Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Rob Bell's False Jesus

If Rob Bell is not a false teacher, then why would he condone a comment by the Buddhist Richard Gere about his image of a false Jesus?

Read Rob Bell in his own words:

" Um...uh, the second most famous Buddhist in the world is an American actor named Richard Gere which is an interesting twist. The general agreement is that the Dali Lama is the most famous and Buddhist, the second most famous is Richard Gere. Pretty Woman...we all know who we're talking about? Yeah, uh...this is what he said...uh and I'll try to get it word for word, if I don't well... (he is now quoting Gere) 'I keep having this image that Jesus Christ is here and now. He's here now among us. And he's just quietly watching and that the Jesus Christ is here now among us and he's watching what's going on in his name and he's appalled'. So here you have the second most famous Buddhist in the world saying not only I believe Jesus is here and I believe Jesus is looking for somebody to be his people. And when the larger culture starts talking about Jesus that way, uh that should tell you something"

--Rob Bell, Q and A- Joe Hays and Rob Bell, May 6, 2007 [week 432]

Yes Rob, it does tell us something.

Matthew 24: 4-5: "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." (KJV)

I think this quote by Bell is very revealing. Think about it, a "Christian" minister favorably quoting a Buddhist about his image of Jesus Christ. Rob, this is not the same Christ as that of the true Christian faith.

There can be only one of two conclusions here: 1) This is a false Jesus Gere is referring to, or 2) the real Jesus is revealing himself to this Buddhist. I think I know the answer.

If Bell is comfortable quoting and making such affirming statements about a Buddhist's comments of his image of Jesus, what does this tell us about Rob Bell?


Blogger Patrick said...

I think there's a huge difference between quoting someone to make a point and condoning their beliefs.

Paul used the statue dedicated to an unknown God in Athens as a jumping off point to talk about the God he worshiped. Was he condoning the religious practices of the Athenians? No, he was using them to make a point.

Pointing out that Gere recognizes the disparity between what Christians say they believe and how Christians act is in no way condoing what Gere might believe himself about Jesus. I should think that would be obvious.

Bell makes it clear at the end of the quote that his point is that if people outside of the Christian culture are talking about Jesus then that must say something about the presence and power of Jesus.

In love, I think you're way off, here. Thanks for welcoming comments.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

But Patrick, this is not the same Jesus. This is my point.

How can a christian minister refer to a Buddhist's version of Jesus as legitimate?

8:35 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Kenny...it is a huge leap to assign "False Teacher" to Bell because of this statement. You're filtering this statement through your own eyes and have drawn a dangerous conclusion about Gere. How can you possibly know whether or not the REAL Jesus is reaching out to Gere and working on his heart? Yes, he's a Buddhist. Yes, he believes in false teaching. And yes, Jesus can break through the heart of a Buddhist, Hinduist, Unitarian, JW, Mormon, and save their soul.

On a personal note, I have a family member who is Buddhist. I see God using me to break through to their life and teach truth in love. I have seen a softening in their heart in response to my witnessing over the years. Hopefully, they will come to faith and enjoy eternity with me, and until then, I will continue to share my faith with hopes that they will see Jesus revealed in their lives. Would you say I am a false teacher if I were to give a report that they are beginning to see Jesus in their lives?

I have a coworker who is Muslim. She is asking me questions about Jesus and has told me she believes God is starting to work on her heart to change her mind about who Jesus is. She is open and willing to hear truth and is starting to see that Jesus is real and that his claims about who he is must be considered. Would you say I am a false teacher because I affirm that God is revealing himself to her?

Your comment "I think I know the answer" strikes me as prideful. I could be wrong, but it comes across that way. James has something to say about that, Kenny. I think you know that as well.


9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gere has a wrong image of Christ and Bell accepts it. If Gere understood for one minute the Christ of the Bible, he would repent of his sins, renounce Buddism and follow Jesus on the spot. Instead Gere is using an image of Christ as an opportunity to take a shot at those who are doing bad things in His name. Apparently Gere's word caught Bell's attaention.

You would think that a minister of an evangelical church would see the contradiction is Gere's statement and make the point that Gere is actually blind to the real Jesus. But instead Bell sees value in Gere's wrong view of Jesus, i.e., a nice guy who's quietly behind the scenes unable to do anything about people misusing his name. Bell overlooks the fact that Gere is misusing His name!

When the larger culture "starts talking about Jesus that way", you must speak up and reject their statements, not affirm them.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

I don't think he did say it was legitimate - No more than Paul was legitimizing the Athenian pantheon by mentioning it in reference to God.

It sounds to me like he's saying, "Man, Jesus is so powerful and prevalant that even non-Christians are talking about him." Does that mean everything the non-Christians are saying about him is right? Does it mean they get who he is? No, of course not. Not even everyone who met him on this planet while he was alive got who he was. Saying we can't talk about the people who don't quite get him because it's tatamount to endorsing their beliefs, though, seems like a strange point of view to me, though.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I don't think he's saying the image is legitimate. It looks like he's using Gere's quote to make the point that there is a difference between what a lot of so-called Christians say and the way they act.

Wile I am no fan of Rob Bell in any way, shape or form, it looks like he is doing what he does in a lot of his messages: cites somebody from the culture or from history in order to make a point.

After listening to several of his messages, I have noticed that he is fond of quoting controversial figures, and that habit of his (in my opinion) contributes to the confusion of the listener, because people might think Bell is putting his stamp of approval on the quote, when he is not. But that's the way he does it, and I believe he does it on purpose, for impact and for grabbing attention. It doesn't win him any points with his critics, for sure.

On the other hand, I do not think Bell has a thoroughly Biblical understanding of the nature of God, or of Jesus.



11:40 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

"Gere has a wrong image of Christ and Bell accepts it."

Why do you think Bell accepts Gere's image of Christ?

12:17 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Patrick, Keith may want to answer this himself since it's his comment you are asking about.

However, I think Bell's response should be to clarify that Gere is not capable of shedding light on the true Jesus because as an unrepentant Buddhist, he is not qualified. He could ONLY be speaking of a different Jesus. Bell should not be using a Buddhist's perception of Christ to validate a concept of true Christian faith. By using Gere's comments Bell is saying that Gere's point of view is legitimate.

Buddhists have a false view of who Jesus is so how can Gere be claiming to have an image of the correct Jesus if he is not a redeemed child of God?

He cannot be speaking of the same Jesus. Gere and all Buddhists are spiritually DEAD and are incapable of knowing the true Jesus !! The Holy Spirit must first make them spiritually alive.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

So if an unbeliever states "Jesus is the Risen Savior of the world" yet rejects this truth, does that make that unbliever's statement false?

I agree Kenny, they must be made alive by the Spirit to know Jesus. However, they can make true statements whether they know it or not. It doesn't change the truth.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

I can't agree with you, Kenny. Pointing out that people other than Christians are talking about Jesus is not the same thing as agreeing with their point of view.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...


That's cool. I understand you disagree with me.


Did Gere make a "true" statement about Jesus? Do you think Gere has an image of Jesus?

True, I know unbelievers can utter the truth, even demons know the truth but shudder--James 2:19. But the enemy uses half truths to deceive and pollute the truth, that is why it is foolish to use an unbeliever's "take" on Jesus to arrive at "truth".

1:15 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

I like how you just put that Kenny, much more than how it's worded in the blog. I agree with you, Gere most likely has a very distorted view of Jesus. However, I think there is a lot of truth in this particular statement. I can't refute the claim that Jesus is among us...He is God. I can't refute that He is appalled. I suggest he is over much of what's going on around us. Is he quietly watching? I disagree with Gere's assessment. God is not quiet about making himself known. We know this...

I think my disagreement with you stems from the jump to Bell being a false teacher from this quote. I listening (just finishing) to the interview and it is filled with what I hear to be genuine passion for truth, for people, for expanding God's kingdom. I don't hear affirmation anywhere in the hour long interview of anything false.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You miss the point completely. Rob Bell in no way supports Richard Gere, Buddhism, or the idea that Jesus is literally walking the earth. He states the obvious: that the world is messed up, that so-called Christians are not doing what Jesus called His followers to do, and that even people very, very far from God recognize this. Do you really not get this? Are you intentionally obtuse?

6:31 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...


You apparently are OK with Bell using a Buddhist as a reference. I have a very hard time being OK with this. I don't care what a Buddhist says, I am very uncomfortable with a so-called Christian minister using him as a reference. By doing this I believe he is OK with Gere's version of Jesus otherwise Bell would have made a distinction and made it clear to his audience that Gere's Jesus is not the same Jesus, (which we know he is NOT)!!!

Is this what we should be comfortable with as Christians?


9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gere's version of anything is a total joke. Who cares what that piece of work thinks about christians. Rob Bell must believe what Gere says when Gere speaks things about christians ..Does he listen to the unbeliever and use their judgement to check himself ? Or will he use the Word of God?
Do you think Gere might be bias against christians? Of all the whack out things going on in the world and Gere has to cut on christians.. give me a break! who cares what the un-repented thinks ! I care what the King of Kings says. We have the Word to convict ,correct and encourage us.. we don't need any of what man says.
Mike O.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

"Gere's version of anything is a total joke. Who cares what that piece of work thinks about christians."
In Acts the Bible talks about how everyone who came into contact with the early church had nothing but good stuff to say about them. If people are coming into contact with the church and walk away with a negative image it's not a bad thing to weigh what they're saying and see if there's any truth in it. Being a non-believer doesn't make someone incapable of accurate criticism.

"Rob Bell must believe what Gere says when Gere speaks things about christians ..Does he listen to the unbeliever and use their judgement to check himself ? Or will he use the Word of God?"
Maybe he uses the word of God and then sees value in examining how the world perceives our mission. Nowhere does Bell say he only cares what Gere thinks. You're reading into his comments and then making judgements about his character and his walk with Christ. Way to go.

"Do you think Gere might be bias against christians?"
I don't know. I've never met him. Are you biased against Buddhist?

"Of all the whack out things going on in the world and Gere has to cut on christians."
I don't know if you're aware or not, but you're commenting on a blog that spends a lot of time cutting on Christians. Obviously Kenny sees some value in critiquing followers of Christ. Gere apparently sees some value in doing so as well.

"give me a break! who cares what the un-repented thinks !"
I care what "un-repented" think. God wants me to love people. So I try to do things like listen to them, consider their opinions, and not call them "un-repented" like that makes them lepers or morons.

"I care what the King of Kings says."
Me too!

"We have the Word to convict ,correct and encourage us.. we don't need any of what man says."
Okay, so then why aren't you asking Kenny to shut down this blog. He's a man spending a lot of time trying to correct the Emergents. Shouldn't he stand back and let the Word do that?

Just out of curiosity Mike, what do you think the point of the story of the Good Samaritan was. Obviously it was about helping your neighbor, but why do you think God made the story about a Samaritan?

8:22 AM  
Anonymous TD said...

Coming from a Buddhist or not, a quote saying Jesus would be appalled at some of the things that have gone on in His name is sadly not untrue.

So the questionable part of the quote would be that Jesus is sitting quietly watching. I wonder, though, if Christ's followers would be taking care of the poor, the sick, the oppressed (Matt. 25:31-46) like we're supposed to then maybe, just maybe those that think Jesus is silent would change their mind.

If I'm not mistaken, we're the ones that is supposed to show that Jesus is active, right?

11:08 AM  
Anonymous michael said...

I listened to the podcast and the context of the question to Bell was regarding their outreach and missional approach, specifically XYZ.

I took it as Bell commenting that the 2nd most recoginized buddhist, who does not believe in the deity of Jesus, sees that the "Church" is not following Christ's embracing of humanity, which is living the Gospel not just speaking it.

As far as Gere's idea of Jesus, Jesus is a part of the trinity and the Holy Spirit is here among us and who is to say the Holy Spirit does not weep for how we miss the mark and for what we should be doing for one another.

Is Gere's concept of Christ flawed, most definitely, but his observation on the suffering of the world is not.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've spent some time looking at your blog. I wanted to say many things, but I don't believe I should. Instead I wanted to let you know that I prayed for you today.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick, The world is always quick to point at how upset Jesus would be or is at how people who call themselves christians behave and what man does in the name of Jesus. All the good things that are done by Christians and in the name of Jesus are rarely mentioned. The fact that Richard Gere says something in judgement of Christians in not surprising because he is an enemy of Jesus Christ. It is upsetting when supposedly "Christian ministers" also bad mouth Christians and by referring to Gere you are puting up his opinion as something valuable. Again Richard Gere does not know Jesus. Kenny should shut down his blog and let the Word speak for itself...He is trying to get the Word back out there to replace all of the emergent's pontifications. And what does all that have to do with the good samaritan? We as Christians should help our fellow man-but has nothing to do with pointing out the ttruth when someone is wrong and I should not care about just anyone's opinion. And remember this, the whole world is biased against Christians-that is part of the battle here on earth so if you are so worried about what the unrepented think, you will have a hard time pleasing God. JR

9:53 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

So, Mike I guess since you expect non-Christians to address the good that Christianity does - and not just the bad, you also take time to point out the good accomplished in the world by Buddhist, Muslims,Jews, and atheists? You were pretty rough on Richard Gere. Do you also take time to acknolwedge the good he's accomplished in the world or is that just a courtesy you'd like to see extended to Christians?

And what makes Gere an "enemy of Jesus Christ" exactly? Because he's a buddhist? Because he's a non-believer?

I bring up the story of the good Samaritan because Samaritans were an offshoot of the Jewish religion. Some Jews even considered them a cult. When Jesus wanted to illustrate brotherly love to people, he chose a story about someone outside of his religious group to do so. Just because someone believes differently than we do, that doesn't mean they can't play a part in our learning. Jesus showed this with the story of the good Samaritan and Paul showed this when he used the statue of the unknown god in Athens. Criticizing Rob Bell for a technique that's found in scripture seems odd to me.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous dpazos said...

I guess Richard Gere has his opinions on Christians, and we have our opinion on Gere. The value of finding truth, sticking with truth, pointing out error, and discerning between truth/lies must never be under-stated.
Apparently, some like Rob Bell and friends value 'getting along' more than they value truth. Objective truth or absolute truth must be pursued by Christians. Of course, there are those of other religions who also value and pursue objective truth. As a general rule, Hollywood stars are NOT a good source for wisdom or truth!

1:44 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

"Apparently, some like Rob Bell and friends value 'getting along' more than they value truth."
He's calling out Christians - just like this blog attempts to do. Why do you perceive that as valuing getting along more than valuing truth?

"As a general rule, Hollywood stars are NOT a good source for wisdom or truth!"
Straw man argument. Nobody's holding up Hollywood as a good source for wisdom.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous dpazos said...

Please do not use Hollywood wackos as a referrence point!
Perhaps more humorous than using Gere as a source of wisdom would be to cite Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, or Justin Timberlake as sources of wisdom. You dumb down this Blog by even quoting such characters.
Enough said about Hollywood foolishness. However, your first comment in the above post is significant. I am not certain about Rob Bell's priorities, point taken. It seems that he leans toward getting along, in a conciliatory or ecumenical sense, even to the extent of avoiding conflict. He also values truth. Maybe he should not avoid conflict, so as not to be perceived as soft. No, I doubt he or other Emergents would go to Hollywood seeking wisdom. Take their stands definitively on important issues they should! Christians who try to accommodate too much simply reduce themselves to a watered-down version of Biblical positions, or if they are fearful, to no position at all. Grant that other religions also must take stands on moral issues like abortion, war, gender roles, nationalism, etc. Indeed, it stands that Muslims usually take more definitive stands on these issues than Jews or Christians. Interesting to note that Islam has not gone post-modern as have our two religions (those of the 2 Testaments), although not always to the same extent. Western Christianity has gone post-modern to a greater extent than Third World Christianity, with obvious negative results.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick, keep up the good work!!

I suggest people read Velvet Elvis!! Then you would know what Rob Bell speaks of!!

6:50 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I disagree that Bell is looking to get along. Velvet Elvis was hardly the status quo and he goes after those pursuing entertainment over discipleship.

Like any teacher, MacArthur or whoever, only time will tell if he is just out to sell the same book over and over or if he is pursuing the truth of scripture.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Patrick, you seem a little angry with Mike.....He didn't post the note you referred to the next time...it was me...You do seem to like to take up for everyone else BUT Christians! Do you beleive we are all the same in God's eyes-Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddha, whoever? Do you beleive we can all share in each other's "truths"? Alot of people do. They think we can all learn from each other it's all the same God anyway,,,Jesus, Mohamid Buddha who cares! Can you choose to be say a Buddhist without denying that Jesus Christ is the one true God? If you are not for Him than you are against Him. And Miss Paula....really Velvet Elvis????? it's been read and I know what Rob Bell speaks of . JR

10:33 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Not angry at Mike at all. I'm just passionate about this topic. The say way Mike and you yourself seemed to have some passion about it. I tend to get annoyed at people who complain about how rough Christians have it in America, though. So it's possible I came out of the gate a little faster than I should have.

I don't quite understand your comment that I seem to like to take up for everyone else but Christians. My entrance into this thread was the result of me taking up for Rob Bell - a Christian.

And to answer your question - yes, I do believe we are all the same in God's eyes - Christians, Muslim, Jew, Buddha, whoever. We are all sinners and fallen. If any of us is saved, it's through Jesus and his sacrafice.

Do I believe we can share in each other's truth? I don't really know what you're asking. I don't think truth is relative. I don't think all religions point to the same God. Obviously, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all have their roots in the same early beginnings - but bear little resemblance to each other today.

I believe God has revealed himself to me through Jesus and his sacrifice. I also realize that I'm fallen and human and I get stuff wrong sometimes, and am thankful that the God I believe in is one who's full of grace for the moments when I'm wrong.

If God wants to extend that same grace to anyone else on the planet because he's sees his word written on their heart, in spite of them not getting eveyrthing right - well, that's up to him. I really hope that happens - that's the kind of God, in my humanness that I want to beieve in. So, I pray for grace for me, and everybody else and try harder to understand who he is.

Did I answer your question?

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Andy said...

I think Richard Gere has a point. I see stuff going off in the world under the banner of Jesus that if I were Jesus, I would be appalled by.

If I were Jesus, I would be asking some 'Christians' to remove my name from what they are up to, because It's giving me a bad reputation and not spreading the kind of message to the world that I want.

Just my thoughts

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These comments all seem to have gotten a bit too much. I would question the importance of quoting anything Richard Gere says. Jesus has revealed that to him...I would question anything a Buddhist says about Jesus unless he's renouncing his faith in Buddha. If I am a christian preacher and I refer to what a buddhist says about Jesus I am sure going to stress how sad it is that the Buddhist misses the truth of who Jesus really is. But to take what Gere says as some relalation from God is not a good idea to me. As far as Gere sayng Christ would not want His name associated with certain things these days you don't have to quote a Buddhist, there are Christians who feel the same way. Why would Rob Bell want to point out a Buddhist's beleifs about Jesus and agree with him? LJ

9:20 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Quoting a Christian wouldn't have made Gere's point - as his point was that when the larger culture (not the Christian culture)starts talking about Jesus in this way, it should tell you something.

If you don't like Gere's point that's fine, but it seems like some of you don't even understand what point he was trying to make.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Patrick...what was Richard Gere's point?

2:57 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Whoops! I didn't mean to say Gere's point. I meant to say "Rob Bell's point." I'm sure that was confusing to read. Sorry!

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does it tell me about you? It tells me a lot.
First of all,
I was there Sunday and heard the entire message. It was a very good message. I can not believe you have the audasity to say things you are saying about this man. You should be ashamed of yourself.
You are trying to cause problems. If you would have listened to the entire message thier is no way you can call Rob a false teacher.
This nonsense saddens my heart. I will pray for, I pray the Lord give you better things to do with your time than talk about what you do not know.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Nathan said...

I think the point is well missed with this post. Bell is showing that even people of a different faith are seeing that Christianity as it stands today looks or acts little like Jesus. It's true.

Truth is truth, no matter where it comes from. It has already been asked and looked over, but...if a Hindu says "We need to love one another with the love of Christ Jesus", dies it become a lie because a Hindu said it? No.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

The point that Bell was making, and this post is indicative that it needs to be made, is that its so obvious that Jesus is here right now that even a Buddhist can see it while many Christians have such calloused hearts they can't see it.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Ken Silva said...

Hey Kenny O,

Isn't it amazing that for people who follow people like Rob Bell that embrace mystery and uncertainty, why they sure seem to "know" what Bell is saying but yet they have such trouble with the clarity of Scripture.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Yes Ken, it is amazing.

The word of Rob? ...yes they get it.

The Word of God? ...no they do not.

By their own admission.

11:30 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

It should be pointed out to Ken Silva that understanding or appreciating the point Bell was trying to make doesn't equal "following" him.

I'm curious what problems with the clarity of scripture in particular you've seen demonstrated in this thread, though. Care to elaborate?

1:03 AM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Paul was such a heretic too when he quoted that Zeus worshiping pagan Aratus in Acts 17:28.

2:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting point.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Jason said...


I came across this page searching for what Rob Bell mentioned about Buddhism and Jesus. I found a harsh criticism of Rob Bell by a Christian critic.

I question why you are criticizing a Christian leader. You may not agree with his teaching and you likely do not agree with the teaching of many denominations or Christian sects. However as much as you believe your view of the Christian faith is correct, those from all of the other sides believe just as strongly. You seem to assert your viewpoint as superior – I am unsure where you have your authority to do that.

What is your purpose in your criticism? I do not believe that Jesus called Christians to criticize, slander, and persecute other Christians who are living out their faith differently. I think of the The Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-43 NIV) and see Jesus says, "Let both grow together." He is calling for both the weeds and the "good seed" to grow. He didn’t tell a different story where the "good seed" tried to kill the weeds. Nor do you see "good seed" fighting with other "good seed."

I think to Matt 5:9-10 (NIV) where Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Are you promoting peace by criticizing and slandering Rob Bell? Is Rob Bell being persecuted by you for righteousness?

Jesus calls us to judge a tree by its fruit. And he calls us to be peacemakers. If you judge Rob Bell to be evil, then it would seem you are called as a fellow brother in Christ to admonish in private Matt 18:15-17.

In conclusion. Jesus calls us to love each other. How disappointing to see that Christians can’t even love each other. Does love criticize another publicly? Does love condemn? Does love instill animosity? So many times I shudder when I say, "Yes, I am a Christian."

I’d like to see more people living out the Christian faith in whatever form with whatever interpretations on scripture. I wonder, would you condemn the man beside Jesus on the cross because he didn’t agree with your "statement of faith"? Jesus accepted him right there, he didn’t ask him about his belief about the virgin birth, his miracles, his belief on the trinity, sign gifts, communion. Why can’t we as Christians pursue God and let God take care of the rest?

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some reason God calls us to do His work. That involves debate and correction. I could take you to several scriptures that show that is true. One in particular is I Corinthians 11: 18 "For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you." To say Kenny is wrong for pointing out error cannot be justified from Scripture. You can contend (note the word) that he is doing it in a way that does not honor God, where I believe you would be in error, at least in part, but I do not believe you can justify your position without a clear logical and compelling exposition of Scripture to make your point. Truly you point out Christ's call for us to be peacemakers but peace can only be where truth reigns and I believe that is the point Ken is trying to make. I would like to throw out some references that I believe are relevant. Psalms 141: 4-5 ; Proverbs 3:11,12 ; 5:12 ; 9:8 ; 10:17 ; 12:1 ; 13:18 ; 15:5 ,10,12 ; 16:22 ; 24:25 ; 25:12 ; 27:5 ; 28:23 ; 30:5,6 Galatians 2: 11
II Timothy 2: 15-26 are all verses that refer to correction and rebuke
My prayer is that I am corrected when in error. My desire is to honor Christ. I believe you are desiring the same. I pray your words to Ken are from that same motivation. Hear what he says and then from Scripture show him his error. When you say, "So many times I shudder when I say, 'Yes, I am a Christian.'", I am confused. A child of God (Christian) is what he is not because he is good but because God is making him good. Some times I shudder when I see my sinfulness. Not because I fear God's wrath, but because He has placed me in His family and paid my price and I dishonor Him. I am not surprised when I see believers do foolish things because I do them and I see believers God has used as His witnesses through the pages of Scripture also doing foolish things. His love for me in spite of myself inspires me to love my brothers. I pray His forgiveness when I do not.

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

Hey I'd recommend listening to this Q and A session and not just reading a few lines :)

God bless :)

4:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... Patrick... I didnt think you were getting angry at all.. good job on articulating yourself...

It makes me sick to my stomach listening to Christians bicker back and forth.. and there were so many comments in here that would turn me away from Christians... calling non-christians "un-repented" .. "who cares what they think" --- that makes me sad... that is not Christianity, that is not love.. And looking for any unfounded reason to tear down someone like Rob Bell or others is wrong. I understand disagreeing or not understanding.. but getting all worked up is very immautre and puts a bad image on Christians..

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Mark said...

I didn't read every word of what was said above, but not only does Paul use pagan idols to show truth, he quotes a pagan polytheist poet in the scriptures to show a truth that he had stated. Much of this issue is a misunderstanding, and I think Rob's approach can be better understood from the context of his section on "all truth is God's truth" in Velvet Elvis.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Marc said...


4:26 PM  
Anonymous Caleb Figg said...

I keep having this image that Jesus Christ is here and now among us. And he's just quietly watching and that the Jesus Christ who is here now among us is watching what's going on in his name and he's appalled.

some of you should read this again. just the quote.
lets challenge ourselves with it. jesus WOULD be appalled at much of what is going on in my life.

if jesus were here...

would he even be reading my post right now? :)
would he be with the poor?
would he live comfortably in a suburb and go to a mega-church?
would he be telling us hard things about the american church and its materialism?
would he do more than just watch the children who are dying of starvation?

you only have so much time. stop tearing down leaders who are seeking God with all of their heart just so that you may feel intellectual and have something to "rebel" against. Try rebelling against poverty. Try rebelling against abortion. Try rebelling by loving your neighbor... try it. Its had. I suck at it. Lets at least do what jesus said instead of picking apart what someone said about him in an interview on sunday morning.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a message to Kennyo. You are exactly the kind of Christian that makes it hard for those who don't know Christ to believe in a savior. Your post about Bell shows how uneducated you are. Stop living in your bubble and change. Don't be a coward and talk and comment about every little thing your Christian brother does. God will take care of that. Go and do something instead of posting your idiotic blog. You're a coward and have little faith.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Philip said...

Patrick, you have oversimplified this. Do you not believe Jesus is present on earth, watching his people? You are so eager to jump on Rob Bell that you can't see the forest through the trees. I see you creating division. That is sad.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God for Rob Bell -- he's a voice of clear reason and Christian compassion in a church body filled with hateful people that turn more people off of Christ than any Buddhist ever did.

11:15 PM  

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