Rob Bell said it again. Bell publicly confirmed gay marriage. He created a firestorm in 2013 when he said,
“Yes, I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love. Whether it’s a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man…I think the church needs to just…this is the world we’re living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.” (1)
Then again, in February 2015 on Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sunday” program, Rob again reaffirmed his support of gay marriage as a cure for loneliness, not just for gay people but also for straight people. (2)
It doesn’t matter to Bell: man and a woman, a woman and a woman, or a man and a man. He said that the Christian Church needs to affirm them whatever the case.
All of them deserve affirmation by the Church, he said. Rob stated that he came to this conclusion based upon events in our culture.
Error #1: Failure of the Church
During recent years, Lesbian and Homosexual activists have increased their demands for unconditional approval and acceptance from the culture and every segment within it, including the Church.
Bell stated that the Church has failed these people and believes that the Church needs to repent for its failure to affirm them.
Rob does not stand alone in his declaration. Religious leaders, including professing evangelicals like Bell, have made similar endorsements. Politicians stumble over each other in their race to announce their support for Lesbian and Homosexual marriage.
Religious denominations increasingly elevate “gay” men and women to leadership positions, even pastors. The call to approve and accept their lifestyles reaches into every segment of our culture.
Error #2: Primary Basic Beliefs
However, Rob’s statements present problems. They reveal the basis upon which he makes value judgments, the culture. He molds his judgments to the mores of society and denounces others who do not agree with him.
In his prior works, he has espoused the belief that no culture can dictate truth claims and value judgments to another culture. However, he attempts to do that very thing in the present instance.
Given his frame of reference, then, will he call for the affirmation of adultery, rape, and pedophilia next? All of these practices abound in current culture.
Today’s society flaunts sexual practices without restraints. While some segments of it respect these practices, others even recommend them as normal behavior and demand affirmation and assistance from citizens to support their lifestyles.
So, since Bell relies upon society as the foundation for his value judgments, will he affirm these as well? Has this ship sailed, too?
Rob has no firm foundation upon which to base his value judgments. To form them upon culture begs for problems. As history has proven, cultures come and go. Mores change.
Most often, the squeaky wheels in society get the oil. Dominant voices sway the weak. The shifting sands of culture provide no firm foundation to those who unwisely build upon it.
Biblical Response to Homosexuality
However, the Bible trumps culture. Society must conform to the Bible’s inerrant truths. One cannot exclude the undesirable demands of the Bible and replace them with others more preferable to society.
With explicit clarity, the Bible describes Lesbian and Homosexual behavior as wicked. (3) It makes marriage clearly between a man and a woman. (4)
At the same time, the Bible instructs Christ’s followers to love their neighbors, even their enemies. The Church and the children of God share culpability on those occasions when they fail to love others, including those living a Lesbian or Homosexual life style.
In that regard, and in that regard only, the Church and those who claim Christianity must turn from those times when they have failed to love others as Christ commanded and love as Christ demands.
That does not equate to affirmation. The love that God demands for others does not require approval, support, and acceptance of another’s sinful lifestyle. In fact, true love attempts to correct those who deny and disobey the truths of God’s word, just as loving parents correct their children when they err.
Those who practice a “gay” lifestyle must conform their lives to the dictates of the Bible. God calls these practices wicked and requires those at fault to forsake them.
The Path Forward
God promises forgiveness to all who come to him through Jesus Christ, his provision for us sinners. He gives them his Holy Spirit who will guide them into the truth and grant them the power to overcome their sinful desires.
If you find yourself trapped in this lifestyle, I pray that God will give you new life and bring you to trust Christ to free you from sin.
Christ has promised to accept all who come to him and will not despise any. I urge you to come to him today.
I pray that Christ followers charmed by Rob Bell’s conclusions will turn from his unholy teaching and cling to the inerrant word of God. Further, all believers in Christ, enabled by the Holy Spirit, must obey His command to love their neighbors, including those who live a homosexual lifestyle.
- Quoted in Michael Brown, “Rob Bell’s Recipe for Spiritual Disaster.” Available at this link: charismanews.com/opinion/38743-rob-bells-recipe-for-spiritual-disaster. 2/23/2015.
- You can read Rob’s comments at this link:
- See Genesis 18.16-19.29, Leviticus 20.13, and Romans 1.18-28.
- See Genesis 2.18-24 and Matthew 19.3-12.
© Thomas P Hill. Website: www.masterministries.org.
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You can find a more complete examination of the Biblical position on homosexuality in my ebook, Homosexuality, Christians, and the Church, at this link.