The Rob Bell controversy seems to have been the primary conversation in ecclesiastical circles for the last week or so. He seems to be leaving many in a quandary concerning what he truly believes and teaches. His vagueness leaves the theological or is it ideological or is it a philosophical door wide open. And wide open in a small group oftentimes leads to false doctrine entering the discussion and many times landing in the minds of some or all group members as truth.
Small group pastors, we don’t have the luxury of simply entering into the Rob Bell debate. Our group leaders/hosts need guidance concerning what curriculum drives the group to truth and what curriculum opens the door to misunderstanding and misinterpretation of God’s words found in the Bible. Some of your leaders are going to come to you and ask you whether or not they should use a Rob Bell resource.
You’re going to have to answer that question for yourself. Until Rob gives some concrete evidence that he stands for truth as seen through the eyes of orthodox evangelicalism you might want to think long and hard. You may say, “Since we don’t really know where he’s coming from, we should give him the benefit of the doubt.” The problem is this. Effective shepherds are so passionate about protecting their sheep that they won’t allow anyone that even seems to be a danger to their sheep to enter the space where the sheep are grazing.
Some of you who are reading this will be disturbed that anyone is even hinting that Rob Bell has tendencies toward perverting God’s truth. Others of you will be troubled, maybe even disappointed that I didn’t declare that Rob falls into the category of “false teacher.” I am certain of this... I cannot enter into someone else's mind and assume that I know where they are truly coming from or their motivation for the vagueness of their comments.
My only goal for writing this blog post is to help all of us consider our responsibility and, when necessary, do whatever it takes to protect the hearts of those under our umbrella of responsibility, the umbrella God Himself handed off to us.
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