Bullhorn Guy and Dr. Love.

I can’t say that I’m ecstatic about either of these videos. I will admit that I agree with “Dr. Reason”, however, I don’t appreciate the blatant sarcasm (did Bryan Gumpy just say that?) and obvious personal attack on Rob Bell. I realize that teachers are called to refute doctrine that’s not sound and that’s obviously what “Dr. Reason” was doing. My question is, was it done in an appropriate way? What do you think?

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16 Responses to Bullhorn Guy and Dr. Love.

  1. emeliaj says:

    So in what ways do you think Dr. Reason is “righting” Bell’s unsound doctrine?

  2. bryangumpy says:

    You’ll have to forgive me, I didn’t word that accurately. What I meant was that I’m sure that “Dr. Reason” would use verses like II Timothy 2:2-3 and Titus 1:9. So that specific statement, “I realize that teachers are called to refute doctrine that’s not sound and that’s obviously what “Dr. Reason” was doing.” didn’t mean that I felt the doctrine was obviously false but that “Dr. Reason” obviously felt he was following a Biblical command to refute what he feels isn’t sound. But now that you asked…

    My biggest complaint is when Bell says, “We just don’t get it. We just don’t understand what all the condemning and the converting, we don’t understand what it has to do with Jesus’ message.”

    Jesus’ message is the gospel. Without condemnation, there is no gospel.

    I think that “Dr. Reason” probably took Bell out of context in some areas, these two are by no means black and white. However, I do feel that Bell’s approach is incomplete.

  3. emeliaj says:

    I wonder if you’ve confused condemnation with conviction.

  4. bryangumpy says:

    Well according to Webster they’re synonyms…

  5. emeliaj says:

    I agree, these things are not black and white. But dude, arguing semantics with an English major? Bad juju 😉

    Run Convict and Condemn through Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster.com (my personal favorite) and you may notice a difference. To convict is to make someone aware or convinced of guilt/sinfulness. To condemn is to judge or declare a sentence, usually with a sense of finality ( I tried to keep my paraphrases as close to the original definitions as possible).

    I realize that the difference is slight and it is very possible for the two words to be used interchangeably, however, the connotation that generally encircles both of these words is slightly different and important to be addressed.

    When I am convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit I know my sin, but I am also made aware of forgiveness and the power of the Spirit to overcome that stronghold.

    When I am condemned, there is no hope. I screwed up and am henceforth screwed (You’ve been on the phone with me on both of these, at least the latter since it is the one I know very very well as an attack from the enemy).

    And when Bell voices that people don’t understand could he be right?

    We are currently in a culture that has separated itself from the church. There is no doubt that Christians think everyone is a sinner, to most that’s common knowledge, and no one seems to be running for repentance. But in order for darkness to be exposed there must be light and that light is meant to be the Holy Spirit working in the functioning Body of Christ. While the heart in the bullhorn guy may be genuinely directed toward what he thinks to be his mission, the body of Christ is already viewed by our culture as disconnected and disinterested in the rest of the world and this type of action or “evangelism” only furthers that pejorative view.

    My worry is that a man with a bullhorn may only attract the blindly fanatic to a cause that he has not been discipled in.

    Does the spirit work in mysterious ways? Absolutely.

    But must I give greater credence to relationship and discipleship . . . Again, absolutely.

    I am also not of the mind that it is our role to fit into a tidy envelop that pleases everyone. They hated Jesus, some will hate us. But they should hate us for our love, not for our condemning words.

    Salvation should not be boxed into the one-stop-fix for sin, but an entrance into life and life more abundantly! It’s even scriptural!

    Unless I am REALLY missing something here, which I will forever leave open as a possibility as long as I am here on this earth.

    It is heartbreaking to see Christians attacking other Christians with whom I see no blasphemous or blatantly immoral fault.

  6. Aaron says:

    I agree that maybe bullhorns in front of a concert hall probably isn’t the best way to go. I’m a punk rocker. And I don’t assume that all individuals going into a venue need to repent because many of them may have very well repented already. I’m also a Calvinist, which means I believe evangelism is about gathering sheep, not about making sheep. When they hear the call of the gospel, they will listen. But if you dilute the gospel just to gather people rather than sheep, then half of your flock is wolves. Shepherds are supposed to protect their sheep from wolves.

    At 10 minutes into it, he starts talking about the world’s perception that being a Christian is lame.

    Duh! The Bible says the message of the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing. We’re not supposed to go on a PR campaign in order to make Christianity look groovy so we can fill our churches with nominal Christians who are going straight to hell, but at least they have lots of self-esteem…

    Rob Bell is not even Arminian. He is Pelagian. I seriously am of the opinion that he may even be further than Pelagius himself in many of the things he teaches. He does not believe in original sin. And he thinks eternal life is about the here and now, not about the coming kingdom. He thinks Jesus came to show us how to live rather than to die so that we might be freed from our depravity and cleansed from our sins through the washing of Christ’s blood that we might live eternally before the throne of God, in whose holy presence we would never be able to stand apart from the atonement.

    I’ll take Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God over Rob Bell any day.

    As for emeliaj’s comments about the church being separated from culture… I think those days are long gone. We have gone to the other extreme and are allowing culture to shape the church rather than the other way around, where the church should be impacting culture. The church has been watered down, and there are many, many statistics that point out that people in the so-called “church” are no better than people in the world in areas such as pornography, divorce, giving, all that stuff. The church is supposed to be a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. We are also supposed to be the salt of the earth, which preserves it and adds flavor, which means, the church should actually be spicing up culture. But it should not conform to it. “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Rom 12:2… (Can’t remember which version I memorized it in, probably NIV. It was a long time ago.)

    Rob Bell was mic’d better. But I thought the video response was excellent. I didn’t see it as a personal attack against Bell, but against his message. I do not think salvation is not about getting your “Get Out of Hell Free” insurance card. It’s about God giving you a completely new nature so that he might be glorified in your life. Dr. Reason’s message is good, but I don’t like the name. He should be called Dr. Real Love instead. But I’m not into the street witnessing thing. I think you should build relationships with people in order to have access into their lives. I mean, how can you demonstrate real sacrificial love to a stranger you just met on the street? He doesn’t know the way you live your life. For all he knows, you could be a total hypocrite who’s just preaching to get your jollies on. I was a little annoyed at the fact that he showed that none of the guys he talked to were offended by his message, and they all considered it “reasonable.” We cannot be saved through reason. Jesus is supposed to be a stumbling block, a “rock of offense.” Those are my thoughts…

  7. emeliaj says:

    So many things I want to say. But first: Could you please tell me what resources you base your view of Bell on? It sounds like I really need to read those. And I am only familiar with Pelagius’ heresy regarding sanctification/perfection . . . to which heresy (heresies) are you referring?

  8. Aaron says:

    Hi emeliaj,

    For resources, please consider Bell’s own The Velvet Elvis, which is decidedly unorthodox in its theology. I found articles and blogs on IX Marks and other sites that said all kinds of crazy stuff about the book, so I had to read it for myself to make sure things were not being taken out of context. Certainly, things were being taken out of context, but even in context, those things were still bad… I must apologize, I’ve been meaning to do a blog series on this topic, but have been “distracted” (by God’s grace) with a church plant instead! Once I get to it, it shouldn’t be too laborsome, because I basically wrote in the margins on every single page of the book while I was reading it.

    When I refer to Pelagianism but say that Rob Bell takes it a step further, what I mean is that whereas Pelagius would say men have the power within themselves to become holy and acceptable to God, Rob Bell says that men are already holy and acceptable to God by nature and all they have to do is “see themselves” that way. They don’t even have to sanctify themselves. Now, in this manner, I might have misused the term “Pelagian”, as is commonly done, to signify “way beyond Arminian”. But judge for yourself…

    In “Movement Six: New”, Bell speaks of God’s having an incredibly high view of “people”, seeing them as “holy”… People, as in human beings. Not believers. Not the church. People.

    On pp. 145-146, he talks about how Jesus died for “Everybody. Everywhere….All people. Everywhere.

    “Everybody’s sins on the cross with Jesus.

    “So this reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody. Paul insisted that when Jesus died on the cross, he was reconciling ‘all things, in heaven and on earth, to God’. All things, everywhere.” (End quote.)

    Even Arminians don’t go that far. Even Pelagius probably wouldn’t go that far. Pelagius would say you can choose to be holy. Bell would simply say you only need to realize that you’re already holy and have been all along.

    He says “Heaven is full of forgiven people. Hell is full of forgiven people….people God loves, whom Jesus died for.”

    If they’re in hell, in what way are they forgiven? And if it’s about realizing that you’re already forgiven, can people in hell just stand up and say, “Hey, I’m forgiven!”, and walk out the front gate, right up to the doors of heaven, and be allowed in?

    I admit it’s tempting to talk about Christianity in hip new ways that make it seem cool like Bell does, but you must not change the gospel message.

    Bryan, sorry for taking up so much space in your comments!

  9. bryangumpy says:

    Sorry? Keep it up as much as you want! Both of you! The only reason I haven’t joined you is it’s been a crazy few days and haven’t had time. Let the discussion continue.

  10. Casey L says:

    I have nothing to say about this, and haven’t even watched the videos. I just want Bryan to have a double digit comment thread.

    By the way, Rob Bell is definitely unorthodox to say the least (sorry, couldn’t help but get involved just a little). I base that not on this video that I haven’t watched, but (like that other guy said) on statements made in Velvet Elvis. He’s an intriguing guy in his ability to turn a phrase, but he’s given up on truth way too much for me.

  11. Casey L. says:

    Okay, now I have watched those two videos and I thought the second one was a good response to the first. I even chuckled a bit when he brought guys over and asked them to tell him about their problems. Maybe that wasn’t an entirely accurate portrayal of what Rob Bell was talking about, but it was funny.

    But what bothers me about Rob Bell’s video is not that he is against “bullhorn evangelism.” This would not be a problem for me if he were merely debating methodology. I would probably even partially agree with him if he were simply discussing the relative merits of doing evangelism with a bullhorn. Unfortunately, he veers away from that topic to the content of the evangelistic message, and this is where he jumps ship away from the Scriptures.

    Bell is simply wrong to say that Jesus never condemned. Yes, John 3:17 describes the essence of his incarnation, but we can’t forget John 3:18–a pretty strong condemnation message. A simple word search reveals several times that Jesus uses condemnation language:
    Matt. 12:36-37, 41-42, Luke 19:22, 20:47

    If that weren’t enough, the equally inspired epistles get into the concept even more:
    Rom. 2:1, 27, 3:8, 5:16-18, 2 Thess. 2:12, Titus 3:10-11, 2 Pet. 2:6, Jude 4.

    There are more, but those should suffice to prove my point (and I’m not normally a proof-texting type of guy per se, but what can really be said against those?).

    Anyway, my point is that Rob Bell’s “evangelistic” methods are in grave error, as he omits the need for the gospel. As Aaron excellently stated above, these methods only lead to more wolves among the sheep. Given the fact that he is in grave error, I don’t think it was wrong for the Way of the Master guys to correct him. And the manner in which they corrected him was not inappropriate. I thought it was clever to respond in kind to how Bell was correcting the (albeit anonymous) bullhorn guy.

    I don’t think it was a personal attack, but I thought the comments about Bell’s glasses and facial hair were kind of stupid and unnecessary, though he was making a good point when he said it (he just probably should have found a different way to do so). And by the way, I believe that one Bryan Gumpy has been known to wear a similar set of glasses–perhaps this is the reason you did not appreciate the sarcasm?

    I understand that this must have hurt you, Bryan. Now come see me and cry about your personal problems. I’ll just sit there and listen–after all, what else do good Christians do?

  12. emeliaj says:

    One thing, for whatever it could be worth, I would just like to note is that the scriptures Casey listed about condemnation are all about a future condemnation/judgment. Where that fits into the evangelists message is a balance I do not yet know how to weigh.

    The concern I have for the church, stateside that is, revolves around an over-emphasized focus on acting as the moral police rather than demonstrating and presenting the gospel that is supposed to be alive within us and part of our very being (I’m talking about an obvious ontological difference).

    And for what it’s worth I was originally intrigued by Bell’s book because it began with the premise of questioning everything. This is part of my lineage, this is how my family gets in trouble. We hold up scripture and ask if this is what we are doing? So, I agree that there are some positive insights within the text but it did not hold my attention long. He does not offer any answers which is dangerous within a largely uninformed and un-intellectual audience. I am too rational a person to swim around theological possibilities without scripture, but even scripture does not paint black and white pictures where I need them at times.

    So . . . where do we go from here?

  13. Aaron says:

    I was recently listening one of Mark Driscoll’s messages from 1 Corinthians called “Judging Like Jesus”, where there is a major distinction between judging the world (what we’re not supposed to do), and judging the Church (which we are supposed to do). I think this is a concept that lots of Christians need to understand. However, I believe God judges nations based on their collective morality, so we can’t necessarily let our culture just get more and more depraved… Where do we go from here?

  14. emeliaj says:

    Well that just opens up an even bigger can of worms as to whether or not we can legislate morality? And if morality is seemingly promoted by the laws, does it truly affect the hearts of the people?

  15. Aaron says:

    Well… by definition, morality refers to the volition or will of beings. So, no, it can’t be legislated. But we can’t be anarchists, either. In Bible times, Jews had their law, and the Gentiles had theirs, but Paul would make remarks about immoral people saying that they were doing things that were unheard of even among the Gentiles!

    Murder is wrong, whether or not you’re Christian.

    Killing babies is wrong, whether or not you’re Christian.

    Other “legislating morality” types of things need to be considered as to how they affect society as a whole. However, there are certain types of immorality in scripture that are referred to as God’s judgment on a nation, and these types of immoralities commonly immediately preceded a city or nation’s destruction. The fact that horrible things were being done by people was a sign of God’s hardening them in their sin, so that their very sins were God’s judgment against them.

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