If Love Wins why all the Drama Queens?

15 Mar

So while watching from the sidelines of the current Rob Bell dust up I noticed an interesting phenomenon.  Rob Bell supporters (Bellites?  Bellions? NoHellBellistians?) argue exactly like my 11 year old daughter.

To whit.

Daughter Argument step 1:  Deny and Define

Daughter: I haaaatttttteeee my brothers

Me: You can’t say that!  Go to your room.

Daughter: whhhhhy

Me: You said you hate you brothers.

Daughter: No I didn’t.

Me: Yes you did, and that is not nice.

Daughter: You have to understand my nuance, what I meant by hate, dear father is that when my brothers behave in a particular way it distresses me to the core of my being and makes me, in the temporal moment, not feel the love for them, which so clearly exists in my deeper being.

Bellposed that would look like this:

Rob Bell Questioner: Rob seems to be questioning some of the historic beliefs of the Christian Church

Bell Supporter: What. No he is not.

Bell Questioner: Did you see his latest video where he said _____________ or read his latest book where he wrote ________________

Bell Supporter: No he didn’t

Bell Quesitoner: Yes he did look here__________________________

Bell Supporter: Oh dear friend if only you we as enlightened as Rob you would see that what he really meant when he said ______________ was that ________________ and ____________________.

Which leads to phase two:

Daughter Argument step 2:  The Big Meany Argument (Oooohhh how terrible it is to be misunderstood)

Me: That is not what you meant, and either why it does not matter because that is not what you said.

Daughter: YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND!!!!! (insert 11 year of girl wailing here) No one understands. No one loves me.

Me: We do love you, but you need to realize that words have meanings and you need to show self control.

Daughter: You are so mean.  So so mean. Sob. You. Sob. are. Sob. So. Sob. Mean.

In the Bell world:

Quesitoner: I am not sure, he really does seem to be saying _____________________

Supporter: Oh you are one of those, I bet you have never even met Rob Bell, I bet you never even went to church at Mars Hill, I bet you a not even blood related or currently married to Rob Bell…and if you are not how can you even suggest such evil things.

Questioner: Um, I am just saying I am not sure that what he is saying is Biblical.

Supporter: YOU JUST DON”T LOVE JESUS  (insert college age fan boy wailing here).  NO one understands.  They didn’t even take the time to raise a child with Rob Bell!  No one else loves Jesus.

Questioner: I am just asking a question why is that so bad?

Supporter: You are so mean.  So so mean. Sob. You. Sob. are. Sob. So. Sob. Mean.

Step three: They Started it/ I Was Acting in Justice

Daughter: We would not even be in this situation if they had not started it.

Me: It does not matter who started it, you can not just say things like that

Daughter: I told you he started it.  He is a little brat, you should have raised him better.  You let him get away with everything.

Me. He is an infant.

Daughter: That is always his excuse.  I don’t care if he is not old enough to hold his own head up..he should not have looked at me that way!


Questioner: It seems like you get very worked up in these conversations, if what he is saying can stand the test why not discuss it clearly.

Supporter: OH I GET WORKED UP! I GET WORKED UP!!!!!! This is all John Pipers fault. He started it. I would like to kick that dude in the face.

Questioner: Ummm you want to kick a 63 year old man in the face?

Supporter: I wouldn’t care if he could not hold his own head up…he should not have used the Bible against Rob that way…

Step Four:  I am Sorry you are so Wrong, Lets agree to disagree

Me: You will have to stay in your room until you are ready to aologise to your baby brother.

Daughter: I am sorry that he looked at me like that.

Me: Truely apologise

Daughter: I am sorry he is such a brat

Me: Seriously, stop being mean.

Daughter: I am not being mean, I am sorry you see it that way.


Questioner: So you have no problem with the fact the he said __________________ or ______________ or ________________________

Supporter: I’m sorry I am not a judgmental as you.

Questioner: I am not judging, just trying to have a conversation, seriously it does not bother you?

Supporter: I am waiting to draw any conclusions.

Questioner: Waiting for what?

Supporter: Waiting for Rob to say clearly what he believes.

Questioner: Seriously, don’t you think his “questions” point to some sort of belief?

Supporter: Wow. I’m sorry you feel the need to judge like that.

Questioner: ummmmm

Supporter: OK, you are an idiot who knows nothing, lets just agree to disagree (insert smiley face)

My point here I guess is that whether with my daughter or with an adult this method of fighting annoys me…I don’t want to agree to disagree under these terms. I feel like the terms are dishonest, because at the end of the day any questioner is being asked by agreeing to disagree to assent to the idea that RB’s ideas are acceptably evangelical. I can not agree to that.  If in fact any supporter wants to say that these ideas fall outside of evangelical orthodoxy then we are on honest grounds and I would be happy to “agree to disagree.”  But even in agreeing to disagree that does not preclude honest and rigorous discussion which it seems to me is what the RB Posse hates more than anything.


6 Responses to “If Love Wins why all the Drama Queens?”

  1. Jimmy March 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    I did get a good laugh reading this post. I have heard the supporters do this. At the same time, I hear a lot of questioners do the same thing. It’s a funny world we live in. The day that all christian leaders agree with each other will be the day Jesus tells us all to get over ourselves and our ideas. I do not always agree with Rob and but I certainly do not always agree with others. But the one thing I will say for Rob Bell – there are few teachers I’ve ever listened to or read – that has made me more passionately run to scripture. I always walk away from his teachings asking questions and anxious to go to scripture and find out what Gods word has to say on the matter. In my opinion and preference, that is what a good teacher does. They don’t just give you the answers – they teach you to think. Whatever teaching style, questions, or catchy videos – as long as it draws people in to want to know and be more like Jesus…I’m pretty sure that makes Him smile.

  2. poopemerges March 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    I think you are right that we all have a tendency to do this with our favorite teachers…

    Disagree that a pastors job is to make you ask questions without providing solid answers…in fact I think that is a sin.

  3. Heather F. March 16, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    Exactly. I find that there really is no point in trying to “reason together” with some of the hard core Bell supporters. It’s as if they want to defend him, no matter the cost.

    Explain this to me because maybe I’m just not post-modern enough to get it. What is the point of his book? I keep hearing supporters saying that this book is about “love wins” and not the matters of heaven and hell. Um, then why allude to heaven and hell at all? So seriously then, what is the point?

    Also, in each interview I see Bell changes what he says like the wind.

    I’m almost frustrated that this dust up is even a dust up. We knew where he was headed; it was only a matter of time before it was put in this ever evolving book and interview form. I obviously care because of friends and family that attend Mars Hill.

  4. GAYLA IGNACIO March 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    In trying to make others look silly and immature, you left me rolling my eyes and saying, “Grow up and quite flinging poop!”

  5. RJ Spears April 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    I know I’m coming at this post in a really delayed reaction sort of way, but I tend to be more in Jimmy’s camp. I think Mr. Bell comes at his writings and preaching from a different perspective than most conventional pastors. It works for me, but may not work for everyone.

    I can say that I have followed him (not like a disciple, but just tracked on him) for several years and I could see him moving further and further away from the conventional evangelical ways. And I have to admit that with Love Wins, I had felt that he had crossed a line. He had stretched his questions a little too far.

    John Piper’s Twitter post “Farewell Rob Bell” was sort of how I went but I was less judgmental in my sentiments. I wasn’t casting Mr. Bell out but I had to walk away. And it was a sorrowful walk away, not like many who seemed to be happy to cast another stone. I see way too much of eager and zealous Christians seeming in wait to tear down a fellow believe and it saddens me.

    But in the long run, Rob Bell is so hard to walk away from because at his core and at the center of his teaching is Christ. He is passionate about Christ and teaching people about Christ. He is passionate about redemption. He is moved by a devotion to teach people about the Bible.

    I guess what it comes down to for me is that I look at the things he does right and they far outweigh what he does wrong in terms of his devotion to his faith.

    So, I have come back to explore Rob Bell’s teachings. I come back with questions and a little more discernment, though. When I came back I did more research on what Rob Bell said and how he followed up Love Wins and it seems in my mind, he clarifies his thoughts more clearly and maybe is backtracking some.

    Anyway, decide for yourself. Here’s a link to a very nice video interview with Mr. Bell as he explains what he meant with Love Wins:

  6. doc_collins November 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    The fuck are you babbling about?

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