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.