WILL ROB BELL NOW FOLLOW TONY JONES OUT OF THE CLOSET?

And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:12-13, ESV)

Diligently Searching The Scriptures Ala W.C. Fields Looking Hard For A Loophole

Apprising Ministries has been doing what we can bring to the attention of the Body of Christ a couple of important issues e.g in Emergent Church Theologian Tony Jones and his Unrepentant Homosexual Christians. For those who may not be aware of the heart of the matter Tony Jones, author of the book The New Christianity Christians and a leading theologian in the Emergent Church, is officially out of the closet now concerning his view that unrepentant practicing homosexuals can become Christians.

At the interspiritual website Beliefnet, where Jones now blogs, in Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue: How I Went from There to Here he removed all doubt as to his position—as well as that which he feels the Body of Christ itself should also take—regarding those who are unrepentant in their practice of the sin of homosexuality:

And yet, all the time I could feel myself drifting toward acceptance that gay persons are fully human persons and should be afforded all of the cultural and ecclesial benefits that I am.  (”Aha!” my critics will laugh derisively, “I knew he and his ilk were on a continuous leftward slide!”)

In any case, I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state. (Online source, bold theirs)

The other issue which needs to be brought to light is one I touch on in the AM piece Dan Kimball and the Emergent Church Seeking Hard to Make Homosexual Sin Not Sin. Predictably Kimball got all offended but, as I told him one time as we talked on the phone, by ones continued involvement with the practices of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM)—which would beyond question contribute mightily to bringing about the Protestant Reformation—they will only drift deeper into spiritual deception.

For example Emerging Church icon Rob Bell, makes it crystal clear that he personally is a practitioner of this spurious CSM in his Sunday November 16, 2008 sermon “I will say it again, and agin, and again”:

It’s interesting how many traditions (pause) When you read the great enlightened ones; meditation, centering prayer, reflection—in every tradition you can find the mystics—and what’s always at the heart of the spiritual lives, the everyday lives of the great ones was always a period of time. Whether it’s prayers, chanting, meditation, reflection, study—whatever you call it—what is it essentially; it’s taking time to breathe. Because when you’ve been breathing, (slight pause) in a proper sort of way, you’re far better equipped to handle what life throws your way. (Online source)

And a case in point of further drift into deception is Tony Jones’ own comment in the comments section of that Beliefnet post cited above:

Tony Jones
November 20, 2008 3:33 PM

Hi everyone. Just a note. This is going to be a long and engaging blogalogue over many days and many posts. Surely, Rod and I will both grapple with the scriptural passages that directly deal with homosexuality and those that indirectly have something to say about this issue. This was simply an opening post to give you something of my story. (Online source)

That Jones tells us he’s going to “grapple with the scriptural passages” is actually a red herring; 1) he’s already told us his position, and 2) as I asked previously, are we really supposed to believe that no Christians ever did this prior to the time Emerging Church guys like Kimball and Jones arrived on the scene? Isn’t it rather arrogant to assert that no scholars and apologists faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ have ever actually understood the Scriptures and/or the issues concerning the subject of homosexuality before someone like Emergent Guru Brian McLaren came along to ask for his moratorium on discussion?

Well, it just so happens to be my opinion that McLaren’s moratorium was largely a ploy in order to buy more time for the postliberal cult of the Emerging Church to further penetrate evangelicalism. The sad fact is as it has been doing so it continues conditioning increasingly gullible evangelicals into accepting the views which Jones at least has the intestinal fortitude to express in the Beliefnet post we have cited in this article. And as far as his going on the record publicly I, as one who has been quite critical of his teachings, do wish to give Tony Jones some due respect.

So then, what about teaching pastor Rob Bell of Mars Hill Bible Church? He is good friends with Jones’ pastor Doug Pagitt; I wonder, will Bell now have the spiritual backbone to follow suit with Jones? Also keep in mind that it’s quite likely that budding politican Pagitt does hold the same position as does Tony Jones of his own Solomon’s Porch congregation. Now a while back in Rob Bell on the Emerging Issue of Homosexuality Mum’s the Word I gathered some of what Bell has kinda sorta said concerning homosexuality, which unquestionably is an issue of growing importance—not only in the Christian community—but in the nation itself.

The following is from an article called “Getting to the Root of Religion” by David Crumm in the Detroit Free Press (03-06-2005) we read the following:

Homosexuality? Bell tells gay people the same thing he tells everyone who walks through the door. It’s a powerfully affirming line that he repeated in his sermon on Sunday: “God loves you exactly as you are. Period.” (Online source, emphasis mine)

If God Loves The Practicing Sinner Just As They Are Period Why Convert To Christianity?

Since that Free Press article itself is no longer available online as a second witness I have also included  the below post at Midwest Church Planting where the article is quoted as well:

In Bell’s envisioning of Christianity, he’s also trying to bypass some of the feuds that have left many denominations deadlocked. Women’s ordination? No problem at Mars Hill. A third of the 15 associate pastors who work with Bell are women.

Homosexuality? Bell tells gay people the same thing he tells everyone who walks through the door. It’s a powerfully affirming line that he repeated in his sermon on Sunday: “God loves you exactly as you are. Period.” (Online source)

I also draw your attention again to “Is Rob Bell Going Soft on Homosexuality?” by Trevin Wax where he brings out that:

Ben Witherington, author and New Testament scholar, writes about his recent visit to a Question & Answer session with Rob Bell. Despite his affinity for Rob, Witherington critiques Bell’s answer to the question of homosexuality as “evasive… disturbing… and unbiblical.” In fact, it was Rob’s reluctance to make any pronouncement on this issue that seems to have disturbed Witherington the most. (Online source)

Wax is referring to “Rob Bell hits Lexington and a Packed-Out House” where United Methodist Bible scholar Ben Witherington III shares with us his eyewitness testimony concerning an event he attended where Witherington tells us, “The format of the evening was Q+A on whatever subjects the audience wants to ask Rob about.” Witherington first speaks favorably “of the promise of [Bell’s] writings and speaking engagements and videos.”

And then Witherington tells us that he also felt it “necessary in all fairness to turn around and talk about the problems” inherent with the teachings of Rob Bell. For our purposes here, as it concerns the subject of homosexuality, we stick with the “problem area [of] ethics,” which Witherington felt “became very apparent” when “Rob Bell was asked about homosexuality.” Witherington then explains that in his opinion Bell’s “answers [were] evasive in part” and also found them in part “disturbing” as well as “clearly unBiblical in other parts.”

In addition it was Witherington’s own contention that “in this [Bell] sounds like some other leaders in the Emergent Church movement.” And this is precisely the aspect I am attempting to draw out here: Does Rob Bell also have the same view as Emergent Church theologian Tony Jones concerning unrepentant practicing homosexuals claiming to become Christians? Below Witherington now goes on to offer some specifics as to what he found “evasive”, “disturbing”, and “clearly unBiblical” with Rob Bell:

First of all, Rob made the blanket statement that you have no moral authority to speak on this issue unless you have gay friends and understand their struggle. While I am all for having pastoral empathy with people and their struggles, on that showing, Paul should never have spoken on this issue at all. This comment by Rob is simply an unhelpful way of silencing important voices in a divisive conversation, and its not helpful. Indeed it goes against the whole M.O. of Rob himself, which is to honor other people’s views and beliefs and questions. (Online source)

“No moral authority to speak”; sorry about that Rob, the Christian is an ambassador of Jesus Christ (see—2 Corinthians 5:20) and as such has the authority Christ has given His Church to declare His Word concerning all moral issues to which it speaks. What is more, as one who claims he is a “teaching pastor” Rob Bell is then himself charged — In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus per 2 Timothy 4:2 to Preach the Word. And if Bell is not willing to do so; if he’d rather be a social worker, then he needs to immediately remove himself from ministry.

Witherington also tells us that rather than fulfill his duty as an alleged minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ Bell instead chose, and apparently still chooses, to retreat into a tired old argument:

Secondly, Rob then makes an argument from silence which is in fact misleading. The argument is this— “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality”. This is not quite true. Jesus took all sorts of sexual sin very seriously, even adultery of the heart, as Rob admits, and so it is no surprise then that we find Jesus telling his disciples in Mt. 19 that they have only two legitimate options: 1) marital fidelity (with marriage being defined as a relationship between one man and one woman joined together by God which leads to a one flesh union), or 2) being a eunuch for the sake of the Kingdom. (Ibid.)

There isn’t a lot I would find myself in agreement with Witherington anymore but above he is correct. And as I show in Apprising Ministries: Shocking New Evidence Jesus Condemned The Practice Of Homosexuality, because Christ Jesus is God in human flesh, whatever God the Father says in the Old Testament Jesus Christ—God the Son—also says. Or do you not remember that the Lord very specifically tell us — Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:9). The only way around this is to try and cast doubt on the veracity of Scripture. Does this ring a bell, “Yea, hath God said?” (see—Genesis 3:1) 

Men Who Are Undermining The Historic Orthodox Christian Faith Are Given Free Rein

No, in the end the issue of whether someone being unrepentant in their practice of the sin of homosexuality can become a Christian really is as simple as my own comment in the combox of the Beliefnet post by Tony Jones which opened our discussion:

Ken Silva
November 20, 2008 5:32 PM
http://apprising.org

The written Word of God clearly calls the practice of homosexuality sin; and therefore so does Christ Jesus, the living Word of God. Dr. Walter Martin was dead on target when he said, “It is not unloving to tell someone the truth; you can get in a lot of trouble for doing it, but it is not unloving.” (Online source)

So the question now becomes: Are there any evangelical leaders at all with enough backbone to finally step in and use their influence to force guys e.g. like Rob Bell to clearly define their terms and state plainly their position on whether an unrepentant practicing homosexual can become a Christian? And for that matter to also get them to go on the record as to what their actual views are concerning Sola Scriptura. Just remember brother pastor you and I will be held accountable by the Lord ala James 3:1 for all that is taught within our churches.

Men and women, you need to understand that these postliberal posers in the Emergent Church are using language which is familiar to evangelical youth but they have infused these terms with their own meanings. Dr. Walter Martin once laid out the methodology of the original cult of Liberal Theology was to gradually re-educate the layman into their new approach to theology. Well, as you should be able to see via the example of Tony Jones their postliberal progeny have been busy doing the exact same thing.

And think about it; if senior pastors themselves are being fooled by this ongoing Emerging terminology shift then you better know that the precious young people in your youth groups are then totally defenseless against these wolves in sheep’s clothing. Now if I with but a high school education, with no college on any level, can even see through this you may rest assured that God is beginning to by-pass the wise in favor of using the foolishness of ministries like Apprising Ministries. 

The evangelical community continues to remain silent in the face of Emergent dreamers like Jones and Bell who would dare distort the Christian faith at your own peril. You have already been warned of their arrival long ago; and remember, this isn’t a drill:

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert… (Acts 20:28-31, NASB)

See also:

BRIAN MCLAREN, THE EMERGING CHURCH, AND HOMOSEXUALITY: WHAT’S SO HARD ABOUT THAT?

TONY JONES AND THE EMERGENT CHURCH: “CHRISTIAN” GAY IS A-OK

EMERGENT CHURCH OPENLY ACCEPTS PRACTICING HOMOSEXUAL “CHRISTIANS”

PRACTICING HOMOSEXUAL BISHOP GENE ROBINSON: “THIS IS WHERE GOD IS LEADING THE WHOLE CHURCH”

ROB BELL RESOURCES FROM APPRISING MINISTRIES

IS ROB BELL EVANGELICAL?

ROB BELL CONTROVERSY OVER DOCTRINE

CROSSTALK RADIO: KEN SILVA ON ROB BELL AND WARNINGS ABOUT THE EMERGENT CHURCH MOVEMENT