Few will be surprised to learn that Rob Bell, controversial author and former pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church, came out this past weekend in support of gay ‘marriage.’
Speaking this past Sunday at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, Bell responded to a question regarding same-sex marriage and in his answer, Bell affirmed and “openly endorsed marriage equality.” The Huffington Post shares Bell’s response:
I am for marriage. 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 the church needs — I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are. (Source)
Bell went on to declare that members of the ‘narrow’ evangelical subculture need to ‘adapt’ to the new ways of viewing God and the world. He further stated that those who “have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. . . need to repent” for doing so in the name of God.
Though Huffington Post writer Greg Carey stated, “To my knowledge, Bell’s interview marks the first time that he has openly supported marriage equality,” many Christians are unsurprised by this latest report about Bell. Speaking at a Los Angeles event in July 2012, Bell was asked his thoughts about homosexuality. His reply was unquestionably gay-affirming:
Thank you for asking that. We’re here in West Hollywood, epicenter of a lot of gay culture and you’re asking—some people are gay (pause) and you’re our brothers and you’re our sisters, and we love you.
We love you. (audience applauds) And it’s really, really, really, important that we’re clear. I had a good friend—when I was in my teens—who was gay. And hadn’t told anybody. An’ I was the first person he told.
And (pause) probably the most loving, generous, holy—one of the most—he was extraordinary, is extraordinary. But at an early age I was like, some people are gay; an’ God loves them just like God loves me.
And they’re passionate disciples of Jesus, just like I’m trying to be. So, let’s all get together and try to do something about the truly big problems in our world; that I believe Jesus would us to band together, and tackle together.
So there you go.
In its report on Rob Bell’s latest comments, Christian News Network shared the following:
However, not all are enthusiastic about Bell’s teachings or that fact that such books are so prevalent and popular in Christendom.
“The best-selling books in Christianity today are almost categorically across the board emergent books,” lamented Pastor Eric Ludy in his sermon The Evil Side of Artistic. “Entire tables will be set up in Barnes and Noble entitled ‘The New Christian,’ and they’re all this [type of emergent] thinking. So, I’m not talking about a little side project … This is the thinking that is permeating the Church of Jesus Christ.”
“What has happened to our Gospel?” he asked with concern in his voice. “You do not tamper with the truth, otherwise you are tampering with the Son of God who gave up His life. This was precious blood that was spent. Precious! And we [need] give up our blood to protect this message.”
Rob Bell is known for questioning, redefining and challenging the beliefs of orthodox Christianity. His book, Love Wins, caused a stir by redefining Hell, and his newest book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, is said to “tackle misconceptions about God.” The only thing shocking about this latest news, then, is that anybody is shocked by it in the first place.