Ding, ding, ding; the fight is on. It seems to be Rob Bell, lead pastor of Mars Hill Church (the one in Michigan with no relation to Mars Hill Church in Seattle) vs. every other Christian who has ever lived. We’ve all seen the interview, (if you haven’t – get out from under the rock and watch it below.)
Now that you are caught up, let’s talk.
I just had a conversation with a great friend of mine. He made some valid points, I made some valid points and in the end we both realized that our opinions don’t matter. This isn’t about Rob Bell.
It’s often easy in ministry to get caught up in the who’s who of the field. We love to talk about other pastors views and other churches methods. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s like a baseball player talking about another team and it’s players… discussing advantages, and disadvantages. Things we can gain by emulating or steering clear of. I think that Rob Bell’s statements are going to do wonderful things for those of us in the ministry. It will cause us to think and debate. It will force us to stand for our beliefs, regardless of which side of the fence they lie.
My fear is for the men and women of God who count themselves as sheep. One of my biggest gripes with American Christianity is that no one reads their Bibles. I have been studying to teach a lesson on how to read the Bible and I’ve uncovered some sickening statistics. 56% of Americans have never read a book cover to cover. I didn’t say they’ve never read their Bibles; I said they’ve never read a book. If you’ve never read “The Lord of the Rings” or “Little Women” or any other classic literature… heck if you’ve never read “Curious George Goes to the Zoo” Then chances are you’ve certainly never read the 1000+ page book we call the Bible. This is super sad.
If you bought a new iPad wouldn’t you go online and read everything that it can do? Wouldn’t you want to know every function and what every application was for and how it can better help your life? I know I would. But, as Christians, we are fully content having never read the owners manual. We are given a book, which God has promised that He Himself wrote…. catch that, please, I’m begging you. THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE WROTE A BOOK AND ASKED US TO READ IT. The One who hung the stars and designed the world we live in, gave us the History of the World and tells us that it is living and breathing and that He uses it to talk to us and guide us. You haven’t read it? Are you insane?
If you’ve never heard of the Bible and someone came up to you with it and said, “Hey, this book was authored by the Guy who imagine the giraffe for the first time, stretched its neck, made it all goofy looking and put spots on it. The Writer of this book formed you in your mother’s womb, knows how many hairs are on your head and breathed breath into you. He wants you to read it so that He can tell you exactly what your life is all about and why He created you – specifically.” Wouldn’t you stop everything you are doing and read it??
The fastest the Bible has ever been read cover to cover is 4 1/2 days. A poor reader (200 words a minute or about 10 verses) can read the Bible an hour a day and finish the whole thing, cover to cover, in 4 months. Do yourself a favor and put a Bible in your bathroom… you’ll have it read in no time at all.
Why am I tell you all of this? Because it is vitally important that Christians know what the Bible says! If Christians knew what the Word teaches then there wouldn’t be such controversy when things come to light like this Rob Bell situation. Do I believe Rob Bell is teaching unbiblical truths? Absolutely. Does it matter? Not really – it only matters to me. What I think shouldn’t matter to you; it only matters what you think. God wants you to have your own opinion. He wants you to read the Word and decide for yourself.
Remember 3 things.
No man is God.
No book or blog is Scripture.
No doctrine or belief is perfect.