianity in a different way. They said he was wrong, he was no longer a Christian or as John Piper said ‘Farewell Rob Bell’. A large number of people kicked him out of Christianity this weekend for a book that hasn’t even been published yet.
The book called Love Wins is scheduled to be released at the end of March. Most of the people who are critical haven’t read the book. All we have to go on is the promotional video Rob Bell has released. When I watched this video I got a sense that he is asking us to question and ponder life beyond what we think we know. He’s pushing us beyond our comfort zone. I admit I am interested in what he has to say. I wonder why everyone is so quick to judge. I wonder where the problem lies in thinking critically about our faith.
Maybe this is the reason so many reject us. Our constant need to prove we understand Jesus better than anyone else. Our need to be right. Our desire to be the one true way. Instead of embracing people and trying to figure out who we are together, we attack and condemn if we don’t agree with every little detail.
All we really know are the words of Jesus. Jesus says in John 14:6 “…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Honestly we don’t know who Jesus will chose. We have no idea how this will happen. As far as I know, Jesus never said if you’re a good Presbyterian/Baptist/Roman Catholic/Evangelical you’ll get to heaven. Jesus did say “No one comes to the Father except through me.” It’s not up to us to determine if Rob Bell is going to hell. It’s not up to us to make these judgments.
If all we have are the words of Jesus we also have this, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1). If we judge Rob Bell and determine he’s wrong, God may do the same to us.
What if we are wrong? What if we don’t know exactly what Jesus meant or said or did or believed? Maybe we should listen to others and talk about our differences. We’re all wondering where we fit in this world and what God wants from us. We all want to serve Jesus. Isn’t that enough? Shouldn’t we want to sit down and dialogue?
I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to March 29th when this book is released. I think it will be an interesting read and I hope it starts some conversation.