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Friday, November 21, 2008

Rob Bell Part 1
















There has been a lot written about Pastor Rob Bell across the Internet. His teaching is influencing many people. I begin to do a little research on him and I felt that his teaching could be dangerous and needed to be addressed. Erick Mire is a young man who attends my church. I spoke with him about Rob Bell and he begin to tell me about is exposure to his teaching. After we talked, I decided he would be a good person to write a few articles about his experience and what he thinks of Rob Bell's teaching.

So here is

Rob Bell Part 1
by
Erick Mire




For the last few years I have been a part of numerous college small groups and Bible studies. I was even asked to be the head of the college ministry of my former church. During this time, I was exposed to many modern day heretical teachings. At the time I sensed nothing was wrong with the teaching I was hearing because it was being given to me by men I respected, such as my head pastor and youth pastor. For over three years I labored hard in the church, working in two to three ministries at a time. Then finally I crashed and burned. I was completely burned out from Christianity! I became cynical and began to doubt God in many areas. I praise God for pulling me out of that church and opening my eyes to the real problem at hand: False doctrines and false Christianity.


In the last few months of attending my former church, I began to listen to other sermons online from well-respected preachers and noticed significant differences from what I had been hearing in every sermon being preached from my churches pulpit. To sum it up, good sermons teach exaltation of Christ, mankind’s need for a savior, how truth is found in scripture alone, and all other teaching that leads to sound doctrine, but what I was hearing was preaching that catered to self. It’s not about you, but about Christ! That sounds so elemental, but the teaching that I would hear on a regular basis was telling me that Jesus wants me to come to Him for a good life, i.e. good relationships, career planning, financial stability, health and wellness, and more. Sure there would be occasional teachings on how we need to be followers of Christ, but it was all law-based living and never the true Gospel.

Since having my eyes open by our gracious Lord Jesus Christ, I am hungry to know the TRUTH. I am even willing to proclaim it even if my friends hate me for it. All people are totally depraved and will die and go to hell in their sins, unless they believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Jesus does not save us from a miserable life, but from a miserable eternity. Wanting Jesus to save you from a miserable life is a Hedonistic view of Jesus.

In this blog, I would like to discuss one of the false teachings that was being presented to me by my former church. It is the video series called “NOOMA” by author and Pastor Rob Bell, the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan. NOOMA’s website, nooma states Mars Hill Bible Church is “… one of the fastest growing churches in American history.” So as you can see, he is very influential in today’s American Christianity. Rob Bell’s church has even landed the #10 spot on Church Report Magazine’s, “50 Most Influential Churches in America 2007.”

http://www.thecronline.com/mag_article.php?mid=875&mname=January.



As for the NOOMA videos, I will let nooma.com explain what they are intended to be:

“We can get anything we want, from anywhere in the world, whenever we want it. That's how it is and that's how we want it to be. Still, our lives aren't any different than other generations before us. Our time is. We want spiritual direction, but it has to be real for us and available when we need it. We want a new format for getting Christian perspectives.

NOOMA is the new format.

It's short films with communicators that really speak to us. Compact, portable, and concise. Each NOOMA touches on issues that we care about, that we want to talk about, and it comes in a way that fits our world. It's a format that's there for us when we need it, as we need it, how we need it. “

As I mentioned earlier, NOOMA was one of the influential teachings going on in my previous church. It is so influential that earlier this week, a friend of mine who attends college in South Dakota tried to rebuke me for saying anything harsh against Rob Bell. Many, many college age Christians in America either have or possibly will come in contact with a NOOMA video. I realize by doing this blog, there will be many people, especially young people, who will disagree with me. It is my hope and prayer that a reformation would happen in America; that we would reclaim the Jesus of the Bible, and spur ourselves on to Biblical literacy.

Let’s move on now to discussing one of the NOOMA videos. We will look at the 8th installment of the NOOMA-series entitled “Dust.” Each NOOMA package comes with the DVD and small group workbook to engage the topic that Rob Bell presents. The workbook is designed in a very artistic, sort of edgy style. The video, workbook design and layout are specifically geared for a teen-to-college age audience. Inside the workbook there are many questions catered to an open-forum type discussion. From my own personal experience, this is dangerous because there is a lack of pastoral authority among the members to help refute false beliefs. True there may be a college pastor in the group, but most of the time he is a novice, which the Bible warns against. (1 Tim. 3:1-6).

My college pastor at the time was 20 years old and a junior at an undergraduate college, with no real credentials to hold such a position. This is most likely true in a majority of the churches that utilize the NOOMA teachings.



Part 2 will be posted Saturday 22 November, 2008.
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