On Sunday, former pastor and author Rob Bell expressed his support for gay “marriage” during a forum at Grace Cathedral, the Episcopal Cathedral of the Diocese of California.
“I am for marriage,” he said. “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 … we need to affirm people wherever they are.” Continue reading —>
Frankly, I’m only surprised it didn’t happen sooner. Anyone who has paid any attention to Bell’s career over the past couple of years will hardly be flabbergasted at this latest bit of funny business. He’s been retreating from orthodoxy for some time now, with the steadiness of Aesop’s tortoise – only quite a bit faster.
The word ‘love’ holds a prominent place in his vocabulary, yet it lacks any kind of biblical mooring. It’s merely the sentimentalism of postmodern times, weak-kneed and nauseatingly vapid: the kind of love that “affirms” you where you are, even if where you are is on the road to hell.
But of course, I have forgotten: Bell isn’t so sure about the whole hell thing. And if there is no hell, no place of eternal punishment for unrepentant sinners, then why is repentance such a big deal anyway? Love wins, don’t you know.
So I’ll hang with Jesus, and you hang with sin, ’cause we’ll all wind up in heaven in the end.
Bell talks a lot about God’s love. But what about God’s holiness? What about His justice? What about His fierce and eternal wrath again sin? God’s attributes are not, to borrow the words of Timothy Tennent, “like separate petals on a flower. God’s love is a just love. God’s mercy is a holy mercy, and so forth.” You cannot proclaim them in isolation. You cannot tell me of God’s love without also telling me of His wrath. The one has no meaning without the other.
The evangelical perspective, says Bell, is “narrow, politically intertwined, [and] culturally ghettoized.” We need to turn away from such “destructive” policies. We need to “die or adapt.”
Die or adapt. This, in rank opposition to the words of St. Paul: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
We are not called to adapt, Mr. Bell. We are called to stand fast (Philippians 4:1). Nor are we called to die, at least not in the way that you mean it. Christ’s Church will endure. He will have His Bride, and she will be spotless.
You would have us abandon Scripture, Mr. Bell, for the sake of cultural Brownie points. God and His Word must bend at the behest of our postmodern whim. “Cast your Bibles to the wind and wed the spirit of the age!”
But then, as Chesterton would say, “He who weds the spirit of the age soon finds himself a widower.”