Would Rob Bell have a difficult time explaining Bin Laden...


#1

…as opposed to Gandhi in “Love wins” which if Bell bothered to do his research he would have realized Gandhi was no saint. Gandhi showed little sympathy for his dying wife by depriving her of medicine as she grew closer to death but showed hypocrisy when he himself took the same medicine (so did Mother Teresa when she deprived her poor patients but took it herself) Gandhi disowned both sons-one for marrying and the other for supporting his brother. Gandhi had relations with under age girls. Gandhi was a pervert showing an obsession with something I care not to expound. Gandhi was not a pacifist but I digress.

When i first heard the news of Osama Bin Laden my heart was sad as I hoped before he died that he received Christ and would not be cast into an eternal hell but his death brought up an interesting question. How well would have Rob Bell’s book “love wins” been selling in the world if the character he built it around was Osama Bin Ladin? How would it have been received? Rather than sell a bill of goods of a demagogue who the world is already fooled by and using eternal hell doctrinal straw mans (by the way Mr. Bell we don’t go to hell because we never heard the name “Jesus”, we go to hell because we broke God’s laws) instead show courage/ fortitude and write about a man who the U.S. cheered and celebrated his death. Tell these people how it is “good news” that Bin Laden will be in heaven with them.

Thank you Father in showing your glory. It is not a coincidence that Bin Laden was killed during the “love wins” tour. Even in death we see your glory.


#2

God sent Jesus to die for Osama just as much as he did for you or me, Oxy. Think about this:

–None of us has done any less than OBL to deserve hell (or judgment in the hereafter, however you think about it)
–None of us has done any more than OBL to deserve heaven/blessing-in-the-next-life

When the Bible says things like “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” or “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God” or “God purposed through him to reconcile all to himself” or “as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” or “he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world” or “the living God, who is the Savior of all mankind, especially believers” or “as I live, declares to Lord, to me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall make confession to God” etc, I can’t say that OBL is ultimately disqualified…


#3

Oxy: Tell these people how it is “good news” that Bin Laden will be in heaven with them.

Tom: Would it have been good news to tell them Bin Laden would be in heaven had he repented and accepted Christ BEFORE he died? Sure it would. That’s just the gospel. Oxy, it’s no less good news to tell them that IF Bin Laden repents and believes on Christ AFTER he dies that we’ll see him in heaven. You may disagree that such post-mortem opporunities exist. That’s fine. But it doesn’t count against UR that it believes the repentance and belief offered us in the gospel before we die is offered us in the gospel after we die.

There is nothing to explain about Bin Laden or anyone else other than that apart from such repentance and belief no salvation is possible.

Tom


#4

Prov 24:17-18 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls; and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles,…
Lest the Lord see it, and it displeases Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.

I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m sorry that your God is so small. Why does it bother you so much that our heavenly Father would be so gracious to have made a way for the OBL of the world to be part of His Kingdom?

A Brother in the Lord once asked his students this question; Brothers, if it should be found out that our God in the end would be able to deal with all unbelievers and the wicked in such a way, that they all, out of their free will and from their heart, confess Jesus Christ as Lord for the glory of God the Father- would you object? Speechless amazement followed, then the bashful answer; No professor. The professor continued; And even if it were the case, that Satan and his entire host would finally willingly bow under the easy yoke of our glorious Lord, and they would serve Him eternally with holy ornaments - would you object? Even greater amazement and a longer silence followed, but finally the answer: No professor, Then he said: Neither would I.

Oxy, would you object and on what grounds?


#5

If it’s dirt digging that turns you on Oxy, there’s no-one whose sinless.

Why should you feel sorry for the eternal fate of someone whom God has decreed to be one of the damned?
T

The good news is that the terrorist Osama will never get to heaven. He will be an entirely new creature before he ever enters the gates.

Some of us do. Others will in time. Amen.


#6

We know that we have created God in our own image when he hates the same people we do.

His ways are not ours…


#7

It’s very simple. We want Bin Laden to burn in hell forever because he is our enemy. We fear him. We hate him. We want to hurt him.

ECT is a doctrine that scratches itching ears. By embracing it, we show ourselves to be monkeys and devils rather than children of God.

Paraphrasing Paul: From now on we refuse to regard Bin Laden (or anyone else) from a worldly point of view. Good grief, we are so corrupt we misjudged Christ himself! We do so no longer. If one single person is in Christ, then everyone is in Christ. I am convinced that because one died, we all have died. And because one was raised, we all have been raised. The new creation has come. The game has changed. We are no longer condemned in Adam but we are justified in Christ. The old has gone, the new is here. We are no longer apes but angels. No longer children of mud but children of God. Our task is to take this good news to the world. Be who you really are. Be reconciled to God, because God already is reconciled to you.


#8

Children want their father to play favourites, to make them the favourite, and to disown the brothers and sisters they hate, or to make them their servants, or they want their father to exalt them over their hated siblings.

The Father doesn’t play favourites.

I would like to mention, that for the majority of us who have ever struggled with lust, or even you Oxy who assuredly has had at least one lustful thought; we (and you…) are rapists, and repeat offenders at that. I’m not defending Ghandi by any means, but the point is this; if he be damned, then so be thou. The Christ died for all, and save all he shall. If one stray sheep be left behind, then that be all his sheep cast out of mind. Lest he lie, and be God no more, may all be rescued, and live forever more.


#9

To actually address the question of the thread topic… :wink:

No, I don’t think Rob would have had a difficult time explaining Bin Laden–he is well aware of the existence of super-sinners in his book.

I also think, however, he took the rhetorically easy way out in his promotional use of Ghandi, and I wish he had been more courageous to take the harder road in promoting what he was talking about.

(Any example he borrowed would fall apart under scrutiny of course; Rob is well aware we’re all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God, and he never once indicates he thinks people get into heaven by being ‘good enough’ in some way. He undoubtedly chose Ghandi because like Mother Teresa Ghandi is a popular and well-known example of ‘a good man’ in the public perception, but unlike MT Ghandi was not a Christian. Since his case doesn’t rest on Ghandi’s supposed moral perfection, pointing out realistic moral flaws in Ghandi doesn’t obviate his point.)

As other people in the thread have pointed out, your challenge implies that few if any people would think it “good news” that Bin Ladin could have been saved from his sins before he died and so be in heaven with them eventually! If they have problems with Bin Ladin being led to repentance and faith in Christ after death, simply on the ground that a “bad man” like him shouldn’t be in heaven by the grace and salvation of Christ, then by the same principle they would have had problems if he had repented and converted before he died, too. Even if they didn’t want to (or dared to) express it. :wink:

At the end of the day, the people hired first complained about the people hired last being paid the same wage by the generous master. “Is it not Mine to do with as I please?–or is your eye evil because I am generous?!” That’s a warning to the ones complaining about those being called last getting in anyway: and the same principle would apply if the master in the parable had called the remaining people in to pay them after the day of labor had ended, too! Because salvation is not earned by works, but is freely provided by the grace of God. (Of course that parable totally focuses on the calling of Christ–to all the people in the courtyard eventually, by the way!–and not on repentance of sin, as other sayings focus on, sometimes to the exclusion of any action by God at all. But neither concept should be ignored.)

Anyway, my emotional churlishness that an enemy of mine might be led to repentance and saved from their sinning by Christ and brought into the kingdom, whether sooner or later as the case may be, doesn’t keep that salvation from being good news!–thank God!

It might however keep me out of the kingdom until I repent of my churlishness against the salvation of Christ’s enemies by Christ. :wink: If I deny that Christ’s enemies can or should be saved, then how can I the sinner be saved?! If I deny the name of “Jesus”, “the Lord saves”, then how can I be saved!? The older brother is about to be in big trouble with his father if he doesn’t improve his attitude about his younger brother who might as well have been dead and destroyed in hell–but now is alive and found! “You… wicked… SLAVE! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me to! Was it not required of you therefore to have mercy as well on others!?” Imprisonment and torment of the forgiven slave follows…

(For however long, until he should pay up the final farthing he owes. Which is not the embezzlement he was forgiven of… What does the unforgiving slave really owe? “Thus shall your Father in the heavens be doing to you, each one of you, unless–”?)


#10

Well said!


#11

Lefein, you are a poet!

Like Proverbs 16:19 says, “Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud.”

Osama was oppressed by sin, by ego, by hatred for other men. I do not count his death as plunder, and I know my LORD will triumph over his weakness and his evil - Christ everywhere victorious.


#12

Well there’s this real life story about a real life religious (non-Christian) terrorist who found Jesus and converted to Christianity. And the Christians who knew him and his reputation before his conversion had a difficult time explaining it and believing it.

In case you haven’t caught on, this terrorist was named Saul but his name was changed to Paul after his Jesus encounter. See Acts 9. He was destroying the church in Jerusalem and “breathing out murderous [terrorist] threats against the Lord’s disciples.” Being the zealot that he was, he got papers to pursue more disciples in Damascus but along the way a light from the sky knocked him off his high horse. It reads like science fiction here but lucky for Saul, Jesus’ particle weapon beam was set on stun instead of vaporize.

So the lesson from the story is that the Lord has these incredibly persuasive powers which He uses at the time of His choosing. Given the persuasiveness of the powers used in this story before death, just imagine how persuasive He could be after death!!


#13

Nice. He will be “All in all!”. Not “All in a few”

Paul, David and Moses were the most prolific biblical writers. And all three were murderers. (Maybe it’s easier for God to rechannel ruthless and relentless men than to instill a spine in the gooey good.) Osama’s ideaology, no matter what suffering he observed to trigger them, was evil (and yes, not dissimilar to Sauls - the heretic purger). But I pray God gives me the same courage of conviction. Even the most fervent despiser of his acts (and I was standing by the towers when the planes hit) would admit Osama believed no less than the SEAL who shot him that he was on the right side; he was very rich and could have lived a life of endless luxury.

I live in dread of hearing the words “you were neither hot not cold…so I will spit you from my mouth.”


#14

:smiley: So true! I suspect we over-value *niceness. *


#15

I suspect you’re right about that!

Sonia