Rob Bell Is Wrong

Of course I am all for Rob Bell coming out in favor of humanity. And, theoretically, who could disagree with this?

We need more love.

But, it’s where he goes next that frustrates me:

We need more fidelity. We need more monogamy. We need more people who are committed to each other. It’s not good for us to be alone.

What bothers me here is the equation between love/fidelity/commitment and monogamy. That the only possible solution to not being alone is to be in a monogamous (and I would assume he also means permanent) relationship with another person. From my perspective, this just isn’t going far enough.

So, fellow “progressive Christians,” how progressive are we really going to be?

If you don’t know who Dan Savage is, you should. If you haven’t read Sex At Dawn yet, you should. These are the ways that I think “God is pulling us forward.”

A sustainable Christianity will not require monogamy.

  • http://www.malakhgabriel.net Gabe

    As a polyamorous Christian, I’m really happy to see someone addressing this. I’ve been so frustrated with the heteronormative “As long as they’re good middle class married couples, then we should accept them with open arms.” I’m thankful so often for my pastor, who, when welcoming the congregation to the table, says “Feel free to come forward by yourself, with your family, with your significant other or others.”

    That said, Dan Savage’s history of biphobia and transphobia make him less than a pinnacle of sex advisers to me. The way Sex At Dawn’s evopsych is used to attempt to create a new norm of non-monogamy frustrates me to no end. Evolution doesn’t determine what is right. What was beneficial at one point isn’t necessarily what is beneficial now, and the corollary of “humans did not evolve monogamously” is not “humans should be non-monogamous” no matter how many of my fellow poly folks wish it were true.

    As for Rob Bell… I really don’t care. Why now, for one? And why just meekly voice support for marriage now that “the ship has sailed”? If he wants me to care, then he needs to start actively working for the full inclusion of queer people in the church and society, and realize that there’s more than marriage that matters to queer people (homelessness, violence, abuse from churches and parents) & that trans* folks even exist!

  • David

    It’s begun to bother me, as well, that to most people and the media, all LGBTs are concened with is the marriage issue. Amazingly, they are REAL people like everyone else. It’s almost an Onion headline: “Gays Also Care About Other Issues; Who Knew?”.
    It all comes down to embracing people most unlike us, whoever ‘us is. Sadly and honestly, much of the church is totally unwilling to do this. The fact they have to be reminded that this is a main tentpole of what Jesus expected of us is a sad thing, indeed.

  • http://dontforgettothink.blogspot.com Joel Settecase

    I would love to see your Scriptural evidence for your view that Jesus propounded the idea that we should accept the lifestyles of anyone and everyone who disagree with us. Or are you saying something different?

    • http://robertanthonydavis.com Rob Davis

      “Scripture” is not my sole source of evidence for anything.

  • Jeremy Forbing

    I am a big L Liberal and a Christian who follows these Progressive posts with a lot of interest and agrees with many of them. But if we take the Bible seriously at all, marriage seems to be a part of God’s plan for us, and the Bible does not offer any non-monogamous vision for marriage except for one man having multiple wives (which, unfortunately, tends historically and in the modern world to be a form of misogynistic slavery). And while I think every married couple needs to define their own boundaries, most marriages will include one partner who does not wish to share the sexual intimacy of their relationship with third parties, and those wishes need to be respected. Otherwise, a marriage becomes two selfish people willing to hurt each other instead the spiritual union it is intended to be.

  • Samir Dawlatly (@SDawlatly)

    Would like to know where in the Bible it says we should be monogamous? It’s as accepted as fact that monogamy is a “Christian value”.

    All the Jewish men of note up to Solomon seemed to have multiple wives and/or concubines. But some time between the time of Solomon and the time of Jesus it appears that Jews became monogamous…

    Why was that? I honestly don’t know the answer but I presume it was a cultural thing and not a command from God, as common perception is He was silent for a whole bunch of years up to the birth of conception of John the Baptist.

    If you google “Why are Jews monogamous” you do find some interesting and persuasive arguments, but it doesn’t get away from my suggestion that monogamy may be cultural and not “biblical/ordered by God”.

  • Samir Dawlatly (@SDawlatly)

    PS I am happily married, but just like to ask awkward questions…

    • http://about.me/iamrobdavis Rob Davis

      Good question!

      And, I have encountered a lot of assumptions about my own personal commitments simply because I raise these kinds of questions.


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