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Rob Bell’s “Love Wins” book resulted in a 3,000 member decrease at Mars Hill Michigan

Former megachurch pastor Rob Bell, founder of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Mich., recently shared how his 2011 book, Love Wins, led to a fallout with the congregation and forced him on a “search for a more forgiving faith.”

Bell told The New Yorker that the book caused attendance at Mars Hill to plummet by 3,000 people.  According to the New Yorker:

“The book put pressure on the people around Bell, who found themselves having to defend statements they might never have heard, let alone approved,” The New Yorker writes.

“Congregants reported that friends and family members were asking why they were allowing themselves to be led by a false teacher,” the magazine continues.

Wife of the megachurch pastor, Kristen Bell, remembers staying home from service for some weeks because she could not stand the criticism her husband was receiving for his book.

“There was a cost,” Bell told The New Yorker.

“And part of the cost was, we couldn’t keep doing what we were doing at Mars Hill,” she added.

// Read more here:  Rob Bell Tells How ‘Love Wins’ Led to Mars Hill Departure.

6 Responses to “ “Rob Bell’s “Love Wins” book resulted in a 3,000 member decrease at Mars Hill Michigan”

  1. Yet more objective evidence that liberal ‘theology’ kills churches. It destroyed the mainline denominations in the 20th century and is just as deadly today as it was then.

  2. The biggest problem with alternative theories on hell, ie all roads lead to the same place, is very simple: it trivializes the decisions we make in the here and now. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, if you believe that we are all going to make it in the end, why go to any faith community? Especially not a mega church where its hard to make friends anyway. This theology, apart from being wrong, has real world implications that nullify the importance of making your faith central to your life.

  3. Sue says:

    I’m sort of amazed by these people who think that a particular view of hell, which has far less biblical support than grace, is SUCH an important doctrine. Jesus spoke very little of it, and when he did it had little to do with the vision Dante gave us. Why would we rather cherish hell than grace?

    • Pastor Mike says:

      Sue, I appreciate your heart. Jesus was a tremendous Savior of grace, but he was also a Savior of truth (John 1:14) Jesus was not one without the other… but both fully. It is significant to see that while Jesus may have used the word hell only a few times (and the gospels never record Jesus using the word ‘grace’), Jesus spoke volumes about hell… he just did it with other words and concepts. He talked about judgment and standing before God and the devil and destruction and all kinds of things related to the Kingdom of darkness. And when He did talk about hell.. it was pointed and direct.

      Without the reality of judgment… i would fail to see the significance of grace and mercy. Through the work of Christ we are offered what we do not deserve (grace) and not given what we do deserve (mercy). It is those who unite the offer of grace and mercy with faith that become children of God and experience life rather than death, heaven rather than hell (John 1:12, John 5:24). May all hear the gospel, believe the gospel, and turn to Christ.

      • Pastor Mike that was a great answer for Sue- if I could add a little statistical information… Jesus spoke directly or indirectly of “Hell” compared to “heaven” at a ratio of 11 to 1. That indicates to me that Jesus (who is the grace of God) is deeply interested in people NOT going there. Additionally, I don’t read anywhere in scripture where people get out of Hell after Revelation 20 ever! God bless you! (Another Pastor Mike from Las Vegas)

  4. I think it is a bummer that the church couldn’t find a middle ground with Rob Bell.


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