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Rob Bell Oozes IV

July 9, 2007

rob-bell-eucharist-at-q.jpg

Controversy.

Sometimes it finds you. Sometimes you bring it on yourself. Rob Bell is asked about why he thinks his ministry has created controversy.

So the band never toured but now you have. Your ministry has created some controversy particularly among some more traditional churches and leaders, why do you think that is?

I think that what a lot of people call religion is actually fear. I think they say it is historic Christianity but I think it is a lot of terror and fear and shame and all sorts of other darkness, so they are not free. They are bound and terrified and working very hard to preserve and prop up whole systems and ways of thinking, living and believing things that are actually totally destructive. So I assume that sometimes those are the real issues. When people criticize you it says much more about them. For that matter when people praise you it says more about them. I don’t read reviews, I don’t read blogs, I don’t Google my name…it just has no place in my life, I don’t know what good that would do.

The part that I want to focus on is the first part. “….what a lot of people call religion is actually fear.” I think how that line strikes you says a lot. I have come not from Rob Bell but outside of him to believe exactly that. There is a lot of fear and shame and other darkness wrapped up in a lot of what is called religion. Fear and shame rob you of freedom. Even those who are stepping out in faith get dragged back by fear.

It in some ways is like the slaves escaping on the underground railroad. The may have left all they have ever known, left the plantation and its screwed up mentality. And they may have done this out of fear for their own lives or out of a deep understanding that the system was wrong. Either way, as long as they were still living in fear, they were not truly free. They might be still on the underground railroad or even have found a new home but the fingers of fear scratch at them, and they are not free.

I see that with the religious spirit. It is the enemy of freedom in Christ.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2007 2:58 pm

    “what a lot of people call religion is actually fear.”

    That makes me sad. But I’m not sure if it’s for the Church or for myself.

  2. July 9, 2007 7:22 pm

    It is refreshing to hear such honesty and fresh perspective – thank you! I’ve recently been re-reading “Hinds Feet on High Places” and have been struck again with how profound the name of the title character is – “Much-Afraid”, and all that she must overcome along her path to transformation.

  3. July 10, 2007 1:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, I am really enjoying it.

  4. July 10, 2007 8:46 pm

    I believe the real reason we have controversy in and splits in the Church is the focus is on self instead of Christ. The devil wants us to focus on anything else but focusing our hearts and minds on God and doing His pleasing and perfect will. Satan wants us us to fuss and fight; do anything but save our friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members, and others. We must remember what our focus needs to be and that is on God, Christ and understanding that we have the Holy Spirit living with in us in order do the gifts, make disciples and reach out to those who need Jesus.. I really like your post. You really get right to the point and make people think. Great job. Keep it up brother! God bless you and your ministry.

  5. July 11, 2007 10:47 am

    Can’t wait till my birthday….

    Rob Bell in Atlanta!

  6. david permalink
    October 19, 2009 11:31 am

    “When people criticize you it says much more about them”

    What is said about this quote from Rob Bell is that he is actually criticizing the critiquer. As Christians, we should be very critical in all we do. READ THE BIBLE, GOD SPEAKS ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME.

  7. October 19, 2009 11:53 am

    David,
    not sure if you have a beef with Rob Bell or with me….but you seem upset about this post. It has been so long ago (over 2 years) that I don’t really remember it. Having just re-read it, I was making a point about the role of fear in many people’s religion.

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