Before we judge we have to ask are we any different? What is it about the unknown that sparks a panic in our brains? When we can’t fit what we see in the boxes or descriptions we are happy with we try to force it into the closest fit. It’s simply not the done thing to have a label marked ‘misc’ that you can hand out willy nilly.
I’m worried that I am more bothered about being right than I am about loving my fellow Christian. The problem is that, even when I am right, unless I have love and unless that love is obvious then no one is going to want to listen.
I have never claimed to agree with everything Bell says, but I respect him more than I do most leaders because of the way he handles his critics – he ignores them. He doesn’t engage in the argument, he doesn’t defend himself, he just gets on with what he believe God is calling him to do. So while most of his critics appear rude and obnoxious, Bell comes off as genuine and humble. These critics also lose credibility in my eyes for failing to adhere to the Biblical principle of challenging someone face to face, before publicly. Bell is still a fellow human and a fellow brother in Christ, and should be treated as such.