Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Rob Bell-The Hip Heretic

My former church has allowed their youth pastor to teach the youth material from Rob Bell via the Nooma videos and ideas taught within his book Velvet Elvis. This is very unfortunate. I wonder how many people even understand what is behind the teachings of Rob Bell? Do the parents have any idea...do the leaders of the church even know? Do they agree with the teachings? (that would really be scary) Or do they simply trust their youth pastor and allow him to teach the kids whatever he sees fit?

I will give them the benefit of a doubt and believe they just are not aware. Therefore, a good look into the teachings of Rob Bell could really do some good here since there seems to be such a lack of discernment in so many of our evangelical churches today, including my former one.

Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries has been researching the teachings of Rob Bell for about a year now. In THIS POST Ken pulls no punches in mentioning how Rob Bell is a false teacher. I couldn't agree with Ken Silva more. I think he is 100% right. It's good to see someone take a bold stand and expose leaders such as Rob Bell and Brian McLaren within the Emergent church.

Parents, please do your research before sending your kids off to some youth pastor who is good at "getting kids in the door". You need to ask...which door is he getting them in to?

Apprising Ministries has several more articles on Rob Bell

I will post another article on Rob Bell in a day or two from a different source.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that even when you sound the alarm and warn people they think you're an extremist and do not take what you are saying seriously. Some do, but too many I guess are so inept at the practice of critical thinking skills and using healthy biblical discernment that they just ignore the problem and pretend that it will go away. Then one day their son or daughter decides to go to Fuller Seminary or Eastern College and end up becoming just like their false teacher youth pastor. Guess what...it's too late!


9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that even when you sound the alarm and warn people they think you're an extremist and do not take what you are saying seriously. Some do, but too many I guess are so inept at the practice of critical thinking skills and using healthy biblical discernment that they just ignore the problem and pretend that it will go away. Then one day their son or daughter decides to go to Fuller Seminary or Eastern College and end up becoming just like their false teacher youth pastor. Guess what...it's too late!


10:24 AM  
Blogger Ken Silva said...

anonymous has stated the sad truth. Someone like myself is branded an extremist because I am writing what is happening spiritually in a time when the Church is in love with intellectualism. This is another part of what God is judging.

I tell you the Truth, men like Rob Bell will never be reached, nor even understood, through intellectual argumentation alone. The leaders in the EC are Gnostics, they go by inner experience, and just as the Mormons they reinterpret everything you tell them and have redefined the words you use.

No, we need to face this issue down in the power of God the Holy Spirit and this means some of us have to sacrifice our "reputations" and risk being considered "the boy who cried heresy." I'll give you a nice balance I believe the Lord showed me. If we approach the Bible in the intellectual teachings of men like Dr. John MacArthur and the balance that with the spiritual teachings of the Bible as from an A.W. Tozer, we'll be right in target.

Until then, men like me - and the Lord assures me that if they have trouble with my teaching they are not going to like those about to come after me - will continue to walk in the steps of Noah. I venture he looked pretty silly to people while he was building a huge boat in the middle of a desert. Well, at least that is, until it started to rain...

11:16 AM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Thanks for commenying on thinkerup Ken. I think you have the unction of the Holy Spirit. Keep up the battle on the front lines of discernment.


7:22 PM  
Blogger David said...

Much sadder thing being that you're quoting the very same man who calls Emergent Church members "Spiritual Pedophiles" and says, "It's Time to go to War" versus the "neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church." And you take this man's research as proof of another's heresy?

God help us all.


12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So David,

You're judging the book by the cover, correct?

All you've done is mention the titles of articles without any reference to the content. Like I said...judging the book by the cover. I thought that was a big no no in the land of the EC.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So David,

By mentioning only the titles of Ken Siva's articles you apparently judge the book by it's cover (I thought that was a big no no in the world of the EC).
Is what Ken Silva has written true or false? Is he right or wrong? Be a man, take a stand David. Please give examples why he is wrong.


10:23 AM  
Blogger Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

David - Ken is a friend of mine and I'm sure he would not shun your accusation, but let me step forward and claim the "Spiritual Pedophiles" article. I received that from the Lord and it does not refer to, as you say, to Emergent church members. No, it refers to the spirits of anti-christ that are rapidly working in these wonderful emergent "teachers" that have significantly departed from the faith once delivered to the saints. The Kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force!

5:08 PM  
Anonymous dPazos said...

Kenny and friends:
Clearly Rob Bell is a heretic.
Interesting it seems how those like Ken Silva, although not accused of heresy, are labelled as 'radical' or 'fundamentalist' because they will not tolerate heresy. The so called 'moderates' of our churches, who could arguably be considered true liberals in many cases, love to throw labels like 'right-wing' or 'fundamentalist' when we who are conservative take a stand against those liberal Christians or pseudo-Christians.
I never worry about the Left using their inflated adjectives. They simple have no ground to stand upon! They use 'hip' material for populist appeal, especial when dealing with teenagers (less so with adults), but you can easily checkmate them in a theological debate.

9:30 PM  
Blogger carla said...

Sure, we don't have to worry that their false ideas can't easliy be checked, but it's the inexperienced chess players that are in danger of being bumped off the edge of the board. How do we warn them before it's too late?
We can warn the youth leaders, but if they aren't listening...what can be done to warn the kids? From our experience, a church that is already welcoming emerging doctrine will reject any offerings to teach the alternative (truth, Bible study)on the grounds that it is not 'catchy, popular, or fun'. Since when did we come to expect so little of our kids intelligence?

4:29 PM  
Blogger MTR said...

Uh.... Have you watched any nooma videos for yourself? Where is the heresy?

10:07 AM  
Blogger iggy said...

Did anyone else notice that though the word "heresy" is thrown out there... there is not one example of this heresy? That Ken's articles all go to his own blog and not one outside source... and that the only heresy is that Rob is saying God loves you?

So, like mtr above me states, where is the heresy... I think it sad that you call names without any real source or proof... in fact this only looks like you disagree on some minor thing... like "God loves you" and claim heresy.... which makes me think... what is YOUR gospel... "God hates you?"

If so, you are the heretic... For scripture is clear about the love God has for us... even when we are God's enemies, He died for us... to save us... out of love for us...

I think you need to repent from mischaracterizing God...


12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started to read Velvet Elvis last week and only made it to the third chapter before I realized there was something very wrong with Rob and 'his' theology. I was so shocked at some of his stuff that I instantly took it to the christian book store that I bought it at and notified them of this man. I would urge everyone to do the same and to also tell there friends.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

I agree with Iggy on one point, and that was that there is no citations to real heresy in anything I've seen on the net so far.

I don't know much about Rob Bell, nor anyone in this debate. My only fear is how it will affect the church at large. Heresy is a fighting word, there's nothing funny about it, and to have nothing said to back it up seems scary. Show me the citations and I'll read them.

As for judging a book by it's cover, Ken does that plenty well on his blog when he uses a single Rob Bell follower to judge the entirety of the man and his theology.

John Piper and Wayne Grudem have a slew of people that say the same things about them, I know some of these Piper-ites personally.

So to judge Bell by the comment of one person left on a random blog seems ridiculous. Shouldn't he be attacking Bell by what he says himself? I'm just bothered and troubled by the whole thing.

My discernment, since the word seems to get thrown around a lot here, would say that this crap isn't advancing Christ's Kingdom as I'm seeing no good fruit from it. Just a bunch of blogs ripping one man and his colleagues apart and telling a group of Christians that they're heretics without any sense of love in how they say it.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

im quite disappointed in people like you....

i dont agree with everything rob says, but to quote silva??

he is a man who has twisted, purposefully distorted, lied and taken out of context most of the stuff he quotes or says about rob.

he is no truthful man.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read velvet elvis for yourself and judge for yourself where he is coming from. (as i am doing)

FS <><

11:58 AM  
Blogger Kennyo said...


I am not sure who you are speaking to, but as the author of this blog, I have read the book and I think it is garbage.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

The Bible is the final authority for Christians. One can only build on the foundation that has been laid by our Lord Jesus Christ. Repainting Christianity the way you want is bad theology.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous David H said...

Here I thought God and his son Jesus were the final authority for Christians -- Jesus being the most apt example since CHRISTians claim to be little versions of him. What a surprise to learn that it is a book about them that is in fact the final authority.

I am not a member of an emergent church. I never heard of Rob Bell until this weekend. I have never read a book by Brian McLaren. But I have read stuff written by Ken Silva before and I find him a disturbing and divisive force who seems to have little room for the admonition that one should love their enemies or do good to those who harm you.

I am equally disturbed by those who claim that the Kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force. That doesn't sound like something Jesus said or asked his disciples to do. If you do intend to use the Bible as the final authority on how to be a CHRISTian, then do what Jesus says to do. But if showing love even for those with whom you disagree is not possible, you might want to consider changing the term under which you operate. I hear Old Testamite is still available.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...let me step forward and claim the "Spiritual Pedophiles" article. I received that from the Lord..."

You'd think God might have told you how to spell "paedophiles" correctly.

4:23 PM  
Blogger stephy said...

This is interesting, thanks.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

What is it that everyone finds so heretical about Rob Bell? He gives his personal testimony of God's calling in Velvet Elvis. He got spiritually and emotionally naked for anyone who would read the book. He emptied himself so God might be glorified. If any of you has perfect theology or spirituality, let him cast the first stone.

As Paul said, some preach out of vain conceit and some preach from a pure heart, but I'm just plain glad they're hearing about Jesus one way or the other.

12:20 AM  
Blogger John Boy said...

It actually makes me feel sad and sorry for any preacher (or person of God) who dedicates their time to pulling down and dissecting everything about another Christian. What happened to praying for them and leaving it in God's hand for Him to carry out His will not ours.
I have great doubts personally about some of the mainstream big name preachers and just leave it to God.
If I am wrong then God will talk to me. If they are wrong then God will talk to them. It is my duty to bring up my kids with the biblical facts and then let them (under the guidance of Jesus) decide their own choices. If they have that good grounding then they will make their own mistakes and grow closer to God as they learn.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I am a teenager who watches the NOOMA video series. I was introduced to them by my old youth group and my new church also uses them. I am very found of them. I have nearly all of them on my IPOD and use them to begin my daily devotions.

I am shocked and disappointed with this article. All I see is one man sitting down at his computer desk and judging another man who he has never even met, let alone debated with. You're attacking a person who can't even be here to defend himself. Is that what Jesus would have done? No. He attacked the religious leaders of his time when they were there watching, and present. He spoke to the masses, and even though He was angry and disagreed, HE STILL loved the Pharisee's and rebuked them with fairness and honesty. You, however, are sitting here bashing a gentleman who spreads the message of God's love through NOOMA to teenagers who would otherwise turn away. NOOMA videos are entertaining and helpful and I get so much from them. I learn about God's love that never fails. I learn about how God can give us answers in the silence, how prayer works, serving others, and living against the flow of the world. Now show me the heresey.

Pray for Rob Bell if you have an issue. Don't sit here and insult and attack him using legalistic views to back it up, and a blatant disreagard for Jesus' message of love, peace, faithfulness.

Matthew 7:1-5
The Book of James
Luke 6:45

Look these up. Since it seems you aren't listening to what God is teaching in the first place. I'm a teenage girl who is very disappointed by the fact that a man claming to be a follower of Christ can sit here and do exactly what Jesus taught against. Watch what you say Sir, the tounge is easily led, and a small word can cause a huge fire.

9:11 AM  
Blogger andy_morrison42 said...

There is a good, fair and thorough review of one of the noomas (where christianity is compared to the roman myths) on fighting for the faith:

I've seen taht Nooma (saw it months before this review), and have also read velvet elvis, and what this review paints is accurate and not a distortion of the material.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am amazed but not surprised that we live in the midst of modern day Pharisees. It is a shame that people claiming to be christians are so judgmental, lacking fact and misinterpreting another persons words and writings. As a pastor myself I am more concerned with getting people to Christ. That is what we are asked to do. We are told to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. Rob Bell whom I do not need to defend as he can defend himself quite well. The negative and judgmental remarks in this blog are EXACTLY why many students walk away from church. The number one reason most people do not go to church can be found in this blog.
Please read unchristian as it was written about most of you here. I do love and will continue to pray for each one of you though.

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Rob Bell. I believe he is inspired by the Holy Spirit and preaches biblically. He isn't heretical just because he is a good preacher. I notice nothing wrong in his sermons, which I listen to and watch.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Tonya said...

I have read some of "Velvet Elvis" and have seen the NOOMA videos. I bought into them at first, then I began to actually listen to what was being said.

There are several biblical errors he makes. The first and foremost is the reason Jesus came. I have never once heard him mention the cross or the reason for salvation.

Responding to a few comments about the Bible. In John 1:1 it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and, the Word was God." Jesus is the Word. The Bible is inerrant and inspired. Preserved and given to us so that we might come to know Jesus. The Bible is the basis for all doctrine and is our final authority. In Psalms 138: 2 it says, "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

Is God a pharisee then? I've listened to many scholars and I don't just take what they say. I look it up in the Bible and I compare. What the Bible says is true, if I feel there is a problem it lies with me. Same goes with everyone else. There is an absolute truth, and the KJV Bible is it.

I admire people like Ian Paisley (who stood in front of Parliament and denounced the Pope) and Ken Silva for standing up for the truth. The sad thing is there are many who do not wish to hear the truth.

Also I would like to state that I am not attacking Rob Bell personally, but rather what he is teaching. I am praying that he gets the true gospel. There is a righteous anger. Jesus was angry with the people selling animals in the temple. He drove them out, was He wrong to do so?

What would you rather: a soul winning message or a message that is made to tickle the ears?

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no question he is a heretic and I personally believe there will be more like Bell in the last days as many turn from true biblical faith.

But, what I really wanted to say is, if you are a Rob Bell fan, pretty please stop trying to mimic him! It comes across as extremely fake! Lose the glasses and the ridiculous, intentional pauses before the last word of the sentence. AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! Drives me nuts.


6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone asked what Nooma clip had heresy in it. Here is one - along with a good analysis of it...


9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like many above have said, I still cannot see any solid reason as to why Bell is a 'heretic' what is so wrong about him that he deserves this name, please give several reasons as just one fault is easily excuseable.

Even if he turns out to be a 'heretic' then we should all still forgive him for it. Forgive him 77 times 7 times to be exact.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good."
~ Titus 1:15-16

3:47 PM  

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