Heretical Pastor Rob Bell Embraces Same-Sex “Marriage”
Heretical Pastor Rob Bell Embraces Same-Sex “Marriage”
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   03.20.13

Society thinks teens are especially vulnerable to peer pressure, peer approval, and the need to conform.  We smile at them paternalistically and pat ourselves on the back that we adults are courageous non-conformists, able to leap tall cultural hurdles in a single bound because of our well-formed spines and convictions. 

But it is my observation that far too few adults have managed to shrug off that desperate adolescent need to fit in, which is why so few adults lead with courage and conviction on the issue of marriage. 

Middle-aged hipster pastor Rob Bell is the most recent faith leader to embrace the legal recognition of non-marital homosexual unions as “marriages.” His foolish and non-heroic announcement represents a shift from orthodoxy to heresy.  It shouldn’t be surprising in that Bell has been abandoning orthodoxy on other doctrinal issues for some time. But it is troubling nonetheless. 

Here’s Bell’s scripturally indefensible and intellectually shallow explanation of his current beliefs (which, by the way, could be used to support the affirmation of plural marriage or any other sin inclination): 

I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs—I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.

I think we are witnessing the death of a particular subculture that doesn’t work. I think there is a very narrow, politically intertwined, culturally ghettoized, Evangelical subculture that was told ‘we’re gonna change the thing’ and they haven’t. And they actually have turned away lots of people. And I think that when you’re in a part of a subculture that is dying, you make a lot more noise because it’s very painful. You sort of die or you adapt. And if you adapt, it means you have to come face to face with some of the ways we’ve talked about God, which don’t actually shape people into more loving, compassionate people. And we have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. And we’ve done it in the name of God and we need to repent.

I would say that the powerful, revolutionary thing about Jesus’ message is that he says, ‘What do you do with the people that aren’t like you? What do you do with the Other? What do you do with the person that’s hardest to love?’ . . . That’s the measure of a good religion, is—you can love the people who are just like you; that’s kind of easy. So what Jesus does is takes the question and talks about fruit. He’s interested in what you actually produce. And that’s a different discussion. How do we love the people in the world that are least like us? 

Leaving a close analysis of Bell’s strange unbiblical ideas to theologians, I will offer just a few observations: 

  • While Bell when talking about the “Other” implies that he is paraphrasing Jesus, he actually offers no textual support for such a paraphrase. In fact, there is no biblical support for the view that in order to love those who are different, we should affirm all of their feelings, beliefs, or life choices. And there certainly is no biblical support for the idea that the fruits of our faith include abandoning God’s design for marriage. 
  • Bell has offered no justification or evidence for his implicit claim that the legal recognition of marriage as inherently sexually complementary has been “actually destructive.” 
  • If Bell believes that those who support Jesus’ conception of marriage are a “dying subculture,” he is more shaped by the world than by Scripture. 
  • Where in Scripture does Bell see “adaptation” as God’s will for his church? Here’s what I see: 
    • “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). 

    • “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). 

    • “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).

    • “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matt. 7:13-14)

Every time a public figure fashionably announces he or she supports the legalization of same-sex marriage, the ravenous conformist beast within us grows. The secular world and heretics hail these public figures as conquering heroes, and unless we’re wise in our faith and intellectually prepared to understand the specious arguments promulgated in the culture, we too are vulnerable to the powerful yearning to be welcomed into the cool crowd.

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins became the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years in Deerfield High...
Related Articles
Rob Bell’s Recipe For Spiritual Disaster
Rob Bell’s Recipe For Spiritual Disaster
IFI Featured Video
Kirk Smith
Get Our New App!