[A pastor-teacher] must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. (Titus 1:9-11)

Bell’s “Teaching” Is Postmodern And Emergent

In Part One I simply used the statements on the back cover of Rob Bell’s book Velvet Elvis: Repainting The Christian Faith (VE) to show clear illustration of some of his Emergent and postmodern bias. Then as usual there was no substantive critique of my work coming back from Bell’s growing and obsequious disciples just their usual ad hominem attacks and statements of opinion that, not surprisingly, I am simply wrong about Rob Bell.

Now I happen to have a diametrically opposed opinion and all the “conversation” that I have had with those from Emergent circles, from Dan Kimball to Andrew Jones, has done nothing more than strongly reinforce my concern about the grave danger of this Bible-denying cult. Bell’s work concerning his understanding of Holy Scripture in VE and from what can easily be gleaned from his public interviews show at best a neo-orthodox doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible. As I pointed out in my article Rob Bell and Karl Barth this works out to a subjective denial of the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture.

I challenge the reader to go to the comments section of Slice of Laodicea where I am pastoral advisor and contributor and look at the comments from those who “oppose” me there in the comments section of any Rob Bell post. By and large these are usually twenty-somethings with some level of Bible college training who are quite enamored with the abstruse Bell and react just as one would defending the leader of a cult. It truly is a sad indictment upon the Emergent movement where supposed Christians are so arrogant as to brazenly disregard what is said by a pastor-teacher called by Christ to instruct them in at least a tangential way.

And this is absolutely the last time I am going to say this: I do not imply that I speak directly from God in the sense of inspiration, I am not saying I am the only one teaching correctly, and I am not above being held accountable by other of my peers as to what I teach. That said however, as one who has been a pastor for nearly as long as many of those so foolishly challenging me have even been alive. It is a shame that they apparently do not have enough wisdom to think that there’s a good chance I’ve had just a bit more time on this planet to seek God and acquire knowledge from Him than they have.

But this is the tragic result of humanistic relativism and so-called political correctness here in pagan postmodern America. Because the focus is on how the individual himself may feel and not on what is best for the rest of society as a whole America has continued to sink until it has become a subjective “rights-oriented” culture instead of one that is “truth-oriented” using the Bible as its objective standard. And the truth is that on its present self-centered and God-less course the future of America is absolutely hopeless. Add to this the evangelical community itself is now attacking the inerrancy of Holy Scripture and one should be able to see the prognosis of the Christian Church in the United States is very grim indeed.

Emotional Postmodern Tantrums

And the best those who adhere to the false philosophy of postmodernism can do is to raise up the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church in a fruitless attempt to make the Christian faith palatable to this narcissistic nation. The Emergent Church is doomed to failure because like the Purpose Driven Church and the Word Faith Church–the two other major pillars in Satan’s Ecumenical Church of Deceit (ECoD)–it attempts to substitute human ingenuity for the power of God the Holy Spirit. Rather than wait upon the Lord to work in His time, and rather than doing exactly what God tells us to in Holy Scripture, the leaders in the ECoD believe they have come up with a better way to reach fickle mankind.

As I pointed out last time when Rob Bell talks about the so-called “mysteries of God” he is clearly doing so within the context of his own postmodern worldview and attempting to placate those who feel that absolute truth, and therefore God Himself, cannot really be known with any kind of certainty. As I said before Bell leaves no doubt by saying, “Just because I’m a Christian and I’m trying to articulate a Christian worldview doesn’t mean I’ve got it nailed.” And although Bell is doing his best to distance himself from the Emergent Church, when he says, “I’m contributing to the discussion” gives himself away. Because anyone familiar with this cult of the new liberalism knows that it is referred to as “the conversation.”

I’ve shared this elsewhere but the whole postmodern mindset is akin to that of an emotional teenager. I’m sure those of you who have raised teens already know, and I can also tell you from many years of dealing with them when I was a head football coach, they are not prone to accepting advice very well. At that age they are often-times quite headstrong but lack the experience to truly be able to care for themselves, though they not at all reticent to loudly insist that they do. Disagreements can deteriorate into angry words very quickly if someone with a cooler head doesn’t prevail to keep focused upon the actual facts involved. Such are the sarcastic tantrums you will so often experience with Emergents when they differ with you.

Emergent Postmodern Vagaries

And nowhere is this more apparent than when discussing the nebulous Gnostic teachings of Emergent pastor Rob Bell. The tragic thing with men like Bell and Brian McLaren, which they share with so many other Emergent leaders, is that they do appear to be purposely vague ostensibly to “reach” as many people as possible with their “message.” This of course begs the question: How can one understand your message if you are so ambiguous with your terminology that it becomes impossible to grasp that message with any kind of certainly. Ah, but you see this is their methodology in the first place. Carefully use words so that as many people as possible can feel they “agree” with you, though in actuality they might not even realize what it is they may think they are agreeing to.

This is one area where Emergent pastors, or “communicators,” like Rob Bell fail the test of Scripture. In the opening text above from Titus we are told that a senior teaching elder (pastor) must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it (1:9, ESV). If you were to look at the comments from Rob Bell’s myriad self-appointed “apologists” wherever I have dared to touch their golden Buddha the thinking person will notice something quite revealing. Almost all of their responses are peppered with phrases like: “I think Bell’s saying; the way I see what he’s trying to say; Bell seems to mean here,” etc.

Men and women, this could hardly be considered holding firmly to the trustworthy message, encouraging others by sound doctrine and/or refuting those who oppose it. Besides, in Emergent postmodern circles one cannot actually refute those who oppose them because in their relativistic worldview everyone’s opinion is just as valid as another’s. And this fallacy is itself quite opposed to the true message of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bell really isn’t able to fulfill his ministry as a pastor-teacher to give instruction in sound doctrine because he is actually hostile to the historic Christian faith and by his own admission Bell’s only “contributing to the discussion.” (VE, back cover)

Bible Verses, Please

Another little bit of hypocrisy you’ll run into is the Emergent’s insistence that we support our positions by Scripture. Huh? You ask: “What’s wrong with that!?” Nothing. It is to be expected (e.g. Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). The problem in the case with those who follow Rob Bell for example is that the moment you bring up a verse or two of Scripture to support your position the Emergent immediately begins to criticize you for what they refer to as “proof-texting.” So in this way they can insist you have no Biblical support for your argument, and then turn right around and cry foul when you do. But for those of us trained in apologetics “proof-texting” is when verses are wrenched out of context in order to then be used to “prove” something they actually don’t.

However, it is quite appropriate within sola Scriptura–which happens to be the proper position of Holy Scripture recovered during the Reformation–to use expositions from portions of the Bible in order to prove our point or to refute those brought up by another. And this is an example of the vast difference in teaching styles between someone like Rob Bell and myself. It’s also called making a stand and letting those you teach know exactly where you stand. And by the way the precedence for this antedates the Reformation by some fifteen hundred years with our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

You may recall in Matthew 4:6 that Satan himself quotes Scripture back to God when he says to Jesus – “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” This is a misappropriation of Psalm 91:11-12. It’s not so much that this isn’t true, but that the Devil is trying to get Jesus to test His Father’s faithfulness though a foolish act. Recognizing this the Master answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” So here we see a crystal clear example of the Biblical principle of answering Scripture with Scripture taught by Christ Jesus Himself.

When I continue this next time I’ll begin to take a more specific look into Rob Bell’s view of Scripture; well, at least as far as anyone can tell, from the chapter, oops make that “movement,” Yoke in Velvet Elvis. On page 041 Bell says, “The Bible is a difficult book.” And here we will agree; the Bible is a very difficult book for someone to understand, and particularly so for one who has not been born again because we are told in 1 Corinthians 2:13 – This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. Which is yet another reason the unregenerate man of any religion cannot live as a “follower of Jesus.” He would never be able to hear Christ’s Voice.

And in the case of the growing number of Bell-ites who simply cannot seem to understand what we are trying to tell them concerning the historic orthodox Christian faith and what the Bible actually teaches I grow most concerned about their spiritual condition as I read 1 Corinthians 2:14 – The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.