Tag Archives: Emerging Church

Discernment, Now

12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.  14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”  Hebrews 5:12-14

This past week I was over at Sola Sisters reading a blog on their commendable site when I saw a video post of Paul Washer’s 10 Indictments sermon, that also included the transcript, which by the way is an outstanding truth filled video highlighting many of the fundamental problems within today’s evangelical church.  One commenter on the video noted another video of Washer’s in which he talks at length about “spiritual disciplines” namely prayer and spending time studying God’s Word.  The commenter had pointed out that several times during the sermon Washer had made reference to encouraging “meditation” and “practicing the presence of God” and had included a website link in which questions were raised regarding Paul Washer’s joining the fast growing movement of “Contemplative Prayer or Meditation” also known as “Centering Prayer” (see working definition below) that is invading the evangelical church and is being promoted by Emerging Church leaders such as Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, et.al.  and following in the pattern of contemplative monk and mystic Brother Lawrence. 

After viewing the video I came away feeling relieved that Washer wasn’t promoting the kind of eastern religious meditation that is becoming so popular, but instead a biblical meditation (see Psalm 1:2, et.al ) and was countering the well known mystical term to “Practice the Presence of God.”  While Paul Washer would be the first to admit he is a fallible man, this shows the importance of discernment that we must continue to use when listening to sermons, reading books, or having conversations.  This issue raised a few thoughts though, can we be too discerning, perhaps “hyper-discerning”, becoming doctrine police or is a more balanced approach required?  Why is discernment necessary and subsequently why is it so lacking within the Church today? 

In Acts 17:10-12 we read of a prime example of Biblical discernment, “10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.”  The Bereans received the word, that Paul and Silas brought, with all eagerness, but as the passage says they examined the Scriptures daily to see if what they were hearing was true.  Now these two men, Paul and Silas were not like the false teachers of today, Paul had seen the risen Christ on the road to Damascus and was commissioned as an apostle.  Silas was his missionary partner and later was the scribe of Peter’s first epistle.  They were still men, but if ever there were trustworthy sources from which to listen it was Paul and Silas.  Note that the Bereans were excited to hear the word, but they no doubt thought seriously about it and then compared it to the only infallible source, the Scriptures (See Sola Scriptura and Experience or Truth).  This is far from “hyper-discernment”, but is instead Biblical discernment exercised properly.  Many people within the Church today might have questioned the Bereans’ level of discernment, after all to question any pastor/preacher/teacher these days is considered to be divisive, intolerant, or stirring up trouble.

Which brings us to our subject passage from Hebrews 5:12-14, “12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.  14But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”  Here we see a contrast between those who should be teachers, but are instead reduced to milk consumption and those that have the power of discernment who feed on solid food.  The former group is in said condition due to negligence, idleness and, ignorance of “oracles of God”, i.e. the Scriptures (in context the OT).  The latter group is skilled in the word of righteousness, feeding on solid food, i.e. the difficult and complex doctrines as revealed by the Holy Spirit, and have their powers of discernment trained through practice to distinguish good from evil.  This is really where we are in the church today.  There are those who may know the Bible, but don’t feed on it.  They are content to feed milk.  As commentator Matthew Poole states, “these Hebrews had so greatly forgotten these first principles, that they were become mere babes and infants in knowledge, they needed the first and weakest spiritual food, metaphorically styled with milk; the most plain and easy truths of the gospel, such as they may understand and give light to others.”  As another commentary stresses, “God’s order is that every believer should be mature to the point where he can teach others.” 

In Ephesians Paul encourages believers “to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” Ephesians 4:13-14  Nevertheless, this is the predominant case with the majority of congregants today, and yes church leaders too, being “tossed to and fro” and lacking the discernment necessary to “distinguish good from evil.”  We need look no further than the popularity of word faith televangelists, prosperity gospel peddlers, church growth modelers and such preachers as Joel Osteen and Rick Warren, the Emergent Church Conversation, i.e. Emerging Church, led by the aforementioned McLaren, Campolo, Rob Bell, Tony Jones, and Doug Pagitt, and many, many others.  After apologizing if stepping on toes, J.Vernon McGee offers the following insight into verse 13 of the Hebrew passage:

“You cannot grow apart from the word of God.  I don’t care how active you are in the church.  You may be an officer.  You may be on every committee in the church.  You may be a leading deacon or elder: I don’t care who you are, or what you are; if you are not studying the Word of God, and if you don’t know how to handle it, you are a little baby.  It is tragic to occupy a church office when you are just a little baby.  You ought to come on and grow up.  It is tragic that there are people who have been members of the church and have been saved for years, and they are still going around saying, ‘Goo, Goo, Goo.’  They have nothing to contribute but little baby talk.  All they want is to be burped periodically.”      

The exhortation from this passage is clear, mature to the point of consuming solid food that is the Word of God and train, literally like an athlete or wrestler, the senses of discernment through the power of the Holy Spirit so that one’s Biblical knowledge is such that distinguishing the fruits of false prophets is possible (Matthew 7:15-17).  Matthew Poole concludes his commentary on Hebrews 5:14 with the following statement, “the grown Christian is improved by the exercise of his spiritual senses, that can by his enlightened mind discern higher gospel doctrines, and by his renewed will relish the sublime mysteries of Christ as they are revealed to him.  Such the Christian Hebrews ought to have been, so able proficients in the school of Christ.”  Discernment has never been more necessary than now.

“But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.  I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh.” I Corinthians 3:1-3a

*Contemplative meditation is a belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is often wrapped in Christian terminology; the premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all).

The Emerging Heresy

Those of you who follow this blog know that it’s been my primary focus to dissect and study the Word of God and to pass along the things that God teaches and shows me through the written word here.  However it has become increasingly necessary to refute those members of the church body that consistently preach and teach a corrupt Gospel.  The half-brother of Jesus, Jude, describes this perfectly in the introduction to his book:

 3Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude 3-4 ESV

Jude had originally felt compelled to write a letter about salvation, but the Holy Spirit inspired him to instead write a message urging the churches to recognize and challenge those who were preaching an alternate Gospel message.  Just as the Apostle Paul did in his letter to the Church at Galatia,6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” Galatians 1:6-7 ESV  Again in his second letter to the Corinth Church Paul states, 4For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” II Corinthians 11:4 ESV  As believers who make up the same body of Christ as those in Paul and Jude’s day, we must realize that these false teachers did not simply “disappear”, instead they are as pervasive as ever, cleverly packaging and repackaging their message to lead as many astray and away from the true Gospel as they can.  There are none as dangerously deceptive as those who preach “another Jesus” as Paul alludes and those who use and say all the words to tickle our ears, but in fact the message is completely false.  I wanted to provide the biblical background for pointing out these false teachings/teachers so that those of you reading will realize that to speak out against them is not an attack on the Church, but a defense of the Church.  We’re not talking about differences in interpreting a Scripture passage, instead the focus of defending the Truth goes to the heart of the issue, a blatant, ungodly perversion of the Word of God.

A few days ago I was getting caught up on some posts in the Christian blogosphere and I ran across a clip from a sermon given by Shane Hipps.  For those who don’t know (and I didn’t), Mr. Hipps has recently been named as Rob Bell’s assistant pastor at Mars Hill Church in Michigan.  To read more about Bell’s blatant false theological assertions click Wolves are Emerging.  This hiring lends additional credence to the fact that Bell could care less about correct, truthful expositional teaching, by not only endorsing Hipps, but hiring him.  Listen to the sermon excerpt below, but please pray for discernment first.  If you would like to get your Bible and read along, the message comes from the Gospel of John, chapter 1.  I’ll discuss more after you listen. 

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5

I’ll walk through the parts, but click here to listen to the segment (approx. 5:00 minutes) Shane Hipps sermon on wind/sails

Ok, so there’s a lot going on in this brief clip, some of which is just plain wrong, most of which is heretical.  Our first point of contention comes 00:48 on the clip.  Hipps asserts that by referring to Jesus as the “Word”, the Greek Logos or a word signifying “Wisdom” that the Apostle John is somehow endorsing both the religions of the Jews and Greeks by borrowing from their usages of particular words.  This could not be further from the truth because in using this term Logos to refer to Jesus he is speaking to both religions in the hopes to connect to them with the Gospel (and is actually pointing back to Genesis 1:3).  This is the Apostle John, this isn’t a 3rd or 4th hand account of historical information, he was there when Jesus died!  No Apostle of Jesus is going to condone the religious nonsense that the Greeks and Jews believed.  In fact, the Apostle Paul states,22For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” I Corinthians 1:22-24 In this passage, Paul gives reprimand to the religious beliefs of both Jews and Greeks, while affirming the truth of Christ crucified.  To say that John’s reference to the Word (Jesus) doesn’t “nullify” other religions, but instead it transcends them, goes against the very gospel that the Apostles taught!  This would be like saying it’s ok to be Muslim or Hindu and if you can work Jesus into your religion that would be great.   

Hipps goes on next to state at 01:54 that, “To lose your religious identity is like losing a sail at sea.  The sail is like religion.  The wind is the spirit.”  Oh boy.  I hesitate to even address this one, but the truth is at stake.  First of all, losing your religious identity is EXACTLY what Jesus came to cause.  Jesus’ entire ministry centered around telling people that their religion was wrong, specifically the Jews, that the way they were doing things must change and that He is the ONLY way to believe.  There isn’t some kind of hybrid religion, there is Christ, period.  6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:7 ESV  In the next statement, Mr. Hipps seeks to merge the spirit (which he will later confirm is the Holy Spirit) with multiple religions.  His assertion here is that it doesn’t matter what religion, or “sail” you have, you can harness the wind, or spirit.  False.  Let’s go into the next set of quotes to further address this one.  02:29 he states that the spirit doesn’t need sails (religions) to move about the world.  Well he’s correct there.  John 3:8 ESV states, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  Here’s the thing with false teachers, especially those of the Emerg-ing/ent church, they take you so close to the truth through twists and turns that it’s difficult to spot the fallacies. At 02:48 he begins saying that we need sails in order to catch the wind.  No sir, we need Jesus to catch the “wind”, not the religious system that Hipps describes at 02:50.  He goes on to say (03:13) that some religions (sails again) are better equipped to catch the Spirit of God.  Kind of sounds like “all roads lead to the same God” doesn’t it?  He continues (03:23) to say that it matters what religion you “choose.”  This is one reason why it’s so critical to understand that through our total depravity, meaning complete sinfulness, we cannot “choose” God.  Maybe one can “choose” Islam, Buddhism, or Hindu, but darkness can never choose the Light.  Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV tells us that we were chosen in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the earth, yet we still have the responsibility to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved.  There isn’t a buffet of religions (or sails as Hipps continue to press) to choose from and we pick the one that best suites us.  There is only Jesus, believe on Him and be saved.   In concluding his confusing discourse on sails and wind, at 04:05 Hipps states, “Just because we claim Jesus as the center of our religion does not make us one and the same with the wind of God.”  The only way to receive the Spirit of God is to accept Jesus Christ as Savior.  John 14:26 ESV says, 26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”  Finally the portion of the message wraps up with, “This logos affects everybody including Osama bin Laden, as long as he’s got breath, in him, is a spark of the divine.”  I don’t even think that ridiculous assertion warrants a response, other than John 3:18-21.

You may be asking why I took the time to walk through this portion of Shane Hipps sermon.  The answer is twofold: First, since he is now the assistant pastor of Rob Bell, whom Time magazine ranked as their most influential pastors and whom the Chicago Sun Times declared “The Next Billy Graham”, then it’s so critical to understand what these men believe and teach.  The second reason, and more importantly, is to stand up and refute the false gospels being taught using sound biblical truths.

Contend for the faith!

Jude 18-21 18They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit 21keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

You can find the text version of this sermon excerpt here: Partial text version

Listen to full sermon here: Full audio version

Apostasy: The Wolves are Emerging

For awhile I’ll admit I was confused about the Emerging/Emergent Churches and philosophies, actually I didn’t even know who/what it was.  Until I started this blog, I was basically oblivious to their movement.  For the sake of argument, I’m not going to address the differences between the two, in fact I don’t really care.  If the mere distinction between the two names is their last three letters, then apparently the founders of each movement weren’t particularly concerned with keeping each movement separate and distinguished.  Building on the apostate discussion that I alluded to yesterday, I chose to lead off with this movement because they are the “relative” new kid on the block if you will.  Based on what I’ve read and researched, they are the most dangerous because they attract the youth groups and young people, those who have yet to accept Christ as Savior and those immature in the Christian walk.  They prey on these “babes” in Christ who as the Apostle Paul says, “…lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”  Hebrews 5:13-14  It is for each of these persons that I write this post, with Christ-like love to, as Jude said, “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”  Jude 22-23 It is my prayer that every person that reads this has their eyes and ears open to spiritual discernment, that they might recognize the evil corruption spread by the “leaders” of the Emerging/Emergent movement.  This is Apostasy: The Wolves.

First let’s establish the Truth.  We were given God’s Holy and inspired Word.  It was written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Though there are now newer, more “relevant” translations that distort the original context, the Holy Bible in and of itself, inerrant (without error) and infallible (incapable of error).  In this regard, it is a guide for our lives and a lamp to our paths. Psalm 119:105 In fact in John 1:1-2 NKJV we learn that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.”  Later on in John we get the amazing Truth that, “…The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  Through these Truth’s we can surmise that God’s Holy Word became flesh in the form of Jesus.  To deny the truths within the Bible is to deny Christ.  To say that we are incapable of wholly knowing the Truth of the Word is to say that we are incapable of knowing Jesus.  All those who have come to know Christ as personal Savior can claim the truth the Apostle Paul writes of in I Corinthians 2:16 NKJV, “For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”  We have the Word and that Word is the Truth, as Jesus stated, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 Yet these truths are contrary to the teachings of the Emerging/ent Church.  Their mission is to create confusion, doubt, and disbelief in God’s Holy Word and leave you to search for the truth internally.  What you “discover” as truth may not be relevant to the truth I find, but we can come together and each be right.  It’s the epitome of thinking outside the box.  A catchy slogan in our progressive, postmodern society, but when applied to God, it’s wholly inadequate and heretically incorrect.  Let me provide an example to explain what I mean.  These wolves teach that each of our lives are different, in that I might be a “circle”, you might be a “pyramid”, another person might be a “sphere”, and so on.  According to them, each of us can take the Bible and conform it to our individual life shape.  So for me as a circle, the Bible fits me one way, for you it fits another way and so on.  The Truth of the matter is the Bible is the box, though the living, breathing Word of God, it’s unchanging.  We can’t conform it to fit a certain ideal or belief or our lives.  Just the opposite!  It’s not the Bible that conforms to us, but our lives that conform to the Bible.  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 So these are the generic beliefs of the Emerging/ent Church.  To create complete ambiguity and confusion with the Bible; to state that each of us are incapable of knowing the Truth and those that do are arrogant.  I want to point out a few specific examples of their thinking from some of the key leaders wolves that will help better inform you as to what I mean.

Let’s start with one of the more doctrinally confused of the movement, Brian McLaren.  Mr. McLaren is pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Maryland.  He’s so powerful within this movement, Time magazine listed him as one of the “25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America” in 2005.  I don’t know if that’s a condemnation of Time’s out-of-touch assessment or just how sad the Evangelical community has become.  Here’s a sample quote from his book A Generous Orthodoxy:

“I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish contexts … rather than resolving the paradox via pronouncements on the eternal destiny of people more convinced by or loyal to other religions than ours, we simply move on … To help Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, and everyone else experience life to the full in the way of Jesus (while learning it better myself), I would gladly become one of them (whoever they are), to whatever degree I can, to embrace them, to join them, to enter into their world without judgment but with saving love as mine has been entered by the Lord” (A Generous Orthodoxy, 260, 262, 264).

So let me get this straight, 1) Disciples do not have to adhere to Christianity 2) It’s ok for people to stick with their world religion and still follow Jesus 3) He would gladly join a world religion to help someone learn the way of Jesus, note he did not say to come to salvation in Christ.  In this brief quote we’ve learned some interesting facts about Mr. McLaren.  He’s denied that Jesus is the only way to salvation and has paved an ecumenical path to knowing God.  Do you see what the wolves try to do?  They use pieces of the Bible, words that are familiar to us to paint their picture of what they want us to believe.  In that sense, it becomes confusing to the reader because it sounds like Gospel, but it’s far from it.  Let’s learn a little bit more, how about some “social gospel” from his book Everything Must Change:

Via Christianity Today: “McLaren tells us that he could only see this kingdom vision of Jesus when he came to a “place of cynically doubting much of what I had been told about Jesus.” To use the words of fellow emergent thinker Peter Rollins, the Northern Irish philosopher at Ikon community, McLaren experienced the “fidelity of betrayal.” He had to betray the Jesus and the gospel and the church that nurtured him to become faithful to the Jesus of this kingdom vision.”

Framing stories are the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of our world, and every theological system has a framing story.  “[The conventional framing story] has specialized in dealing with “spiritual needs” to the exclusion of physical and social needs. It has specialized in people’s destination in the afterlife but has failed to address significant social injustices in this life. It has focused on “me” and “my soul” and “my spiritual life” and “my eternal destiny,” but it has failed to address the dominant societal and global realities of their lifetime: systemic injustice, systemic poverty, systemic ecological crisis, systemic dysfunctions of many kinds.”

According to him, there’s no need to focus on knowing Christ as your Savior, instead you need to focus on ecological crises and societal injustices. 

And one final point, from the website of McLaren himself, a denial the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ:

Q: You know, justification by grace through faith in the finished atoning work of Christ on the cross.
McLaren: Are you sure that’s the gospel?
Q: Of course. Aren’t you?
McLaren: I’m sure that’s a facet of the gospel, and it’s the facet that modern evangelical protestants have assumed is the whole gospel, the heart of the gospel. But what’s the point of that gospel?
Q: What do you mean? I guess it’s so that people can spend eternity with God in heaven in an intimate personal relationship as opposed to … the alternative. You don’t seem to agree.
McLaren: Well, for Jesus, the gospel seemed to have something to do with the kingdom of God.
Q: Which is the kingdom of heaven, which is going to heaven after you die.
McLaren: Are you sure about that?
Q: Aren’t you?
McLaren: This is exactly the point I was trying to make in the article. Many of us are sure we’re “postmodern” now with our candles and hipness and so on, but we haven’t asked some important and hard questions – not about postmodernity, but about modernity and the degree to which our theology and understanding of the gospel have been distorted or narrowed or made “gospel lite” by modernity.
Q: If you were intending to make me feel better, you’re not succeeding.
McLaren: Well, I hope you’ll at least think about this. And search the Scriptures, you know, to see if there’s any validity to the question I’m raising.

 

“The church has been preoccupied with the question, “What happens to your soul after you die?” As if the reason for Jesus coming can be summed up in, “Jesus is trying to help get more souls into heaven, as opposed to hell, after they die.” I just think a fair reading of the Gospels blows that out of the water. I don’t think that the entire message and life of Jesus can be boiled down to that bottom line.” -Brian McLaren, from the PBS special on the Emerging Church

Seriously, Brian McLaren provides so many opposing Biblical talking points, I could post them all day long.  By now you should get the point.  This guy is a dangerous wolf.  If you see his doctrine, turn away, if you’re reading his books, put them down now and pick up the Word of God.

Next up, the increasingly popular Rob Bell.  This may come as a surprise to some of you because I realize that his books and teaching come across as “cool” and hip and appeal to the younger generations, but he too is involved in the Emerging/ent Church Movement.  Let’s review some of his more infamous quotes.

From Velvet Elvis:

“Salvation is the entire universe being brought back into harmony with its maker.”

“When people use the word hell, what do they mean?  They mean a place, an event, a situation absent of how God desires things to be.  Famine, debt, oppression, loneliness, despair, death, slaughter-they are all hell on earth.  Jesus’ desire for his followers is that they live in such a way that they bring heaven to earth.  What’s disturbing is when people talk more about hell after this life than they do about Hell here and now.  As a Christian, I want to do what I can to resist hell coming to earth.” Pg 148

“Heaven is full of forgiven people.  Hell is full of forgiven people.  Heaven is full of people God loves, whom Jesus died for.  Hell is full of forgiven people God loves, whom Jesus died for.  The difference is how we choose to live, which story we choose to live in, which version of reality we trust.  Ours or God’s” p. 146

“For Jesus, the question wasn’t how do I get into heaven? But how do I bring heaven to earth?  The question wasn’t, how do I get in there?  But how do I get there, here?” p. 147

Just like McLaren, with Bell his anti-Biblical quotes can go all day.  The themes here are the same, man made solutions to the problems on earth so that they can create a heaven on earth.  They are presenting the same message, both are false gospels.  Jesus said in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”  Jesus will return to set up His Kingdom here during His millennial reign.  How can sinful man create heaven on earth in a fallen world?  It certainly sounds like Mr. Bell also refuses to believe in Hell as an actual place.  Those who refuse to accept Christ as their Savior are going to hell.  Your sins are only forgiven if you make the decision to receive Jesus as Savior.

 A few more as I’m sure by now you realize the apostate that is Rob Bell:

 Via Christianity Today: [The Bible is a] “human product…rather than the product of divine fiat” – Rob Bell

 II Timothy 3:16 would disagree with you Mr. Bell.  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”

Again From Velvet Elvis: “What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archeologists find Larry’s tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births?  But what if, as you study the origin of the word “virgin” you discover that the word ‘virgin’ in the gospel of Matthew actually comes from the book of Isaiah, and then you find out that in the Hebrew language at that time, the word ‘virgin’ could mean several things.  And what if you discover that in the first century being ‘born of a virgin’ also referred to a child whose mother became pregnant the first time she had intercourse?” p. 26

 In this mini-diatribe of Bell’s he is creating doubt that Jesus was actually born of a virgin.  He is attempting to disassemble the entire supernatural birth of our Lord and Savior.  Think about this, if he disproves the true and holy miraculous birth, then he has disproved the entire foundation of Christianity.  This is a heretical statement!

As we conclude this expose, I want to bring one final point to light.  Both of these men and numerous others within the movement openly support homosexual marriages.  Likewise, you’ve seen how they are creating an ecumenical view of religions and attempt to throw Christianity in the mix too.  Here is their (the devil’s) plan.  They will continue in their mass deception until homosexuality becomes rampant throughout the church.  You will see them begin to promote homosexual pastors at an even greater level than what we’ve seen already.  As they begin their methodical approach to dissecting the Truths of the Bible you will then see them open the broad gate door to other religions on the platform of social issues stating that we only need to know God’s kingdom and even though Jesus showed us how to live, we don’t really need Him to save us from anything, instead all religions need to come together in one accord. 

It might seem like a personal vendetta against these men and their movement, but truthfully it’s not.  When the apostasy’s took place during the time of Paul, he felt compelled through the love of Christ to warn people of the dangers.  As Christians it is our duty  to point out false doctrines so that the Truth of Christ might be known to all.

II Corinthians 11:3-6 3But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 5But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” 6I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.”