I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2, KJV)

Just Rob And Everything Spiritual

In Part One I gave you some background into the Elvis of Emergent Rob Bell’s “Everything Is Spiritual”(EIS) tour. Now let’s take a brief look at some of the things that Emergent pastor and communicator Rob Bell shared as part of his religious performance art for the crowds who gathered to hear him in various nightclubs and bars across the U.S during the EIS tour.

We begin with the article Center Stage for a Pastor Where It’s Rock That Usually Rules by John Leland of the NY Times who tells us that Bell’s:

100-minute talk, billed as “Everything Is Spiritual,” features no music or film clips, no sound other than his voice and the squeak of his marker, filling the board with Hebrew characters, diagrams, biblical interpretation and numbers…

In addition to newspaper articles there has also been some interesting eyewitness testimony posted on the internet about EIS as well. Here’s some rather detailed recollections from Chris Lyons, who is “a Christian and an aspiring polymath, actively seeking to be a better talmid of my rabbi, Y’shua.” Lyons had the chance to see Bell at his Indiana stop and in his post Everything is Spiritual Lyons fills us in:

Last Saturday, I went to the Indianapolis venue for Rob Bell’s Everything is Spiritual 2006 “tour”. Basically, it is a 1:45 hour lecture by Rob that goes by in what seems like 10 minutes. I’m still trying to sort it all out, as it was incredible.

The Relation Of Science And God

In a later post Everything is Spiritual-Redux (a ‘Slice’ of Rob Bell) Lyons shares that “what has stuck with me the most is the quote I’ve listed above, which helps confirm what I’ve been learning about the Kingdom of God in this past years’ studies.” The quote he refers to from Rob Bell is: “In the Hebrew language, there is no word for ‘Spiritual’, because that would imply that there is something that is not…” Lyons then goes on to say that Bell spoke about “the relation of science and God” and how they are not mutually exclusive. That by “believing in God [it] doesn’t mean that you have to become ‘brainwashed’ into believing that the earth is 6,000 years old.”

Lyons tells us that during his EIS performance Bell said some:

Things that made me go “hmmm”:
1. When God is mentioned in Genesis 1:1, He is called Elohim in Hebrew. The suffix -im in Hebrew indicates the word is plural. The next few verses then spell out the plural natures of God (creator, spirit, word).
2. Two-dimensional vs. three-dimensional vs. multi-deminsional thought
3. The “dials and knobs” view of the world
4. In Hebrew, there is no word/adjective for “spiritual”, as this would imply that there were things that were NOT spiritual.

Tara Dooley of the Houston Chronicle points out in her story Michigan pastor takes message to new places that in the Houston show:

The main point of [Bell’s] message was, well, that everything is spiritual. And he finished by telling his audience to stop searching for the path, or the seven steps to peace and spirituality. He started his talk at the beginning, the Bible’s book of Genesis, which he referred to as an ancient near-Eastern epic poem. “The Bible begins with a poem that has got a rhythm, a cadence, a beat, a meter – it has a certain groove to it,” he said.

Another who had the chance to see Bell live is Jough Pentony. In his post Rob Bell Everything is Spiritual Tour he tells us:

I went to see Rob Bell’s Everything is Spiritual Tour last night at Scumbers. It was actually pretty cool. He was dressed in all black, the stage was black, he had a black marker for this huge white board. There was no music or cheesy power points, just his chicken scratch.

He talked a little about creation, then he went into Newtonian physics, general relativity, quantum physics and string theory.

I had heard all of the science part of it before… Basically, when people start to talk about this stuff they say that when you get to the sub-atomic level things behave in unpredictable ways. You can do a calculation like 1+1 and it might equal 2 or some other number based on some probability.

The World According To Rob

Leland also fills us in that Bell’s EIS religious performance art covered a variety of other topics as well:

the talk bounced from the Book of Genesis and the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning “God,” to “This Is Spinal Tap,” the World Cup and the value of turning your cellphone off one day a week in modern observance of the Sabbath. Mr. Bell argued at several points that science and faith were complementary, not contradictory systems of information.

And finally Dooley tells us that:

The talk was delivered with understated humor that his audience responded to with laughter and applause. But it also demanded attention as Bell wound his way through the Bible, Newton, Einstein, quantum physics and string theory as a way of illustrating the mysteries that arise in the pursuit of cold, hard facts.
He offered critique of the church, which can become an exclusive address for God, he said. And he critiqued religion’s emphasis on doctrinal distinctions. “It is possible for church to work against spirituality,” he said.

Yes Rob, it can but the reverse is true as well: it’s also entirely possible for church to work to help us grow spiritually. So this really proves nothing but your own bias against having to adhere to “doctrinal distinctives.” O how I wish people could learn how to listen to what people are actually saying. And Rob as dazzling as it might be to talk about what happens with “Two-dimensional vs. three-dimensional vs. multi-dimensional thought,” one is hard-pressed to see just what this has to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As I have asked before, in the end what did Pastor Rob Bell pray that this EIS tour to showcase his religious performance art would accomplish? Did he seek the Lord that God would use him to rescue many lost souls and bringing them to a saving knowledge of Christ?

Well, NY Times reporter Leland asked Bell about this:

Mr. Bell said he hoped the tour would instill a sense of awe in his listeners.

“We’ve got everything material we could want, but there’s a loss of innocence and wonder,” he said. “I grew up on David Letterman, whose answer to everything is ‘yeah, right.’ But the people who really move us, like Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa, at the end of the day have this innocence.”

The Time Has Arrived To Make A Right Judgement

Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:6-8)

O please. This is the kind of pseudo pastor that’s good enough for the Body of Christ now? Have we actually sunk this low in the Christian Church in America? Men like Rob Bell? Wowing teens and twenty-somethings who find it “outrageously cool to sell out a bar” and “loved that there was beer available,” and causing older men to remember when “we’d get high and talk about stuff like that.” Pastor Rob Bell, a man responsible for the spiritual welfare of other Christians, who apparently still wants to go hang out in nightclubs and doesn’t see that when he uses phrases like “pimped out” he is speaking language that is degrading women.

Oh yes, I can just hear the Emergent howls of protest arising: “But how dare you! You’re judging Rob.” Read my keyboard: Yes, absolutely! Yes, I am judging his character by the fruit of his life and his public conduct. As a pastor-teacher myself this exactly what I am supposed to do as Jesus says – “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” (John 7:24) And I offer this as yet another reason of why this Emergent Church rebellion is such a heinous crime against the Body of Christ. It has created a forum for young men like Rob Bell who are proving that they are simply too young to have senior pastorates and who are quite obviously not showing the kind of Christian character we should expect from our pastor-teachers.

If I were to judge by mere appearances I would only consider his outward appearance, but I don’t. Frankly doesn’t concern me at all. If Rob Bell looks and dresses a certain way within Christian decency, what would that possibly be to me? However, even as we take into account that old adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”; let us not forget that many times the cover of that book, as well as its title does give us a pretty good idea of what we are going to get when we open it up. And let’s take for example how Rob Bell tells us in Velvet Elvis that “one of my favorite writers, [is] Anne Lamott.” (054)

Is he serious? Foul-mouthed Anne Lamott is one his “favorite” writers! Well, perhaps this says much about the discernment of pastor Bell as Lighthouse Trails Research informs us:

In spite of Lamott’s acceptance by Christendom, her spiritual sympathies seem to lie in two camps: Christian and New Age. In the recent release of New Age leader Marianne Williamson’s book, The Gift of Change (new edition), Lamott endorses the book. On the front cover, Lamott says, “[Williamson’s] voice is strong medicine for our woundedness, warmth, insistence, good humor, and a little light to see by.”

But Williamson’s medicine is a strong dose of A Course in Miracles, a thousand-plus-page channeled work (by spirit guides), whom Williamson brought to fame with the help of Oprah.

Use Your Head And Use Your Heart

And people think that guys like me are tough? Then just wait until you see what will follow. I have said repeatedly this type of Gnostic spirituality cannot simply be attacked using our heads alone, we must also use our hearts. If we study the Bible in the more intellectual vein of a John MacArthur as we combine this with the teachings of the Bible by an A.W. Tozer in a more spiritual manner then we will become powerful in Christ. Maybe guys like Steve Camp are beginning to sense this; I don’t know him, however, it appears he might.

But I tell you in the Lord that nothing is to be gained by playing spiritual patty cake with these renegade pseudo Christians holding teaching positions within the leadership of the Emergent Church. And since I mentioned Steve Camp, if you don’t want to listen to me then at least check out his piece Are There Any Men of God in the EC… He’s absolutely right; and these guys have only gotten worse, and they will only continue to grow worse because without a Biblical anchor they very quickly morphe into – ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 4, NASB)

I leave you with A.W. Tozer. As I said previously he was one of the best teachers of the Bible concerning the more spiritual side of our walk with our Lord. And Tozer was speaking to this emerging generation and men like Rob Bell when he wrote:

Today more than ever we Christians need to learn how to sanctify the ordinary! In this cynical generation, people have been overstimulated to the place where their nerves are jaded and their tastes corrupted. Everything is common and almost everything boring. The sacred has been secularized, the holy vulgarized and worship converted into a form of entertainment.

Like it or not, that is the world in which we find ourselves and we are charged with the responsibility to live soberly, righteously and godly right in the middle of it! The danger is that we allow ourselves to be to much affected by the degenerate tastes of the Hittites and Jebusites among whom we dwell and so learn the ways of the nations, to our own undoing, as Israel did before us.

When the whole moral and psychological atmosphere is secular and common how can we escape its deadly effects? How can we sanctify the ordinary and find true spiritual meaning in the common things of life? The answer is plainly apparent but to some of us it will seem too lame and ordinary. It is to consecrate the whole of life to Christ and to begin to do everything in His Name and for His sake.

And concerning Hollow Men of the Emergent rebellion like Rob Bell, we are talking here about the real Christ Jesus of the Bible and not the scaled down “Christ of the cause” preached by these phony followers of Jesus.