Monday, March 21, 2011

Martin Bashir, Hell, and The Emergent Church

Readers of Rantifestos!
I understand I'm a little late in getting this out. No excuses. But I don't think anyone has ever commanded more respect from me than Martin Bashir has, and in just seven minutes! He does what no other journalist had the integrity or honesty to do. To get down to the essence of the issue and search for truth. Even if it means asking the same question three times!

Here is a fantastic follow up interview of Bashir on a talk show based out of Grand Rapids. Paul Edwards does a great job interviewing Bashir and both really get to the bottom of what Rob Bell's new book is all about. All that Rob Bell hooplah is borderline old news now, however Martin goes on to FINALLY expose the emergent church for what it is; a conglomerate of junior high youth pastors turned senior pastors rewriting scripture to fit their own whims and fancies. Hearing this kind of dialogue is so great!



  1. I don't understand how evangelicals can attack Rob Bell for being untruthful..

    It's the most absurd example of hypocrisy.

    I don't see the evangelical world complaining about truth when people preach against facts and actual proven truths such as:

    1. Evolution is not a myth
    2. Homosexuality is not a choice
    3. Gender is a purely social construct
    4. The world was not created in 6 days
    5. The sex and sexual orientation of parents has no impact on how a child thrives
    6. Many authors of the Bible were sexist ( I can't believe people actually try to get around this one. Every sane Theologian I talk to would rather jump off a cliff than lie and say otherwise).
    7. The world is old

    Where are your complaints about the treatment of history in these regards? It seems that a huge amount of evangelicals put truth aside in order to coincide with their "whims and fancies" and beliefs just as much as Bell does here.

    They feel uncomfortable that proven fact does not go hand in hand with their specific beliefs at the time and decide to throw these truths away. What is the difference?

  2. Hey Alex,

    I've seen you before, you peruse the internet, you see a Biblical Evangelical blog, see the sub title and maybe read a post. But you automatically feel the need to get in attack mode and presume to post your half-intelligent, un-researched truth claims on EVERYTHING. Granted, yours is the neatest and most nicely numbered I've seen yet, props! Yet, they bear no grounding nor relevance to the topic at hand.

    So please, save it for when it's relevant to the post. There will be posts on homosexuality, there have been posts on creation, and there have been posts on feminism in regards to Scripture. By all means, we can debate it there, but give it a rest, do some Biblical research, and come back with some actual "proven truths."

    I don't know if you noticed, but none of those "truths" in your list are in this post. I'm perfectly willing to discuss Rob Bell for the time being though!

    The real hypocrisy in regards to Rob Bell is that he is, like Bashir said, amending the gospel so that it's nice to hear and doesn't offend anyone. After all, nobody wants to be told they're going to hell! But what Rob Bell is doing has disastrous consequences! Just read Revelations 22:18-19.

    Much love,

  3. Alex,
    I see your point, but there are some problems that I'd like to address. Firstly, the list of 'facts and proven truths' you posit:

    1. The authors position on evolution has nothing to do with their theological disagreement with Rob Bell; whether or not his origins paradigm is in agreement with theirs, this has nothing to do with his eschatology or his opinion on the eternal state.

    2. So what? Homosexuality may not be a choice, but a naturally occurring desire is not validated simply because it is natural. I might have the natural urge to murder someone if they make me mad, but I doubt you or anyone would crusade to secure extra rights for murders. If God creates a person with homosexual desires, that does not mean that He approves of them giving into their desires.

    3. Gender is biologically determined and ordained by God, and it is NOT a social construct. Part of the creation order that God put in place was for men and women to be just that: male and female

    4. again, origins have NOTHING to do with this debate, so you essentially posit only 4 points here because three of them about origins.

    5. While it may not have any extrinsic or apparent affect, the heart of the matter is that children raised by homosexual parents are being raised in sin by parents living in sin. This has long term, eventually eternal effects that are intrinsic.

    6. To assert that God, the author of scripture through many people is sexist is a rather presumptuous thing. Simply because what you see as proper gender roles today not fitting in with Scripture's portrayal of male and female relationships does not mean that the writers of scripture are sexist; rather, if you believe that Scripture is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16) then you ought to be reexamining your own beliefs about gender roles.

    7. Again...nothing to do with what we're talking about.

    What do you think about heaven and hell? That's what we're hoping to talk about here, not a laundry list of disagreements that you might have. And really, what you think about that is of the utmost importance...which, again, is why that's what we want to talk about.

    Grace and peace,


  4. You have no idea how much your response to number 5 hurts those families who fall into that category. You are talking about people's mothers and fathers. You are talking about people willing to adopt children when no one else would. You are talking about my close friends and her family. You are talking about my friends' teachers and my own, and most importantly you are talking about one of my best friends. You've never met them, and you probably aren't friends with anyone who will admit to you that they are gay, (unless they want to be told that they should hate that part of themselves, something that the APA has defined as strictly mental torture)

    You just have no idea......
    I can't stand the fact that people like you can justify your bigotry and prejudice so easily and then label it love.

    But of course you're right. You're always right. All you have to do is site one text and thats all the proof you need, no matter who you hurt and no matter what kind of environment of hatred you contribute to (you are doing this whether you believe or not). But that's okay, your fighting a losing battle. Even Mohler has recently stated the normalization of homosexuality in the States is inevitable. Oh god you probably see this as an excellent opportunity to be even more awful and preach against it even louder because Jesus needs your voice!

    Since it's really obvious this is off topic I'll contribute to the "actual" thing at hand.

    I'm not Christian anymore (mostly due to people like yourselves) but I was taught that its most important to act like Jesus, to do good onto others, and that whether someone is able to recognize that as Christ really doesn't matter. (whether it be because of geographical location, social circumstance, mental capabilities, whatever have you.) Any God that would have someone be born on some random island then punish them for never hearing of Jesus sounds way too much like the worst men in human history.

    As for having to pick and choose certain doctrine in order to have this belief, my parents said it was easy since they don't believe eating shellfish is a sin and don't think women are subject to the authority of husbands in the way that man is to Christ.

  5. I want to apologize if I came off too harshly, I wasn't able to explicitly deduce whether or not you were a Christian; based on what you said I erred on the side that you were a Christian. This played into my comment because there are different ways to present an issue to a Christian and a non-Christian; so I'm very sorry and hope that you can see what went wrong. I meant no offense, but that doesn't change my beliefs.

    I'm very sorry to hear that people have treated you wrongly, especially Christians. That's heartbreaking for me to hear. I want to stress that when the church lives out and learns what Scripture does the right way that your experience wouldn't happen. It is a tragedy that the church today mishandles things so badly in this regard. This isn't to say that they should necessarily approve or embrace homosexuality, but there are ways to go about things lovingly that aren't practiced nearly enough.

    So, I hope you understand that while we still disagree, I responded the way I did because I thought you were a Christian and therefore merited a certain response. I hope that we can still have a discussion.

    Rather than address everything in your post above, I'd like to ask you questions. What exactly caused you to walk away from the church? I don't think you can 'lose' your salvation, however. What do you think about the existence of a God at all? What have your interactions with the church been like? Do you have any questions for me? I'm here to help, not hurt :) Sorry again for the misunderstanding.

    grace and peace,