“Crucify him! Crucify him!” You associate these words with a crowd gathered at the foot of a cross while watching a man die. But today, while the words remain the same, the scene has changed. People are gathered around a TV watching a different man navigate the hatred of the religious experts: Rob Bell.
Once the darling of the conservative evangelical world, Bell is the object of scorn and ridicule by many who once loved him. His crime? Did he have an affair? No. Did he embezzle church funds? No. Did he murder a book critic? No. What was his crime? He dared to openly depart from the conservative evangelical script.
Can you believe it? He dared to think for himself and then brazenly opened his mouth. Take a moment and google his name. Read what many people in the church are writing about him. Then read the comments posted in response to the articles. You will read statements like these: “he’s now an atheist,” “I hope he dies,” “there’s no hope for him.”
This post is not about Rob Bell. I am neither for or against him. I’m not writing to cast judgement on him. I’m not endorsing him.
This post IS about those conservative evangelicals who smugly condemn Bell to hell. I am way more concerned about the attitudinal behavior of my tribe members who want to crucify Bell than I am about his theological views. Too many who swear to love God with their entire soul, heart, and mind are the first to throw the brine of hatred in the face of those who disagree with them.
- Let’s crucify Rob Bell.
- Let’s draw monkey ears on President Obama.
- Let’s ridicule the gays.
Sigh. If you are a member of the conservative evangelical tribe who asks why we are losing the younger generation, you can stop wondering. They hear the cries of hatred as sermons on love are preached. No wonder the younger generation is checking out. Something just doesn’t ring true.
Crucify him! Crucify him!
Like the first century religious pharisees, many conservative evangelicals will not rest until Bell draws his last breath. The attacks will continue until Bell mutters, “It is finished.”
Just yesterday my wife shared this quote on her Facebook page:
“To me what would be beautiful is if the word ‘evangelical’ … came to mean buoyant, joyful, honest announcement about all of us receiving the grace of God and then together giving back to make the world the kind of place God always dreamed it could be. I don’t toss the word out. Let’s reclaim it, all of us.” Rob Bell from Christian Post, March 2013
Let’s reclaim the word “evangelical.” Let’s be known more for our love than our judgmental derogatory sarcasm. [Click to Tweet] At last, Rob Bell and I have found common ground. Love really does win.