When Rob Bell left the church he founded to pursue new opportunities, critics started voicing their opinions even as many wondered where the controversial author would land.
Soon, news emerged that Bell was partnering with the co-creator of Lost to write a spiritual TV series that is reportedly based, at least loosely, on his life. Again, the critics voiced their opinions.
But it seems Bell is not fighting the battle alone. At least one pastor is speaking on behalf of the Love Wins author. That one pastor is Craig Gross, pastor and founder of XXXchurch.com in Las Vegas. XXXchurch.com is an online resource to fight porn addiction.
“I know Rob Bell. I don't know everything Rob is doing next, but I don't think Rob is any less of a leader, speaker, father or pastor by stepping away from Mars Hill,” Gross wrote. “I am bothered when I read online about whether that was right for Rob to leave.”
Gross points to the tweets, including one from Rick Warren that said, “Speaking tours feed the ego, all applause & no responsibility. It's an unreal world. A church gives accountability & validity." Although Warren did not mention Bell, his tweet was delivered within hours of the announcement, causing many to connect the dots.
But as Gross sees it, more pastors need to leave the church. His reasoning? We live in a new age. Gross explains how he wanted to become a youth pastor because his youth pastor changed his life and points the finger at pastors who get into ministry simply because they want to make millions of dollars.
“Francis Chan left his role at his church and went onto something new. Rob is leaving and is off to something new. It is okay to quit. I think leaving is 100 times harder then staying,” Gross wrote. “It is comfortable to stay. It is expected to stay. It easier to stay, but if your heart is not in it or if you feel the Lord leading you to something else, why stay? Do you stay just so you can have more credibility in your books or your speaking tours because you are part of the ‘pastor club’? If you are not able or willing or feel called to really pastor a church, why stay?”
Gross, for one, thinks the best is yet to come for Bell. What do you think?
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.