Rob Bell comes out in favor of gay marriage

On Sunday, Rob Bell spoke at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral and announced in no uncertain terms his support for gay marriage. Anyone aware of Bell’s career of late will not be surprised by this announcement. In his own words:

I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs — I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.

The Huffington Post has a report on his remarks here. You can download the audio of his talk here, or listen below.

[audio:http://www.gracecathedral.org/mp3/forum/for_20130317.mp3]

45 Responses to Rob Bell comes out in favor of gay marriage

  1. Collin Garbarino March 18, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    False prophets always want to “affirm people.” Biblical prophets were more concerned with confronting people.

    • Tyler Jarvis March 19, 2013 at 10:09 am #

      You seem to be under the impression that God would not have us affirm our gay brothers and sisters.

      I affirm them in that they are just as stuck in the inescapable grace of Christ as I am.
      I affirm them as being created in the image of God, just as I am.
      I affirm them of being loved by God, and on a less perfect level, by me.

      Homosexuality is a small issue, mentioned only a handful of times in scripture. If the grace of God is sufficient for me, though I am prideful, ignorant of the poor, and judgmental of others (things mentioned far more often in scripture), then surely that grace is just as sufficient for those who have different struggles.

      By being so quick to confront, we easily lose sight of the fact that we are just as worthy of confrontation, and yet Christ affirms us.

      • Collin Garbarino March 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

        I agree with much of your comment, but I don’t think God affirms me in my sin. I think God affirms Christ’s righteousness that clothes me. Even so, Bell isn’t saying what you said or what I said.

  2. Brent Hobbs March 18, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    I’m surprised it took him so long. Rob must be getting a little slow on the uptake with this whole “relevant” thing.

    • Alex Humphrey March 18, 2013 at 11:40 am #

      He used to be shackled by his position as a church pastor. Now he’s under no obligation or elder-type authority.

  3. Paul Reed March 18, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    @Collin Garbarino

    “Biblical prophets were more concerned with confronting people.”

    Well, they’re confronting us. Gay marriage and sodomy advocates call people like us bigots and small-minded hicks.

    • Akash Charles March 19, 2013 at 3:08 am #

      yeah so did the sinners the true Godly prophets were confronting.

      • Akash Charles March 19, 2013 at 3:09 am #

        so did the sinners “who”

  4. Jonathan Nida March 18, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    “…affirm people wherever they are.” Seriously? Affirm them wherever they are? Is this an SNL skit?

  5. J O E B L A C K M O N March 18, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    And in other news, water is wet, Kim Kardashian has no talent, and you could believe anything you wanted and still be a pastor of a CBF church.

    • Tom Parker March 22, 2013 at 10:15 am #

      I see your still on your CBF kick. Does it not get old, JOE??

      • J O E B L A C K M O N March 22, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

        No

  6. Michael Lynch March 18, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Can we say “Farewell, Rob Bell” now?

  7. moleone March 18, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Fox News Alert!!! The sun rose today! Gee, I’m really shocked.

  8. Mark Lamprecht March 18, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Well, I never…thought it would have taken him so long. Also, note that marriage is not just about love.

    • Akash Charles March 19, 2013 at 3:14 am #

      nah among these christian’s everything has solely to be about love and nothing else!

  9. kenny brown March 18, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Sounds like the tickling of ears…. unlike our culture the word of God is unchanging and true. I’m not at all surprised how he wants the word of God to fit our culture and not the culture to
    fit the word of God”

  10. frankturk March 18, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Well, this is what we talk about when we talk about God, right? Just in time to promote the new book.

  11. Mike Dunger (@ModernEzra) March 18, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Simple question: When was the last time you heard anyone come out in favor of Rob Bell?

    • Lauren Bertrand March 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

      If you spend any time in non-Evangelical circles, you will here plenty of favorable things said about Rob Bell.

      • Lauren Bertrand March 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

        “Hear”. Not “here”. Sorry about that–so embarrassing.

  12. trkunkel March 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    So many in the world are lauded when they act counter-culturally. Christians are only lauded when we capitulate and conform.

    I wouldn’t respect us either.

    Who cares what the world thinks? When will we care what God thinks?

    • Lauren Bertrand March 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      This of course begs the question: who is acting counter-culturally and who is capitulating? It all depends on individual contextualization. Just five years ago, being in favor of gay marriage was highly counter-cultural, and for Republicans with libertarian leanings to reject SSM was perceived as capitulation. To this day, a minority of Americans live in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is legal.

  13. Jeff Martino March 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    It is not surprising that the “perfect ones” can continue to judge and think they are being “biblical” God loves us all and for all have sinned. To embrace “others” no matter how different is a Christian virtue. Irony certainly plays a role in this thread. Even those who oppose Rob Bell and his thoughts and belief system still take time out of their day to put him down or persecute him and call him ” false”. Why not stop and take that large stick made of wood out of your own eye and instead pray for Rob Bell?

  14. Ian Shaw March 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    False prophets will always use the “attracton method” to fill their churches and follow them.

    As Ravi Zacharias has said, “truth, by definition, excludes.”

    I’d love to see somebody like Francis Chan put Bell in his place. Sorry if it comes across as angry (as Christians tend to stomp on their own), but if Bell truly believes what he “feels/says about God, that is contrary to how God reveals Himself to us in scripture as to His character. That being said, this shouldn’t surprise any of us that Bell finally came out (pardon the pun) with his true nature about this subject.

  15. Ian Shaw March 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Well, those who are in Christ through His written word know that you can’t put God in a box. At the very least, what Bell is doing is comitting idolatry because he uses statements like “I believe God is…” when referring to His character, rather than “God is….”. To create in your own mind who God is, is just that-a god of your own creation.

    • Tyler Jarvis March 19, 2013 at 10:20 am #

      I agree that you cannot put God in a box, and yet we’ve done such a good job of it, haven’t we?

      When you speak of God in absolutes, you are placing defining limits of God. When you put absolutes on things that God did not put absolutes on, you’re placing him in a constrictive box.

      “I believe God is….” Shows humility and the possibility of being wrong. “God is…” shows arrogance and a clearly-defined box.

  16. Brian Beal March 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    So is this the part where all the evangelical bloggers issue their mea culpa to other evangelicals for saying a couple of years back that we were wrong to say this was exactly what Bell believed all along?

    I notice those blogs never get around to writing those posts. Just like they never get around to writing how Brian Mclaren, Tony Jones, and Doug Pagitt all turned out to be theological liberals in evangelicals costumes.

    Or how a little over a year ago a very well known Christian blog celebrated the Arab Spring and revolution in Egypt and claimed the Muslim Brotherhood were secularists who wanted to bring democracy to Egypt. I guess that turned out not to really be the creed of the Muslim Brotherhood after all 😉

    We need an ombudsman for the Christian blog world.

    • Akash Charles March 19, 2013 at 3:13 am #

      The most damaging to christian’s was the Arab Spring- christian’s in western cultures seem to think democracy would be God’s choice of government- it is not, it is and can be as bad or worse than Dictators ( the one in Egypt did not tolerate the murder of Christians- the same dictator these christian’s in western countries opposed!)

      Christians need to realize that the best form of Government is God ruling and not democracy and that democracy like a dictatorship is another sinful man-made government

  17. Ken Temple March 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Same path as Brian McLaren and other “emerging / emergent church” types – and it was obvious where this was going when McLaren starting questioning it in his book, “A Generous Orthodoxy”.

  18. Ian Shaw March 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    The mere fact that Bell went to Fuller Theological Seminary, none of his shennanigans should surprise us really.

  19. Ryan Szrama March 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    In the blurb around 38:30 about what’s wrong with conservative evangelicalism, I find it interesting that it’s described as “politically intertwined,” as if being on the popular end of a political discussion does not an intertwining make. The issues du jour are simply political issues, and I’d argue as a political bloc it’s fine for the church (or any other bloc) to become publicly identified by their common support or opposition for any particular issue. It’s just part of living in relationship to a country full of engaged citizens.

  20. Chris Wofford March 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    This was a wonderful monologue. I would love to hear Rob Bell engaged in a monologue with an Evangelical that loves God and loves people.

    It is clear that Rob Bell loves people. Maybe not enough to demand that they adhere to God’s standards, but he loves them. Rob Bell does love the god of the Bible that Rob Bell has created. But Rob Bell does not love the God of the Bible as God has presented Himself.

  21. Jim March 18, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    Yawn. Boringly predictable.

  22. Derek Miller March 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    Praying for Rob. His question of, “What do you do with the person that’s hardest to love?” might be an appropriate question for all of us to ponder, including some of the commenters here. (It’s become obvious that many strongly disagree with him). Rob Bell seems like a hard one for Evangelicals to love. Has anyone tried to contact him directly with their concerns, yet? Or have you prayed for him in the midst of the news?

  23. Ferg Breen (@fergbreen) March 19, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Why oh why do you keep linking to Rob Bell? You only recently said that he’s pretty much irrelevant and yet you post more stuff about him – knowing the response will be to criticise him.
    The week there is a new Pope and there’s nothing about him but more about Rob Bell. Doesn’t make sense to me, unless you think Rob Bell is more relevant than the Pope!

    • Patrick Duncan March 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Bell isn’t irrelevant, especially not to evangelicals (the core audience of this blog). He influences many evangelicals, both directly and indirectly. He also targets spiritually curious people and that alone makes it important for his spin on the Gospel to be analyzed and refuted (Titus 1:9).

    • Michael Lynch March 20, 2013 at 7:16 am #

      I think Bell confirmed what Denny said about his irrelevancy. Maybe he’s done now. The Pope is pretty irrelevant too and with as much as the news reports on him, I hope Denny doesn’t waist more space on him here!

  24. Xgay Greg March 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    My name is Greg Haislip
    I used to be addicted to men, but 7 years ago Jesus set me FREE! (YouTube video) I am now free from the sin of homosexuality. Marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman according to the King James Bible (Genesis 2:24) December 19, 2010 I married a beautiful woman of God. FREE AT LAST FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY I’M FREE AT LAST!!!! JESUS IS LORD!!
    I have NOT had ex-gay therapy, unless you consider Jesus as my Therapist!

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