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HolyGround >> Is Rob Bell a heretic?


5/2/11 1:29 AM
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Ridgeback
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Lahi - It hit me the other day where some of the people with a real passionate belief in a literal, eternal Hell are coming from. I was reading some comments on Facebook about Rob Bell, and it hit me that some of these folks see Hell as a very clear, obvious Biblical teaching that others of us are watering down in the name of compromise and easy Christianity. ('Why else would you change something so unpleasant, and so obvious that you have to do all kinds of mental gymnastics to get around it?' seems to be their thinking.) Pretty obvious, but I had always come from such a different place on this issue that I never saw it before.

On the flip side, I don't think that a lot of the Hell believers are giving those on the other side a fair shake. Say what you will about their other unique beliefs, but Seventh-day Adventists make a strong, Bible based case for annihilationism. Not to mention the long history of Christians past and present who have believed in some sort of Universal reconciliation, yet have never been about preaching cheap grace, compromise, or an easy Gospel. And they haven't come to this belief in any way except through earnest prayer and study. The idea of a God who would eternally tourture those who offend Him makes no sense to them at all in the light of Scripture and The Word given in Jesus. Unfortunately, we non-eternal-tourture believers often seem to get lumped in with people who really are eager, for whatever reason, to change or water-down Christianity to suit them when they feel the need.

Just some obvious thoughts.

Pastor Josh, if you happen to read this I'd be curious what you think.

 Good post.  I think, unfortunately, some people need hell to make heaven worthwhile in their minds.  If other people don't go to the hell then what is the point of being a Christian?  It is pretty sad when you hear something like this, but it is a very real sentiment.   I think it is most prominent among those who have been presented the gospel in terms of fire insurance ("if you died tonight do you know where you would go?") rather than the defeat of death (many of them hold to pagan views of immortality) the power to become sons of God through a difficult and arduous path, and the complete renewal of the entire Cosmos in the form of a New Heavans and New Earth in which God is "all in all."  
5/2/11 4:14 PM
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gord96
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Edited: 05/02/11 5:40 PM
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edit. realized i just repeated myself from a past post.
5/2/11 5:17 PM
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Grakman
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Ridgeback - ...the power to become sons of God through a difficult and arduous path

Ridge, I really liked this post, it was well written. This part made me think. How is the path difficult and arduous? Wouldn't that be a works based salvation? Not trying to parse your post in detail or anything nor to debate at all just wondering about your thought process when you wrote it.
5/2/11 5:29 PM
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reverend john
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How could pick up your cross be easy and light hearted?

Rev
5/2/11 5:46 PM
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Grakman
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reverend john - How could pick up your cross be easy and light hearted?

Rev

That's not how I read it or what I was thinking, but the following Scripture came immediately to mind when I read your comments, rev:

For my yoke is easy and my burdern is light. - Matthew 11:30

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.  -  Ephesians 2:8-9

My thought process when I read Ridge's post was:  What was Ridge thinking when he wrote this - about salvation? Apotheosis? Or something else, and how is that reconciled with the view that Christ finished the work of both on the cross.


5/2/11 5:49 PM
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gord96
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i think Ridge meant that being a Christian isn't always easy. The process of repentance and living that repentance can be difficult indeed.
5/2/11 5:54 PM
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Grakman
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 gord, do you believe a person can 'lose' salvation?
5/2/11 6:00 PM
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gord96
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Edited: 05/02/11 6:25 PM
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haha that's the million dollar question. honestly the last 2-3 weeks have been some of the most spiritually intense weeks of my life. trying to make sense of doctrine and theology and all that. for now I can only say that "I don't know."

Is salvation a 'saved' or 'not saved' state, or is it an ongoing struggle each person has to deal with until they die or Christ returns? Then when each of our hearts is held up to the righteous flames of God, we will see where we stand.

perhaps there is a point where a person is 'saved' at which the Holy Spirit becomes active in them and regeneration from the sinful state begins. after that they must still endure until the end, but as Paul says in 1 Cor 3:10-15, they will be put to the flames and lose much, but still make it.

The 'unsaved' on the other hand will not have the foundation to survive the flames at all and will be left with nothing.
5/2/11 6:10 PM
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gord96
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Edited: 05/02/11 6:22 PM
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....
5/2/11 6:53 PM
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Grakman
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gord96 - haha that's the million dollar question. honestly the last 2-3 weeks have been some of the most spiritually intense weeks of my life. trying to make sense of doctrine and theology and all that. for now I can only say that "I don't know."

Is salvation a 'saved' or 'not saved' state, or is it an ongoing struggle each person has to deal with until they die or Christ returns? Then when each of our hearts is held up to the righteous flames of God, we will see where we stand.

perhaps there is a point where a person is 'saved' at which the Holy Spirit becomes active in them and regeneration from the sinful state begins. after that they must still endure until the end, but as Paul says in 1 Cor 3:10-15, they will be put to the flames and lose much, but still make it.

The 'unsaved' on the other hand will not have the foundation to survive the flames at all and will be left with nothing.

 Isn't scary to think that where you will spend eternity depends on how you sort out all of the theological and doctrinal questions? :-P
5/2/11 7:05 PM
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gord96
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lol. :P

i'm not overly worried about getting it all figured out. it's part of the journey. my own Christian 'doctrine' has changed and morphed many times over the years.
5/3/11 12:58 AM
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reverend john
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Like most things you have to look and see what is being said and in what context.

Jesus says to pick up your cross and follow and then shows what that means. So what does it mean when he says his burden is light? Well if you do a bit of word study you see that the word is good or kind not easy Jesus burden is good. In addition the yoke we are invited to take on is also calling us to learn from him

In addition Paul tells us we face intense spiritual warfare. Jesus says people will hate us. And Paul tells us our apart and flesh war with one another we are not called to an easy life but one of sacrifice and surrender. We should take on Jesus burden rather than the burdens of the world however as Jesus burdens are good

Hope that makes sense. It isn't about salvation but discipleship

Rev
5/5/11 9:57 AM
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CJJScout
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Sometimes, I think me and the Rev are closer to each other's beliefs than either of us (definitely me!) want to admit.

That's a good word Rev, Thanks!
5/5/11 10:27 AM
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reverend john
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I have always tried to say that I believe that Christ is central. Follow him. My theology is just my attempt to follow the historical Jesus revealed in the scripture as Christ and savior

rev
5/5/11 10:56 AM
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gord96
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good post Rev. As always.

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