On an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sunday”, former ‘evangelical’ pastor Rob Bell basically called the Bible and its orthodox adherents irrelevant. Gasp.
Rob Bell has left Orthodox Christianity a long time ago, so it should not be a surprise that he determines that any church that rejects the legitimacy of gay marriage “will become irrelevant if it rejects gay marriage.” That really shouldn’t throw any of us for a curve, seeing as in his book Love Wins, he basically rejected any orthodox notion of hell.
Bell also says that anyone defending the conservative view of Christianity when it pertains to homosexuality are just flat out irrelevant “when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense”. Wait, you mean the texts that the entirety of Christian thought is found upon? Yeah, that one.
So what’s the real issue at stake? Why in the world would someone like Rob Bell, who declares to at least somewhat appreciate the Bible, call its texts irrelevant?
Well, he simply views the Bible as stagnant and ‘in its time’. There are three basic (rudimentary, really) ways to view the Scriptures: absolutely useful, somewhat useful, absolutely useless. Bell would fall under the ‘somewhat useful’ category, and that’s why his ‘theology’ is all over the place.
People like Bell, alongside the likes of many other leaders, see the Bible as self-centered, something directed at them. The Bible no longer becomes about God, it becomes about us.
It is a dangerous game to play when the Bible is seen as a self-help moralistic book, and not the story of God’s redemption of His people. When the Scriptures become inward focused, and not on the proclamation of His redemptive grace, everything seems out of context and ‘irrelevant’.
When filtered through the lens of inspiration by the divine, Scriptures once seen as ‘irrelevant and ancient’ now become timeless representations of God’s holiness, grace, mercy, and redemption.
What’s at stake here is not the credibility of some feel good, ‘God loves everyone’ self-help teacher who we stopped listening to a long time ago, but the credibility of God’s inspired Word itself.