There’s a Pastor named Rob Bell, who is the leader of a church called Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have read several of his books, most recently a book called Love Wins. In his book, he tells us essentially that all people will eventually go to Heaven. That when Jesus declared “It is finished”, He meant it.
My understanding has always been that there is a definite Heaven and Hell. An in group and an out group, although there are many opinions as to who makes up those two groups. But I figured this pastor’s message would probably be met with some controversy and when I searched online for responses to this book, I learned quickly that I was correct.
Many religious leaders have offered their opinions about this book. Some are quite vehement, going so far as to call Rob Bell a heretic. A heretic? Like…Galileo? Some didn’t like his message about all being saved and nobody going to Hell because they believed that without the fear of judgment people would not choose to behave morally. What a sad commentary on what that message says about human nature.
My own father was a strict disciplinarian. When I was a teenager, I was afraid of my father. So the more he laid down the law, the more I rebelled. But as I matured and started to see my father in a different light, I understood that he loved me and that he wanted to teach me things about life. It wasn’t until I was able to let go of the fear of my father and embrace the love he had for me that I wanted to please him. In fact, I even wanted to be like him.
I find love to be a much more powerful motivator, but I am not a theologian so I continued to search for responses from people who were much more educated than me. I have been following Pastor Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle on podcasts because I enjoy his sermons. I figured he would have an opinion and a quick google search led me to his video response of Rob Bell and others like him.
As I listened to this video clip of Mark Driscoll I was impressed with his big words and fancy theology, but the message that I kept hearing from him was “who does this guy think he is talking about God in such a loving way”. He was clearly upset about Rob Bell and it reminded me of another time when the religious leaders were up in arms about someone’s message and I think it was about 2000 years ago.