Rob Bell has gotten a lot of well justified criticism over the universalist heresies (that is, everyone goes to Heaven) in his Love Wins book. Ironically, now Bell is saying he’s been misinterpreted and that he’s not a universalist — which means that Rob’s universalist supporters disagree with him. What chaos!
The Sola Sisters have a good analysis of why Rob’s responses to his critics fall short. Here’s an example they highlight:
…..Hell, as a period of “pruning” in which God is continuing to woo each person who is there until they end up in heaven (Bell’s version, p. 91 “Love Wins”) as compared to
……Hell as an eternal punishment for those who have broken God’s moral laws, and who are paying the penalty of their sins with their own lives (God’s version).
I ended up in this Facebook thread on a friend’s page. The “Pastor Universalist,” as he ended up calling himself, eventually deleted all his comments, leaving mine all alone on the thread (it now reads like some weird soliloquy). Again, this guy is defending Bell and his universalism, even though Bell is now trying to deny his universalism. There’s just the pesky problem of this book he wrote where he seems pretty clear about it.
FB friend: Has anyone wondered why Rob Bell has not been accused of being divisive with his apostate treatise on Hell “Love Wins”?
Me: Good point. It is only divisive to disagree with Rob.
FB friend: I can help but to see the parallels in the insanity budgeting/gov. shutdown blame circus.
Pastor Universalist (PU): Well then what is the alternative …..Either God so Loved the world that he gave his only Son to die for it….or he hates it and is going to kill everyone off….. What does your Bible read?
Me: It is about the definition you pour into the word. Does love win? Of course. But Rob Bell ignores countless scriptures to interpret that as universalism — as if what Jesus said about Hell is true then love lost. Was Jesus being loving when He told the Pharisees that they would die in their sins if they didn’t believe who He was? God wins. Love wins. Justice wins.
PU: BTW ….allow me to address your question as well….The reason that many have not accused Rob Bell of being an Apostate is because there are many who believe that his offerings are scripturally sound and follow the essense and Heart of the New Testament doctrine….
Me: Bell and his followers can’t even get John 3:16 right. John specifically mentions that those who believe in him won’t perish — meaning that those who don’t believe in him will. If that wasn’t clear enough, verse 18 will help
Me: Should you believe Rob Bell or Jesus? (Hint: Go with Jesus) Rob Bell (Love Wins, p. 66): Could God say to someone truly humbled, broken, and desperate for reconciliation, “Sorry, too late”? Many have refused to accept the scenario in which somebody is pounding on the door, apologizing, repenting, and asking God to be let in, only to hear God say through the keyhole: “Door’s locked. Sorry. If you had been here earlier, I could have done something. But now, it’s too late.”
Compare that to Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:1-13): Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, “Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.” But the wise answered, saying, “Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us.” But he answered and said, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
PU: And Yes Neil…..It really does depend on your study and Interpretation of Scripture…. Christiaity is a Universal Doctrine….In otherwords….availible to all who ask and recieve… However…To Judge someone as an Apostate is a strong acusation…. Remember that Jesus also spoke that by whatever measure you Mete out….you will also recieve……To build a case for Love winning is a great step of Faith… To Hate is carnal and God is Love… So to believe that God can save is also a great step of Faith….. It is easy to write other people off as lost and unreconciilable to God… But to hold a Vision of salvation is a great Gift….
Me: ”To Judge someone as an Apostate is a strong …acusation…. Remember that Jesus also spoke that by whatever measure you Mete out….you will also recieve”
Seems odd that a universalist would warn me about warning about false teachers.
Me: ”It is easy to write other people off as lost and unreconciilable to God… But to hold a Vision of salvation is a great Gift….”
The question isn’t whether it is easy or hard to do, but what scripture teaches.
PU: That’s Pastor Universalist to you brother…. And again…You are accusing….. I am going to exhort you to be careful here….”
Me: Why be careful? After all, on your view I go to Heaven even if I don’t trust in Jesus. How could trusting in Jesus and making (allegedly) false accusations be a bad combo? Or do you have a passage that says those who don’t trust in Jesus go to Heaven, but those who do trust in Jesus and make false accusations don’t? What if you are making a false accusation against me? Howzabout we focus on the actual passages in question instead of lobbying threats?
I exhort you to heed the many passages about sound doctrine –
. And if you are a pastor then that is all the worse. I know of many, many false teachers. Titles mean little to me if their doctrine is false.
PU: OK Neil…..checking out…..believe whateewr you have faith for…Blessings to you…..May you find Christ….”
Me: Ha! Oh, so now I haven’t found Christ? What a hypocrite. Please re-read your quotes about warnings.
Me: My new blog post is dedicated to you: False teaching universalists can’t even get John 3:16 right. Here’s what they think John meant: John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Oh, and BTW, those who don’t believe in him also have eternal life. Which, now that I think about it, means that I should have left the whole perishing thing out of this passage. After all, everyone is going to Heaven no matter what they believe. But I don’t want to have to start over, so I’m going to leave it in. My, I do tend to ramble on sometimes. That’s just me, the Apostle John. Now on to verse 17 . . . V. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. D’oh! I did it again!