In my piece Rob Bell and Nelson Mandela On the “Greatness of Man” I mention that I first heard the mystic motto for the religion of $new evangelicalism$ when Rob Bell referenced the quote from “Nelson Mandela” which I reproduce in this article here at Apprising Ministries.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self.
(2 Timothy 3:2)

The Global Family of Mystic Man-Lovers Finally Comes Emerging

In introducing the following Contemplative mystic mantra Rob Bell rapes Psalm 8 of its actual context when the b part of verse 4 shifts onto the Messiah, Christ Jesus our Lord, and instead ascribes what follows to unregenerate man. I’ll have more on this another time but following the modern translations of the Bible Bell then dreams:

There is a greatness [in mankind]. The writer here [of Psalm 8] uses the word “glory and honor” that resides in every single human being. Fragile and yet filled with the potential for glory and honor. I love how Nelson Mandela puts it in one of his writings. He says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

And then he concludes by saying, “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. We were born to manifest the glory – put on display, to show – the glory of God that is within us.” He says, “you may be a dirt clod, but there is greatness and power and glory that resides in every singe human being.”

(Week 330 05/29/05, audio sermon 12:27-13:28, transcription on file)

Now you will see in a fulfillment of 2 Timothy 3:2 the following mystical musing as it actually reads, which Rob Bell quotes partially above, where we are plainly told that all men are children of God:

‘our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond all measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us the most.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, famous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just some of us; it’s in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. And as we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Mmm, lovely sentiment, isn’t it? The huge problem is; Nelson Mandela didn’t say this. What I just quoted you actually came from a copy of A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A COURSE IN MIRACLES by Marianne Williamson lying open upon my computer desk to pages 190, 191. So G-Rap – we have a problem. Is this what Rob Bell actually believes? Or did this great “Christian communicator” simply not do his homework as to where this quote actually comes from? Note above that Bell says, “I love how Nelson Mendela puts it in one of his writings. ”

But SKDesigns.com informs us:

This quote is often found on the Internet incorrectly credited to Nelson Mandela from his Inauguration Speech, 1994, especially the last sentence of that quote, “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (emphasis theirs)

You can read the text of Mandela’s speech for yourself here at the website of South African Government Information. Wikiquote has this comment from Williamson concerning this issue:

About the misattribution Williamson said, “Several years ago, this paragraph from A Return to Love began popping up everywhere, attributed to Nelson Mandela’s 1994 inaugural address. As honored as I would be had President Mandela quoted my words, indeed he did not. I have no idea where that story came from, but I am gratified that the paragraph has come to mean so much to so many people.”

And we have further confirmation at John Mark Ministries in an email from a representative of the African National Congress named Duncan Hartford:

We are aware that these words have for some years now been attributed to Nelson Mandela on the internet. We do not know how this happened.

These words appear neither in the May 9, 1994 inaugural speech (http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/mandela/1994/inaugct.html),nor the May 10, 1994 inaugural speech (http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/mandela/1994/inaugpta.html), nor any of the other speeches, statements and writings by Mr. Mandela (http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/mandela/).



Answers.com tells us that:

Bell is an avid fan of former South African president Nelson Mandela. He frequently sports Nelson Mandela shirts on-stage at Mars Hill. In an interview, Bell stated, “the people who really move us, like Nelson Mandela … at the end of the day have this innocence.”

So I guess we now have the right to ask Rob Bell: Do you still believe this love of self stated in this sappy sentiment which we now know actually came emerging from New Age Mystic priestess Marianne Williamson based on her exposition of the occult book A COURSE IN MIRACLES?