“In a moment of horrific hell-on-earth suffering, to throw around grand judgments about people burning forever in hell is offensive,” said Bell. “This is why a lot of people in our culture want nothing to do with the Christian faith and have no interest in church.”
~ Rob Bell
[from the article Rob Bell’s ‘Love Wins’ Out In Paperback, As Pastor Celebrates At The Viper Room (VIDEO)]
As noted by a number of people, I also think Rob Bell looks more relaxed and laidback in his recent appearance in The Viper Room in California, as he was sharing jokes and stories with the audience. The article Rob Bell’s ‘Love Wins’ Out In Paperback, As Pastor Celebrates At The Viper Room (VIDEO) sheds some light on his recent disappearance from his public scene as he must have been busy readjusting his life after having stepped down from Mars Hill church and moved from Michigan to live in Los Angeles. Perhaps he felt that he could reach out to a wider audience, including gays, in that area, as noted in the article, about God’s love and acceptance, so to speak, since the evangelical church has mainly been condemning such people to “hell” with their dogma.
As for that pastor mentioned in the article who blamed the Aurora theatre shooting on the lack of fear in hell, he was basically implying that people would refrain from hurting or killing only when there is fear of punishment. This only points to the fact that organised religion uses fear and condemnation to control people, and denies (or ignores) the truth that people can be led and guided by love from within.
I was reflecting that many other religions subscribe to the idea of hell too, but they do not defend actively their hell doctrines, unlike evangelical Christianity, maybe because evangelical Christianity has been making lots of profits from this “hell” business. So it takes much courage for freedom fighters like Rob Bell and Carlton Pearson to publicly challenge the hell doctrine and debunk this Christian myth, and liberate more and more people from fear and from the self-serving religious systems altogether.