Author and former pastor Rob Bell has declared his support for gay marriage and encouraged his church to attend a gay rights parade in California.
According to news reports from his church’s web site, Mr Bell, who wrote the controversial book Love wins that questioned the Bible’s teaching on hell, expressed his support for gay ‘marriage’ during a forum at Grace Cathedral, the Episcopal Cathedral of the Diocese of California.
He is reported as saying, ‘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 we need to affirm people wherever they are’.
He also called evangelicals ‘culturally ghettoized’ and accused them of rejecting concepts of God that ‘don’t actually shape people into more loving … people’. In fact, he called on evangelicals to ‘repent’ of their attitude towards homosexuality.
His comments were revealed in a report on the Grace Cathedral web site, and were followed by a public display of support for the gay community when, on the evening of 25 March, about 75 members of the Grace Cathedral community gathered with thousands of others to demonstrate in favour of the Supreme Court’s overturning Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Mr Bell is not the first pastor who started by writing a book that contradicted biblical teaching and now has gone on to support gay marriage. In the UK, Steve Chalke, author of the Lost message of Jesus, recently carried out a blessing of a gay couple in his London church.
One is reminded of Romans 1:25: ‘They exchanged the truth about God for a lie’. No matter how ‘old fashioned’ or unpopular it might be in the secular world’s eyes, the Word of God remains true and unassailable. What the creator God has said cannot be unsaid by his creation.