MOCKING TRUTH: ROB BELL'S FALSE HOPE, WORLDLY HEAVEN AND
By Berit Kjos -
April 19, 2011
"There is an energy in the world,
a spark, an electricity that everything is plugged into. The Greeks
called it zoe, the mystics call it 'Spirit,' and Obi-Wan
called it 'the Force.' ...Growing, evolving, reproducing..." Rob
"[Jesus] will always transcend whatever cages and labels are created
to contain and name him, especially the one called
'Christianity.'...Jesus...demonstrates how seriously he takes his
role of saving and rescuing and redeeming not
just everything, but everybody." Rob Bell
"...there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly
bring in destructive heresies.... And many will follow their
destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be
blasphemed." 2 Peter 2:1-3
"When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His
head.... And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying,
Hail, King of the Jews!' Then they spat on Him... struck Him...
[and] led Him away to be crucified. " Matthew 27:29-31
While Christians prepare to
celebrate Christ's victory this week, a contrary message is spreading
through the Internet and news media. Rob Bell's new book, "Love Wins,"
has become a sensation -- especially among those who welcome its
assaults on Biblical Truth. Featured as the current cover-story of Time
magazine, its mockery will surely fuel hostility toward
God's Truth around the world.
emergent "pastor" Rob Bell has a unique ability to make God's Truth sound detestable. Then, having raised doubts about our holy God, he offers comforting
counterfeits that fit today's quest for unity and community. It's a
deceitful set-up for group "dialogue"
driven by feelings rather than
by facts and truth.
Don't forget, this is spiritual warfare! So we need to be prepared for the rising
war on God's Word. Remember this warning:
"...we do not wrestle against
flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the
rulers of the darkness of this age.... Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that
you may be able to withstand in the evil day..." Ephesians 6:12-13
In "Love Wins," Pastor Bell describes the current clash
between Biblical Christianity and today's postmodern, pluralistic values.
Guess which side he has chosen:
"I’ve written this
book for all those, everywhere, who have heard some version of the Jesus
story that caused their pulse rate to rise, their stomach to churn, and
their heart to utter those resolute words, 'I would never be a part of that.'
"You are not alone.
There are millions of us.
number of people have been taught that a select few Christians will spend
forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity
spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything
better.... This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious
spread of Jesus' message of love, peace, forgiveness, and joy..."
How dare this
rage against the words and ways of the sovereign King of the universe?
Bell's arrogance reminds me of the tempter's seductive message in Genesis 3.
There we see Satan in the form of a serpent whose main purpose is to block
God's plan and deceive His people. Notice how deviously he
twisted God's guidelines and raised doubts about His words:
"Now the serpent...said to the woman, 'Has God indeed said,
shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?
"And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat the
fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is
in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall
you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
"Then the serpent said... 'You will
not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your
eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'
"So when the woman saw that the tree was...desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate." Genesis 3:1-6
Might Pastor Bell
have been blinded by similar lies? He seems to pick from the Bible whatever fits his values, then
blends the truths with heresies that sound reasonable to those who don't know God's Word.
The result is a corrupted message that feels right to a world that's
fast trading God's absolutes for an evolving
As Bell said, "there are millions of us."
That's so sad! Is America forgetting God's amazing
grace and the peace that comes from "walking" with Jesus and delighting in His
"...there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly
introduce destructive heresies... and will bring the way of
truth into disrepute." 2 Peter 2:1-9
A WORLDLY HEAVEN
to Bell, the old Biblical truth about heaven is obsolete. Notice his
dominant cultural assumptions and misunderstandings about heaven have been
at work for so long it's almost automatic for many to think of heaven as
ethereal, intangible, esoteric, and immaterial. Floaty, dreamy, hazy. Somewhere else."
in white robes with perfect hair floating by on clouds, singing in perfect
of the speculation about heaven—and, more important, the confusion—comes
from the idea that in the blink of an eye we will automatically become totally
different people who 'know' everything. But our heart, our character, our
desires, our longings—those things take time."[p.52]
Bell's skeptical mind can't believe that our sovereign, omnipotent God is more
than able to accomplish all that He has promised. So he simply clings
to his finite earthly vision:
in the age to come. If
this sounds like heaven on earth, that's because it is.
It's not true! Yet Bell assures us that humanity's evolving
and collective heavenly
future will be based right here on this planet:
writers of the scriptures consistently affirm that we’re all part of
the same family. What we have in common—regardless of our tribe,
language, customs, beliefs, or religion—outweighs our differences.
This is why God wants 'all people to be saved.'"[p.99]
"A couple of observations about the prophets’ promises regarding life
in the age to come. First, they spoke about 'all the nations.' That’s
everybody. That’s all those different...customs, habits, patterns, clothing,
traditions, and ways of celebrating..."[p.34]
of those prophets described God's extreme displeasure with certain kinds of
celebrations -- especially when they involved
occultism, drunkenness and immorality.
His judgments may seem severe to people who have learned to smile at evil. Thousands lost their lives -- sometimes in a mere moment of time
-- through God's miraculous mastery over
seems to ignore such demonstrations of God's divine power and man's foolish
defiance. Instead he offers a less offensive list of sins:
to their vision of human flourishing in God's renewed world then
was the prophets announcement that a number of things that can survive in
this world will not be able to survive in the world to come. Like war. Rape.
Greed. Injustice. Violence. Pride. Division. Exploitation. Disgrace."[p.36]
the earth be cleansed of these evils? How can fallen humanity be freed from
the pull of our
corrupt human nature
and its selfish inclinations?
Bell fails to explain the divine power and guidance of the Holy Spirit in the
"born again" Christian believer, that miraculous source of spiritual life and
cleansing seems to be absent. What part, then, does God Himself play in Bell's
view of a "literal" earthly heaven?
confusing answers may be seen in these visions of evolving
universal peace and
solidarity. Notice their similarity to
the UN agenda. And remember, every religion
would be part of envisioned solidarity:
says no to injustice.
God says, 'Never again' to the oppressors who prey on the weak and vulnerable.
God declares a ban on weapons."[p.37]
a billion people in the world today do not have access to clean water. People
will have access to clean water in the age to come, and so working for
clean-water access for all is participating now in the life of the
age to come..."[p.45]
calls disciples in order to teach us how to be and what to be; his intention
is for us to be growing progressively in generosity, forgiveness,
honesty, courage, truth telling, and responsibility, so that as these take
over our lives we are taking part more and more and more in life in the
age to come, now."[p.51]
almost 2000 years, human civilizations have had opportunities to grow "progressively"
in generosity, forgiveness, etc. The fact that today's culture is no
perfection suggests that Bell's
utopian vision is merely an illusion based in man's lofty imagination. And
ancient Israel was no more successful:
"They... walked in the
counsels and in the
of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward."
promised heaven is not a figment of human imagination! It will include all who put their faith in Jesus
Christ, recognize their need for forgiveness, and joyfully accept their new
life in Christ through the Holy Spirit. This verse from
one of my
describes it well:
Pardon for sin
and a peace that endurest,
Thine own dear
presence to cheer and to guide,
today and bright hope for tomorrow,
mine with ten thousand beside!
Great is Thy faithfulness... [melody]
AN EARTH-BASED HELL
liberal eschatology has no room for a Biblical hell.
simply redefines hell to fit his own solution to evil:
"For many in the modern world, the idea of
hell is a holdover from primitive, mythic religion that uses fear and
punishment to control people for all sorts of devious reasons. And so the
logical conclusion is that we've evolved beyond all that outdated belief,
"Do I believe in a literal hell? Of course."[p.71]
"God gives us what we want, and if that’s hell,
we can have it. We have that kind of freedom, that kind of choice.
We are that free. We can use machetes if we want to."[pp.71-72]
do those statement line up with Bell's earlier call for renewal, peace, and
"a ban on weapons"? Not very well. In fact, inconsistencies abound in
this book. For example,
"We need a word that refers to the big, wide, terrible evil that
comes from the secrets hidden deep within our hearts all the way to the
massive, society-wide collapse and chaos that comes when we fail to live
in God’s world God’s way. And for that, the word 'hell' works quite
well. Let’s keep it."[p.94]
So "hell" is merely a reference to
Would today's masses feel better if they could imagine away the devastating
problem of sin and evil -- and replace it with a collective dream of peace and social justice? Not Biblical justice, of course. That
wouldn't fit Bell's view of an evolving earthly heaven.
Does that remind you of John Lennon's most popular
seems to match Bell's quest for an earthly paradise: "Imagine there's no Heaven. It's easy if you try.
No hell below us. Above us only sky..."
Eugene Peterson, esteemed author of
The Message, doesn't seem a
bit troubled by Bell's unbiblical teaching. Ponder his endorsement of this
"...it isn't easy to
develop a thoroughly biblical
that takes in the comprehensive and eternal work of Christ in all
people and all circumstances.... Rob Bell goes a long way in
helping us acquire just such an imagination."
imagination has served as a tempting tool in social and spiritual
transformation through the centuries. Today it's used to promote faith in a unifying "energy" -- like
the "energy" Bell
mentioned in the introductory quote. It sounds like the
deChardin, the heretical Jesuit priest, who became a
mystics, globalists (including
Al Gore) and the UN long after he helped "discover" the the phony
Teilhard de Chardin,
the human community is undergoing a radical transformation of
consciousness....[Teillard is] challenging the religions to be active
forces in our time to harness and direct human energies."
But God says, "Woe to those who call
evil good, and good evil.... Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
and prudent in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:20-21
1. Love Wins (HarperOne, 2011,
was listed as No. 2 on the New York
Times Hardcover Advice &
Miscellaneous best-seller list for the
week of April. Rob Bell is the founding
pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in
2. Ibid., pp.150-151.
3. Ewert H. Cousins,
Fordham University, New York, September 16-18, 1981."Teilhard deChardin and the Religious Phenomenon."
International Symposium on the Occasion
of Centenary of the Birth of Teilhard