Rob Bell, Homosexuality, Marriage, and the Gospel

You have probably heard by now that last week Rob Bell approved of so-called gay marriage. This should not be a shock. In fact, it was only a matter of time. In his promo video for Love Wins, he undermined the atonement of Jesus. In the book Love Wins, he preaches a judgment-less gospel. The next obvious progression would the perversion of his morality (i.e. his social morality, not his personal morality). This would especially be true for his view of marriage. If you get the gospel wrong–which Bell has shown he does–you will get marriage wrong.

The problem is that Bell’s a nice guy. He’s cordial and welcoming and a good story teller. You see, no one said that false teachers had to be ruthless and insensitive. People are not going to believe and follow a guy you wouldn’t want to have over for dinner. But a guy like Bell? People get in line because he’s nice.

And he’s nice about the way he talks about relationships. Bell says he is “for marriage…for fidelity.” We all should be. But the kicker is that he is for marriage whether it’s between opposite or same gender couples. Is his conviction wrong simply because the Bible says sex and marriage are reserved for one man and one woman? Well, yes and no. The Bible is clear on marriage, but even more than that, the gospel itself demands we reject so-called gay marriage. Why? Marriage is a reflection of the gospel. A distorted view of the gospel will lead to a distorted view of marriage. A distorted view of marriage reflects a distorted view of the gospel. Bell distorts the gospel, so he will logically distort marriage.

Marriage is meant to be a living drama of Christ’s love for his church. In Ephesians 5, Paul says that marriage is a mystery–not a “riddle” mystery, but a mystery in that the meaning was hidden and only uncovered when the gospel came in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus is the Groom. The Church is the Bride. It’s not Jesus married to Jesus or the Church married to the Church. Man and Women reflect this, and the pattern was established at Creation with Man, the groom, and Woman, the bride (Eph. 5:31; cf. Gen. 2:24). Any perversion of this is an assault on the gospel–on Jesus himself. If there’s any reason evangelicals should be passionate about the marriage debate, that’s it.

Wrong views on justice, hell, wrath, sexuality, marriage, and a thousand other important issues are only symptoms of a greater problem. When Bell rejects marriage as one man and one woman, he rejects the gospel itself, and vice versa. The problem is not primarily thinking so-called gay marriage is acceptable. The problem lies in a fundamental misunderstanding of who Jesus is and what he came to do.

Rob, I doubt you will ever read this or hear of me, but if you do, know I am praying for you.

Related Posts


My Top 10 Posts of 2011

Top ten lists. That is what the last week of December is for, right? I should probably get in on the action before it’s too late. Without further adieu, here are the top ten posts from this small corner of the blogosphere. Thank you all for reading. I am truly humbled.

10. Your Words Have the Power of Life and Death
9. The Result of a Depraved Mind: Practicing and Approving of Evil Deeds
8. Gospel-Centered Devotions
7. I Want to Love Jesus, Not Just Know Stuff About Him
6. Long Snapping Amazement
5. Happy Anniversary to My Wife
4. Biggest Out of Context Pet Peeve: Matthew 18:20
3. The Rob Bell Saga
2. Thoughts on Erwin McManus’s Talk at the Global Leadership Summit
1. Should We Rejoice Over Osama Bin Laden’s Death?

If you read this blog often, what was your favorite post of 2011?


Edwards: Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open

Jonathan Edwards believed in the horrors of hell–that it is a place of eternal fiery torment and punishment, with no hope of relief, for all those who reject the gospel of Jesus Christ. But Edwards also believed in the beautiful mercy that Jesus gives to all who would come to him:

And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God. Many are daily coming from the east, west, north and south; many that were very lately in the same miserable condition that you are in, are now in a happy state, with their hearts filled with love to him who has loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God.

How awful is it to be left behind at such a day! To see so many others feasting, while you are pining and perishing! To see so many rejoicing and singing for joy of heart, while you have cause to mourn for sorrow of heart, and howl for vexation of spirit! How can you rest one moment in such a condition? Are not your souls as precious as the souls of the people at Suffield, where they are flocking from day to day to Christ?

HT: via

Life Theology

A Few More Verses on Hell

These verses (from the Gospel of Matthew alone) show, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus preached an eternal, conscious, fiery torment awaits those who do not receive and believe in Jesus as the only way to God.

Throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 13:42)

Throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 13:50)

Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matt. 22:13)

[The master] will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 24:51)

And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matt. 25:30)

The words “outer darkness,” “fiery furnace,” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” are all descriptions Jesus uses to tell us what hell is like.

You can deny that Jesus is Lord and believe hell does not exist. But you cannot deny that Jesus and the Bible are silent about hell. That option is not on the table.



John Shore: You Can’t Know If Hell is Real

John Shore has been writing a little bit about hell lately. He has written a response (reaction?) to a promo video by Francis Chan about his new book Erasing Hell.  Hmmm, a quick, public response to a promo-video about a book about hell. Sound familiar? (Funny how people criticize others for doing the same thing, but when the ball is in their court…)

In another article on his personal blog, Shore writes about if hell is real. In typical liberal fashion, he avoids the answer and claims the Bible does as well:

Asking whether or not hell is real is like asking your teammates in a football huddle during a game whether or not they think it’s possible, from your guys’ current position on the field, to sink a three-point basket.

Wrong question.

Wrong game.

Missing the point.